The era of the multinational corporation is increasingly unpopular, at least when compared to a hypothetical era of local businesses (a.k.a. the era that existed a generation ago). While scientific surveys addressing the public’s attitude toward business are hard to come by, “a survey conducted in 2010 by the Pew Research Center for the People survey found that 71 percent of Americans believed small business was a positive influence on the way things are going in the country, far higher than the 25 percent who believed the same of large corporations.”
What’s the Big Idea?
There is a growing sense that large corporations are net drains on society. Currently, most can operate from wherever the taxes and labor costs are lowest, facing little or no obligation to contribute positively to their surrounding community. “As David Hess explains in his fascinating book, ‘Localist Movements in a Global Economy,’ most business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have been dominated by large publicly traded corporations. That dominance is now being challenged by groups like the American Independent Business Alliance, which explicitly aims to “keep economic and political power rooted in the community.”