Review: Corporate Irresponsibility–America’s Newest Export

4 Star, Crime (Corporate)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Lawyer-Author-Reformist: Double Oxymoron Overturned,

February 27, 2002
Professor Lawrence E. Mitchell
I just realized this is the third book by a lawyer I have absorbed in this month’s reading, and that is somehow a scary thought. If lawyers are starting to write popular reformist tracts against unfettered capitalism and the export of the flawed U.S. approach to capitalism, something very interesting must be happening in the dark recesses of our national mind.This is not an easy book to read but on balance it is a very important book and one that would appear to be essential to any discussion of how we might reform the relationship between the federal government with its 1950’s concepts and regulations, corporations with their secularist and short-term profit and liquidation notions, and the people who ultimately are both the foundation and the beneficiaries (or losers) within the political economy of the nation and the world.

The author lays out, from a business law perspective, all the legal and financial reasons why our corporate practices today sacrifice the long-term perspective and the creation of aggregate value, in favor of short-term profit-taking. He makes a number of suggestions for improvement.

Toward the end of the book, citing Lipsett but adding his own observations, he digs deep and summarizes our corporate culture as one that threatens traditional forms of community and morality (Lipsett), while increasingly dominating–undermining–foreign governments and cultures. Elsewhere in the book the stunning failure of our form of capitalism in selected countries is explored.

Although there are adequate notes, there is no bibliography and the index is extraordinarily mediocre–not containing, for example, the references in the book to oversight, political, or regulation. One star is deducted for this failure by the publisher to treat the book’s content seriously.

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