America's corporate entities appear to be overwhelming our civic ones.
What has talking about abstract Metabusiness instead of real businesses done for America's non-politicians?
Well, it has certainly gotten us enthusiastic about an agenda of replacing what we perceive as bloat-ridden, inept government with a purported paragon of efficiency under private ownership. But before we become over-sold on this prospect, we would do well to step back and ask ourselves a question or two:
Is a vast corporate bureaucracy that much better than a vast government bureaucracy?
Is it really that government power has grown to such unbearable proportions in the past few years? Or is it more a matter of expanding corporate power sensing opportunities to finally get government out of its hair?
Is today's more dominant social power actually governmental, or corporate?
It's worth noting that the current climate of Washington-bashing occurs at a time when the federal government seems to be the last remaining entity capable of resisting certain of Corporate America's wishes.
People who have spent time around city or state planning and economic development organizations know that state and local governments long ago found themselves overmatched by corporate power. As industry after industry has come to be dominated by fewer, more powerful, and more nomadic players, state and local entities in quest of a tax base, jobs, and even simple amenities like shopping have been reduced to falling all over themselves in competition with one another to offer the most enticing packages of free land, tax breaks, and other incentives.
Today, as U.S.-based companies "consolidate" still farther, while at the same time transferring more and more production and jobs overseas, are they putting the federal government in a similar position?
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.