Report on Corporate Power and Responsibility

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Report on Corporate Power and Responsibility

By | October 2013
Page 1 of 3
Report on Corporate Power and Responsibility

A corporation is defined as a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. It has the right to enter into contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets and pay taxes. There are now about 40,000 corporations in the world whose activities cross national boundaries. However, 200 giant corporations control well over a quarter of the world’s economic activity. Most of them are larger than national economies.

These alarming facts rise the questions how much influence should large corporations have and how much responsibility (beyond making profit) should go along with that power? For the first time in my life I realized what impact corporations own by watching the movie “Roger and Me” from Michael Moore. In the 1980’s, General Motors closed several plants in Flint. Due to 30,000 people of the city’s citizens lost their job. This movie shows what has happened there as a result of the plant closings: people are moving away, untenanted buildings, empty streets, rising long-term unemployment, poverty, violence etc. To this day Flint has not been able to recover from it. It is really shocking me, how much a corporation can damage a whole society by making just one decision. But who gives them the right to make this decision? I think that these corporations benefits a lot from us. We buy their products and they earn our taxes as subsidies. Furthermore, our knowledge and skills makes it possible that they can develop and compete on the market. And than, when they perform well nothing of the above-mentioned points has any worth for these companies and they decide to move to low-wage countries.

But why does a corporation act on its own authority without taking any responsibility? Today, the sole objective of a corporation is to satisfy the shareholders insatiable demand for higher returns and lower risk on their investment. However, all this is happening at the costs of...