The American revolutionaries gave their lives for a future in which each man would have the freedom to make his own choices. That dream has come true in the form of supermarket aisles that contain 50 different cereals with the word "oat" in their name, five marshmallow based cereals with a monster theme and 12 different varieties of Cheerios alone.
What would you say if I told you that dream was a lie? That all these brands you think you're picking and choosing between are all sock puppets on the many tentacles of a few, lesser known companies?
I don't know what you would say, but we're about to find out.
Remember back when you watched The Matrix for the first time and ran down to the store to buy sunglasses and a trench coat? There were so many sunglass brands to choose from: Oakley, Ray-Ban, Revo, Vogue, DKNY, and if you must have only the best, $500 designer glasses from Prada and BVLGARI (which has that V-instead-of-a-U thing, so you know it's classy like ancient Rome).
The thing is, all of those are made by one manufacturer -- Luxottica.
If you are a cat or dog, you will remember the infamous pet food recall of 2007, where thousands of your kind died due to melamine contamination. For a time it seemed like no brand was safe. Word spread through the cat community to turn up their noses at food even more than usual.
How could so many brands (about 150) happen to get contaminated at the same time? Well, because most of them were made by the same company.
Like an omnipresent starchy deity, corn is everywhere. Savvy consumers know that it doesn't just stop at corn on the cob. Word has gotten out that corn syrup turns up in almost every candy and soda, and is as addictive as crack. But how about Febreze? Hand sanitizers? Ethanol car fuel? That's all corn, too. Making rubber tires? You'll need corn starch. Spark plugs? Corn. Drywall? Corn. You can't build a car or a house without corn.
Taiwan's Quanta Computer makes 33 percent of all laptops in the world, including Dells, HPs, Sonys, Toshibas and yes, Macs.
In fact, if you're reading this on a laptop, there's a 90 percent chance it was manufactured by one of seven giant companies you've never heard of, all located in Taiwan. None of the brands you know and love actually makes computers. Fortunately, Taiwan is a pretty laid back country where almost nothing ever goes wrong.
If you've ever complained that all pop music these days sounds alike, you may have a point, considering how many songs were written by the same guy. His name is Max Martin, and you probably hate him without knowing it/
Well, as you've probably guessed, every beer you've ever bought in a store was probably made by the beer empire of InBev, along with Stella Artois, Alexander Keith's, Bass, Beck's, Boddington's, Lowenbrau, Rolling Rock, St. Pauli Girl and Spaten. Those are just the brands they own outright. They also have majority stakes in companies like Grupo Modelo, which makes most of the beers in Mexico -- Corona, Modelo, Pacifico.
Originally posted by stirling
I am sure that the tentacles that join these corporations eventually all lead back to a very few ulimately rich families and groups.
It is plain, at least to me that this corporate entwining has been going on for nearly ever....
We are merely consuming organisms that are used to enrich the few in this world.
Our health, safety, and welfare are of no concern ta all to these bloated aristocrats and corporations.
Corporate Power Facts and Stats
Author and Page information by Anup Shah
This page: www.globalissues.org...
The following are collected from a report by the Institute for Policy Studies. The report is called Top 200: The Rise of Corporate Global Power. Over time, additonal facts and stats will be added from other sources as well.
1.Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 are corporations; only 49 are countries (based on a comparison of corporate sales and country GDPs).
2.The Top 200 corporations' sales are growing at a faster rate than overall global economic activity. Between 1983 and 1999, their combined sales grew from the equivalent of 25.0 percent to 27.5 percent of World GDP.
3.The Top 200 corporations' combined sales are bigger than the combined economies of all countries minus the biggest 10.
4.The Top 200s' combined sales are 18 times the size of the combined annual income of the 1.2 billion people (24 percent of the total world population) living in "severe" poverty.
5.While the sales of the Top 200 are the equivalent of 27.5 percent of world economic activity, they employ only 0.78 percent of the world's workforce.
6.Between 1983 and 1999, the profits of the Top 200 firms grew 362.4 percent, while the number of people they employ grew by only 14.4 percent.
7.A full 5 percent of the Top 200s' combined workforce is employed by Wal-Mart, a company notorious for union-busting and widespread use of part-time workers to avoid paying benefits. The discount retail giant is the top private employer in the world, with 1,140,000 workers, more than twice as many as No. 2, DaimlerChrysler, which employs 466,938.
8.U.S. corporations dominate the Top 200, with 82 slots (41 percent of the total). Japanese firms are second, with only 41 slots.
9.Of the U.S. corporations on the list, 44 did not pay the full standard 35 percent federal corporate tax rate during the period 1996-1998. Seven of the firms actually paid less than zero in federal income taxes in 1998 (because of rebates). These include: Texaco, Chevron, PepsiCo, Enron, Worldcom, McKesson and the world's biggest corporation - General Motors.
10.Between 1983 and 1999, the share of total sales of the Top 200 made up by service sector corporations increased from 33.8 percent to 46.7 percent. Gains were particularly evident in financial services and telecommunications sectors, in which most countries have pursued deregulation.
site as above
Pharmaceutical Corporations and AIDS
The AIDS crisis is one example that highlights the motives of some of the larger pharmaceutical corporations. When South Africa wanted to try and produce cheaper drugs to help its own people, by producing more generic and cheaper drugs, these companies actually lobbied the US government to impose sanctions on them!
War & Disaster Profiteering
U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors
June 23rd, 2010
This week, almost a decade after the U.S. "War on Terror" began, the Commission on Wartime Contracting held two days of hearings into the role of private contractors in conducting and supporting war. The Congressional witness table included Aegis, DynCorp and Triple Canopy. Curiously, Blackwater was not called; and the CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions failed to appear.
extracted from introduction to report entitled; Multinational Corporations and Global
Production Networks: The Implicationsfor Trade Policy
The last 15 years have seen an enormous growth of activity by multinational corporations, as
measured by flows of foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI has grown much faster than
either trade or income; whereas world-wide nominal GDP increased at a rate of 7.2% per
year between 1985 and 1997 and world-wide imports at 9.2%, world-wide nominal inflows
of FDI increased at 17.6%1. In 1998 and 1999, the growth of FDI inflows was even stronger,
around 36% per year. These figures comprise the financing of new investments, retained
earnings of affiliates, and cross border mergers and acquisitions. Mergers and acquisitions
are a large proportion of the whole (especially among the advanced countries), with their
value increasing from 52% of total FDI flows in 1987 to 83% in 1999 (UNCTAD, 2000).
It is supposed to be a discussion board, but i always end up talking to myself