Corporate Power: Profits Before People
Program #NADR003. Recorded in Denver, CO on September 01, 1994.
"Hats off! It was a heck of a year," trumpets Fortune magazine. "Productivity gains and relentless restructuring generated impressive profits for the Fortune 500." Sounds great, doesn't it? But there's a disturbing paradox: while corporate profits are soaring, people are getting poorer. Workers are putting in longer hours and earning less. Poverty rates and inequality are growing. And there's a new phenomenon in the economy: the temp, or what's politely called the "contingency worker." The largest employer in the U.S. today is Manpower Temporary Services, supplying companies with workers who receive no benefits and no job security. Workers used to have unions to defend their interests; increasingly, unions are marginalized. The Secretary of Labor even says, "The jury is still out on whether the trade union is necessary for the new workplace." In this program, Ralph Nader describes the contours of the emerging economic order. The power and reach of corporations have increased dramatically, while worker's wages have stagnated or declined. This is called "meeting the competitive challenge of the global marketplace." Investors love it. The value of their stock goes up. Downsizing and restructuring are the corporate mantras of the day. Many of the new jobs being created are temporary with no benefits. Interviewed by David Barsamian.
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