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"To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s,
May 31, 2002 10:37 AM   Subscribe

"To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, we used the most narrow and conservative of definitions -- corporations that have pled guilty or no contest to crimes and have been criminally fined." Just brimming with fascinating business lore, including "The FBI estimates that 19,000 Americans are murdered every year. Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products...."
posted by fold_and_mutilate (39 comments total)

 
Hmmm. Not sure that them their fines are working: maybe chemical castration, or prison rape will? Course, haven't heard about too many CEOs getting the death penalty down there on the ol' Texas Conveyor Belt of Death, neither.

Sorry that the "Top Corporate Criminals of the New Millenium" isn't out yet. You might be interested in Ten Worst Corporations of 2000.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:39 AM on May 31, 2002


Hehe, three self references in a row. Kind of nice how everything ties so well together.

Those are interesting numbers, too. Considering the number of people living in the US (280 million +), and assuming you believe all of the data from Corporate Predators, these companies killed .02 % of the population. Actually, it's not a bad track record considering there are millions of businesses in a multi-trillion dollar economy. One would almost expect more carnage.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2002


"The FBI estimates that 19,000 Americans are murdered every year. Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products...."
No, thank you, I'd rather not compare statistics on premeditated murder to statistics on (at worst) negligent homicide. Come back when you can give me statistics on:
Corporate-sponsored murder vs. murder in general, or
Negligent homicide by corporations vs. negligent homicide in general.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2002


Well! It seems that the #1 corporate offender is guilty of the heinous crime of fixing prices on vitamins! Didn't kill anybody, didn't even kill any wildlife, didn't make any environmental disaster. Criminey.

Maybe, just maybe, ranking this list by "amount fined" wasn't the best way to do it.
posted by ilsa at 11:43 AM on May 31, 2002


Good point, ilsa, and perhaps also some of those "crimes" shouldn't be considered crimes at all.
posted by davidmsc at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2002


Pretty good point about the amount of the fine not being a great way to list these companies. But I think I'll go ahead and keep on considering bribery, for example, a "crime," even if there isn't enough gore to get it on the evening news.
posted by hackly_fracture at 12:46 PM on May 31, 2002


Shouldn't it be "Korporate Predators"?
posted by groundhog at 1:08 PM on May 31, 2002


Foldy's (and "corporatepredators") lather notwithstanding, this kind of "list" is flawed in so many ways. Remember that large corporations have thousands of managerial employees -- any one of whom can expose the corporation to criminal liability. When you have so many employees, you are exceedingly likely to have one who is willing to cross the line.

Consider number 8 -- the "fraud" conviction of Sears. The story goes like this -- the people responsible for bankruptcy collection for Sears were negotiating with the debtors on the side, and failed to file reports of agreements with the bankruptcy courts, as required. A federal judge in Maryland, I believe, learned of this and started an investigation that revealed this had occurred many times. As soon as this was brought to the attention of Sears' general counsel, he voluntarily initiated a company-wide investigation to discover whether this was a common practice (which it appeared to be). The general counsel informed the CEO, and he immediately realized that there would be a criminal conviction. He fully opened the company's records and cooperated with all investigations.

Now that's how corporations are supposed to act. Rather than making Sears the #8 "Corporate Criminal," it shows me that Sears leadership at the time was committed to do the right thing. But I guess that's the problem with using hysterical labels like "Corporate Criminals."
posted by pardonyou? at 1:17 PM on May 31, 2002


May also be worth looking into "Essential Information". They have a number of large individual donors, but the names were whited out when there tax return was put online. Would be very curious to know who is behind them (as I always am when a one-sided piccture of anything is presented). As is usual, the self-appointed "watchers" don't particularly like being watched; the questioners don't much like being questioned; and when "truth" is spoken to watchdog "power", it often doesn't look any better than those it watches.

I wonder ... while the self-appointed crusaders for "the people" are much more decentralized, I wonder what it would look like examine that vast web of left-wing non-profits, according to only "narrow" standards. Wonder how many of them have (gasp) actually plead guilty to crimes. But of course, it is unfair to to bring this up during the "corporations are evil" screed du jour.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:17 PM on May 31, 2002


Why shouldn't trusts be considered a crime, davidmsc? Price-fixing, monoplies, etc can do serious harm to not only consumers but to other competing businesses and the market itself. Ironically, you and ilsa complain about how this list is focused on damages, yet if it was written in some lefty pie-in-the-sky perspective about perceived evils as opposed to prosecuted evils than I'm sure you guys would have a lot more to complain about.

I really don't know what to say to people who don't understand why trusts are wrong in a free market. I guess this is one of the reasons you don't see this stuff on the news, unless its a bloody murder or unless its the Klan marching it just isn't *important.*
posted by skallas at 1:23 PM on May 31, 2002


To compile The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s, we used the most narrow and conservative of definitions -- corporations that have pled guilty or no contest to crimes

Pleading no contest is not an admission of guilt. However, posting such a lame article is an admisson of envy.
posted by mikegre at 1:30 PM on May 31, 2002


pardonyou, this list doesn't claim to be more informative than the Fortune 500, in fact it clearly states its a reaction to those lists. Enron made the fifth spot in the 2002 Fortune 500 list. The criteria isn't deep for either list because they're mostly PR excersizes, except the corporate criminal people do make a point that these crimes do go underreported, at least for the most part. The apathy is so high we have mefites laughing at price-fixing and wondering why these crimes are wrong to begin with. That's just wrong.
posted by skallas at 1:33 PM on May 31, 2002


Midas, you posted that same bogus link a few days ago, it hasn't gotten any more accurate since then.

I wonder ... while the self-appointed crusaders for "the people" are much more decentralized, I wonder what it would look like examine that vast web of left-wing non-profits, according to only "narrow" standards. Wonder how many of them have (gasp) actually plead guilty to crimes.

You mean you can't just download that data through the corporate stooge computer chip implanted in your skull? ; ]
posted by Ty Webb at 1:39 PM on May 31, 2002


The problem, skallas, is that the main post wasn't written to address the problem of trusts in a free market or to show the site as a protest of the Fortune 500 list; it was written to have an excuse to say 'corporations are murderers', and it's a bit understandable that davidmsc and ilsa reacted the way they did.
By the way, allow me to propose my Antitrust Law:
The merger of two companies shall be forbidden if such merger would produce an entity with assets which, if the new corporation were a country, would place it in the top 50 richest nations of the world.
posted by darukaru at 1:44 PM on May 31, 2002


Charley Reese has some good stuff to say about fast-track free trade legislation, and how it will essentially create corporate colonialism, which, undoubtedly, will lead to more corporate crime.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:46 PM on May 31, 2002


MidasMulligan - I just did some google searching for non-profits, guilty pleas & criminal convictions, but couldn't find anything. Perhaps you can find something for us. Off-hand I'm not sure what categories of crimes non-profit organizations would be likely to commit.

pardonyou? - Good point on the difficulty for a large corporation in avoiding malfeasance on the part of any managerial employee. Better methods for ranking offenders might have been a) how high up the corporate ladder the decisions came from and b)how prone a company was to recidivism and avoidance of responsibility. If one branch office of a company misbehaves, that's one thing. If many branch offices do the same thing and higher-ups don't fix the problem immediately when complaints are made, that's another. The makers of the list might have settled on "amount fined" in an attempt to point to something concrete and objective.

pardonyou? - I just looked at the info on the Sears case. Apparently this was a "common practice" for 12 years. Funny how it took an outside investigation for the general counsel & CEO to learn about a common fraudulent practice in their company. It's good that they cooperated with the investigation. Perhaps the general counsel and CEO are honest people who were never informed about the fraudulent behavior beforehand, but the fact remains that it was a widespread company practice for 12 years, which hardly points to Sears as being a good corporate citizen.

I think Unisys should be moved up from position #44. Given how many forms of bribery are actually legal, the fact that they had to resort to the illegal kind is just downright stupid.
posted by tdismukes at 2:14 PM on May 31, 2002


it was written to have an excuse to say 'corporations are murderers', and it's a bit understandable that davidmsc and ilsa reacted the way they did.

Then then have an issue with Foldy's hysterics, but they weren't commenting on Foldy, but on the article itself. That's not understandable, I'm afraid.

Call me crazy, but if you're going to comment on the article you should read it first. Foldy's presentation skills hurts his cause (and badly to the point I think he just posts for attention), but that doesn't make the reactionary comments that follow anymore understandable unless they're directed at how the post was written and phrased - which they weren't. Its not like we're in metatalk or anything.
posted by skallas at 2:26 PM on May 31, 2002


To be fair, all Foldy did was cut and paste part of the essay on the page he linked to. It may not have been the relevant part, but he didn't exactly say "Emporer Asscroft" or anything.

The point of the list is explained in easy and simple terms at the top of the page:
The point of the list contained in this report, The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade -- is to focus public attention on a wave of corporate criminality that has swamped prosecutors offices around the country.

This is the dark underside of the marketplace that is given little sustained attention and analysis by politicians and news outlets.
posted by skallas at 2:33 PM on May 31, 2002


skallas: Why shouldn't trusts be considered a crime, davidmsc?

Either you know me very well, skallas, or that was simply a lucky guess :-). How did you know that "trusts" were one of the several things that I don't consider crimes? "Environmental," and "Campaign Finance," which make up many of the alleged crimes, are some of the other types of "crimes" that I think ought to be reconsidered.

tdismukes: I'm not sure if there is a list of "crimes" that non-profits & so-called "consumer-interest" groups have been convicted of, but this site is rather interesting.
posted by davidmsc at 3:12 PM on May 31, 2002


Let's not forget the HMO's, and the Kaiser among them when it comes to indiscriminate corporate killings.
posted by semmi at 3:17 PM on May 31, 2002


Davidmsc: activistcash.com seems overly biased and perhaps reactionary, at least by objective standards. Consider this bit from their write-up on Greenpeace:

Among Greenpeace’s recent innovations has been the creation of a “citizen’s labeling brigade” – basically a group of hooligans who take the law into their own hands by forcibly adding home-made, propaganda-laden “warning labels” (some complete with skull-and-crossbones artwork) to consumer food products on grocery store shelves. [emphasis mine]

Pretty good propaganda, there, but a wee bit slanted, eh?
posted by acridrabbit at 3:34 PM on May 31, 2002


Yeah, I like activistcash's take on the Dakota Resource Council:

The Dakota Resource Council’s arguments to the EPA suggested that the production and waste-handling methods used by larger producers (those that raise DRC’s ire by making meat more affordable) should be closely scrutinized and more heavily regulated. At the same time, DRC insisted that smaller hog operations should all be exempt from the regulations, lest the government start “penalizing” the “alternative” methods used by DRC members. “Under these rules, even small cow-calf operators like me would have to get a federal permit,” complained Linda Rauser, now the DRC chairwoman. “We need to focus our regulatory efforts on big factory farms.” Translation: use the bureaucracy to screw your competitors while ensuring that the regulations contain holes just large enough for you to skate through. How nice.

Retranslation: Let's make the world safe for hogshit lagoons. How nice.
posted by y2karl at 3:45 PM on May 31, 2002


Interesting how some people are so threatened by these facts that they need to blame the messanger (hey look lefties are bad too) instead of talking about the topic at hand. No wonder the media doesn't like to cover corporate crime. Thanks for the derailing midas and davidmsc.
posted by skallas at 4:23 PM on May 31, 2002


Interesting how some people are so threatened by these facts that they need to blame the messenger (hey look lefties are bad too) instead of talking about the topic at hand. No wonder the media doesn't like to cover corporate crime. Thanks for the derailing midas and davidmsc.

Interesting how the self-appointed guardians of "the public" get so touchy whenever anyone even hints that maybe the same light they want to turn on everyone else ought to be turned on them. Would be very convenient if everyone would just only accept the evidence you present, and only focus on exactly the points you want, with the slant you want, framed according to the context you want.

However, if someone appoints themself moral guardian - and an organization decides to "investigate" corporations ... then it is by no means "derailing" the thread to question the morals of the guardians, or to suggest that investigating the investigators is valid. It may be uncomfortable for them, and it may piss them off that they couldn't completely keep the thread within the tightly defined boundaries they wanted ... but it's not hijacking anything to take something that was one-sided enough the be damn near a troll in the first place, and introduce balance into it.

MidasMulligan - I just did some google searching for non-profits, guilty pleas & criminal convictions, but couldn't find anything.

Well that is bizarre - considering that a common tactic of many of them is to deliberately get arrested. If you search on GreenPeace, or PETA alone, and can find no record of guilty pleas or criminal convictions, then I suspect you aren't digging nearly as hard as the "Essential Information" people did to do their list.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:48 PM on May 31, 2002


You mean you can't just download that data through the corporate stooge computer chip implanted in your skull? ; ]

Unfortunately, that chip's processor cycles are generally busy creating value, arranging financing for all those evil companies that actually put bread in people's stomachs, make the roads they drive on, the medicene they take to heal themselves, the houses that they live in and the jobs that they pay for them with. But, I suppose mentioning that most of what corporations do is to create the goods and services that are responsible for the fact that we no longer live in caves ... causes most of the "Corporations=Evil" chips to simply crash.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:58 PM on May 31, 2002


Interesting how the self-appointed guardians of "the public" get so touchy whenever anyone even hints that maybe the same light they want to turn on everyone else ought to be turned on them.

Oh come on. This list is pretty easy to digest and the purpose of it is to bring these issues into the mainstream. If you have some grand expose about how the methods used to make this list were corrupt or how there's something wrong with it then please do tell. Creating a strawman-like situation and trying to equate the messengers with the message is not this expose.

However, if someone appoints themself moral guardian - and an organization decides to "investigate" corporations ... then it is by no means "derailing" the thread to question the morals of the guardians

Even if the people who made their list were monopolists and polluters themselves it doesn't take away from the facts. You sounds like facts can only come from the moral. Either the list is accurate or its not. The extrapolations they make certainly are debateable, but your attempts at smearing the authors is pathetic. You link to an op-ed piece on the Nader and we're supposed to make some kind of connection between corporate crime and Naders morals? Nader isn't perfect - we get it. Donators are kept anonymous, not exactly earth-shattering information there.

Feel free to post a new thread about Nader if you feel so strongly about him, but you're not addressing the issue and purposely, in my opinion, avoiding the facts to reinforce and communicate your opinions on corporate critics instead on what's being criticized. That's a derailment to me.
posted by skallas at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2002


Hehe. I should have proofread that. I wrote "the Nader."

Dude, its the Nader!
posted by skallas at 5:13 PM on May 31, 2002


But, I suppose mentioning that most of what corporations do is to create the goods and services that are responsible for the fact that we no longer live in caves ... causes most of the "Corporations=Evil" chips to simply crash.

Well, we were out of caves long before the first corporation ever came into being, but, as usual, please don't let pesky facts get in the way of your ideological raving.

If you search on GreenPeace, or PETA alone, and can find no record of guilty pleas or criminal convictions, then I suspect you aren't digging nearly as hard as the "Essential Information" people did to do their list.

You're the one who levelled the charge, now your complaining because others don't work hard enough to back up your allegations? Interesting tactic...

Interesting how the self-appointed guardians of "the public" get so touchy whenever anyone even hints that maybe the same light they want to turn on everyone else ought to be turned on them.

Fine, turn the light on them. Who's against that? It's just funny that all you ever come up with are vague allegations of non-perfection, after which you invariably proceed to crown yourself wealth- creator-in-chief.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:31 PM on May 31, 2002


activistcash.com is mentioned in this article (third from last paragraph) as an example of a fake public interest site set up by a PR firm on behalf of a corporate client.
posted by D at 5:54 PM on May 31, 2002


Branding somebody or somebody "criminal" and turn it into a political debate is so easy it's not even fun anymore.

The complain that we are too well used to is " corporation do harm people for profit". Old news ! If you take money in any form from a "criminal" corporation and you're aware of its criminal record, you're GUILTY by association. That's why everybody is trying to look "elsewhere" when shit happens, or at least to look "innocent".

It's a good start to POINT OUT the crime, but you also should prosecute it directly and INDIRECTLY by not funding it, by not giving it any money at all ; your money is the most powerful kind of vote you can use.

And if you don't have money, be aware of so called "associations for the consumers" that ask money from you. You don't need to give them your money, just stop buying products and have a couple pal of yours do the same: Start buying the incriminated products only after two or three months, or more depending on the size of the company. One year enough for big companies, a few months for little ones.

You'll WITNESS WITH YOUR OWN EYES how QUICKLY politicians and companies will react to this kind of punishment. The outcome will either be:

a) a war, to justify the fact you "must" buy national product
b) a law, that doesn't allow some kind of wrongdoing
c) the companies goes straight to hell

That's far from being a perfect system, so the punishment isn't supposed to be perfect too.
posted by elpapacito at 6:16 PM on May 31, 2002


It's just funny that all you ever come up with are vague allegations of non-perfection, after which you invariably proceed to crown yourself wealth- creator-in-chief.

Yes, and it's funny how you seem so personally intent on making sure anything I say is demeaned with quite personal attacks.

But, I suppose mentioning that most of what corporations do is to create the goods and services that are responsible for the fact that we no longer live in caves ... causes most of the "Corporations=Evil" chips to simply crash.

Well, we were out of caves long before the first corporation ever came into being, but, as usual, please don't let pesky facts get in the way of your ideological raving.


Oh I'm sorry, I did not repeat the previous paragraph about modern medicene, and housing, and roads. Congratulations! With your laser sharp, lightening mind, and it's intense ability to focus solely on individual sentences, you've caught me in an error! Aren't you the clever, clever little boy. guess what - you can probably nail me on a few spelling errors too! Oddly enough, others here may actually get the gist of what I was getting at.

If, now and then, during one of the nearly daily "ideological" rants of the "corporations=evil" crowd, I actually assert that, contrary to how corporate America is portrayed here, corporations actually do occasionally take time out from killing people and breaking laws to create actual goods and services that a good deal of America thinks enriches their lives ... and further, if you want to call that "raving" ... fine. Rest content in your mud hut. don't let pesky facts get in the way of your self-righteousness.
posted by MidasMulligan at 6:32 PM on May 31, 2002


Now if you stated your position so that one could argue that you were giving people the benefit of the doubt, and engaging at the level of ideas, as you self-described your rhetorical style here, but by larding it with phrases like self-appointed "watchers" and adopting a generally dismissive, demeaning tone from the git go, one could easily get the impression you were tricking people into making these personal attacks so you can respond with things like Aren't you the clever, clever little boy. guess what - you can probably nail me on a few spelling errors too!

Which is hardly respond, at exactly their level, with exactly the same dismissive, demeaning tone but rather upping the ante. Therefore, over time they usually don't either 1) learn manners, and actually remain for extended periods at the level of ideas without launching gratuitous personal attacks, or 2) get frustrated at the mirroring and leave ... i.e., if someone walks around wacking people with a stick, and every time they do it, they immediately get wacked back precisely as hard, they either decide they'll stop wacking, or they try to find another room where they can whack with impunity.

I do realize, from the balance of your remarks, however, that the topic at hand is a hot button issue for you, Midas, but why are you so thin-skinned about it? Why is it so important to bash back, not precisely as hard, but, in fact, harder? This is why I had the animus I had for you in the past--I didn't remember the arguments you made, just the patronizing put downs and the undocumented self promoting chest beating. Which are quite memorable but, in my opinion, stylistically deficient and ultimately self-defeating--what people remember you for are the over the top sneering prolix put downs, which are generally not on the same level but jacked up a few steps. It really comes across more like passive-aggressive baiting-and-bashing. Which is not Socratic in my book, nor an optimal approach to group discussions. It is fascinating in a weird way, however.

By the way, what exactly is the corporation you work for again, what's it do and what exactly do you do? Creating wealth, I know, but so far there's no documentation. Because I said so is hardly a convincing argument.
posted by y2karl at 7:32 PM on May 31, 2002


MM: Aren't you the clever, clever little boy.
You like to call people you disagree with "clever little boys", myself included many a time. Why is that? Is your sense of self, of life's achievements, and political/philosophical leaning so wrapped up in a need for big-D "Dominance" that those who criticize you must always be "clever little boys" instead of peers?

MM: Rest content in your mud hut
And there you go again. It seems that to you the ownership of wealth or money stands as concrete proof of one's moral and intellectual superiority; conversely, the lack of wealth, or living in a mud hut, must brand one stupid and lazy. Why, that's Calvinism!

MM: corporations actually do occasionally take time out from killing people and breaking laws to create actual goods and services
A-ha, so you do admit that corporations kill people and break laws- but that it's okay because of the good they do! I knew we'd get you to fess up eventually... :) And Mussolini made the trains run on time- another guy who was a big fan of corporate/governmental partnerships.

You're a big "cart-before-the-horse" guy, Midas. Wealth, the pursuit of wealth, and corporations are not the raison d'etre of America, nor should they be. They are simply tools, used for the betterment of our democratic, free, and prosperous life in these United States. When in the course of human events these socio-economic tools stop working towards these interests, it becomes necessary for the people to dissolve the political bands which have connected us to them. When these corporations poison our quality of life in the air, water, or even culture, then we the people do have the right to throw them off and pursue a better way.

Wealth should be seen as a happy fringe benefit of a society that ensures a quality of life for all. When that's the case, I don't begrudge you your wealth when that's happening. But when quality of life appears to be worsening because of certain corporations, why must we the people strive to maintain them? If in pursuing that quality of life, you or your buds happen to lose your SUV or luxury sedans or summer homes because of it, then too freakin' bad. You and your "wealth-creatin'" friends are not the reason the rest of us peons inhabit this earth in our mud huts.
posted by hincandenza at 7:47 PM on May 31, 2002


Umm guys, you do realize that there is a middle ground between "All corporations are evil incarnate" and "Corporations are all that bring us happiness & prosperity, so anyone who questions them is a loony dirtbag." How about "Large corporations are like any other large organization. Some do good, some do bad, and some do both at the same time. However, because of the excessive influence these corporations have over the media and the government, sometimes the bad gets under-reported and under-prosecuted, so it's a good idea to have some watchdogs keeping an eye out." Makes sense to me.
posted by tdismukes at 8:37 PM on May 31, 2002


Well, wouldn't you know it- I just know noticed Midas showing actual nuance in a different thread. He may not be as stone-hearted as I always imagined; my comments on that are here.
posted by hincandenza at 8:40 PM on May 31, 2002


"MidasMulligan - I just did some google searching for non-profits, guilty pleas & criminal convictions, but couldn't find anything."

-- "Well that is bizarre - considering that a common tactic of many of them is to deliberately get arrested. If you search on GreenPeace, or PETA alone, and can find no record of guilty pleas or criminal convictions, then I suspect you aren't digging nearly as hard as the "Essential Information" people did to do their list."


Midas, since this site's not a boyzone, I'll take my mud hut back, please! With a dirt floor, thank you. /digression

This is not bizarre at all, it's exactly what a professional would expect. Much of what's available on the web for free is simply publicity about legal cases. For truly solid and comprehensive information, you also need to consult the "Proprietary / Paid" sources such as Lexis, Westlaw, commercial databases / public records via online services.

Example: This information-packed site about the Judi Bari case. It's extensive, but I doubt it gives you full access to all the openly available legal and law enforcement documents. (More treehugger links: Who's really behind websites on environment and the chemical industry? The wise use movement.)

For an upper level corporate person to suggest that it's possible to do this sort of research on the web alone is somewhat disingenuous. Competitive intelligence costs money to acquire, whether you're working for a corporation or a watchdog group. Unless, of course, you resort to "social engineering."
posted by sheauga at 9:08 PM on May 31, 2002


The apathy is so high we have mefites laughing at price-fixing and wondering why these crimes are wrong to begin with.

Fascinating, isn't it? Ideological pacification. Stockholm syndrome. Stink? What stink?
posted by Opus Dark at 10:47 PM on May 31, 2002


Hmm, Mulligan responds (such vanity!) here at 12:36 AM this morning, yet is unwilling to respond to hincandenza's, sheauga's or my points and questions here so far. Very interesting. And if he does, can he do so without dispensing the usual patronizing contempt while evading the hard questions altogether?
posted by y2karl at 7:27 AM on June 1, 2002


I generally bridle at corporate criticism, and I admit, it's a knee jerk reaction, for me. But here's why: inevitably, it seems, criticism of corporations go hand in hand with a call for more regulation, and more government control of the market (which basically just gives the businesses with the best lobbyists more power to wield over their competitors). I mean, who wouldn't want to use the monopoly power of government to cover their asses when they commit a crime?

That being said, groups like corporate predators can be a positive good by raising public awareness, but more often than not, these criticisms come with a solution that will only worsen the problem.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:15 AM on June 1, 2002


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