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When corporations misbehave the consequences are devastating. The monetary costs of the 2008 financial crisis, a direct result of financial mismanagement, were in the trillions, and yet none of those responsible were held to account. The monetary costs of Criminal Code theft pale in comparison, and yet our prisons are filled with people who commit “street theft.” In order to understand why governments, regulators, unions, activists and community groups have such a difficult time preventing and sanctioning corporate criminals we must first recognize the vital role of corporate economic power.
Focusing on crimes against workers/employees, and the environment and financial crimes, About Canada: Corporate Crime traces the ways that particular systems of government — from nineteenth-century crony capitalism to neoliberalism and globalized capitalism — develop policies regarding the socially harmful and illegal behaviour of corporations. This book shows why governments are reluctant to pass, enforce and administer meaningful regulation of corporations: institutions and actors with the power to put thousands of potential voters out of work, generate negative commentaries from highly respected experts, and produce critical editorials from 80 percent of Canadian media (owned and controlled, let us remember, by many of these same corporations).
Assessing the present state and future prospects of corporate crime, this book asks: How did we get here? What do we know about corporate crime? Why does it matter? and What are the main issues/developments today? In the end, it asks the most important question of all: How can political and economic systems be changed to prevent, or at the very least mitigate, the tremendous damage corporate activities are inflicting on human lives, health, jobs, communities and economies?