There are many ways to describe how corporations function in our society. Let’s consider three possible descriptions.
1. Conservative Rhetoric:
The best way to increase wealth in our society is through free market capitalism.
The corporation is the best way to concentrate capital and focus it on the task of providing consumer goods and services.
The corporation’s actions are governed by its shareholders, who elect a board of directors to keep its management honest. No corporation, therefore, would do anything contrary to the interests of its shareholders.
The corporation’s products are controlled by its consumers, who vote with their dollars for its products or those of a competitor. No corporation, therefore, would do anything contrary to the interests of its customers.
The corporation must be a good employer or its employees will find a better job and leave, thus “voting” for the best employer. No corporation, therefore, would do anything contrary to the interests of it employees.
The corporation communicates with its customers by advertising its products in print and through electronic media. This corporate speech benefits customers by making them aware of useful products which will satisfy their pre-existing needs.
If the government interferes in any way with the free actions of corporations, shareholders, consumers, employees, and advertisers, then the corporate system of checks and balances is sabotaged. Corporate management is forced to satisfy government bureaucrats instead of corporate shareholders,customers, and employees.
2. Corporate Propaganda: Advertising
Neither the Nazis nor the Soviets have ever produced such scientifically designed and dramatically effective as have global corporations. Of course, dictatorships have the option of imprisoning or killing those who disagree with them. Ford does not have the option of sending corporate employees out to beat up the owners of Chevrolets and rape their wives. Instead of raping their customers, corporations have to seduce them. Advertising.
The right brand of workout clothing gives you supernatural powers.
Selling “Cool,” not computers
Buy Midas Jones’ Book!!!!! It might change your whole life for the better ... or it might not! No Refunds!
A carbonated beverage makes you happy.
This is the kind of man who drinks Red Bull. Want to be like him? Drink Red Bull!
Blue Jeans Make Weak Women STRONG!
3. The Things Corporations Do
“Imagine a CEO of a modern multinational corporation with $100 million to invest. She can choose to invest the money in decreasing the cost of producing the product, or she can invest the money in changing the laws to decrease the corporate tax rate. The first involves changing the production line, switching some materials, and a slight product innovation; the second involves a combination of campaign contributions, direct lobbying, media strategy, and coauthored white papers. Most estimates suggest the first strategy provides a 5 percent return on investment, while the second strategy provides a 50 percent return on investment. The first strategy does not hurt the public at large; the second strategy decreases essential tax revenue for schools. The first strategy involves no corruption. The second strategy is corrupt. We would expect the CEO to engage in the second strategy. The selfish exercise of public power ‘public corruption’ is an essential part of the job.”
“The World Bank estimates that rich multinational corporations pay hundreds of billions of dollars in bribes every year to officials overseas. The perpetrators are not a handful of rogue companies, but many members of the Fortune 500. Kickback is a sweeping, global investigation into corporate bribery around the world and how backdoor financial transactions undermine democracy and the free market system by lining the pockets of some of the world's worst dictators and criminals.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38650329-kickback
Above: Textile dye being dumped
Above: Ad for a clothing company
Advertisers know that the earlier kids learn about a brand, the more likely they'll be to buy the product later (or beg their parents to buy it). Marketing to preschoolers mostly entails commercials on television (or streaming services), since television is still the dominant medium for young children.As for preteens, advertisers spend many billions of dollars per year making sure their products get in front of their eyes, and they have more places to capture their attention: television, the Internet, games, movies, apps -- you name it. Advertisers also know that kids greatly influence their parents' buying decisions, to the tune of $500 billion per year. The most significant aspect of marketing to preteens, though, is that now they can talk back. Although companies are limited in the data they can collect from kids under 13, they can still gain insights into their behavior and preferences.