Bigger and badder corporations


Globe-spanning corporations may have taken a big public-relations hit in the streets of Seattle and other cities over the past year, but it sure doesn’t seem to have slowed them down any.

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According to a new report from THE INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES, 51 of the world’s 100 largest economic entities are now corporations, not countries. Moreover, the world’s top 200 corporations account for over a quarter of the planet’s economic activity — but employ less than one percent of its workforce.

Where does all that money go? Not back to the rest of us, anyway. Forty-four of the US corporations on the list paid less than the full standard 35 percent federal corporate tax rate between 1996 and 1998 — and seven of them paid no federal taxes at all.

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  • Vince Beiser, a former Mother Jones senior editor, has reported from more than 30 countries—on troop training in Iraq, natural disasters in Haiti, and prison conditions in California.