How to Get Back at Evil Corporations

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Image by Tim RT on Flickr

Many on the left defend their support for big government and high taxes by saying that as long as the government is helping society as a whole, they have no problem with it. This position is often used to imply that those that do not hold this belief are heartless, and just plain do not care about helping those who are less fortunate.

While pushing for more government programs and more laws, liberals speak of evil corporations and corrupt businessmen. There is no doubt there are evil people in this world, and that power does corrupt individuals. There certainly are a lot of people out there always trying to get ahead by stepping on others’ rights and by breaking the rules.

My question is this: If businessmen can be corrupt, can not a government official? I mean, we are all people after all. Businessmen are not a different type of species. People, in general, can be evil. Why are liberals not as concerned about the corruption that can erupt from giving those in government, more power? Powerful corporations are bad, but not powerful government officials?

Yes, we want to help society, but giving the government more power and more money just does not work. Corporations are often able to avert punishment because the government has the power to help them stay in business. Often, laws are passed that hurt the smaller competitors of the big corporations, who lobby for regulations they know smaller companies will not be able to comply with. Giving the government more power is giving corporations more power.

Take away the power from the government, and corporations will have to either succeed or fail based solely on how happy they make their customers. Take away the power from the government and you empower the consumer, who will be free to boycott any corporation whose behavior he does not agree with. The government on the other hand, cannot be boycotted. Take away the power from the government and a lot of the big corporations may not be as big anymore, as others would be more free to compete.

“But greed is bad isn’t it? Those greedy businessmen cannot be left alone.” But isn’t “greed” what drives corporations to grow and create more jobs? We all have goals and wish to better our lives. Most of us wish we had more money. Are we all greedy because of that? If the owners of corporations were perfectly happy with how much money they were making and with the success of their company and did not wish to make more money, how then would more jobs be created? If corporations did not feel the need (or “greed”) to grow, where will the new innovative products, and jobs come from?

Allow the corporations to be greedy, and take away their partner in crime–the government–and you will see those who misbehave because of their greed, go out of business because consumers will flock to their competitors. And if they are able to stay in business but you still dislike them for whatever reason, so what? As long as you are not being forced to give those evil corporations more money, it should not matter to you that others are willingly doing so. The free market is all about voluntary actions. You do not have to support any business you do not like.

Do you want to help those less fortunate? Allow products to become cheaper through competition, as TVs, computers and cell phones have. Do you want to give corruptible individuals more power? Then by all means, continue to help corporations by supporting big government and higher taxes. At least you will feel good that you tried to help by creating laws that do not work.

Precisely because power does corrupt, it needs to be diluted, not concentrated in a select group. Spread the power amongst the people, and you will see lower prices in all areas, which will decrease the number of individuals unable to afford certain services; and those still in need of help will get it, through voluntary actions.

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