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Big Business Is Even More Unpopular Than You Think”


I just found this essay (pasted in below) by Robert Weissman in the endnotes of William Greider’s book Come Home, America(2008). It contains remarkable numbers on how much we supposedly "center-right" (United States of) Americans hate (i) big corporations and (ii) the giant anti-democratic influence those great tyrannical entities exercise over and against U.S. "democracy."  The survey findings mentioned in the Weissman essay are starkly relevant in light of the seething anger you can feel across the land in the wake of the Bush-Obama bailouts of Wall Street (while homelessness spreads, official unemployment heads towards 10 percent, and real unemployment is closer to 20 percent) and as the insurance industry (more hated now than even the tobacco industry) does its devious and powerful best to strangle meaningful health reform for another decade or two…. My God but a giant anti-corporate popular rebellion is so overdue its not even half-funny folks:

 

Big Business Is Even More Unpopular Than You Think

Tuesday, January 15. 2008

Big Business Is Even More Unpopular Than You Think

 

The U.S. public holds Big Business in shockingly low regard.

 

A November 2007 Harris poll found that less than 15 percent of the population believes each of the following industries to be "generally honest and trustworthy:" tobacco companies (3 percent); oil companies (3 percent); managed care companies such as HMOs (5 percent); health insurance companies (7 percent); telephone companies (10 percent); life insurance companies (10 percent); online retailers (10 percent); pharmaceutical and drug companies (11 percent); car manufacturers (11 percent); airlines (11 percent); packaged food companies (12 percent); electric and gas utilities (15 percent). Only 32 percent of adults said they trusted the best-rated industry about which Harris surveyed, supermarkets.

 

 

These are remarkable numbers. It is very hard to get this degree of agreement about anything. By way of comparison, 79 percent of adults believe the earth revolves around the sun; 18 percent say it is the other way around.

 

The Harris results are not an aberration. The results have not varied considerably over the past five years — although overall trust levels have actually declined from the already very low threshold in 2003.

 

The Harris results are also in line with an array of polling data showing deep concern about concentrated corporate power.

 

An amazing 84 percent told Harris in a poll earlier in 2007 that big companies have too much power in Washington. By contrast, only 47 percent said that labor unions have too much power in Washington (as against 42 percent who said labor has too little power), and 18 percent who said nonprofit organizations have too much power in Washington.

 

These results have proven durable. At least 80 percent of the public has ranked big companies as having too much power in Washington since 1994. In 2000, Business Week and Harris asked a broader question: Has business gained too much power over too many aspects of American life? Seventy-four percent agreed…..

 

Full essay at http://www.multinationalmonitor.org/editorsblog/index.php?/archives/68-Big-Business-Is-Even-More-Unpopular-Than-You-Think.html

 

 

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