CORPORATE CRIME AND VIOLENCE: Big Business Power and the Abuse of the Public Trust by Russell Mokhiber

CORPORATE CRIME AND VIOLENCE: Big Business Power and the Abuse of the Public Trust

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Professional anti-business muckraker Mokhiber has written a disturbing, at times infuriatingly unfair study of corporate ""crime."" Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, asserts that ""corporate activities . . .have inflicted far more damage by far upon the human community than the crimes committed by human beings roaming the streets."" Among the crimes he cites are price-fixing, misrepresentation in advertising, unsafe work conditions, the manufacture of unsafe foods and drugs, foreign bribes, environmental pollution, and even homicide. He believes that the penalties assessed for corporate crimes are far too light, and urges that not only corporate managers and officers go to jail but that much higher times be imposed for corporate lawbreakers. Meanwhile, he offers a sweeping and draconian 50-point reform program designed to make corporations more responsive to the public interest. He does recount some truly horrific cases of corporate malfeasance, but his alarmist views would have been more persausive if he had been fairer in his analysis of the 36 case studies that he presents. Whenever a court or regulatory agency in his view ""lets off"" a company, Mokhiber insinuates that something underhanded, even corrupt, occurred. He denounces out-of-court settlements and consent decrees--both normal legal procedures--as surrenders to corporate power and influence. In addition, his case studies include corporate behavior that is not criminal, but that he believes should be, e.g., selling cigarettes. There's good sense in Mokhiber's argument to strengthen criminal laws applying to corporations and their officers, but he nearly undermines his case through his untempered and vitriolic across-the-board attacks on corporate America.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1988
Publisher: Sierra Club--dist. by Random House