Corporate America has long been a major shaper of U.S. culture. Through product offerings, advertising campaigns, employment practices, and a large concentration of wealth, business corporations have significantly influenced the ways in which individuals think and behave. Arguably, corporations wield more power than our government and churches combined.
With such power, however, comes responsibility: the responsibility to assure equality and fairness in employment matters, the responsibility to manufacture and sell safe and reliable products, the responsibility to treat our environment with respect and care. All too often corporate America has abused these responsibilities. Cases of discrimination in the work place, of shoddy goods sold through deceptive advertising, of massive pollution of our air, water and landfills - all these are commonplace.
Over the past half century, our federal and state governments have passed numerous laws and established a host of agencies to monitor and control corporate America's behavior, as well as to provide remedies in those instances where the laws are violated. However, the interpretation of these laws is left to the administration in power, which is, in turn, influenced by issues of international competitiveness. Laws designed to control corporate behavior can thus be interpreted into oblivion. The question of these laws' effectiveness remains open for debate.
In an attempt to counteract corporations' evasion of …