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[Case Histories] To determine the kind of personality that drives the corporation to behave like an externalizing machine we can analyze it like a psychiatrist would a patient. We can even formulate a diagnosis on the basis of typical case histories of harm that is inflicted on others selected from a universe of corporate activity. [Harm to workers: Layoffs] [Harm to workers: Union busting] [Harm to workers: Factory fires] [Harm to workers: Sweatshops] Well this is the office of the national labour committee here in the garment area of New York City. It's a little bit dishevelled. These are all from different campaigns. To make this stuff concrete as possible we purchased all of the products from the factories that we're talking about. This shirt sells for $14.99. And the women who made this shirt got paid $0.03. Liz Claiborne jackets made in El Salvador The jackets are $178, and the workers were paid $0.74 for every jacket they made. Alpine car stereos $0.31 an hour. It's not just sneakers. It's not just apparel. It's everything. We were in Honduras and some workers they knew what kind of work we did and they approached us and said conditions in our factory are horrible. Will you please meet with us. And we said we would. But you can't meet in the developing world you can't walk up in a factory with your notebook and workers come up and interview them. I mean there's goons there's spies the military police so you do everything in a clandestine manner. We are about to start the meeting, and in walk three guys very tough looking guys. The company had found out about our meeting and sent these spies. Obviously we didn't have the meeting. But these young girls were really bright. And as they were leaving away from the eyesight of the spies they started to put their hands underneath the table. And I put my hand under there and they put into my hand their pay stubs. So wed know who they were, what they were paid and the labels that they made in the factory so wed know who they worked for. And I took my hand after everyone had left. And in the palm of my hand was the face was of Kathy Lee Gifford. At the bottom of this, the interesting part, "A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this garment would be donated to various Children's Charities." Very touching, gets you right here. Wal-Mart is telling you if you purchase these pants and Kathy Lee is telling you if you purchase these pants you will be helping children. The problem was the people that handed us this label were 13 years of age. Do many people in your family work here? Just me. How many people do you support? Eight people. And, how do you do it with that salary. Is it enough? No. Let's look at it from a different point of view Let's look at it from a point of view of the people in Bangladesh who are starving to death. The people in China who are starving to death and the only thing that they have to offer to anybody that is worth anything is their low cost labour. And in effect what they're saying to the world is they have this big flag that says Come over and hire us. We will work for $0.10 an hour. because $0.10 an hour will buy us the rice that's wanted not to starve. And come and rescue us from our circumstance. And so when Nike comes in they are regarded by everybody in the community as an enormous godsend. Hey wait! You are not permitted to be here! The door was wide open. No no no no no. That's my clothes. Those are my clothes. This is not your clothes. Why your camera!? Don't touch the woman. Why!? This is a private company. Without permission how can you come here? Yes well the door was wide open, and... The doors was wide open for employees not for you. We went through the garbage dump in the Dominican Republic. We always do this kind of stuff we dig around. One day we found a big pile of Nikes internal pricing documents. Nike assigns a time frame to each operation. They don't talk about minutes. They break the timeframe into ten thousandths of a second. You get to the bottom of all 22 operations; they give the workers 6.6 minutes to make the shirt. It's $0.70 an hour in the Dominican Republic. That's 6.6 minutes equals $0.08. These are Nikes documents. That means the wages come to three tenths of one percent of the retail price. This is the reality. It's the science of exploitation. [Personality Diagnostic Checklist World Health Organization Manual of Mental Disorders] [Callous unconcern for the feelings of others] What happens in the areas where these corporations go in and are successful? They soon find that they can't do anymore in that country because the wages are too high now. And what's that another way of saying, well the people are no longer desperate. So okay we've used up all the desperate people there they're all plump and healthy and wealthy. Let's move on to the next desperate lot and employ them and raise their level up. [Incapacity of maintain enduring relationships] Well the whole idea of the export processing zone is that it will be the first step towards this wonderful new development, through the investment that's attracted to these countries there will be a trickle down effect into the communities. But because so many countries are now in the game of creating these free trade enclaves they have to keep providing more and more incentives for companies to come to their little denationalized pocket. And the tax holidays get longer. So the workers rarely make enough money to buy three meals a day, let alone feed their local economy. [Harm to human health: Dangerous products] [Harm to human health: Toxic waste] [Harm to human health: Pollution] [Harm to human health: Synthetic chemicals] Something happened in 1940, which marked the beginning of a new era. The era of the ability to synthesize and create, on an unlimited scale, new chemicals, that had never existed before in the world. And using the magic of research, oil companies compete with each other in taking the petroleum molecule apart and rearranging it into... well, you name it. So suddenly it became possible to produce any new chemical, synthetic chemicals, the likes of which had never existed before in the world for any purpose and at virtually no cost. Fabrics, toot brushes, tires, insecticides, cosmetics, weed killers. A whole galaxy of things to make a better life on earth. For instance if you wanted to go to a chemist and say look I want to have a chemical say a pesticide which will persist throughout the food chain and I don't want to have to renew it very very often I'd like it to be relatively non-destructible and then he'd put two benzene molecules on the blackboard and add a chlorine here and a chlorine there, that was DDT! When the eighth army needed Jap civilians to help them out in our occupation they called on native doctors to administer DDT under the supervision of our men to stand a potential typhus epidemic. Dusting like this goes a long way in checking disease and the laughs on them. "Pardon our dust" As the petrochemical era grew and grew warning signs emerged that some of these chemicals could pose hazards. The data initially were trivial, anecdotal, but gradually a body of data started accumulating to the extent that we now know that the synthetic chemicals which have permeated our workplace, our consumer products, our air, our water, produced cancer and also birth defects and some other toxic effects. [Exposed to DuPont Co.'s fungicide...] [... their son was born without eyes ... ] Furthermore industry has known about this at least most industries have known about this and have attempted to trivialize these risks. [Reckless disregard for the safey of others] If I take a gun and shoot you that's criminal. If I expose you to some chemicals which knowingly are going to kill you what difference is there? The difference is that it takes longer to kill you. We are now in the midst of a major cancer epidemic and I have no doubt, and I have documented, the basis for this that industry is largely responsible for this overwhelming epidemic of cancer in which one in every two men get cancer in their lifetimes and one in every three women get cancer in her lifetimes. [Harm to animals: Habital destruction] [Harm to animals: Factory farming] [Harm to animals: Experimentation] [...: rBGHT/rBST/Posilac] Towards the end of 1989 a great box of documents arrived at my office without any indication where they came from. And I opened them and found in it a complete set of Monsanto files dealing with toxicological testing of cows who'd been given rBGH. BST trade name Posilac is being used in more than a quarter of the dairy herds in the United States according to Monsanto. The milk is being drunk by a large portion of the American population since the food and drug administration declared it safe for both cows and humans... And at that time Monsanto was saying: there's no evidence whatsoever of any adverse affects, we don't use antibiotics. And this clearly showed that they had lied through their teeth. [Deceitfulness: repeated lying and conning others for profit] The files described areas of chronic inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen, also reproductive effects, also a whole series of other problems. ... the most comprehensive independent assessment of the drug concludes that BST results in un necessary pain suffering and distress for the cows. This is not acceptable for a drug designed simply to increase milk production... It is a silly product. The industrial world is a wash in milk. We're over producing milk. We actually have governments around the world who pay farmers not to produce milk. So the first product Monsanto comes up with is a product that produces more of what we don't need. Of course you'll want to inject Posilac in every eligible cow as each cow is not treated is a lost income opportunity. But the problem was that use of the artificial hormone caused all kinds of problems for the cows. It caused something called mastitis which is a very painful infection of the udders. When you milk the cow if the cow has bad mastitis, some of the and I don't know how to say this in a, you know, I hope people aren't watching at dinnertime, but the pus from the infection of the udders ends up in the milk. And the somatic cell count they call it the bacteria count inside your milk goes up. There's a cost to the cows. The cows get sicker when they're injected with rBGH. They're injected with antibiotics. We know that people are consuming antibiotics through their food and we know that that's contributing to antibiotic resistant bacteria and diseases. And we know we're at a crisis when somebody can go into a hospital and get a staff infection and it can't be cured and they die. That's a crisis. Bad for the cow, bad for the farmer, bad potentially for the consumer. The jury is out, we see a lot of conflicting evidence about potential health risk. And of course as a consumer my belief is, whyshould I take any risk? Factory farm cows have not been the only victims of Monsanto products. Large areas of Vietnam were deforested by the us military using Monsanto's Agent Orange. The toxic herbicide reportedly caused over 50,000 birth defects and hundreds of thousands of cancers in Vietnamese civilians and soldiers and in former American troops serving in South East Asia. Unlike the Vietnamese victims U. S. Vietnam war veterans exposed to Agent Orange were able to sue Monsanto for causing their illnesses. Monsanto settled out of court paying $80 million in damages. But it never admitted guilt. [Incapacity to experience guilt] [Harm to biosphere: Clearcuts] [Harm to biosphere: CO2 emission] [Harm to biosphere: Nuclear waste] [Harm to biosphere: Corporate paradigm] Sleeping in a motel in Brewer Maine one night I woke up with terrible hay fever and my eyes were burning. And I looked out at the river and there were great mounds of white foam going right down the river. And the next morning I got up, and I said, My God what was that happening last night He said "Oh that's just the river". And I said "what do you mean?" He said "Well, look, every night the paper company sends the stuff down the river." And I said "What are you talking about?" And he said "Don't you understand?" "That how we get rid of the effluent from the paper mills." Well I knew at that time I had been in the business. I had sold oil to the paper mills. I knew all the owners. I had been in politics. I knew the people in the towns. I knew not one constituent of the paper mills wanted to have the river polluted. And yet here the river was being polluted. And it was more or less as if we created a doom machine. In our search for wealth and for prosperity we created something that's going to destroy us. The traders who are involved in the market are not guys who are whose moral fibre when it comes to environmental conditions are going to be rattled at all. They're just seeing dollars and they're making money. Brokers don't stay away from copper because it violates their religious beliefs or your environmental policies. No. There are times when you think about it but it's fleeting. It really is a fleeting moment. It's like, yeah oh yeah yeah, well, a town is being polluted down there in Peru, but hey, this guy needs to buy some copper. I'm getting paid a commission too. Our information that we receive does not include anything about the environmental conditions, because until the environmental conditions become a commodity themselves or are being traded then obviously we will not have anything to do with that. It doesn't come into our psyche at all. It's so far away and it's you hardly hear anything about it, I mean, keep in mind there are things going on right in our backyards for god sake. We trade live hogs. I mean there are so many pigs in the state of Carolina and they're polluting the rivers but how often do you find out about that? [Noth Caroline finas 5 major hog farms ... for waste storage problems.] At Multinational Monitor we've put together a list of the top corporate criminals of the 1990s. We went back and looked at all the criminal fines that corporations had paid in the decade. Exxon pled guilty in connection to federal criminal charges with the Valdez spill and paid $125 million in criminal fines. General Electric was guilty of defrauding the federal government and paid $9.5 million in criminal fines. Chevron was guilty of environmental violations and paid $6.5 million in fines. Mitsubishi was guilty of anti-trust violations and paid $1.8 million in fines. IBM was guilty of illegal exports and paid... Eastman Kodak was guilty of environmental violations. Pfizer the drug manufacturer was guilty of antitrust violations... Odwalla was guilty of food and drug regulatory violations. Sears was guilty of... Damon Clinical Laboratories was guilty of... Blue Cross Blue Shield was guilty of... [Faliure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviours] Again and again we have the problem that whether you obey the law or not is a matter whether its cost effective. If the chance of getting caught and the penalties are less than it costs to comply people think of it as just a business decision. Drawing the metaphor of the early attempts to fly. The man going off of a very high cliff in his airplane with the wings flapping and the guys flapping the wings and the wind is in his face and this poor fool think she's flying but in fact he's in freefall and he just doesn't know it yet because the ground is so far away but of course the craft is doomed to crash. That's the way our civilization is the very high cliff represents the virtually united resources we seem to have when we began this journey. The craft isn't flying because it's not built according to the laws of aerodynamics and is subject to the law of gravity. Civilization is not flying because it's not built according to the laws of aerodynamics for civilizations that would fly. And of course the ground is still a long way away but some people have seen that ground rushing up sooner than the rest of us have. The visionaries have seen it and have told us its coming. There's not a single scientific peer reviewed paper published in the last 25 years that would contradict this scenario. Every living system of earth is in decline every life support system of earth is in decline and these together constitute the biosphere the biosphere that supports and nurtures all of life not just our life but perhaps 30 million other species that share this planet with us. The typical company of the 20th century extractive, wasteful, abusive, linear in all of its processes taking from the earth making wasting sending its products back to the biosphere waste to a landfill... I myself was amazed to learn just how much stuff the earth has to produce through our extraction process to produce a dollar of revenue for our company. When I learnt I was flabbergasted. We are leaving a terrible legacy of poison and diminishment of the environment for our grandchildren's grandchildren generations not yet born. Some people have called that intergeneration tyranny a form of taxation without representation levied by us on generations yet to be. It's the wrong thing to do.

Video Details

Duration: 22 minutes and 53 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 332
Posted by: rafaelmatheus on May 30, 2010

Case histories can be used to diagnose the kind of personality that makes the corporation
an externality-creating machine. Externalities such as harm to employees through the use
of sweatshops: the exploitation of Third World countries' employees resulting in a huge
discrepancy of price versus cost. Other externalities such as pollution and adverse health
effects emerge. These include the genesis of the petrochemical industry and links to
cancer, birth defects and other toxic effects. Another externality is harm to the biosphere
or the environmental costs resulting from the way corporations operate, costs that will be
passed off to future generations. Have we created a doom machine?

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