Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Government Versus Corporate Power

By: inoljt,

The twentieth century featured a great debate in the world between the communist system and the capitalist system. This was a debate over whether private enterprise ought to exist in the world. Today most countries believe in the answer posed by the capitalist system; they believe that private enterprise ought to exist and is generally more efficient than the government.

Nowadays private enterprise and corporations are thriving. Very few countries even speak of “nationalization,” in which the government takes over private enterprises, anymore. Most people in the country work in the private sector. This speaks to its power.

Nevertheless, the world’s biggest employers are in fact not private.

More below.

Take a look at this fascinating graphic by the Economist:


The world’s biggest employers are dominated by the government. Seven out of ten of the entities here are government-run; the two biggest are the militaries of the United States and China.

The three private employers are Walmart, McDonalds, and the Hon Hai Precision Industry. The Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as FoxConn, is a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer.

By country, four of these employers are Chinese, three are American, and one each are British, Indian, and Taiwanese. It’s interesting that while a Taiwanese company makes the list, a Japanese corporation or government employer does not. Europe also seems to punch below its economic weight in this graphic.

For all its love of private enterprise, the biggest employer by far in the United States is government-run. The same holds true for China, the United Kingdom, India, and probably many other countries as well. All in all, despite the strength of the private sector, government still packs quite a punch.

1 comment

  1. bfitzinAR

    or strictly DOD payroll?  (And I wonder how many of the big guys – and I include WalMart and McDonald’s in this – would be nearly as big without government contracts?)  Meanwhile, government was basically invented to protect ordinary people from the power elite but over and over (and over and over) the power elites take over and subvert that purpose.  FDR managed a peaceful reclamation of government’s purpose by harnessing the corporate elite to “patriotic” interests in WWII (serious strings on the WWII no-bid contracts, no giveaways back then).  I’m not sure anybody in the upper levels of government has any such idea much less intention these days (except old geezers like Bernie Sanders who remember what government’s purpose actually is).  Too bad.  JFK warned that revolution if not dealt with peacefully will be dealt with otherwise and I’d really rather we not do that.  Fantasy revolutions are all very well, but real ones kill and maim real people.

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