The twentieth century saw the emergence of public funded universities and technical institutions, while technology development was concentrated in the R&D laboratories of large corporations. The age of the lone inventor Edison, Siemens, Westinghouse, Graham Bell had ended with the nineteenth century. The twentieth century was more about industry-based R&D laboratories, where corporations gathered together leading scientists and technologists to create the technologies of the future. In this phase, capital was still expanding production. Even though finance capital was already dominant over productive capital, the major capitalist countries still had a strong manufacturing base.
April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, commemorating those killed, sickened, or injured on the job. As part of a week of events, today the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is releasing its “Dirty Dozen” report. Here are four of the employers COSH has picked out for the “Dirty Dozen” distinction in 2023 because they run unsafe workplaces, endangering workers and the public: Swissport, Packers Sanitation, the Class I railroads, and FedEx. Some also have attempted to silence workers who speak up about hazards or are trying to organize a union to make the workplace safer.
For most people in America and much of the world, our life is — to some degree — owned, run, managed, or manipulated by a “shadow bank” that few people even know the name of. It holds between 9 and 10 Trillion dollars in assets. It is the largest or close-to largest stake holder in most enormous media companies like Disney and Comcast, most big tech companies like Google and Meta/Facebook, most big banks like Citibank, Bank of America, and Barclays. This secretive cabal is one of the biggest funders of deforestation, fossil fuel use, weapons contractors, and basically destroying the planet. And yet, despite all that, most Americans and most people around the world have never even heard of them. Watch the video to learn who it is that truly owns the planet.
According to elementary students of economics and Wall Street financiers alike, the answer to this question is as simple as it is intuitive: the shareholders. The standard narrative goes like this: a share is a “piece of a company.” Accordingly, the holders of those shares are the company’s collective owners. Shareholder ownership explains why an army of retail investors coordinating trades on Reddit could claim they “owned a piece” of the struggling video game retailer GameStop and why Warren Buffet is as certain he “owns” companies as varied as GEICO and Dairy Queen as less wealthy Americans are certain they own the gadgets in their kitchen.
The corporate media in recent days has been busy resurrecting and re-reporting the deal negotiated weeks ago by Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary, to get 100+ other nations to sign on to and introduce a 15% global corporate alternative tax in their countries. But why is the mainstream media bringing it up again now? Is it to soften the blow of Biden’s repeal of his proposal to hike corporate taxes in the US from Trump’s 21% to 26%? (It was 35% pre-Trump)? Or is there something else as well that explains why the media is running the global tax story that’s already weeks old? The global sign on to Biden’s 15% global minimum tax, announced weeks ago, is purportedly designed to prevent big multinational corporations’ manipulating governments by seeking out, and getting, special tax deals in certain countries at the expense of others.
At least 55 of the largest corporations in America paid no federal corporate income taxes in their most recent fiscal year despite enjoying substantial pretax profits in the United States. This continues a decades-long trend of corporate tax avoidance by the biggest U.S. corporations, and it appears to be the product of long-standing tax breaks preserved or expanded by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) as well as the CARES Act tax breaks enacted in the spring of 2020. The tax-avoiding companies represent various industries and collectively enjoyed almost $40.5 billion in U.S. pretax income in 2020, according to their annual financial reports. The statutory federal tax rate for corporate profits is 21 percent. The 55 corporations would have paid a collective total of $8.5 billion for the year had they paid that rate on their 2020 income.
President Joe Biden, by executive order, directed the Department of Justice to end its private prison use. It's a step in the right direction and a symbolic moment for this administration to say they are going to take criminal justice reform seriously. While this step decouples the federal government's relationship with private prisons, let's remember that such institutions hold just about 9% of the federal prison population — a little more than 14,000 people. Profit from incarcerated people doesn't meet the moral standards of justice. However, private prisons aren't even where the biggest profits exist. Private companies continue to profit off the labor of inmates in the public prison system, or, the "prison industrial complex." President Biden must also dismantle this repugnant practice. These corporations have monetized crime and punishment with the government's help.
Dozens of large corporations are stopping all donations to the political parties and their politicians in the wake of the right-wing storming of the Capitol last Wednesday. In many cases, they’ve targeted specifically the 147 Republicans who refused to certify the Electoral College vote. The latter group includes MasterCard, American Express, Dow Chemical, and others Even Blue Cross Blue Shield, whose PAC has supported Republicans in every election since 1996, withdrew money from members of Congress who challenged the election results. And it’s going even further: an internal email reveals that the PAC will pull its yearly donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican National Committee.
The American people own most of the wealth – private and public – and most of the information in the country. The top one percent do not. The American people have most of the power in the country. The top one percent do not. These assertions may surprise you, because the top one percent and the giant corporations work overtime to control what you own. This means they do not have to seize what you own so long as their control provides them with both riches and power over you.
The latest available case-by-case records from the Department of Justice (DOJ) show that the prosecution of white-collar offenders in January 2020 reached an all-time low since tracking began during the Reagan Administration. Only 359 defendants were prosecuted in January 2020. Almost all of these were individuals rather than businesses.
Imagine your town is crisscrossed by giant trains that travel insanely fast, because the train owners pay their drivers based on speed. The town establishes speed limits, installs flashing lights, brings out police to keep pedestrians off the tracks. Inevitably, the trains continue to crash into people and cars, causing injury and death. How does the town council respond? By repairing crossings and fences.
In the expanding effort to privatize the nation's public education system, an ominous, less-understood strain of the movement is the corporate influence in Career and Technical Education (CTE) that is shaping the K-12 curriculum in local communities. An apt case study of the growing corporate influence behind CTE is in Virginia, where many parents, teachers and local officials are worried that major corporations including Amazon, Ford and Cisco...
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said the US government would not furnish any information for a database of companies operating in the occupied West Bank that the United Nations' human rights office released, and said the compilation hurts efforts in the Middle East. "The United States has long opposed the creation or release of this database," he said in a statement.
The Corporation is capitalism's preeminent institution, dominating our economy, distorting our politics and reshaping society. TNI's ninth flagship State of Power report delves deep into the changing nature of the corporation in a time of digitalisation and financialisation and asks how we might best confront its power and construct alternatives.
Corporations account for 78 of the world’s 100 largest economies, yet they remain cloaked in mystery. TNI’s State of Power 2020 report takes a deep dive into capitalism’s preeminent institution. On November 5, 2015 a failure at the Germano iron ore mine’s tailings dam in Mariana, Minas Gerai state, Brazil caused hundreds of tons of toxic mud to sweep downstream, killing 19 people and contaminating the Doce River for many hundreds of kilometers.