Consumer Group Rates 7 Cities On Corporate Accountability
Los Angeles -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) released this Christmas the first national measure of which cities give the most latitude to socially objectionable corporate practices and how well cities control corporate power.
Cities were graded based on nine measures of how well corporations were forced to respect individual and society: privacy rights, legal rights, public recourse, branding community space, commercialization of schools, media independence, whistleblower protections and environmental degradation.
From best to worst, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York were rated on how well each municipality permitted corporations to violate the social customs, ethical mores and rules of law.
The "corporateering quotient" was created by FTCR president Jamie Court -- author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom And What You Can Do About It -- to measure how much corporations are allowed to prioritize their commercial gain over the interest of individuals and society.
"Cities that are Santa Claus to all corporate wishes betray the pubic interest, but until now there has been no measure of how well cities prevent corporations from violating social mores and ethical customs," said Court. "The Corporateering Quotient is the first yard stick of how different regions permit or deny corporations the ability to abuse the public trust. Society needs many more such measures if corporate irresponsibility is to be contained and the damage minimized."
Below are the rankings, from best to worst, of each city by measure. Full reports on the factors leading to each city's score are available at: corporateering.org
Overall Corporateering Rating: San Francisco (A-) Portland (B) Seattle (C+)
Boston (C ) Los Angeles (C) Philadelphia (C-) New York (D)
Privacy Rights (The extent to which individuals can protect their personal information from being bought and sold) San Francisco (A) Seattle (B) Boston (C+) New York (D) Philadelphia (D) Portland (D)
Legal Rights (The power of corporations to limit the individual's legal rights and remedies when companies break the law or harm us.) Portland (B+) Philadelphia (B-) Seattle (B-) Boston (C ) San Francisco (C-) Los Angeles (C-) New York ( D+)
Public Recourse (The power of the people to counter corporate control at the ballot box.) Portland (A-) San Francisco (A-) Seattle (A-) Los Angeles (B) Boston (C-) New York (C-) Philadelphia (D)
Protection of Community Space (The impact of corporate branding) San Francisco (B+)
Portland (C+) Boston (C-) Philadelphia (C-) Los Angeles (D) New York (D) Seattle (D)
Commercialization of Schools (Advertising and commercialism in schools) San Francisco (B+) Portland (B) Seattle (B) Los Angeles (B-) New York (B-) Philadelphia (C+) Boston (C )
"Pay to Play" (The influence of corporate money in the political process) San Francisco (A-) Los Angeles (B) Boston (C ) New York (C-) Philadelphia (D) Portland (D) Seattle (D)
Media Independence (The extent of corporate ownership over our airwaves and print media)
Portland (B) San Francisco (B) Boston (C+) Philadelphia (C ) Seattle (C-) Los Angeles (D) New York (D)
Whistleblower Protections & Executives' Duties (The degree to which workers' dissent is respected and executives' disclosure is required.) Portland (B+) San Francisco (B+) Boston (B-)
Los Angeles (B-) Philadelphia (B-) New York (C+) Seattle (C+)
Environmental Degradation (The impact of corporations on our environmental health.) Portland (B) Boston (B-) San Francisco (B-) Philadelphia (C-) Seattle (C-) New York (D) Los Angeles (D)
"Industries have long tried to convince city officials that the free market is the same as the free society, but a truly free society often requires limits on markets," said Court. "Corporateers need to know that individuals and society must come first."