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The necessity and possibility of corporate reform: Part 1. Introduction

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Gary Brumback       (Page 2 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Neither, obviously is corruption inherently permanent once a government, a corporation, and people in them become corrupt. If corruption were irreversible reform proposals and efforts would be useless. If corruption were irreversible America would be headed inexorably toward that final stage.


Corporate America: An overview


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Big government is undeniably too big yet it is dwarfed by the number of corporations and their people and is totally overpowered by corporate America (if corporate reform were a success there would be no excuse for a bloated and massive government). Corporate America is very heterogeneous spread as it is across many different manufacturing and service industries yet has a common goal of advancing itself regardless of the means. There are about 17,000 corporations in corporate America if we arbitrarily define any of its corporate members as having over 500 employees. Since size, corruption and abusive power usually go together we ought to divide corporations or their industries into three categories of size, small, medium, and large as modified by the scale of harm done and assign reform priorities accordingly.


As big and powerful as it is overall Corporate America nevertheless accounts for only about 20% of all businesses in America. The rest is referred to as small business, but it is not small in the size of its total workforce. Small business employs far more people than do corporations. Small business, if it would unite into a coordinated counterforce could be a powerful opponent of the entire corpocracy.

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Corporate America's allies: An overview


Not counting its "marriage partner," that is, government, corporate America has many allies it can depend on to further its interests either by supporting and/or accepting them: the touts and shills; the cultists; NGOs; small business; compromised professions and sciences; the bystanders; and even foreign enemies. With the possible exception of the bystanders, an ally benefits directly or indirectly from its explicit or tacit alliance with corporate America. An ally that is explicit and very active in its support of corporate America ought to be considered accomplices in contrast to tacit and passive allies. Any corporate reform strategy must include corporate America's allies or risk being blindsided by them.


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Touts and Shills. They are a motley lot of accomplices and the difference between a tout and a shill isn't always clear cut. Touts (that's what Winston Churchill called lobbyists) are hired and paid to swarm inside government and lobby it for their clients. Anyone, any organization, any association can be a shill. Even politicians or judges can be shills. As a matter of fact, if you want to call government the biggest shill I won't disagree with you.


A shill's focus is usually not as laser beamed as a tout's. Shills generally offer paeans to the corpocracy and its conservative, free-market ideological underpinnings. Think of shrill shills like ideologically blinded, ranting and raving radio talk show hosts as an extreme example. Touts, on the other hand, concentrate on getting specific favors for particular corporate members of the corpocracy, be they a certain corporation or a particular industry.

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Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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