Monday, May 6, 2013

Corporate Citizenship

The more people who own little businesses of their own, the safer our country will be; for the people who have a stake in their country and their community are it’s best citizens.
John Hancock

If old John was right, perhaps that’s part of what’s wrong with the country today. Corporations don’t think of themselves as citizens of the city, county, or even the country where their office is – they think of themselves as global citizens. As global citizens, they have little or no stake in health of the community or country where their offices and factories just happen to be located.

Just as the right choice of a car for you may not be the right choice for your next-door neighbor, the right choice for a global corporation may not be the right choice for a local business. Putting all our government support behind those big, global corporations rather than the smaller local business is, in far too many cases, turning out to be a bad choice for the nation as a whole.

Just perhaps the founding fathers were on to something in fearing big corporations. As Ted Nace points out in “The Gangs of America” the founding fathers had the example of the East India Company and it’s use of a charter issued by the king of England to stifle competition. The East India Company had no interest or concern for the lives or livelihoods of the American colonist, only for the company’s profits.

In much the same way modern corporations seem to have no concern for the lives of their workers or the communities in which the company happens to have it’s offices.

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