Weekend Voices 6/07/08

Host: Ann Luther, Co-president, League of Women Voters of Maine

Producer: Marge May

Topic: Democracy Forum—Corporations and Democracy

What is a corporation, and how did it become the dominant form of business organization?
What is the history of the relationship between corporations and government?  Did corporations always have both economic and political power?   How did corporations come to have some of the same political rights as people? What do you see as the problems with that relationship?  Give some examples of how corporations have influenced public policy.  Is democracy as a system of government adversely impacted by the current relationship?  How would you change things?  Why would these changes work?  How would we get from where we are to where you would like to be?  Can a regulatory regime be sufficient?

Guests:

Robert A. G. Monks is a prominent Maine citizen with a long and illustrious career in business, law, and government service.  His most recent book is Corpocracy: How CEOs and the Business Roundtable Hijacked the World’s Greatest Wealth Machine — And How to Get It Back.  You can read more about his background at the web site for Lens Governance Advisors, which is the law firm Mr. Monks created to continue his work in holding corporate management accountable to ownership and in improving shareholder value through increasing shareholder involvement: www.lens-inc.com.
Ruth Caplan is the author of the 1990 book, Our Earth, Ourselves, and she is a founding co-chair of the Alliance for Democracy and current co-chair of the Alliance’s Corporate Globalization/Positive Alternatives campaign.  She has been working since the early-nineties, in collaboration with other writers and activists, on a plan for an alternative economic system that is socially equitable and environmentally sustainable.  You can read more about the Alliance for Democracy at their web site: www.thealliancefordemocracy.org.

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