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OP/ED: Why the recent Anti Corporation sentiment?

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posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:19 AM
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Recent?

Last I checked, the Anti-Corporation Sentiment has existed for well over 100years now and is nothing new. Like many things it goes through a cycle and over the last few years it has got big once more. Probably due to things like WalMart and their actions in Southern America. Microsoft and their actions online and so on and so fourth...

Many people, like the idea of smaller businesses over big business but they know once a WalMart is in town they are crippled and slowly it is happennig in the United Kingdom. Many people rightly fear what happens when you have one company in charge of all food distrubutation and so on and so fourth...




posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:28 AM
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Suppose we can throw ImClone, Merrill Lynch, Enron, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing, Tyco, WorldCom, and Adelphia into the corporate malfeasances stew.


Just wait till they get a load of the
Multilateral Agreement on Investment.



America's Middle Class Becomes the New Working Poor

In the past ten years, American jobs screamed out of the United States at an accelerating rate of speed. While American workers stood in unemployment lines, major corporations insourced, outsourced and offshored jobs to Third World countries. Why? They could obtain labor for $1.00 an hour and sometimes less. Capitalism knows no loyalty to man, beast or country.

America’s manufacturing base and ability to sell products to the world diminished with the rising power of corporations to control taxes, tariffs and commodities markets. These huge corporations, run by American CEO’s, took advantage of their American roots and benefits enjoyed in a First World country—while giving millions of jobs to people in other countries. For what? Obscene profits! It’s why you hear of their $125 million annual paychecks.

Economic globalization means you will eventually earn the same as the Chinese do. How do you like them corporate apples...

[edit on 25-10-2005 by Regenmacher]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:52 AM
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I think you hit on it in your op/ed piece, Springer. At least you did for me. It's a matter of arbitrage and the fact there can be none. That not only applies to the stock market, it seems to apply in the area of power and rights. If a corporation is gaining political power, then some one else is losing it. That some one else tends to be the average citizen. It's for this reason that a measure of "anti-corporate" is healthy. My personal opinion is that U.S. politics have become far too influenced by corporations at this point and the pendulum needs to swing the other way.



[edit on 10-25-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 07:43 AM
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Ya know I am not a big fan of corporations...in the late 18th and well into the 19th century corporations were either illegal or given very limited charters in most of Europe and the United States. The reasons why were many but they boiled down to a couple...One was the belief that unchecked they would tend to dominate the market and make it more difficult for smaller businesses to compete and two, that corporations was a way for individual investors to evade responsibility for their companies actions. Not much has changed. Look at every market corporations compete in and you will find little compitetion besides themselves, a small businesses simply cannot compete with them and are usually forced off the playing field. That is not nor is it ever healthy capitalism and the loser in this is always the customer. As for the other concern, accountablilty...with a corporate bureaucracy replacing individual responsiblity, it is so much easier to avoid the reprocutions of your actions. It happens of course but it always seems to cost the taxpayer more money...but the legal reprocutions are not what interests me...the interface between simple morality vs the push for profits does though. A prime example is ADM's genetically modified grains are a case in point. Yes they have made grains that are far more hardy and disease resistant than their replacements but to make it so that the impoverished farmer forced (I am thinking 3rd world here folks) to buy the grain cannot re-sow, and so saving what little money they have is wrong. Wal-Mart forcing out small town businesses is another example. What happened in Bopal with Union Carbide is another. After decades of litigation, the people of that town have yet to recieve a penny in compensation for their corporate illresponsiblity. The list goes on. People will do things as part of a job, that they would never do as individuals. Reply that corporations aren't individuals and while technially you're right, by law they are. One of the biggest dumbass rulings the supreme court ever made was accepting the claim that based on a loose reading of the 22nd amendment, that corporations could seek protection as individuals under the law and that their freedom of speech cannot be restricted. If corporations can claim protection as individuals, then they should accept the notion that as individuals they can be proscuted as well, but of course they don't. I have no problem with profits or capitalism but with corporate capitalism the only winners are the investor and the consumer always gets the bum deal (think your merged banks or phone companies...have they improved? mine got worse) and with the loss of choices, read diversity, in the marketplace the quality goes down as well. And with the loss of small businesses, the money the consumer spends is lost to the local economy where it always does more good nad into the coffers of some distant corporation. I presonally find it impossible not to do business with corportations, which is an annoyance in and of itself, but I do my best to cultivate small businesses. I do not shop at wal-mart and would rather pay a little more to a local business than to a pack of anonoymous investors. And if I could avoid doing business with corporations all together I would.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 08:07 AM
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How 'bout because I'm a patriot? How 'bout because I pay my taxes?

Corporate taxes now account for only 7.4 percent of federal tax receipts, the second-lowest level on record.

Watch Lou Dobbs sometime. Outsourcing and broken borders. It's all related.

I don't see how "conservatives" can hate illegal imigration, lobbyists, people on welfare, and anti-American sentiment and not include corporations selling us down the debt river and relocating to the Caymans at the very top of the list.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as capitalist (and evil) as the next guy trying to make a buck, but I'm not blind.

Wal-Mart is not your buddy.

[edit on 25-10-2005 by RANT]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 09:32 AM
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I am not against corporations and big business that provide a balance act for the working American.

But that is not what has become of big business in the US, for the last twenty years our government has become part of the corporate monopoly completely forgetting about the people of American the hard working class American that elected them.

I have seen first hand what monopolist like Wal-Mart can do to small communities.

Every time you look around our congress is passing laws and regulations to help the corporate world but what is doing for us the regular American people?

Can somebody answer that?

Congress is not doing anything to stop the power that big businesses have on our political leaders and on congress itself.

If you have money in Washington to have congress favoring your cause you are a winner, but so far who pays for the American people's needs so congress can pass laws to benefit us.

Nobody.

[edit on 25-10-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 09:42 AM
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I see anti-corporate sentiment as being an expression of a very old belief: inequality

When you're working 40 hours a week and you can barely afford to get food on the table and then you hear of a CEO getting a million dollars a week you feel pissed, right? Its human nature. Does that mean the CEO doesn't deserve his pay check? Well ultimately that's not really any ones business but the companies. But it doesn't change the fact that people PERCEIVE an injustice.

Does this criticism hurt the corporations? Who cares? They're big enough to take it on the chin arent they? Should we all stop complaining? Will that make the World a better place? Im sure the corporate world would think so.

There is a valid argument that corporations have paved the way for innovation. That's true, but are they the only means humanity has to innovate? When Emperors ruled China they funded science, arts, agriculture and every facet of their peoples lives. You didn't get private enterprise building things such as the Great Wall of China or developing gun-powder. Those inovations were brought about thanks to the Emperors wealth and power. Does that mean Emperors should be reinstated? Or are we content with corporations filling the gap?

The problem with corporations is that they are solely motivated for profit. In a capitalist economy there is no incentive to be moralistic. That's fine if all you care about is money, but most people believe in more than just money. Corporations may fuel industry and scientific endeavour but what good is that if no one can afford to buy them? If corporations were allowed to run unchecked they would pay their workers just enough money to survive (read: eat) and everyone else could go to hell for all they cared.

If you extrapolate this further the only corporations that would be able to sell anything are those that sell essential items such as food and medicine. No other workers would be able to afford anything but these items. The corporations, in their insatiable quest for profit, would have all the wealth and the rest of the people would be serfs. Ironically that would lead to a reversion to our ancient lives with progress unable to move forward thanks to the abscence of a market.

That's why corporations are opposed. There are those who see the value of corporations and there are those that distrust and fear them. They are a necessary evil but that doesn't mean they should be left to carry out their sole function unchecked.

An example of a necessary check on a corporation is Novartis and its immunosuppressant medication, cyclosporine. If Novartis was allowed to conduct itself in the pure profit driven mode that corporations are designed for it would charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment. What is your life worth to you if you need a transplant to live? The best way for Novartis to maximize its profit is to charge the maximum amount people are willing to pay; in this instance how much is your life worth to you? If you truly believe corporations should be allowed to operate unchecked and not in a manner conducive to morality then you should have no problem with Novartis bankrupting people to keep their lives.

In a just society there must always be a balance between facilitating progress and social justice. Lean too much one way and the system doesn't work. So what's the solution? We shouldn't be content with the current system, there is no compulsion for corporations to act with morality. The job of our government is to get in there and bat for us, but when corporations have the ears of our politicians were are left unrepresented.

There are those who say corporations are beholden to their consumers, they are right in theory but since when does anything economic in nature work in practice? Ignorance is a universal human trait, I dont care what any one says - no one knows everything. As such there will always be enough consumers ignorant of a corporations practices and methods to keep them in business.

Corporations by their very nature expand into many different industries and conduct business under many different names. Want to boycott Kentucky Fried Chicken because of a perceived injustice to chickens? Well you better know that its owned by Yum! Brands Inc who also own Taco Bell and Pizza Hut so say good bye to a rather large swathe of fast foods if you want to stand up for something in principle. Yum! Brands is a spin-off of PepsiCo Inc so you would have to also boycott Aquafina, Evervess, Fiesta, Frawg, Fruko, Gatorade, Kas, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Mug Root Beer, Quaker Oats, Radical Fruit, Shani, Sierra Mist, Slice, SoBe, Teem, Tropicana, Walkers and Yedigun. Quite a boycott to save the chickens right? It keeps going, you'd also have to boycott 7 Up, Frappuccino, Starbucks DoubleShot, Mandarin, D&G, Lipton Brisk, Lipton Ice Tea, Dole and Sunny Delight if you want to keep your dollar from going to the corporation behind KFC. Quite a hard task for one objection. If you knew everything each corporation got up to and you were inclined to boycott them over it I can assure you that you wouldnt be buying anything other than fruit and vegetables from the local farmer.

This is not a scenario we should be content with. If we were to just sit back and accept the current scenario as being the 'best its gonna get' we are cutting society off at the knees. Is progress and innovation best served by being content with the current situation? Would a corporation prosper if it didnt think something could be done better, let alone try to be better?

Corporations have their place and they are currently a necessity, then again so are sharks. If we didnt have sharks the seas ecosystem would fail. But that doesn't mean we would trust them to play with our kids does it? Yes corporations do benefit society but that's no reason to trust them in the slightest, and if we don't trust them its not that we are backward or some how deficient. Being a necessity doesnt equate to trust, or even liking it.

[edit on 25/10/05 by subz]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 10:53 AM
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The problem with corporations is that they are solely motivated for profit. In a capitalist economy there is no incentive to be moralistic. That's fine if all you care about is money, but most people believe in more than just money. Corporations may fuel industry and scientific endeavour but what good is that if no one can afford to buy them? If corporations were allowed to run unchecked they would pay their workers just enough money to survive (read: eat) and everyone else could go to hell for all they cared.


The fact is that most of the world's population is motivated for profit in one way or another, as profit can be defined on many levels. But motivation for profit does not need to run counter to being a moralist either.

I am a corporation....just little ole me, one person. And I run a profitable business. Yet, I am not some ruthless swine, motivated to plunder the last dollar out of every one of my clients at any cost. I run an ethical business and treat every one of my customers as I would want to be treated. So far, my profits have shown me that I am doing the right thing.

And if not for the profit, what would be the point of operating the business in the first place? It dowsn't matter if you're Joe Sole-Proprietor or Matty Mega-Corporation. You're not in it for the sake of killing time.

The bottom line is that a lot of folks consider Procter and Gamble, and exxon, and Philip Morris, and many many others to be very useful. They vote everyday with their wallets and pocketbooks, and so they CAN afford them. if the "for" voters were the minority, those same corporations would instantly cease to exist.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by BostonBill99
The fact is that most of the world's population is motivated for profit in one way or another, as profit can be defined on many levels. But motivation for profit does not need to run counter to being a moralist either.

I am a corporation....just little ole me, one person. And I run a profitable business. Yet, I am not some ruthless swine, motivated to plunder the last dollar out of every one of my clients at any cost. I run an ethical business and treat every one of my customers as I would want to be treated. So far, my profits have shown me that I am doing the right thing.

The point is that there is nothing compelling you to act that way. There is no compulsion to be moralistic. Its only through your good nature that you are not solely motivated for profit. That doesnt mean that other corporations will too. Hence the crux of the problem, as I see it. If corporations are not obligated to behave in a manner that runs contrary to maximizing profits then eventually none of them will. The ones that do act with moral character ultimately will be bought by the more profitable amoral corporations.


Originally posted by BostonBill99
And if not for the profit, what would be the point of operating the business in the first place? It dowsn't matter if you're Joe Sole-Proprietor or Matty Mega-Corporation. You're not in it for the sake of killing time.

The bottom line is that a lot of folks consider Procter and Gamble, and exxon, and Philip Morris, and many many others to be very useful. They vote everyday with their wallets and pocketbooks, and so they CAN afford them. if the "for" voters were the minority, those same corporations would instantly cease to exist.

I never said corporations shouldnt make any profit whatsoever. If you want my opinion, and I've said it before in other threads, there should be a legal limit on all corporations profits. It should be enacted through corporate tax. e.g. If a corporation makes over $500 million dollars profit the rest should be taken as taxes.

[edit on 25/10/05 by subz]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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First off: New guy alert - please be gentle


Do I see all corporations as evil? Simple answer... no.
Do I see most/many corporations as evil? Simple answer... no.
Do I see any corporations as evil? Simple answer... yes, but only very small ones.

Now, this is where it gets interesting and why I say this.

To be evil implies maliciousness and intent, neither of which is really happening here. On average, I would put most corporations down as sociopathic, at best, cold and calculating or primal Id based. None of these things are in themselves evil although they are dysfunctional. It may seem like mincing words to some, and being an apologist to others, but I see a clear distinction here.

Main reason I see here for this is size. The larger an entity is, the more layers of separation there are which at that point makes simple practicality much easier. The business of business is to make money, since money is the measure of power and ability in this culture as a whole. The human trait is not unlike that of any other animal put on this earth, to get the most done for you while expending the least amount of energy. Basic survival tool, its absolute practicality and it makes sense on a base level and in spirit.

As you become further separated from the day to day you become more of a decision maker and in charge of steering the whole mass in whatever direction it needs to go, think of it like a simple multi celled organism. As this organism grows and evolved, higher and higher orders organization develops as well as symbiosis with other smaller entities. Once you reach a certain size, the "smaller stuff' matters less and less. Does the human body cry each time a cell dies?

Enough philosophy. As you make larger and larger decisions as an individual or group, some parts will suffer for what is perceived as the 'greater good of the whole'. Lets make sure here that we understand that the greater good of the whole principally is survival and better yet, growth.

This is where the part about smaller corporations possibly being evil come into play, there are fewer layers of isolation and a chance for actual malicious intent towards a group or individual since they have not gotten too small to avoid notice yet.

Are corporations solely at fault for this either? Not at all. You, I and the rest of us are as well. We all are, and it is unavoidable. You can buy your vote by owning stock, but then you become half of the problem once over. If you own stock, the same rule about the business of business now mostly applies to you. You don't want your investment to go to waste, you want it to grow and become more powerful, to work for you, and the only way that happens is if it makes money, and thus for that, the company that share is from to make money.

Now, we're all lazy by nature, which makes sense, expend the least amount of energy for the greatest results. Our growth (profit) rate is falling, our workforce is costing much more than it should due to laws, economics, etc. We can get a marginal loss of output if any noticeable despite a decrease of some percentage of that workforce. Well guess what kiddies, we're trimming the fat around here and becoming a much leaner meaner producing machine. From up on high, that just makes sense, as you get down into the layers, it causes more and more chaos but that gets taken care of by all the layers in between the chaos and the initial decision.

It’s our attention span and depth and its something we have to have. We see and care about what is right in front of us and around us. We (usually) care about our family more than our friends and our friends more than our neighbors, and out neighbors more than the people in the next state, the next time zone, next country, and so on.

The decision makers have gotten so far that we are not even on their radar of notice. We have become too small from their distance to see individually. We have become the bottom of the food chain and that rubs us raw and we hate it. It’s easy to blame the big corporations because they're an easy target and they seem to constantly reinforce that belief since we sensitize ourselves to it.

We have also let them get so far from us that we don't see them as being influenced by us, but that is because most can't get past "I" and go to "We".

These corporations are as bound if not more so bound by laws than we are. What is all this patent and trademark business that makes things look like a stranglehold on things? Some are abusing it; some are using it for their own survival. They don't defend their things religiously, they lose them legally. Without those protections, there is no real incentive to make the expenditures to develop newer and better stuff to keep ahead of the competition. If you think some companies are in cahoots with each other, you're most likely right, but if you think for a second any of them would not cut the others throats to get ahead, you are likely absolutely wrong. The only places where that might not happen near as much is where there are extreme amounts of leadership incest, like the oil companies. Than again, can we really see them anymore as separate, or just one more very large but unofficial conglomeration?



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Corporations do as corporations do and that is find and dandy we are after all a country of consumers.

But when greedy corporative power gets their hands into our politics and pay their gay into our political parties so they make decisions to benefit them over the consumer that is the one that works and and support the economy of this country beside electing our governments is call corruption.

The billions of dollars invested in lobbying in American is a shame when that money can be used to better the benefits of big business to help their best supporters the American worker and the consumer.

They only pay a minimun on taxes when you compare what they pay for lobbying.

A shame.


df1

posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
Corporations... are just like people.

Corporations are not just like people and they should not be treated just like people. By treating a corporation as a person we are granting a thing the same legal rights as a person. Giving corporations the same rights is unreasonable because:

    1) Corporations are tools used by the unscrupulous to do things that they would never do if acting on their own rather than behind a corporate shield. The laws which call for jail time or the death penalty when violated can not be imposed on corporations, so these laws do not present an equivalent deterent to a corporation.

    2) Corporations, via the use of virtually unlimited funds have the power to drown out the voice of the people and they use this power to stack the laws in their favor. Why is corporate tax rate at about 7% for these corporate things while Joe Public pays close to 30%? It's because these corporate things have the power to stack the laws in their favor and they use this power to screw the public.

    3) Corporations have stolen the press and public airwaves. This allows corporations to control most of the news and information available to the public. It comes as no as no surprise to me seeing folks on this thread shilling for the poor maligned corporations. I chalk it up to corporate brainwashing.

ReclaimDemocracy.org offers several draft constitutional amendments to strip the right of personhood that our current laws grant corporations. It's unbelievable that we have allowed these corporate things to steal America. It's time to wake up and make these amendments the law of the land.
.



[edit on 25-10-2005 by df1]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 03:32 PM
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Corporation on their own are not evil, they are just a non-human entity, corporations exist because of a statute known as the Business Corporation Act (BCA). ( each corporation must continuously maintain ... (1) a registered office ... and (2) a registered agent." In general, failure to maintain a registered agent results in the loss of the "good standing" of the corporation with the state. )

Because their status they can exist independable from the owner or owners, so they enjoy tax advantages as legal advantages also.

They can also be big or small and they can have share holders or stock holders and that is all fine and dandy and legal.

They usually conduct business through a chain of representatives if they are big enough they can even hold elections to elect their representatives or board of directors.

Its advantages and disadvantage on corporations when the corporation lose money only the corporation can claim the lost not the share holders.

When a corporation becomes Evil ?

When they kill the competition and become monopolies.







[edit on 25-10-2005 by marg6043]



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by CoffinFeeder
First off: New guy alert - please be gentle


Do I see all corporations as evil? Simple answer... no.
Do I see most/many corporations as evil? Simple answer... no.
Do I see any corporations as evil? Simple answer... yes, but only very small ones.



Well said... and welcome to the discussion...........



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Springer
Investing in the stock and bond markets is a zero sum game. If you make a dollar someone lost that dollar period.


Is this your perception of the complaint of anti-corporatists or is it your position? In either case, it isn't true.


Originally posted by Valhall
My personal opinion is that U.S. politics have become far too influenced by corporations at this point and the pendulum needs to swing the other way.


You have the Whigs to thank for this. Lincoln got his "America System" from his Whig days (I think Henry Clay authored it), in which strong ties were to be created between corporations and the state; basically mercantilism.

If not for these bonds between corporations and the state, it's not clear Marxism could ever have flourished.

There is no fundamental reason shareholders should have limited liability. Corporations are artificial legal entities protected by the state in exchange for regulation and taxation.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Springer
Investing in the stock and bond markets is a zero sum game. If you make a dollar someone lost that dollar period.


Is this your perception of the complaint of anti-corporatists or is it your position? In either case, it isn't true.

Yes, it is very true.

When I make a dollar on a stock trade it's because someone else LOST that dollar of equity. That goes for both sides of the market, long or short.

Springer...



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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Whats that got to do with anti-corporate sentiment though? Thats the way the stock market works, not why people distrust corporations.



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by df1
Corporations are not just like people and they should not be treated just like people.


Legally a corporation is an "entity" identical to you or me... The rest of your list is interesting to say the least... The corporate tax rate is different for every company just like it is for every person, based on income versus loss, expenses, cost of doing business, etc...

My point is a corporation is NOTHING but words on paper, it's the people that run them that make them good citizens or rotten citizens.

To say that all corporations are rotten citizens that are hell bent on taking everything for themselves is as ludicrous as stating that all people are rotten citizens that are hell bent on taking everything for themselves.

I repeat what I stated on page one, the corporation, LLP, LLC, etc... is the best model we have of coordinating the many skill sets required to accomplish Human goals.

It confounds me why the rotten few seem to cast a stain upon the whole. There are millions of corporations in the world, 99.99% of them are excellent global citizens who take care of their employees and are good stewards of their environment because the PEOPLE who manage them are GOOD PEOPLE.

Springer...



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by subz
Whats that got to do with anti-corporate sentiment though? Thats the way the stock market works, not why people distrust corporations.


Beats me... I didn't understand why he/she brought it up either...


Springer...



posted on Oct, 25 2005 @ 11:54 PM
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Corporations are an entity. They have rights just like a person. Actually more. Something called externalities have made corporations amoral.

I recommend a independent film winner called, 'The Corporation' which might bring you to understand from experts point of view.

www.thecorporation.com...



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