I got the pleasure of watching the documentary "the Corporation" A revealing film on the history and problematic nature of the business entity of a corporation. Through out my studies in business the corporation is seen as the safest form of a business and arguably the best and why? The ability to raise a lot of capital and zero liability. This films shows the the negative aspects of the corporation how the lack of liability and single goal of increased profits has brought on countless human rights violation and complete disregard for the rights of people or the laws of any country. So how do we fix this?
The film may rise a feeling that all corporations are bad and we should abolish them, to do so I would say would be very harmful. The corporation has given us great benefits and shaped the life style we live in and are very accustomed to in the US. Corporations make it possible to generate large amounts of jobs and products and at lower costs and they bring the ability to advance technology that we would other wise find near impossible. The largest amount of research into renewable energy comes from corporations, so they aren't completely bad and shouldn't be completely banned.
What I find to be the biggest problem is the lack of liability in the corporation. The people who fundamentally choose the direction of the corporation, the stockholders, are the people who have zero liability in the company and the least amount to loose. This should change, they should be held liable for the decisions of the corporation. We don't condemn people funding criminals so why should it be okay if people fund a company that has chosen to be criminal also? This lack of liability the stockholders hold also guides them not to care what the company even does just as long as it makes a profit which brings about a great moral and ethical problem.
The other great problem with corporations is their being able to be a "legal" person. They enjoy the rights of a person but none of the consequences. We can not punish a corporation like a human and send them to prison or have them do community service or take counseling so why should they enjoy the benefits of a human? We should enact a bill of some sort that would disband a corporation after they break so many laws or something of that nature. A corporation will do anything as long as it provides them with greater revenue and that includes breaking the law and committing unethical actions.
Last of all I would consider disbanding conglomerates. I am not fully behind the idea but I think it would be wise to consider it. The best interest of one corporation become neglected when it is apart of a conglomerate but rather the over all benefit of the conglomerate are the priority witch leads to ethical problems that can arise for the corporations that must choose between doing whats best, ethical, and legal for them or for the conglomerate.
So in all we are living in a blind world, blind to the evils of the modern corporation and of our very life styles. We live amazingly ignorant lives to the harms that are around us or our impact on our environment and society. I warn that we should not think of the past as being better or as a goal of what to be like but to simply learn from the success and failures of our past to make a better tomorrow. We now more then we have ever in the history of the world have the ability to plan our futures not of our selves but as a country and a world for generations to come, we need to start thinking in the long run before we feel the consequences of centuries of short term planning catch up to us.