We're still in the middle of an economic episode that has devastated the economy, devastated the lives of millions-- an episode in large part caused by corporations that are too big to fail.
This episode comes on the heels of an era, set in motion by Bill Clinton's betrayal of American workers when he signed the US up for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and NAFTA, for starters. Those deals led to the destruction of numerous solid US industries and has hastened the USA's fall into horrific debt.
In the real world, biological limitations prevent bigness from getting out of control. Sure, whales are big, but humans can't grow too big or they die young, if they survive at all, whether we're talking about gigantism or profound obesity.
Corporate gigantism is also deadly-- but for humans, not for corporations. Giant corporations, it is argued, operate with efficiencies of scale that justify their existence.
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But giant corporations tend to be, because of human leadership failures and because of laws that let them, particularly toxic to humans. How are they toxic? They kill good jobs. They fight unions which support human rights and fairness. They pollute. They export jobs to where slave labor is allowed. They corrupt the political system. They block the enactment of regulations and regulatory systems that protect humans, families and communities.
Big corporations also destroy cultures-- look at logging companies and dam builders-- how they will gladly destroy a forest where an indigenous tribe lives and has lived for generations.
Even some small businesses do these things. They have inordinate power in small towns.
It is time to declare war on big.
Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation to idenitify and break up the too big to fail financial organizations. This approach should be taken to ALL giant corporations. Laws should be passed that make it unattractive for corporations to get so big.
Research should be funded that identifies new ways and models that support the robust strength of small businesses-- where most jobs an innovation come from. There must be ways to help small businesses coordinate together that provides the benefits of bigness without the destructiveness of mega-corporations.
E. Schumacher wrote a book years ago,Small Is Beautiful. Wikipedia summarizes his idea,
"opposed the neo-classical economics by declaring that single-minded concentration on output and technology was dehumanizing. He held that one's workplace should be dignified and meaningful first, efficient second, and that nature (and the world's natural resources) is priceless."Well, big is an ugly blight and it's time we, from the bottom up, broke up the biggest organizations. That doesn't just apply to business either. The military is too big. Intelligence agencies are too big. The biggest religions are too big.
There's a major movement towards re-localization, doing, making and sourcing things locally. This is the direction we need to go. To make the move from big to small possible, we need a movement that supports legislation-- a giant movement made up of millions of people who make things happen from the bottom up.
I've just started a new website,smallacts.org, that is based on the idea that small acts can make a huge difference. Every day millions of Davids take on Goliaths with small acts that they have no idea will make a big difference. I'm hoping people post the small acts they've done or that they've received or that they know about.
Howard Zinn said, "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."