October 30, 2010
"New Governance" or New Levels of Corruption?
In 2001, David Korten released the second edition of his provocative book, "When Corporations Rule the World." If he decides to update this edition, he may want to include the following NPR items:
When you walk into the offices of the American Legislative Exchange Council, it's hard to imagine it is the birthplace of a thousand pieces of legislation introduced in statehouses across the county. . . . The real authors are the group's members — a mix of state legislators and some of the biggest corporations in the country.
Last year, two men showed up in Benson, Ariz. … offering a deal … a prison for women and children who were illegal immigrants. . . . [H]ow would they possibly keep a prison full for years — decades even — with illegal immigrants? [The] prison companies … had a plan — a new business model to lock up illegal immigrants. And the plan became Arizona's immigration law.
Perhaps relatedly, Korten might also want to include a recent study by Transparency International concluding that the U.S. has dropped out of the top 20 countries in terms of battling corruption.
I have some additional thoughts on these issues in my latest published article: Finding State Action When Corporations Govern.