Corporate Power and Canadian Capitalism

Capitalism: A Crime Story
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Combining theoretical acumen with an unfailing commitment to social justice and fairness, Carroll brings to this enterprise decades of research experience, which has only gained in sophistication over the years. Not only do his findings represent the most up-to-date and detailed information on the global structures of power. The work equally includes, in a brilliant concluding chapter, an analysis of the social forces ranged against the intricate structures of corporate power and a realistic assessment of the balance of strength in each case.

The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class

At a time when the capitalist world economy is in the throes of one of the deepest crises in its existence, a fine-grained mapping of the personalities, corporations, and private consultative bodies that actually were running the show to right before it came crashing down, this book is a bombshell that will help clear the way for a renovated global political economy. Using social network analysis, William Carroll maps the changing field of power generated by elite relations among the world's largest corporations and related political organizations.

Carroll provides an in-depth analysis that spans the three decades of the late 20th and early 21st century, when capitalist globalization attained unprecedented momentum, propelled both by the transnationalization of accumulation and by the political paradigm of transnational neoliberalism. This has been an era in which national governments have deregulated capital, international institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum have gained prominence, and production and finance have become more fully transnational, increasing the structural power of capital over communities and workers.

Within this context of transformation, the book charts the making of a transnational capitalist class, reaching beyond national forms of capitalist class organization into a global field, but facing spirited opposition from below in an ongoing struggle that is also a struggle over alternative global futures. He has won the Canadian Sociological Association's John Porter Prize twice, for his books on the structure of corporate power in Canada.

The ethos of shareholder capitalism drives a concomitant disparity in executive compensation. That pay gap is nearly 9 times larger than it was in But that seems like a dubious claim. More likely, corporate structures have evolved to give CEOs the ability to shape their own governance boards and thus name their own salaries. These numbers are not, in any meaningful way, driven by the market. And they are surely not a reward for enhancing worker security or shouldering our common concerns.

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At some point, this tectonic shift of income from labor to capital swallows its supposed benefits, creating much the same disincentives as classic Marxism. Nor, viewed rationally, does the last marginal dollar of income motivate true geniuses—a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs—to show up for work.

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Challenging standard dependency theory, William Carroll argues from empirical evidence that Canada's financial-industrial elite have maintained and. From this interpretative position, Canada's development is seenas markedly Corporate Power and CanadianCapitalism thus acknowledges the unusually high.

Management often treats workers like widgets—which they are not. And boards treat CEOs like irreplaceable geniuses, which they rarely are. At Bloomberg, we pay employees very well, we invest in their training and education, and we offer industry-leading benefits. In return: Our employees pay us back ten-fold with their dedication and loyalty. And there is no better way to strengthen capitalism than to give people a greater stake in its success.

Cumulatively, this year stretch has over-corrected for the economic problems of the s and helped stifle social mobility and create an increasingly impermeable class system.

Corporate Power and Canadian Capitalism

Increasingly, as Matthew Stewart documented in the Atlantic , the accident of birth plays an outsized role in determining economic success. Because whatever our gifts, we do not rise solely our own merits.

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The top 10 percent are dealt very different hands than the bottom 90 percent: access to family wealth; quality daycare; early childhood education; healthcare; good schools and neighborhoods; college and graduate school; and, above all, social capital—the inherited ability to successfully navigate society by knowing who to call, where to go, and how to leverage your status to get ahead. Thus the top 10 percent is becoming its own species. Privileged zip codes mean shorter commutes, higher life expectancy, stronger social networks, lower crime rates, and better public schools, while political influence enables residents to thwart housing programs which might provide upward mobility for others.

In this happy bubble, these contemporary patricians intermarry and are much more likely to form lasting families. Their ability to privilege their children is accelerating: lessons; camps; tutors; books; private schools. When it comes time for college, they often benefit from legacy admissions — a persistent form of elite affirmative action. While only 2 percent of American students graduate from nonsectarian private high schools, they comprise 26 percent of students at Harvard and 20 percent at Princeton.

In a study, 38 top-tier colleges had more students from the top 1 percent than from the bottom 60 percent. In turn, access to elite education produces dramatically higher lifetime earnings. Meanwhile, the middle class struggles and the poor suffer. Less-educated whites increasingly suffer death by class. Poor people die from suicide, substance abuse, or neglected health.

Satisfaction with life is rising among the affluent, declining among those below. One obvious cause is the pervasive awareness of falling behind. The cosmic failure of shareholder capitalism is that it eviscerates the belief that each generation will rise based on the workings of a market economy. The accompanying polarization and loss of communal sentiment further blights our future, increasing feelings of political irrelevance and civic indifference. And this cycle of alienation and pessimism is mutually reinforcing, separating younger generations from those who went before them.

The proponents of shareholder capitalism insist that these malignancies are the inescapable byproduct of a free market economy, which is the best way to grow the macro economy. But they are not the residue of some free market magic. They stem from deliberate policy choices lawmakers have made in the past, and which could be changed in the future.

There is no reason that we could not reorder incentives to create a version which better suits the current realities. There has long been a pernicious myth that private markets, left unchecked, would eventually solve all problems.

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But this was always too simplistic a view. A free market for widgets will, all things being equal, eventually deliver a pareto optimum for the production and sale of widgets. But not everything in the world is a widget. Markets cannot by themselves provide optimization for insurance, or common property, or primary education, or healthcare, or safety, or large-scale research and development that is in the public interest.

Even for widgets, nothing is forever- sooner or later, monopolies and externalities distort markets. And throughout American history we have constantly balanced and re-balanced. In Econ , you were probably taught that markets are based on supply and demand. Of course, not every person can be trusted to act with integrity, so we do have laws and regulations that are intended to guarantee it. For example, a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt took on the largest corporations that were destroying competition. For their leadership, TR and FDR were reviled by many in the business world—and considered traitors to their class.

Today, we hear echoes of the challenges the Roosevelts faced. Industry consolidation has reached record levels and is suppressing competition and choice.

Accountable Capitalism or Democratic Socialism? - The Bullet

More and more Americans—especially your generation—are questioning whether capitalism is capable of creating a just society. Their faith in America—and all that we represent—is being shaken.

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Noam Chomsky contends that there is little moral difference between chattel slavery and renting one's self to an owner or "wage slavery". If investing in arms, nuclear energy, tobacco, junk food, sugary or alcoholic beverages produces a good rate of return, so be it. Retrieved 4 March She has reported on how recourse to flexible labour markets helps explain the deep recessionary conditions forced on families in the U. Tawney E. Some would argue that China stands as an exception to much of the above, characterized as it is by a seemingly unstoppable rate of economic advance though carrying with it deep social and ecological contradictions.

We cannot allow these issues to fester. We must address them now. We must find new ways to build a capitalist society that is more dynamic and more secure—more affluent and more equal—to restore faith in the promise of America and the future of the American dream.

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In honor of Theodore Roosevelt, we can call it by a phrase invoked by Joseph Stiglitz: Progressive capitalism. The goal of progressive capitalism is restoring societal balance by recognizing that private enterprise is the core of a broadly successful economy, but that the ideology of supposedly-unfettered markets underpinning shareholder capitalism—abetted, in reality, by subjective public policy choices—is inefficient, destabilizing, and far from inevitable.

Concern for the broader society provides a safe space for capitalism to thrive. Altruism and enlightened self-interest are allies, not enemies. A corporation can serve multiple purposes: rewarding investors; providing secure employment and retirement; developing new products; and paying taxes to the government which makes relatively frictionless commerce possible. There are limits to what government alone can—or should—try to accomplish.

But one must appreciate that the advocates of shareholder capitalism have appropriated government in a way that distorts society by further embedding inequality.

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  • The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class.

The purpose of progressive capitalism should not be to foster endless dependence on an overweening government, but to enrich America by helping expand individual opportunity. Everyone knows that all striving occurs in a social context and all attainments are, to some extent, enabled and conditioned by contexts that are shaped by government. We should be clear-eyed about the fact that there are disadvantages of both nature and nurture which can never be remediated.

Yet progressive capitalism does not aspire to erase such disadvantages—how could it? The answer is not socialism, even in some aspirant form. Such a revolution would universalize the sclerosis of monolithic power—stultifying creativity, institutionalizing human error, and perpetuating the brain—dead insularity of a centralized economy. One principal avenue is programs which broaden opportunity by raising and spending money. Here are some societal goals congruent with progressive capitalism:.