In praise of big business

As printed in The Marketplace – May/June 2018

Bashing big business is increasingly popular among Americans. The percentage of the US population with a favorable view of large business has slipped from 60 per cent in 1950 to only 21 per cent last year, according to The Atlantic magazine.

But that negative opinion ignores the reality that large firms pay more taxes, create more jobs and lead in innovation compared to small companies, the article “Learning to Love Big Business” argues.

Larger companies employ more women and minorities and offer better pay and benefits than smaller companies, the story suggests. Contrary to popular belief, small companies (defined here as firms with less than 100 employees) don’t create the vast majority of new jobs, it suggests.

People concerned about income inequality should also appreciate the role of larger firms. “Today the richest regions in the United States and abroad are those in which self-employment is lowest — and the poorest are those with the most self-employed inhabitants. The reason is simple: As a rule, the smaller the firm, the lower the productivity level. Richest and fairest: Economies led by large firms also tend to have less income inequality.”

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  • MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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