He who knows the least obeys the best.
This is the one founding principle of the United States that they have completely dismantled over the last 150 years, because the American Revolution began as a popular uprising against the British strategy of empire of setting up private, faceless, unaccountable corporations to do the dirty work of extracting revenues from their colonies. This was the whole point behind the Boston Tea Party that today's clueless tea party activists have completely turned upside down!
In the early days of America, here's a list of obligations....besides making money that were expected of corporations:
Our Hidden History of Corporations in the United StatesCorporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
After more than a century of using their money to pick the locks of democratic government, the owners of corporate wealth have changed the laws in America to the point where artificial persons (corporations) have all the rights of real people, plus the opportunities we don't have....like being potentially immortal and growing in size through consuming smaller corporations. So now, the U.S. is in the sad state of being the fountainhead of corporate control of global political and economic policymaking. The U.S. has just assumed the role in global affairs that England had during their days of empire!
It would be starting a different topic, but the root of the problem is the capitalist system itself, because nobody working for a private company can be payed back in wages what they contribute to the company through their work. Because, as we hear so frequently around here, the owners of a business...whether large or small, have to earn profits as an incentive to stay in business or to expand their business. The difference between most economic debate from left to right is how much profit is too much profit, and whether there should be brakes applied to the capitalist system. I would go in a whole new direction and advocate replacing corporate ownership with cooperative ownership, which has succeeded in a few cases, but in an overwhelming and hostile capitalist system, establishing coops...even in the cases of failed corporations is extremely difficult.
Research | The Equality Trust
I would argue that based on books I'm reading of late on anthropological studies of simple hunter/gatherers, that the core reasons why increasing inequality correlates with so many different kinds of damaging effects to a society, as first presented in the works of epidemiologists - Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, is that we spent at least 200,000 years of the history of modern human race living in small family groups that stressed sharing and status-leveling. And then we transitioned less than 10,000 years ago to a new type of life where people could settle permanently, gather personal possession, and set up rigid status hierarchies....and we still haven't adapted to this system that most people have come to regard as natural or inevitable. So, what's wrong with trying to reclaim at least part of the ethos of our ancestors engage in some status leveling today? We have certainly gone farther than we ever should have in the other direction, and survival of future generations will depend on learning new ways of living!