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Taking the dare

A comment to A.J.'s post, “Realistically, they can’t compete”, contained a dare that I accept.

The dare for a response followed the comment: "This corporate logic you use to make your decisions is depleting your local economy financially at the same time it is creating a social desert by minimizing locality based exchange.”

My wife had a good friend who was a lawyer. He specialized in cases in which individuals or small groups of individuals were wronged by large corporations. Most people thought he took these cases because they held the best potential for large settlements. But he had a much higher purpose. He felt that the corporation was an inherently evil entity.

Now that might be a bit over the top. But there can be no doubt that these "mega- businesses" are not a great benefit to the overall wellbeing of the human race or the planet we inhabit.

By its nature, a corporation's primary concern must be profits. They have stockholders who demand returns on their investments. If there are none, the corporation will die. A corporation cannot tread water. Instead of reaching a comfortable and sustainable plateau as a small local business can, the corporation must continually grow to survive. In order to sustain this growth, corporations employ armies of lawyers and lobbyists. Their job is to apply pressure on government with the intention of getting the laws and regulations rewritten in a manner that is more favorable to the corporation.

A great example of this is the current definition of the word "natural" as used in food labeling.

A corporation cannot benefit local economies. It must manufacture in large volume and that means large plants located in places where regulation and control are at a minimum. So most of the work needed to generate the product is performed in other countries where governments are more willing and able to capitulate to the needs and requirements of the corporation. Most of the local jobs offered by large corporations are in low level “burger flipper” or sales positions.

The scariest thing about corporations is the fact that there is no one person who is responsible for its actions. In a small business, if you get a bad apple or your cabinet hinge breaks, you know just where to go to seek compensation. But with a corporation, who ya' gonna call? Usually it's an 800 number. I always laugh when I hear it said that corporations are people. Just try to get one to answer the phone!


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