Corporations have become a centerpiece of American culture, however lately it seems as though these institutions have gained remarkable recognition, wealth, and most importantly, power. This power is often taken for granted and is turned into greed and corruption in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, American business has become exactly that: a breeding ground for massive wealth, corporate greed and heinous corruption. Reform is imperative and now is the time to do so. Americans can no longer sit idly while corporations run rampant. The maturation and transition of corporations, the global dominance of Wal-Mart and the corporate corruption of Enron, Tyco and WorldCom portray the shocking amount of power exerted by 21st century corporations and display the urgent need for change and reform in American society.
[...] The abandonment of the original strictures of the corporate charter and the dominance of corporations in politics epitomizes the brute power of 21st century corporate America and the desperate need for reform. Despite some of its positive effects on American culture, the emergence and global domination of Wal-Mart has led to a serious mistreatment of workers, loss of local jobs and an overexertion of political say. The bouncing, yellow smiley face representing the unbelievably low costs of Wal-Mart has become a staple of American culture and the cornerstone of the global retail business. [...]
[...] Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison, however, at an age of 63 and with such poor health, this was equivalent to a life sentence. Sullivan received only 5 years for having helped testify against Ebbers (353). The epidemics that occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries among Enron, Tyco and WorldCom epitomize the extent of corporate power in American society. Within all three companies, corruption amongst executives inevitably hurt the innocent shareholders. This corruption clearly calls for reform. The corporate charter was once a privilege, a privilege that could be taken away at the blink of an eye if the legislature sensed wrongdoing. [...]
[...] This case rapidly gained support and in million women employees joined in on the largest class action suits in corporate history (158). The lack of unionization among Wal-Mart employees also does not resonate well. Wal-Mart as an organization is so against the thought of unionizing among its employees that if talks of unionization break out in a store, the employees are brought in to speak with management and given pep talks and shown videos discouraging any such ideas (161). The AFL and CIO launched campaign in 2005 to inform Americans about the maltreatment of Wal-Mart employees” (161). [...]
[...] Like many corporations of the late 20th century and into the 21st, Enron got itself involved in many counts of corporate crime. Enron was found guilty of inflating its profits in an effort increase its stock price and further amount its wealth. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling, Chairman Kenneth Lay and Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow recorded sky high profits despite the fact that they were actually losing massive amounts of money. The company began to receive a great amount of skepticism and in October of 2001, the Securities Exchange Commission began an investigation into the accounting practices and overall business mechanisms of this energy giant (Kadlec et al. [...]
[...] Wealth, corruption, greed and indictment are now synonymous with 21st century business. In an age when corporations have enough power to carry political say, reform is a necessity. The transformation from privilege to juggernaut, the global domination of Wal-Mart and the corporate corruption of Enron, Tyco and WorldCom have shown just how much sheer power corporations now have. Whether from a grassroots political effort or a downright legislative mandate, it is imperative that action be taken to control these corporations. [...]
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