Module 11 discussion (10 companies (Top 100 ( Valeant Pharmaceutical…
Module 11 discussion
- ◦Based on your observation of the data in this site, which theory do you think has the most explanatory power regarding our political and economic situation: pluralism or the power elite?
- ◦What did you learn from this site that relates to our chapter?
, ◦16: Explain, in terms of life chances, the different impact of power and economic arrangements on workers, elites, and the unemployed.
, ◦5: Discuss the pluralist and power elite models of power.
- After looking at the website and viewing some of the ridiculously high salaries that many of the CEOs in the United States make I have learned a few things about capitalism and other topics in the chapter. First I have learned that companies that go beyond the borders of the US or multinational companies are the real money makers but the downside is that they outsource American jobs to places where they can pay workers much cheaper creating the global assembly line. I've also learned that deindustrialization has improved the functions of society while also causing job displacement through spatial mismatch. A social change that has occurred from the growth of large companies is immigration to the US. Companies are employing immigrants from less wealthy countries to work low paying jobs that are no longer valued by regular citizens. I've noticed an extreme wage gap between the average worker who makes $35,239 per year and the upper class worker like Ronald Nelson, owner of Avis Budget Group, who makes over $9,000,000 per year.
- The life chances or opportunities of workers, elites, and the unemployed are impacted differently by the power and economic arrangements of each. The elites have a huge amount of social and economic power compared to the regular working class in the US. They control a large variety of resources and have access to even more including the expensive health care products and services. They have a much larger amount of life chances than the working people because of their ability to use these resources. The elites also have control over the economic arrangement within society in which there is a hierarchy of jobs. The elites can not only shift and control the life chances of the workers but can also decide the limit of the glass ceiling for women and minorities.
- The political and economic situation in the United States can best be described by the power elite theory developed by Karl Marx under the conflict theory. It is based on the idea that the elite class have power over the majority of society by positioning themselves in economic, government, and military offices of high rank. It explains why the upper class have such a great deal of resources at their disposal that are used in their personal interests. Within this theory is the idea of interlocking directorates that are basically links between different businesses to improve the functions of each. This can be seen in companies like Coke and Pepsi where they share members in each board of directors that help to satisfy the needs of both companies. These members are not at the highest political level in each company but instead have power to influence the members with the highest positions.
- The pluralist theory does not describe the United States economic position accurately like the power elite theory. It emphasizes the abilities of interest groups but does not describe their lack of resources for action like compared the elites who have many resources at their disposal. It displays that some interest groups have success but it doesn't explain the situations where elites hold economic attention and have control over economic action. Within it the interest groups can get action simply by mobilizing but it does not describe situations where interest groups must influence the economic elites for action.