Corporate Globalization and Greed
What is "corporate globalization"? What does this phrase mean?
Large corporations reach across the world. They have offices and factories in many different countries. They have the financial resources to develop an underdeveloped country by introducing western automation in production and advanced technology. They change people's lives in an underdeveloped country, and not always in a good way. This is corporate globalization.
Coporate globalization has already taken over the world. Fifty-one of the world's top 100 economies are not countries but corporations. For example:
- Royal Dutch Shell's revenues are greater than Venezuela's Gross National Product
- Walmart's revenues are bigger than Indonesia's
- General Motors revenues exceed the revenues of Ireland, New Zealand, and Hungary, combined.
These transnational corporations essentially own the world. It's a scary thought: the world is, in effect, owned by greedy corporations. Corporate globalization is responsible for the economic mess we find ourselves in, today. Corporate globalization is also responsible for the environmental mess we find ourselves in, today.
Corporate globalization has no conscience. The only thing these mammoth corporations recognize is profit. They have no other motive; no other reason to exist. Human values are non-existent in a corporate culture, and that's why corporate globalization is SUCH a BAD idea.
With the formation of the World Trade Organization in 1995, these large corporate interests wrested control over patents, tariffs, environmental and food safety laws, labor laws in underdeveloped countries, laws regarding ocean fishing, and many other aspects of the legal processes to safeguard human interests across the world.
Quality of life, especially in underdeveloped countries, has been sacrificed to corporate greed.
The environment and the health of our world has been seriously traduced by these same transnational companies under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.
Corporate globalization has been responsible for some of the most atrocious mismanagement of resources both natural and human. The World Trade Organization has been the mouthpiece for those corporate culprits to take advantage, world wide, of the privileges of wealth, to the entire disadvantage of most of the people on the planet.
When a crime has been committed, the first question the police ask is, "Who benefits?"
"Qui bono?" is a Latin adage which means much the same thing--who has a hidden agenda to profit? Things are not always as they appear to be.
- Since it's inception in 1995, the World Trade Organization has ruled against EVERY SINGLE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. THESE POLICIES HAVE BEEN RULED TO BE ILLEGAL TRADE BARRIERS THAT MUST BE ELIMINATED OR CHANGED.
- With only one exception, the WTO has ruled against every single health or food safety law.
- Nations whose laws were declared trade barriers by the WTO have eliminated or seriously watered down those policies to meet WTO requirements.
- Decision-making is dominated by the "Quad"--the United States, The European Union, Japan, and Canada. The rules and regulations are made by "trade advisory committees".
- For example, the US International Trade Advisory Committee on Energy is composed exclusively of representatives of the mega-corporations in oil, mining, gas and utilities whose corporate globalization reaches across the world.
Corporate globalization has no respect for the beautiful world we were given! What precious bounty we started with--a world so rich in resources, rich in water, in trees, in land! How rich in fish, how varied in fecund and awe-inspiring forms of life.
Coporate globalization is systematically destroying all these bounties of nature.
What have we done with the beautiful world we were given as a home? What are we doing with it?
We have polluted our water, our land, our air. We've polluted the ocean with oil. We've made a desert where there was once a green meadow. We're reduced to bottom-trawling the ocean for fish, irrevocably destroying the ocean bed environment and irrevocably damaging the ocean ecosystem. All for the sake of corporate globalization.
We've chopped down the rain forests, turning that awesome canopy of trees into charcoal to feed the factory furnaces in developing countries. We've irrevocably harmed the global environment in the process. All for the sake of corporate globalization.
We've destroyed or seriously reduced whole populations of wild animals. All for the sake of corporate globalization.
And in human terms? Who benefits--and who is harmed?
- Women are 70% of the world's 1.3 billion absolutely poor people. Worldwide, women bear the brunt of the economic transition and financial crisis caused by the market forces of corporate globalization.
- 75% of the people in Mexico live in poverty today, as opposed to 49% of the people living in poverty before Mexico entered the North American Free Trade Agreement. The number of Mexican people living on less than $2.00 USD per day has increased by 4 million people since 1995.
- Yet well over 300,000 United States jobs have shifted to Mexico, especially in the apparel and electronics industries.
And in Mexico, they've cut down all the trees. These global trade agreements generated booming industrial development in Mexico, but with little investment in the environment. As a result, International Paper and Boisie Cascade have cut down some of North America's intact forests in Mexico. The result?
Environmental pollution and related public health problems have vastly increased along the Mexico-US border.
Nobody benefits. The people are even poorer than before. The globalized corporations got a little richer, that's all. In 1950, the average income of the people living in the wealthiest countries was 20 times the income of people living in the poorest countries. Now, the average income of wealthiest countries is 60 TIMES that of the poorest countries. These people have not been aided in the least. They have been harmed, not helped, by Western industrialization and corporate globalization.
This story is repeated over and over--in Latin America, in South Asia, in Ecuador, in Brazil, in Chile and Paraguay, in the Caribbean, in Eastern Europe, in Zambia, the Philippines; in Jamaica; in sub-Sahara Africa.
All lthese people are much, much poorer than they were before corporate globalization. Their countries' resources have been exploited and used up. The number of people living in absolute poverty has grown exponentially worldwide. The global environments and ecosystems are irrevocably harmed.
All for the sake of corporate globalization.
This happened in the sub-Saharan desert region of Africa:
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization, all tools of corporate globalization, imposed "structural adjustment policies" on 36 countries in the sub-Sahara region of Africa. These people were already living, more than half the people were already living, in absolute poverty.
The "structural adjustment" policies imposed on them made them shift to cash crops for export and decrease domestic consumption of food.
So many people died. So very many children starved to death.
All for the sake of corporate globalization.