The Corporation - The Corporation on DVD - Chapter By...

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The Corporation on DVD - Chapter By Chapter 1. What is a Corporation? The Corporation has emerged to be today’s dominant institution, one that creates great wealth but also great harms. This documentary examines the history of the corporation and the role it plays in society and our everyday lives. They are artificial creations to produce profit sometimes likened to an eagle, a whale, or a Frankenstein monster out of control. 2. Birth How the corporation came to be. Originally, corporations were set up to serve the public good. Corporation lawyers gained rights through the US Supreme Court using the 14 th Amendment (set up to protect slaves) that gives them the rights of a person. In the last century, the corporation is given more and more rights while people are increasingly stripped of theirs. 3. A Legal “Person” Having acquired rights of immortal persons, what kind of person is the corporation? By law, the corporation can only consider the interests of their shareholders. It is legally bound to put its bottom line before everything else, even the public good. 4. Externalities What is an externality? Milton Friedman describes it as the effect of a transaction between two parties on a third party who is not involved in the transaction. A technical sounding term that basically means let somebody else deal with the problems the corporation creates. 5. Case Histories Case histories can be used to diagnose the kind of personality that makes the corporation an externality-creating machine. Externalities such as harm to employees through the use of sweatshops: the exploitation of Third World countries’ employees resulting in a huge discrepancy of price versus cost. Other externalities such as pollution and adverse health effects emerge. These include the genesis of the petrochemical industry and links to cancer, birth defects and other toxic effects. Another externality is harm to the biosphere or the environmental costs resulting from the way corporations operate, costs that will be passed off to future generations. Have we created a doom machine?
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2010 for the course MGMT 3335 taught by Professor Sebas. during the Spring '10 term at University of Houston.

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The Corporation - The Corporation on DVD - Chapter By...

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