As I was reading another article and the accompanying comments attacking Trump’s tax loss I was struck yet again at the inherent evil many now seem to see in corporations. Corporations get blamed for most societal ills these days – along with government and, of course, Wall Street.
I find this sentiment troubling. Why does it happen and why does it exist?
Part of me gets it. The economy does not feel like the one portrayed to us by our current administration. People have a feeling of being swept along, of having little or no control over their destinies and corporations seem like large, powerful and undefined entities that are, in a very real sense, part of our daily lives. And fear always precipitates strong responses.
Corporations represent wealth (and power) to many people. In a time of fear, anxiety and concern over our personal financial well-being we resent those we feel are not enduring the same hardships. Note that public resentment and hostility towards corporations ebbs and flows. When times are good, corporations are often held in much better regard than periods when the economy is weak.
The very word “Corporation” is a vague term for many. It conjures up images of large, secretive organizations that operate in the shadows and control our fates from afar. Ask someone complaining about the sins of corporate doings to define a corporation and you will hear all kinds of responses but almost invariably the answer seems to start with the word “they”.
And that’s wrong. It’s not “they” it’s actually “us”. About 50% of the employed population in the U.S. works for a corporation with 500 or more people. And the vast majority of corporations employ well under 500 people so a majority of “us” work for corporations.
At its heart a corporation is simply a group of people who agree to work towards a common goal. The legal structure of an organization allows these people to act as a single entity – an actual “person” recognized as such by law. That’s it – a group of people working towards a goal acting as one. That’s not evil. That’s a productive organization of our efforts.
It takes a village…
Or an organization…
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