Discuss the points in the film you found most interesting, informative, provocative, or otherwise worthy of discussion.
Business of Disaster, film details the agony that homeowners underwent at the hands of flood insurance companies who failed to honor compensation agreements as per the policies. It is interesting to know that victims of Superstorm Sandy with mortgages were forced to take up flood insurance alongside paying their mortgages. In case of a flooding disaster, they were to receive compensation in a way that could cover the rebuilding of their homes. According to the film, three years later, most of the victims have only received a fraction of their claims. They are unable to rebuild their homes while they are expected to continue paying mortgages for their destroyed homes. While all these happen, all the insurance companies made profits of more than $400 million from the Superstorm Sandy. It is obvious that insurance companies only seek to make gains from people’s misfortunes.
What do you know about the corporate class in America? How did you come to know what you know?
Corporate class is a group of people who control large corporations in America. They control the assets and daily business operations through shares and asset ownership. They also influence the policy decisions of government operations. I have come to know them through the number of shares they own in major insurance companies and banking sectors. I have heard their names as members of the boards of more than one corporation in America. This means that they influence these corporations in a number of ways.
Do you think it is a good idea to support political policies that enhance the profitability of large corporations? Why or why not?
It is true that large corporations influence political policies. However, I think that most of the political influence of these corporations only help to profit them rather than the customers. For instance, the flood victims did not receive their compensations in time because of the changes that ensured profitability to the insurance providers at the expense of the victims. For this reason, large corporations should not have political influence that only enhances their profitability.
What privileges do you think that the upper and/or the corporate classes (in the United States) have relative to the majority of other people in society? Do you think these privileges are fair or unfair? Why or why not?
The corporate class has privileges of making business decisions on behalf of the majority of other people in society. When the existing policies do not favor their profitability, they influence changes that ensure they remain in control while making profits for their organizations (Stiglitz, 2019). These privileges are not fair because they lead to business decisions that hurt the majority of the people who need protection. The flood victims are not able to regain their normal live hood for the past three years whereas the insurance companies have pocketed the money from the government. They continue making profits while customers suffer.
Do you think corporations in the United States should be more or less regulated by the government? Why?
I think that the government should have a certain degree of control of the corporations. When they are left free to make their own decisions, they could make extreme decisions that affect the majority of the American people. The corporate class seeks to maintain its dominance in the market. Therefore, they make decisions that affect business operations towards their profitability. If left unchecked, the common customers may be affected economically by the decisions made. For instance, the 2008 economic crisis was a result of bad business decisions by large U.S. corporations. Controlling them will help the government balance between their interests and the interest of the majority of citizens. On the other hand, the government should not take full control of these corporations because that would affect the efficiency of the business, leading to losses and closing of the corporations.
Stiglitz, J. (2019). “Three decades of neoliberal policies have decimated the middle class, our economy, and our democracy”. MarketWatch. Accessed 12th March 11, 2020.