Saturday, June 19, 2010

Corporate America

I recently received an email from a friend that took a jab at "Corporate America". I believe that the jab wasn't directly from him, but part of the email that he forwarded on. I value the friendship that we have, and this email certainly doesn't change our friendship.

What bothers me are generalized statements like this that suggest that American corporations are evil. That they are greedy. That's a broad brush. Does the fact that businesses become corporations mean that they are making the decision to become evil and greedy?

No, I believe that they are just easy targets for people to blame. Corporations are vague objects. Big entities with only a few actual people involved. The "Top Cats" in their expensive suits pulling in salaries beyond our imaginations.

American corporations exist because they are a product of corporate law. This is a legal matter to give the corporation a separate identity than the members of the corporation. Corporations have rights and responsibilities like people. Because people run corporations, there is the possibility of them being irresponsible. People and corporations can be irresponsible. Are they all irresponsible? No.

People who attack corporate America can be very hypocritical. I brought up the topic of Corporate America to a coworker this week. He started his verbal attack on the greedy irresponsible corporations. I asked him how much he profited from American corporations. He said that he didn't. Then I reminded him that we both worked for one.

Those who attack corporate America tend to be their stockholders, employees, and customers. If someone fits into one of these categories are they greedy? They may or may not be. I believe that most people are greedy in their own way, but that is a separate topic for a another day.

If we did away with corporate America, what are our options?

Individual businesses? Is that practical? Cars made by small unincorporated businesses? Individually run telecommunications businesses? Individual oil companies?

Socialism?? Government run businesses?

Maybe there is something behind this attack on corporate America.