Balance of power: Countries and corporations

David Rothkopf writing in Foreign Policy magazine — Inside Power, Inc. — says we desperately need a new mindset when trying to protect against abuses of power around the world.

To begin with, Rothkopf writes, we need to move beyond the quaint notion that governments are always running things. As he notes in this graphic, many corporations today are bigger and more powerful than even some Western governments (go to link for better resolution):

Americans, Rothkopf says, worry a lot about giving government too much power over their lives. But we don’t worry enough, he says, about how to also protect against abuse of power by business interests:

Nothing has illustrated flaws in the American system so well as the recent financial crisis, in which a few big institutions shrugged off regulation, abused their freedoms, persuaded the government to bail them out (but not their victims), and then managed to forestall real reform and return to almost all the practices that got them in trouble in the first place. The result is a backlash seen in everything from Occupy Wall Street to nationalist protests against globalization.

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Editor Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom-at-humanosphere.org, follow him on Twitter @tompaulson and/or send a comment below.