The whole legal structure of a corporation, coupled with the roll-backs in workers’ ability to organize and leverage their own interests over that of the upper class, seems to have lead to zero accountability for what these rights-entitled entities do to anything in the social system or culture in which they exist. Leaders of corporations like to pretend that they are islands of their own, and somehow function in another realm from the rest of society, but it’s a scam. I’m not in favor of international free trade. There’s absolutely no clear reason why it’s necessary, or even beneficial, for me or my family to support it. I’ve seen the negative impacts of it first-hand in both the U.S. and Mexico. …And then our industries went to China.
I say this willing to acknowledge that the benefit and behavior of small businesses are very different than their larger counterparts are very different most of the time, so let’s not pigeon-hole the conversation and start throwing blinders on yet. I think the broadly excepted knowledge of these differences are part of the logic behind having certain regulations only apply to businesses over a certain number of employees. The main problem is that in most cases—this is based on personal experience and research—when a “business person” starts railing against “Government” and “Regulation,” what they’re really saying is: “I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do, not my community, not the people who work for me; nor should I have to look into the future more than 3-5 years and act responsibly within the full environment that I exist in.”
I believe commerce is necessary for a healthy society, but the model we have allows so many businesses to absolve themselves from responsibility to their home towns, and now even their home countries, that society is starting to crumble. Businesses use the roads, they use the legal system far more than any other constituency in the country, and they use our labor power. They’re also gobbling-up resources that for centuries had been understood to be all of ours so that we could survive not matter what, and they’re mismanaging them terribly. Yet, they don’t want any of these other stakeholders to have any self-determination in these vital areas of society. By jumping international boundaries, and eliminating any checks and balances or safeguards that provide access to decision-making for ALL stakeholders—and not just share-holders—we’re all disempowered from having individual autonomy, or a say in the direction of our society is going.
I will also say that crony capitalism, facilitated by the corporate nanny state, seems to me to be clearly a road to ruin. However, I’m no Democrat. The Koch brothers aren’t interested in a fair and just society. Therefore, I think they should responsibly stay in their place. I don’t care if the rulers wear Soviet Uniforms or suites and ties, the end result of ego-maniacal elitists placing their views as paramount to that of the working classes will always be the cliff edge of a depleted society facing collapse. How many times do we have to play this game?
Here are some questions I’d love your thoughts on:
What responsibilities does a business have to the community it exists in?
Should a large corporation have a positive impact on the towns, states, or countries that it exists in?
Should commerce and industry be organized from the top down or from the ground up?