Corporate Irresponsibility: America's Newest Export

Corporate Irresponsibility: America's Newest Export

by Lawrence E. Mitchell
Pub. Date:
Yale University Press
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Corporate Irresponsibility: America's Newest Export

Corporations are often so focused on making short-term profits for their stockholders that they behave in ways that adversely affect their employees, the environment, consumers, American politics, and even the long-term well-being of the corporation, says Lawrence Mitchell in this provocative book. This is a significant issue not only in the United States but also in the world, for many countries are beginning to emulate the American model of corporate governance. Mitchell criticizes this emphasis on profit maximization and the corporate legal structure that encourages it, and he offers concrete proposals to bring about more socially responsible corporate behavior.

Mitchell declares that managers should be freed from the legal and structural constraints that make it difficult for them to exercise ordinary moral judgment and be held accountable for their actions. He suggests, for example, that earnings reports be required annually rather than quarterly, that the capital gains tax be increased on stocks held for fewer than thirty days, and that elections of corporate boards of directors be held every five years rather than every year. Mitchell places the problem of corporate irresponsibility within the broader context of American life and demonstrates the extent to which contemporary corporate behavior represents a corruption of our cherished liberal values of personal freedom and individuality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300090239
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 12/28/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Part I.Groundwork: The Philosophy of the American Corporation
1.American Liberalism and the Fundamental Flaw--The Foundation of the Corporate Problem19
2.The Perfect Externalizing Machine49
3.Corporate Psychology 101, or All the Corporate World's a Stage: The Constraints of Role Integrity66
4.Is Wealth a Value?84
Part II.Structural Traps in the Name of the Law
5.Corporate Managers: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?97
6.Traditional Stockholders: The Night of the Living Dead135
7.The New Stockholder: King Kong with a Quotron165
8.Abandoning the Stockholders185
9.The Dilbert Society? America's Corporate Workers208
Part III.Americans Abroad
10.Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy253
11.America Right and Wrong: Growing U.S. Economic Imperialism262

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