Facts & Statistics About Corporations

compiled by George Draffan
© Public Information Network, PO Box 95316, Seattle WA 98145-2316

Footnoted version is available by e-mail request


Ten percent of the U.S. population owns 81.8 percent of the real estate, 81.2 percent of the stock, and 88 percent of the bonds.


A few varieties of corporate crime:


The various forms of corporate crimes affect competitors: Espionage, arson, patent copying, bribery and corruption to influence those in new or expanding markets, such as government officials in developing economies; price-fixing to squeeze out new competitors or to rationalize competition; mergers or takeovers on violation of anti-monopoly legislation; governments: Tax evasion or avoidance; illegal campaign funds to politicians; bribing state officials in return for lucrative employment; fraudulent information to prevent, influence, or repeal legislation; exporting illegal behavior to another state where it is not illegal; fraudulent billing of governments; employees: Paying less than the minimum wage; non-recognition or harassment of trade unions; refusal to make work conditions safe; consumers: Fraudulent advertising, misleading sales behavior; false labeling of products; manufacture or distribution of dangerous products; selling goods at inflated prices; the public: Pollution of air and land; depletion of scarce resources; increased tax bill because of corporate tax avoidance schemes; bribery and corruption to undermine the democratic process.


[Ford] had known that the fuel tank on its subcompact was defectively designed and had consciously decided to proceed with production in spite of the potential hazards. The decision, the grand jury found, was predicated on a cost-benefit analysis. Officials at Ford allegedly predicted the number of severe burn injuries and deaths that would result from the defect, and estimated that the cost of repairing the car would exceed anticipated court settlements.


"El Paso - 200 children - $5 to $10,000 per kid."

-- Handwritten notes of Gulf Resources vice president Frank Woodruff, calculating Gulf's liability for poisoning 500 children with lead from its Bunker Hill smelter in Kellogg, Idaho; Gulf concluded it was cheaper to poison the children than to replace pollution control equipment. In 1972, when informed that most of the children in Kellogg had highly elevated levels of lead in their blood, Gulf began moving its salaried workers out of harm's way.


A U.S. Department of Justice study revealed that 80 percent of the penalties levied against corporate criminals were $5,000 or less.


In their study of the 477 largest public-owned manufacturing corporations in the U.S., the largest corporations were committed more crimes; those corporations with sales over $1 billion constituted 42 percent of the corporations in Clinard and Yeager's study, but they committed nearly three-quarters of all violations... "The oil, pharmaceutical and motor vehicle industries were the most likely to violate the law."


95 percent of Americans believe that U.S. corporations should have more than one purpose (making money). They also owe something to their workers and the communities in which they operate, and they should sometimes sacrifice some profit for the sake of making things better for their workers and communities.


The combined revenues of the 192 member corporations of the secretive Business Roundtable are about half of the total gross national product of the United States.


More than 70 percent of both political parties' contributions now come from corporations.


71 percent of Americans believe that business has gained too much power over too many aspects of American life.


72 percent of Americans believe business has benefited more than consumers from deregulation.


"Ninety-eight percent of all companies in the United States account for only about 25 percent of the business in this country; the remaining two percent account for nearly 75 percent. The top 500 industrial corporations, which represent only one-tenth of one percent of this elite two percent, control over two-thirds of the business resources, employ two-thirds of the industrial workers, account for 60 percent of the sales, and collect over 70 percent of the profits."


"The heavy electrical equipment price-fixing conspiracy alone involved theft from the American people of more money than was stolen in all of the country's robberies, burglaries, and larcenies during the years in which the price fixing occurred."


The Global 500 has 25 percent of gross world output, and the Fortune 500 has 42 percent of U.S. gross national product. The world economy grows by two to three percent per year; transnational corporations grow by 8 to 10 percent. The ten largest corporations revenues are $801 billion, more than the hundred smallest countries. One percent of the U.S. population owns sixty percent of the stock and forty percent of the total wealth.


Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes:

The 1997 federal budget according to the U.S. Government:

35 percent social security, medicare, other retirement

18 percent social programs

2 percent law enforcement & general government

9 percent physical, human, community development

22 percent military

14 percent interest payments

The 1997 federal budget according to the War Resisters League:

22 percent $286 billion current military

30 percent $377 billion past military

30 percent $381 billion human resources

12 percent $156 billion general government

6 percent $ 74 billion physical resources


When the Boeing-McDonnell Douglas merger is complete, "McBoeing" is expected to receive more than sixty percent of the Pentagon's contracts. There were 15 major military contractors in 1990, but there remain only three majors -- Hughes, Raytheon, and Northrop -- and two megamajors -- Boeing/McDonnell and Lockheed Martin.

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