IBM – A Threat to American Sovereignty?

In a post discussing IBM’s cavalier attitude toward US immigration law, Robert X. Cringely wrote:

“IBM has no fear of the U.S. legal system.”

To that, I would add that multinationals also do not respect the laws of mere nation-states like the USA. They look at our laws as the result of hayseed provincials who just don’t understand the global economy, and how “god’s work” is really done.

Consider this quote from “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power” by Steve Coll:

“Exxon’s far-flung interests were at times distinct from Washington’s. Lee Raymond would manage Exxon’s global position after 1989 as a confident sovereign, a peer of the White House’s rotating occupants. Raymond aligned Exxon with America, but he was not always in sync; he was more akin to the president of France or the chancellor of Germany. He did not manage the corporation as a subordinate instrument of American foreign policy; his was a private empire.”

Questions to ponder:

1) If IBM is a sovereign power, and it is stripping the USA of middle-class jobs, do you consider it to be a friendly power, or an enemy power?

2) Do you think it is wise to allow multinationals to grow more powerful than the federal government? To the point where they no longer feel the need to obey US law?

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