Bigger and badder corporations

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Globe-spanning corporations may have taken a big public-relations hit in the streets of Seattle and other cities over the past year, but it sure doesn’t seem to have slowed them down any.

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According to a new report from THE INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES, 51 of the world’s 100 largest economic entities are now corporations, not countries. Moreover, the world’s top 200 corporations account for over a quarter of the planet’s economic activity — but employ less than one percent of its workforce.

Where does all that money go? Not back to the rest of us, anyway. Forty-four of the US corporations on the list paid less than the full standard 35 percent federal corporate tax rate between 1996 and 1998 — and seven of them paid no federal taxes at all.


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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