Updated: April 25, 2010 18:39 IST

Nexus between corporates and government

D. Murali
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The corporation and the government have an intimate relationship, as interconnected as light and shadow, writes John Major Jenkins in ‘The 2012 Story’ ( “One tells you to open your pocket, while other picks it. Government, which in a democracy is supposed to represent the people’s interest, is getting fat by charging the people interest.”

Equally shocking it can be to read that ‘workplaces, in fact, often serve as the stages on which we unconsciously try to work out deep-set personal issues and problems.’ The hierarchical structure of companies allows and reinforces dysfunctional tendency, as the corporate environment encourages and offers status, power, control, and advancement within the constantly shifting possibilities of the modern work world, the author rues.

“Typical Pavlovian strategies of reward-stimulation-gratification are routinely employed by the upper management, confusingly combined with poorly concealed favouritism and nepotism. The end result is a type of employee-employer relationship that is untrusting and codependent.”

Expenses externalised

For the corporation, an employee’s needs are costly, Jenkins observes. “They are on the ‘expenses’ side of the profit equation, and it’s a cost that many corporations have learned how to externalise. Wal-Mart, for example, grew fatter by encouraging its employees to apply for Medicaid rather than providing a decent health programme.”

Then, who takes care of the ‘projected garbage,’ the externalised costs? “In practice, a whole spectrum of targets have been used – entire groups of people, Third World countries, minorities, and so on – but there is one well-known entity that has become the primary codependent partner for corporations. That is government,” explains the author.

Through their huge lobby efforts, corporations coerce government policymakers into legislating tax breaks, loosening environmental laws, and creating other benefits so that profits can be maximised and costs can be covered by someone else, he adds.

“This externalising technique requires an intimate connection between corporations and the government. In what is known as corporate welfare, government covertly arranges for someone else to cover the externalised cost of big business. That someone else is, ultimately, you, the taxpayer.”

Sobering messages.


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