Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Who Runs The World Again?

Sometimes when I talk politics with my more conspiratorial friends, they'll say "you don't think the government really runs things, do you?" "Who does, then?" "Corporations."

I'd laugh except they seem to be serious. Now I'll admit corporations have some power, and can do wrong with it, and should be prosecuted when they commit crimes. I'll even admit I'm extremely concerned when the free market gets deformed by government and big business being in cahoots, but that's because it is the government that runs things.

Anyway, for the people who believe corporations are behind everything, I ask them if they've ever tried to run one? It's not just a bunch of rich people sitting around in boardrooms smoking cigars and determining the shape of our lives. Quite the opposite. Corporations are run by people who work endlessly, worried about losing market share and, eventually, their jobs. If you ran a huge business and someone told you were in charge of the world, you'd manage a few bitter laughs before getting back to work.

I remember when I was a kid in Detroit, Chrysler, Ford and GM were three of the five biggest corporations in the country (perhaps the world). If these guys were in charge of everything, they certainly did a lousy job protecting themselves, since Chrysler has been bought by a foreign company while Ford and GM seem to be basket cases these days.

Meanwhile, what are some of the biggest companies today? Well, there's Microsoft and Google. They didn't even exist when I was a kid--who let them in? And I'm not just talking about new technologies. Today's #1 corporation is Wal-Mart. How could this happen in a world where Sears and K-Mart were running things?


Blogger kelsci said...

Well, the one retailer here in S. Fla.(I think it is privately owned)that does a bang up business is BRANDSMART USA. You would think it is Xmas every weekend of the year at this store. They do have good prices on what they sell. They do pubish there ads on their internet site if you are curious to take a look.

1:21 AM, December 04, 2005  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I'll check it out. Competition is what keeps corporations on their toes. It may cause unpleasant dislocation for a lot of people, both high and low, but overall it's best for the economy.

2:06 AM, December 04, 2005  

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