Chapter Three of “The Corporation”
discusses externalities in corporations. Externalities are described as other
people’s problems in which other people pay the price for a corporation’s
immorality. Businesses and corporations externalize costs at the expense of
workers and the general public, which lead to many problems in the world. In
other words, corporations are dangerous to the well being of humanity. For
example, General Motors moved the location of gas tank in the Chevy Malibu in
order to save money. By doing this, buyers of the car were put at risk. The
reading highlights an unfortunate example in which a Chevy Malibu was hit from
behind, where the gas tank was unfavorably placed, and severely injured an
entire family. General Motors knew that this could happen and they did it anyway
in order to maximize profits instead of putting public safety first.
Chapter Four of “The Corporation”
discusses how corporations affect democracy in which they push for
deregulation. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the “New Deal”
which had all kinds of regulations. This made the leaders of corporations so
angry that they tried to overthrow President Roosevelt. Some renowned companies
such as IBM worked with the Nazis because it grew profits. This shows that
these corporations are unethical as they worked with this evil empire in order
to bolster profits. Corporations threaten the pillars of democracy and freedom.
Corporations use lobbyists to push for their own personal interests at the
expense of citizens. For example, Bristol-Myers Squibb paid politicians to
ensure that favorable laws were passed. Corporations severely limit the
government and democracy.
The “If Corporations
Are People, They Should Act Like It” article details how companies should be
held to the same standards as citizens. After the Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to spend lots
of money in political entities such as elections, people decided to fight
corporate personhood. Corporate personhood is the idea that corporations have a
legal identity that is separate from its shareholders. Companies have the same
expectations as people when it comes to public moral obligations.