Externalizing costs and pursuing profits : the corporation analyzed

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I've been reading more in Joel Balkan's The Corporation - The pathological pursuit of profit and power, and even though I think we all "know" what a corporation consists of, and what its prime goal is, we don't (want to) realize it. If someone was to ask you "what is a corporation?" or "what is a company", what would you answer? Think about it, and write down the first three characteristics that pop into your mind.

Now read this : a corporation's sole goal is to make profit, no matter what. It has no "human characteristics", it doesn't know sympathy or social conciousness. It sees resources and will do whatever it takes to turn those resources into profits for itself. In order to do this as efficiently as possible, it externalizes whatever costs it can and offloads those on society. Did any of the above sentences even come close to what you wrote down?

Sure, one can argue that corporations provide income to those it employs, but do you really think that it would pay if they found a way to use your labor with even less cost to them? After all, they don't employ you out charity, but because your labor allows them to make a profit. In fact, the only people a corporation - I'm talking about the legal entity here, not "management" - has to answer to, is their shareholders. Only those can halt the legal entity and make it change course.

Do you think public outcry changes something? It doesn't. Even if a corporation is caught with its hand in the cookie jar, nothing changes. Worst case scenario, they pay a fine and continue doing what they've been doing all along : making profit and externalizing costs. That fine or conviction is nothing but a bump on the way to their goal, and if played well, even allows them to market their "efforts" in such a way that the market attributes human characteristics to their legal entity.

Is there a solution, a way to stop corporations doing exactly what they were designed to accomplish? I'll write more as I progress in this book and I can wrap my brain around some things I must have "known" all my life, but never realized.

Sorry for those of you that just wrestled through this boring post at this early time of day. Probably not what you'd consider light reading on a monday morning, lol. After I put in my 8 hours of work last night, I took our mandatory safety test consisting of 20 random questions related to safety, environment, safety behaviour etc. I aced it with a perfect 20/20 score. Not to bad after working 8 hours and then taking a test around 6AM on a monday morning. I rock, and roll...

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"Sure, one can argue that corporations provide income to those it employs, but do you really think that it would pay if they found a way to use your labor with even less cost to them?"

I've heard this BS arguement before, and its funny you say that - because they have found a way, and are ruthlessly exploiting it at the expense of the Hard working American, its called Outsourcing and can save a company millions. I'm sure you all know what that is, so i wont waste time explaining it, and if you dont, i urge you to google it! Share in the outrage with us! lol
;-)

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on April 4, 2005 6:53 AM.

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