How super rich companies harm us all — and try to cover it up

Just because a company does incredibly well financially doesn't mean that it does any good for the people. How can we change that?

  • Huge corporations are often built upon the backs of very cheap labor. So while the stock prices go up, the lives of the workers goes down.
  • Corporate taxes could offset the harm that these behemoth companies do. But there's a lot of opposition to raising taxes.
  • Another option would be to classify companies entirely differently than we do now.
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The tragedy of this American moment: Populism, elites, and the 2020 election

This is about so much more than Donald Trump. Anand Giridharadas explains why America must reclaim its heritage of revolution before the next presidential election in 2020.

  • "We'll be better off" is the lie that sank America, says Giridharadas.
  • When it comes to globalization, trade and automation, for decades American elites have been "rich-splaining" to ordinary people, saying: 'Don't worry, it will all be fine in the aggregate'. "As though anybody lives in the aggregate," quips Giridharadas.
  • Populism was inevitable with the current economic order. The tragedy of it is that Trump has focused the blame on minorities rather than on the institutions that caused the quality of life in America to plummet.
  • Before 2020, the Democratic party needs to harness the American spirit of revolution. More importantly, it will have to figure out how to talk to disgruntled Americans and channel populism for the common good.

Corporate responsibility? Don’t make me laugh.

America's #1 problem? It's gone from "We the people" to "We the shareholders". Can capitalism be better than this?

  • Most companies are trying to fight on both sides of a war, says Anand Giridharadas. They want to make a merciless profit and also get good PR. The result? Irresponsible company practices covered up by disingenuous 'corporate social responsibility' initiatives.
  • "'Conscious capitalism.' That's a good one," he says. "The problem with our brand of market capitalism in American in 2018 is that it's a capitalism purely driven by the needs of shareholders." Shareholders are now America's ruling class. Citizens? The lowest priority.
  • We're obsessed with innovation, but what we should be focused on is progress. The difference? Innovation just makes things new. Progress makes people's lives better. "Great, we have a lot of new stuff," Giridharadas says. "... in the era of innovation we've also seen the odds of social mobility—of out-earning your parents, for example—fall from 90 percent to 50 percent."
  • Public good and private greed are out of whack. The solution? Don't tear down private enterprise, just make sure public infrastructure like schools and health care are well supported, and that wages rise in a meaningful way.