And That Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. be Selected to Model New Democratic Corporate Governance
The standard of living for most Americans has declined sharply in the last decade. Thirty percent of American employees make poverty-level wages. Income has declined for three out of five Americans.
However, "the wealthiest one (1) percent have doubled their share of national household wealth, from 20 percent to close to 40 percent,"
Unprecedented corporate fraud, corporate bankruptcies, and stock market manipulation are a major issues in Election 2004.
The underlying illness of corporate America is "shareholder primacy: the corporate drive to make profits for shareholders, no matter who pays the cost,"
This "drive for short-term gain and growth has not improved the world, it has impoverished the world,"
Shareholder primacy is entitlement and entitlement has no place in a market economy. It is a form of privilege gained at the expense of employees and the community. This privilege is a remnant of the feudal, aristocratic past. "Stockholders claim wealth they do little to create, much as nobles claimed privileges they did not earn,"
Property rights are essential to liberty, and corporate control of the means of livelihood takes away the liberty of the American people.
As multinational corporations concentrate power and wealth they "monopolize national and global markets and begin to exert influence on governance of nations." Federal, state, and local governments are being overpowered by corporations.
"The corporation is a human community, and like the larger community of which it is a part, it is best governed democratically,"
Originally corporations were largely administered by state governments. Then in 1886 The Supreme Court declared the corporation a natural person, subject to protection under the Constitution. But "in keeping with equal treatment of persons before the law . . . corporations may not claim the rights of persons,"
The "one" is of equal importance to the "many." Citizens "have the right to determine whether the intended public purpose of a corporation is being served and to establish legal processes to amend or withdraw a corporate charter at any time,"
We must go back to the rationalism and the logic of Adam Smith’s model of a market economy.
Our greatest priority today must be "to bring economic activities once more under democratic control." We can "create genuine market democracy and unfetter the genius of the market economy,"
In truth, democratizing the economy will establish a "new economic order that respects the working of the market while reclaiming its gifts for the many rather than for the few. . . . while leaving the institutions themselves substantially intact, and healthier,"
Kelly has defined "Six Principles of Economic Democracy." We need "a new model of the corporation as human community — with both external and internal constituents to whom it must be accountable,"
"Real power means legal power. . . . We must ultimately change the fundamental governing framework for all corporations in law. . . ."
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is the most powerful corporation in America, the 25th largest economy in the world, and has effectively monopolizing retailing nationally and globally. Competition is being weakened at the core. Wal-Mart has become a law unto itself and a nation unto itself.
Informed American people perceive Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as out of control and a threat to liberty. It is a key player in bringing a declining standard of living, a Third World economy, to the US. And it is the No. 1 target of organized labor at this time.