Video: Why Big Business Is Good

posted at 9:06 pm on February 2, 2010 by Danny Glover

Liberals love to bash big business. They embrace class warfare and demonize corporate America whenever they want to spook the public into accepting sweeping expansions of government.

Enter the Business Roundtable, which is fighting back in a format that grabs people’s attention in this new media age — animated video. This week the group released the first in a series of short video essays that tell the story of corporate America liberals don’t want told.

“Corporations are designed to make a profit while delivering value to their shareholders,” says the introductory voiceover. “And by doing so they drive economic growth and all the good things that come with it.”

Stay tuned to the Business Roundtable’s YouTube channel for more videos, which will offer a valuable counterpoint to the anti-capitalist agenda being pushed in cutesy but deceptive animated videos like “The Story Of Stuff,” a fear-mongering series of flicks being shown in public schools.

Lee Doran of the Competitive Enterprise Institute critiqued “The Story Of Stuff” at length in a four-part video series last year, but the Business Roundtable’s production takes the defense of corporate America to the next level. It’s further evidence of a long-needed new media awakening on the right.

[Glover blogs at The Enlightened Redneck. Follow him on Twitter.]


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So simple even a liberal can get it.

LincolntheHun on February 2, 2010 at 9:13 PM

LincolntheHun on February 2, 2010 at 9:13 PM

Nothing is that simple.

Kafir on February 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Meh — don’t see the value of this.

Would much rather they explain why eeeeevil oil companies and pharma actually comprise human beings just trying to provide goods, and if you think their goods are too expensive, blame the Federal gov’t for taxing and regulating the he!! out of them.

John the Libertarian on February 2, 2010 at 9:36 PM

Corporations are designed to make a profit while delivering value to their shareholders

I don’t like this definition at all. It’s the Milton Friedman definition which is very problematic. It makes it sound like corporations are a public utility who’s duty is to make profits for the common good.

It doesn’t cover corporations who’s goal is philanthropy or promoting certain ideas.

The proper definition is that a corporation is a grouping of individuals who’s desire is to cooperate in pursuing a common goal.

That goal often does include profit, and profit is often a good measure of how well corporations do… but not always.

ebrawer on February 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Liberals paint big businesses as a classic strawman that they can rail against. In reality, anything huge carries its own set of problems – be it big business or big government. The former can claim to be “too big to fail”, and thereby siphon our tax dollars to fund speculation, while the latter can create bloated bureaucracies which, again, siphon away our tax dollars to fund its waste. I guess it is good to realize that the tendency for all organizations is to grow in size, and with size, comes its set of perils. Therefore, using anti-trust law judiciously to limit the reach of companies, as was done against AT&T, makes good sense. If only we had something similar for the government (other than elections, that is).

peter_griffin on February 2, 2010 at 9:43 PM

ebrawer on February 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Actually, if you go back to the history of these corporations, all the way back to Boston road works, you would see this definition of corporation : it is an entity created by the public for performing a given project within a given time duration, after which the said corporation will be abolished. With time, the corporations got the legal standing as individuals, and has gotten the opportunity to expand substantially.

peter_griffin on February 2, 2010 at 9:46 PM

peter_griffin on February 2, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Well, my purpose is to determine what a corporation should rationally be defined as today… But you’re right.

ebrawer on February 2, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Corporations are designed to make a profit while delivering value to their shareholders

I don’t like this definition at all. It’s the Milton Friedman definition which is very problematic. It makes it sound like corporations are a public utility who’s duty is to make profits for the common good.

It doesn’t cover corporations who’s goal is philanthropy or promoting certain ideas.

The proper definition is that a corporation is a grouping of individuals who’s desire is to cooperate in pursuing a common goal.

That goal often does include profit, and profit is often a good measure of how well corporations do… but not always.

ebrawer on February 2, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Dictionary.com offers this as a primary definition:

“A body that is granted a charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own rights, privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of its members.”

So a Corporation is only a body made up of people, which has its own identity so that it can continue to exist long after the people who originally formed it.

Its purpose is determined by the people who own stock (and the purpose usually includes ‘profit’, but not always).

So calling Corporations “Evil” is the same as calling any particular group of people “evil”. Doing so is silly and just as stupid as what the Liberals like to call “Hate speech.”

And if you don’t like what a public corporation is trying to do, you are free to buy a piece of the corporation and vote to change it: there is absolutely no need to whine.

And when government seizes a corporation and forces it to do government’s will without just compensation, government is promoting slavery.

landlines on February 2, 2010 at 10:33 PM

This must be completely dismissed because of the racist white hand. Not enough diversity.

/liberal

Grafted on February 2, 2010 at 11:05 PM

I don’t even think of it as good or evil. Is Agriculture evil? Are roads evil? Electricity?

The modern world, our generally improving way of life, our population could not be supported without them.

People whine incessantly about fiat money – not without cause. But economies simply can’t accelerate fast enough to keep up with a growing population and standard of living on a set material standard of value – unless you let that value float, in which case you basically have fiat money anyway.

Corporations are similar in function – they allow people to voluntarily leverage their efforts on larger projects in a way that somewhat self-selects for efficiency. Unlike governments, you can withdraw your effort when you want to.

In other words, in some ways a corporation is like a government until you want to leave, when it suddenly becomes better.

There’s more to it than that, but the leftist hatred of corporations is largely an issue of deliberate blindness to the rapaciousness of governments in general.

Merovign on February 2, 2010 at 11:11 PM

If only Adam Smith had had access to animated video….

Vashta.Nerada on February 2, 2010 at 11:13 PM

“The proper definition is that a corporation is a grouping of individuals who’s desire is to cooperate in pursuing a common goal.”

I thought that was the definition of good sex.

bagoh20 on February 2, 2010 at 11:24 PM

This video says nothing about why BIG business is good. Something that is quite debatable. While I’m a CEO and board member in a corporation myself, I don’t generally like BIG businesses. They tend to be cowardly, less innovative and wasteful and often corrupt. Business, like government, is better small except when absolutely necessary due to the scale of the problem, like large equipment manufacturer or warfare.

bagoh20 on February 2, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Not impressive. Where’s Zo? He’ll fix it.

heroyalwhyness on February 2, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Big business, like big government, survives because the owners (shareholders in big business and citizens in big government) get comfortable with the little bit they keep getting (profits or payouts). When we become too comfortable to take a risk for a better future then we’re finished.

j_galt on February 2, 2010 at 11:36 PM

So simple even a liberal can get it.

LincolntheHun on February 2, 2010 at 9:13 PM

You’re giving liberals way too much credit.

Daggett on February 3, 2010 at 12:51 AM

You’re giving liberals way too much credit.

Daggett on February 3, 2010 at 12:51 AM

……. which led to the housing bubble collapse.

Shy Guy on February 3, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Man, I gotta pay more attention.

Danny Glover? I KNOW it can’t be that America Hating communist actor….. But he is the only one by that name I’ve ever heard of.

OK, his blog explains it….

But Y’all really ought to warn a guy.
;-)

LegendHasIt on February 3, 2010 at 1:40 AM

……. which led to the housing bubble collapse.

Shy Guy on February 3, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Dude!

Daggett… you just walked right into that!

Chaz706 on February 3, 2010 at 4:06 AM

This is much too complicated and not interesting enough to the mouth breathers programmed by the Left. They might watch this for as long as 15 seconds before moving on. No boobies. No jiggle. No explosions.

SunSword on February 3, 2010 at 8:23 AM

Not impressive. Where’s Zo? He’ll fix it.

heroyalwhyness on February 2, 2010 at 11:33 PM

I think you’re on to something here. Zo could make it come alive. This seems sort of like a public school teaching and comes off dry. Relate the corporation to the folks and do it in a fun way.

Christian Conservative on February 3, 2010 at 8:41 AM

peter_griffin on February 2, 2010 at 9:43 PM

There are no problems with big businesses, except when they conspire with big govt.
The solution is not to give govt the power to keep businesses small, which they will always abuse.
The solution is to not let govt have the power to help businesses.

You seem to think that it is possible for govt officials to use any power “judiciously”. That’s ridiculous. A few years ago, Microsoft was attacked by a particular senator and threatened with anti-trust actions. It just so happened that a major MS competitor was headquartered in the senator’s state and was one of his major contributors.

As always, govt action has nothing to do with the public good, but rather it is used to garner attention and money for politicians and their friends.

MarkTheGreat on February 3, 2010 at 8:50 AM

This video says nothing about why BIG business is good. Something that is quite debatable. While I’m a CEO and board member in a corporation myself, I don’t generally like BIG businesses. They tend to be cowardly, less innovative and wasteful and often corrupt. Business, like government, is better small except when absolutely necessary due to the scale of the problem, like large equipment manufacturer or warfare.

bagoh20 on February 2, 2010 at 11:30 PM

And this is exactly why there is no need for govt to control big businesses. They are their own worst enemy.

MarkTheGreat on February 3, 2010 at 8:53 AM

How far we\’ve come…how sad it is…that we have to reduce capitalism -a core bedrock principle of this country\’s greatness…into a 3 minute cartoon clip just to convince the idiot masses into seeing its value and benefit. Don\’t get me wrong…more stuff like this is needed. I\’m just disappointed that it is needed at all…

CapitalistPig on February 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Doing so is silly and just as stupid as what the Liberals like to call “Hate speech.”

landlines on February 2, 2010 at 10:33 PM

Liberals consider all speech against them to be hate speech. Saying tax increases hurt the economy would be hate speech to a liberal, and thus silly, according to your analogy.

But I agree with your point otherwise.

hawksruleva on February 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Wait a minute here.

Nowhere in there is there any source of income for the corporations outside of “investors” or “owners”. That circle-jerk is, indeed, the way corporations seem to try to work these days. But without the concept that the corporation makes something of value or performs a service of value to consumers who in return pay the corporation some money, income, there is no increased value to the stockholders or anybody else.

{^_^}

herself on February 3, 2010 at 9:27 AM

MarkTheGreat on February 3, 2010 at 8:50AM

Actually, I never said that the government officials always use their power judiciously. Just like big bank CEO\’s who sometimes take actions merely to stay in power, so will a politician make decisions solely for personal greed. The difference between you and me is that : I do not think the big corporation CEO is in any way better big government political leader. While we had leaders like Rockefeller and Churchill, we also had folks like Dick Fuld and Jimmy Carter.

There is one good book for folks interested in corporate America : \”Good to Great\” by Jim Collins : it is an amazing study of the top 11 companies in the Fortune 500 that withstood the test of time and provided excellent shareholder value. Some of the test cases deal with the worst kind of leaders (the ones I criticize), while some deal with what it takes to be the best leaders (Category 5 leaders). The book observes the *exact* same category 5 qualities in politics, military, and business. I will let you draw your own conclusions.

peter_griffin on February 3, 2010 at 11:44 AM