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Corporate Power

(see also Corporate Personhood, Corporate Welfare, Political Corruption & Campaign Finance Reform)

On the Web  •  In the Library  •  CD & Audio  •  Film & Video Search


In 1960, corporations paid 35% of total tax bill to the federal government; individuals paid 65%;
in 2000, corporations paid 17% & individuals paid 83%. Many great corporations paid no tax at all.

Huge corporations (particularly in the military sector) subsist largely on government contracts, financed by the taxpayers, which are often obtained without competitive bidding.

This is "corporate welfare," made possible by large-scale campaign contributions (which we may best understand as bribery, defined in the US Criminal Code as attempting to influence official decisions by offering or promising anything of value), & by the unchallenged "revolving door" that allows same people to move with ease back and forth between government & corporate service.

On the Web: Articles

The Secret World of Banking, Ralph Nader, Counterpunch (7/15/02). Call to publicize "Camel ratings" of banks provokes cries of outrage from industry

Cracking Down on Corporate Crime, Really, Russell Mokhiber & Robert Weissman, Counterpunch (7/3/02). Corporate crime more than financial; three steps to increasing restraints on it.

The Business of Power. George Monbiot, Guardian (2/5/02). British corporate power so ensconced that even banning campaign contributions won't weaken its hold on government. What about US?

The One-Eyed Man. Paul Krugman, NY Times (10/31/01). It's not just GM: Texas mining & energy interests make out like bandits in House stimulus package.

On the Web: Specialized Sites

Alliance for Democracy.

Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.

Global Policy Forum.

Guide to Tracking Federal Lobbyists.

Congressional Discloure on Lobbying (Senate).

Congressional Discloure on Lobbying (House).

Multinational Monitor. Tracks corporate activity, especially in Third World, focusing on export of hazardous substances, worker health & safety, trade union issues & environment.

Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy.

United for a Fair Economy.

In the Library: Articles

Blakeslee, Nate. "A naked emperor disrobed: or, how Enron did Texas," Nation (3/4/02):15-19.

Bleifuss, Joel. "The new abolitionists," In These Times (1 apr 1996):12-14.

__________. "Know thine enemy. A brief history of corporations," In These Times (8 feb 1998).

Cassidy, John. "A new study shows America's fat cats getting fatter," New Yorker (9/13/99)?.

Cordes, Helen. “Outfront,” Mother Jones (9/03):17-18. Children and pharmaceutical drugs.

Feingold, Sen. Russ. "Big oil buys the Senate," Progressive (dec 1999).

Fifield, Adam. "Corporate caseworkers," In These Times (16 jun 1997).

Frank, Thomas. “Get rich or get out,” Harper’s (6/03):33-42.

Greider, William. "The Enron nine," Nation (5/13/02):18-21.

Madrick, Jeff. "Enron, the media & the new economy," Nation (4/1/02):17-20.

McCollester, Charles. “Less than miraculous,” Nation (3/17/03):21-23.

Palast, Gregory. "The best democracy money can buy," Observer (11/26/00). On cozy relationship of Canadian multinational Barrick Gold Mining with Bush family.

Pappu, Sridhar. "The crusader," Atlantic Monthly (10/04). Profile of NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer & his campaign against powerful corporate interests.

Shields, Janice C. "Strange bedfellows," In These Times (12 may 1997).

Tabb, William K. "Globalization is an issue, the power of capital is the issue," Monthly Review 49,2(6/97): 20-30.

Toobin, Jeffery. "End run at Enron: why the countries most notorious executives may never face criminal charges," New Yorker (10/27/03):48-55.

In the Library: Non-Fiction Books:

Anton, Anatole; Milton Fisk & Nancy Holstrom (eds.) Not for Sale. In Defense of Public Goods (Boulder, 2000).

Arax, Mark & Rick Wartzman. The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire (NY: PublicAffairs, 2003).

Baumol, William J.; Alan S. Blinder & Edward N. Wolff. Downsizing in America: Reality, Causes, & Consequences (NY: Russell Sage, 2003).

Boggs, Carl. The End of Politics: Corporate Power & the Decline of the Public Sphere (NY, 2001).

Bollier, David. Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of our Common Wealth (NY: Routledge, 2002). Costs & consequences of "enclosing" American commons; how to reclaim them.

Boyer, William H. Myth America: Democracy vs. Capitalism (Croton-on-Hudson NY: Apex, 2003).

Brandes, Stuart D. Warhogs: A History of War Profits in America (Lexington KY: U. Kentucky, 1997).

Court, Jamie. Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom...and What You Can Do About It (NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 2003).

Danaher, Kevin (ed.) Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Mama: Globalization & the Downsizing of the American Dream (Monroe ME: Common Courage, 1996).

Derber, Charles. Corporation Nation: How Corporations are Taking Over Our Lives and What We Can Do About It (NY, 1998).

__________. Regime Change Begins at Home: Freeing America from Corporate Rule (San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler, 2004).

Epstein, Edward Jay. Who Owns the Corporation? Management vs. Shareholders (NY: Priority Press, 1986).

Flyvbjerg, Bent; Nils Bruzelius & Werner Rothengatter. Megaprojects & Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition (NY: Cambridge, 2003).

Frank, Thomas. One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, & the End of Economic Democracy (NY: Doubleday, 2000). Examines morphing of language of American democracy into jargon of marketplace: markets identified with democracy & will of people. Stock market as domain of common man; brand names as symbols of rebellion; downsizing & corporate mergers as victories for democracy.

Giroux, Henry A. The Mouse That Roared: Disney & the End of Innocence (NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003). Story behind Disney corporation

Green, Mark J. (ed.) The Closed Enterprise System: The Nader Study Group Report on Antitrust Enforcement (Washington: Center for the Study of Responsive Law, 1971).

__________. The Other Government: The Unseen Power of Washington Lawyers (NY: Norton, 1978).

__________, James M. Fallows & David R. Zwick. Who Runs Congress? (NY: Bantam, 1972).

__________ (ed.) The Monopoly Makers: Ralph Nader's Study Group Report on Regulation & Competition (NY: Grossman, 1973).

Greenberg, Daniel S. Science, Money, & Politics: Political Triumph & Ethical Erosion (Chicago: U. Chicago, 2003)

Henwood, Doug. Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom (London, 1997).

Kraus, Constantine Raymond & Alfred W. Duerig. The Rape of Ma Bell: The Criminal Destruction of the Best Telephone System in the World (Secaucus NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1988).

Lockard, Duane. Coal: A Memoir and Critique (Charlottesville VA, 1998).

MacArthur, John R. The Selling of "Free Trade": NAFTA, Washington & the Subversion of American Democracy (NY, 2000).

Mokhiber, Russell & Weissman, Robert. Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits & the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999).

Monbiot, George. Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (London: Pan Macmillan, 2005).

Nace, Ted. Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power & the Disabling of Democracy (SF: Berrett-Koehler, 2003).

Nader, Ralph & Jean Carper. The Consumer & Corporate Accountability (NY:Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1973).

__________ & Mark Green (eds.) Corporate Power in America (NY:Grossman, 1973).

__________; Mark Green & Joel Seligman. Taming the Giant Corporation (NY: Norton, 1976).

__________ & William Taylor. The Big Boys: Power & Position in American Business (NY: Pantheon, 1986).

__________ & Wesley J. Smith. No Contest: Corporate Lawyers & the Perversion of Justice in America (NY: Random House, 1996).

O'Toole, Patricia. Money & Morals in America: A History (NY: Random House, 1998).

Packard, Vance. The Hidden Persuaders (NY: McKary, 1957).

Phillips, Kevin. Wealth & Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (NY: Broadway, 2002).

Rockwell, Rick & Noreene Janus. Media Power in Central America (Urbana: U. Illinois, 2003). Draws connection between commercial media & authoritarian regimes.

Skeel, David. Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws of Corporate America & Where They Came From (NY: Oxford, 2006).

Soley, Lawrence C. Leasing the Ivory Tower: The Corporate Takeover of Academia (Boston: South End, 1995).

Turgeon, Lynn. Bastard Keynsianism: The Evolution of Economic Thinking & Policymaking since World War II (Westport: Greenwood, 1996).

Willis, Clint & Nate Hardcastle (eds.) The I Hate Corporate America Reader (NY: Thunder's Mouth, 2004).

Witcover, Jules. No Way to Pick a President: How Money & Hired Guns Have Debased American Elections (NY: Routledge, 2001).

In the Library: Fiction

CD & Audio:

Film & Video:

"Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" [2005], dir. Alex Gibney, 110. In video stores.

"Erin Brockovich" [2000], dir. Steven Soderbergh, 130m. In video stores.

Monterey Bay Educators Against War
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