After watching the documentary, the negative impacts of corporations to modern society stood out most. In the past, corporations were a significant part of the society. They were initiated for the welfare of the entire community. Corporations began during the initiation of industrialization. The pioneering corporations operated under strict chatters from the government. During that era, corporations could not own other corporations; shareholders were liable for all liabilities, and the stocks were published for accountability and transparency purposes. A corporation was a gift, and it acted as a subordinate entity meant to serve the people. Everything changed on the 14th amendment meant to guard the rights of the African Americans. The amendment aimed to give citizens equal rights to liberty. It thus created a gap for corporate lawyers to amend the regulations laid out by the charter. Since the corporation is an artificial person, the same rights accorded to the African American were given to the corporations. Capitalists were the ones who benefited from the amendments. The entities could now sue or be sued, own property and had continuity.
The corporations have migrated from serving the people to ensuring the shareholders get maximum returns from their investments. Corporations are now shareholder oriented rather than stakeholder oriented. They only serve to ensure that shareholders reap maximum benefits at the advantage of others. Corporations are now viewed as monsters and rather psychopaths in the eyes of the public. They are now characterized by deceit, greed, and thirst for wealth. Externalities are initiated by the unwillingness of the corporations in participating in public welfare. Third parties not part of the corporations take care of the organizational liabilities. Corporations thus thrive on the notion of ‘let others do it’ for instance, ‘let other build roads for our automobile. They entirely exclude themselves from problems and reap maximum benefits in return. An examples of the unethical corporations include Nike which was underpaying workers, Exxon which paid a fine of $125M for Valdese oil spills, General Electric paid a fine of $9.5M for defrauding the federal government, Chevron paid a fine of $6.5M for Environmental violations, Mitsubishi paid $1.8M for antitrust violations, IBM paid $8.5M for illegal exports, Kodak paid 1M for environmental violations, Odwalla paid $1.5M for regulatory violations and Ears $60M for Financial Fraud.
Over the years, corporations have impacted the society in numerous ways. The impacts made me feel remorseful for the psychopathic traits manifested by the organizations. I learned that majority of the organizations entirely do not care how other stakeholders are affected as long as they get money. For instance, they pose harm to their workers through massive layoffs, union busting, and pay less attention to factory fires and underpaying the workers. One of the most burning issues in employee management was an underpayment. Majority of the corporations are now shifting to the poor, marginalized regions of the world in search for cheap labor, for instance in Bangladesh and some parts of China. Some of their products could go for almost $178 with the worker getting only 74 cents for making the piece. A good example of a corporation exploiting poor workers is Nike Company where wages go for about 1% of the total price of the product. Walmart is also featured for engaging in foreign child labor and underpaying its workers. Their search for cheap labor has induced the workers into starvation as the wages cannot meet their daily needs. Some others disregard morality such as the Union Oil of California (UNOCAL) for discrimination against women, gays and overseas workers.
The corporations also utilize deceit by sending false messages to the public. Some do this by declaring that the proceeds from the sale go into helping needy children such as Walmart. People will thus purchase knowing that the money goes into welfare a program which is false. The capital goes into the pockets of a few individuals who do not know the reality outside their comfort zones.
Corporations activities have also served to affect the environment through the creation of dangerous products and toxic wastes initiating pollution. They have served to destroy much of the animal’s natural habitats and harm the animals. For instance, factory cows were being injected with Posilac by Monsanto meant to increase milk production. Not only did it make the milk toxic but also caused udder infections causing them pain and degradation.
Corporations also serve to go against morality by celebrating calamities as they present them with opportunities. For instance, Iraq’s bombing in 1991 caused a lot of devastation to the inhabitants, but to corporations, it served as an opportunity to make money. The oil prices went up from $13 to $ 40 a barrel indicating that in devastation, there is always an opportunity. The majority are now operating illegally denying the government authority. Corporations need to abide by the law and work for the interest of the people to assure change.