News Release

“Regulatory Laws Legalize Corporate Harms”


Grossman’s work on regulation, corporations and governance includes the books Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy (2001); Fear At Work: Job Blackmail, Labor and the Environment (1982) and the best-selling pamphlet Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation (1993).

He said today: “Regulatory laws and agencies legalize corporate harms, rights denials and usurpations. Way back in 1890, U.S. Attorney General Richard Olney realized how this could work. He helped create the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), the nation’s first regulatory agency. The ICC, in Olney’s words, served as ‘a sort of barrier between the railroad corporations and the people and a sort of protection against hasty and crude legislation hostile to railroad interests.’

“Government intervention in the economy has primarily been about denying democratic self-governance while clothing corporate directors with special privileges and powers. Government intervention has long empowered small minorities to prevent democratic self-governance in our communities and nation. Government intervention, for example, enabled slavery, segregation and company towns. Government intervention today enables corporate directors to deny employees’ constitutional rights (see 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 13th, 14th Amendments); to poison workers, neighboring communities, biological systems and the Earth; to frame and dominate public debate; to call the tune at elections; to write and enforce municipal, state and USA laws…

“Instead of creating more regulatory agencies erecting more barriers to democratic self-governance and bestowing more power upon corporate directors, why not simply end corporate privilege and governing authority? Instead of investing hope, time and energy in regulatory agencies designed to legalize corporate destructions, why not pass laws that undo anti-democratic government interventions of the past and instruct corporate directors what they may and may not do?

“Why don’t our community, state and federal legislators write laws subordinating corporations to We the People’s sovereign authority?

“But if they did, of course and alas, We the People would have to admonish federal judges — especially justices of the U.S. Supreme Court — to keep their sticky fingers off our laws.”

Grossman recently wrote the piece “Beware the Madoff Diversion.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167