The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Rise of Income Inequality (Part I)
22 August 2017 | Pago Pago, American Samoa
I. Corporations have immense wealth and power, more than most nations by far
So how do the wealth and power of big corporations compare to those of nation states? The truth is large corporations are wealthier and more powerful than many nations. The world’s biggest corporations have increased their wealth compared with nation states recent years.
A study by the anti-poverty charity Global Justice Now found that the number of corporations in the top 100 nation/corporate entities jumped to 69 in 2015 from 63 in the previous year. Corporations are becoming increasingly wealthier and more powerful than many nations.
While many emerging market economies have struggled to grow in the last couple of years, mainly as a result of China’s slowdown, many of the world’s largest corporations have increased in size.
The London-based campaign group said the 10 biggest corporations – including Walmart, Apple and Shell – make more money than most countries in the world combined. An assessment of the top 200 nations/corporations found that many smaller countries were squeezed out, leaving 153 corporations above many nations from Africa, Asia and South America. The US, China, Germany, Japan, France and the UK make up the top six economic nation/corporate entities followed by Italy, Brazil and Canada.
But Walmart ranks as the 10th largest, Apple ranked 26th behind the 18th-placed Royal Dutch Shell, with Exxon Mobil at 21, all ahead of many nations
The value of the top 10 corporations was $285 trillion, beating the $280
trillion worth of the bottom 180 countries, which include Ireland, Indonesia, Israel, Colombia, Greece, South Africa, Iraq and Vietnam.
Corporations are becoming more powerful and dominate than nations.
II. Corporations are fascist dictatorships run a single man, the CEO, and wield way too much power in markets and on government
I had occasion once in very close company to meet and listen to Roberto C. Goizueta, Coca Cola’s most famous CEO, talk about what it was like to run Coca Cola. He spent his day at the office placating and resolving internecine rivalries among corporate factions and keeping his board members in line and on track with his agenda. He ran Coca Cola from his home at night. He explained that getting a supportive board is key because there is then no opposition to what you want to do. The CEO’s word is law. The entire organization must comply. One man controls.
My take away was no single man should have such vast unchecked power. It was too much in a big corporation, but I understand the sentiment that says a ship must have a captain and his word is absolute (with a few exceptions). The name of the game now is stuff the board with your buddies, give them fee raises, play a lot of golf with them and silently demand they back you up on all things. No bad publicity and dividends tossed their way keep shareholders too removed to do anything in opposition. That is how the game is played these days.
The model is that of a fascist dictator. Its domain is as big and as vast as the corporation itself. It can rival a large nation state in power and wealth. The resources to bribe public officials with campaign contribution are huge. You command attention. Private or less resourceful persons or individuals can’t compete for an audience.
It is an unchecked system and in the US it has run amuck as I will explain.
(to be continued)