The Corporatization of Everything: “The Corporation” (YouTube); “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (NetFlix); “Inside Job” (watchdocumentaries.com); “OutFoxed” (Vimeo)
1) Based on the three films for this week, discuss the extent to which some large corporations, particularly publicly traded corporations, have changed their focus from providing a service to the public to focusing on profit maximization. Review the intro part of “The Corporation” to note the changes in law — particularly the change from the formerly required corporate charters which required the work of incorporated entities to be beneficial to the public, to the change via Court decisions which established each corporation as an individual “person”. As a result of that and other changes that you learn about in “The Corporation” and the other two docs, how has the power of large corporations been enhanced? Site specific examples from “Enron” and “OutFoxed”.
Corporations and media ”These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America” http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
2. Below is a link to an example of a more recent Court decision that relates to the rights that corporations have established through the court system, commonly referred to as “Citizens United”. Read the summary and write a synopsis of what rights (which had previously been viewed as those of individual citizens of the United States) are stated as belonging to the corporate “person”. This is not a long reading. When reading this page, focus on the sections “It’s a Supreme Court Case”, “The Court majority”, “The Court minority”, “Initial Public Response”, and “Effects of Citizens United”. Keep in mind that the small number of actual human decision-makers at a large corporation already have all these rights, as individuals. What’s your opinion on this issue? Try to make reference to at least one of this week’s films to substantiate on or more of your points.
If you are not familiar with the film review style, summarize what happens in the film, and be sure to write as though you are writing to someone who has not seen the film. Then give your opinion on the effectiveness of the film in terms of whether you found the way the filmmakers told the story compelling. Include your opinion on the issue, regarding what you think should be done about it.