Cover image for Big business, poor peoples : the impact of transnational corporations on the world's poor
Big business, poor peoples : the impact of transnational corporations on the world's poor
Madeley, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Zed Books ; New York : Distributed in the USA by St. Martin's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 206 pages ; 22 cm

Format :


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HD2932 .M3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Are transnational corporations (TNCs) the solution to poverty in the Third World or are they part of the problem? This is John Madeley's central concern in this exploration of large corporations. TNCs are usually promoted as the harbingers of rapid economic growth, jobs and development generally. Yet inequality between North and South, and within countries, continues to grow apace. So what is really happening?

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Madeley's main contribution in this work is to redraw attention to the growing gap between rich and poor, among countries and people. Charges against transnational corporations (TNCs), globalism, and privatization are familiar, but most are presented with little rigor or serious comparison of costs with benefits. Madeley's analysis is lucid and clear, but in this reviewer's opinion he misses the main reasons for the gap: the economic system, doctrine, or philosophy within which an enterprise functions causes the gap, not the business type or its scale and spatial domain. The fact that TNCs are big and powerful is an effect rather than a cause of the gap. The author also fails to differentiate between countries and people; rich and poor people exist in all countries, whether rich or poor. In capitalism, the rich tend to become relatively richer and the poor relatively poorer unless the distributions of income and wealth are regulated in favor of relative equality or a smaller gap. Trends toward globalism, liberalization, and privatization make this unlikely. To reduce the gap between rich and poor, the author should look for a deeper and more philosophical change in society rather than regulating TNCs or blaming big business. Comprehensive collections. E. H. Tuma; University of California, Davis

Table of Contents

The Corporate Spread
Why Poor Countries 'Want' the Corporations
The Agri-corporations: From Production to Trade
Agri-Commodities Take Their Toll
Extracting Logs and Fish
Mining the Poor
Manufactured Goods; Poverty amid the Glitz
Energy: The Costly Double of Oil and Water
Tourism: The Great Illusion
Health: A Corporate Pill that is Hard to Swallow
Corporate Persuaders
Tackling the Power