The Corporations-State Nexus
Favorable tax regimes, corporate welfare, financial and diplomatic support... Governments all too often put themselves at the service of big business.
The State is supposed to be the guarantor of the public interest and the greater good of all in the long term. Our natural reflex is to turn to government to monitor, regulate, tax, supervise and if needed punish big business. However, experience shows that under the pretext of protecting jobs, supporting national champions or attracting investors, our political leaders often choose to prioritise the interests of the private sector.
The often-invoked opposition between "the state" on one side and the "free market" on the other is a fable. In reality, governements provide massive support to the corporate sector with all the means at their disposal: by granting them public subsidies, of course, but also by providing them with favourable tax conditions, advantageous regulation and legislation, by promoting their international expansion, and opening up domestic or international markets for them. Corporate welfare has significantly increased in recent years, especially with the Covid-19 epidemic. At the same time, governements have progressively and deliberately abandoned their regulatory and supervisory roles, as well as their vocation to offer a public option or a recourse for workers, consumers and citizens.
A first step would be to impose full transparency on the support provided by the public authorities to the private sector - as a way to "re-democratise" our increasingly business-friendly governments. The vital role of the State and its ability to change the rules of the game must be reasserted.