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Wal-Mart, the 11th richest “country” in the world

Wal-Mart, the 11th richest “country” in the world

"Someday your country will be called Microsoft, it will invade Nippon Soda, it will sell it to Motorola." The lyrics are from the song The sign of the times of the group Lagartija Nick.

When they published it in 2007, the people of Granada illustrated and anticipated some political and economic trends that have subsequently been confirmed regarding the growing influence of multinational companies in everyday life, in public spaces (remember the renaming of the metro station of Sol, in Madrid, in charge of a mobile phone company for three years) and in the decisions made by governments around the world and at different scales.

As an example in Spain, Repsol's oil exploration was encouraged and approved in the Canary Islands, against the opinion of the autonomous government itself, of technicians and of a public concerned about environmental and health repercussions, but carried out for the greater glory of corporations in whose board of directors may end up figuring - and charging figures with six or seven zeros - who gave the green light to these projects from their ministerial portfolios.

The loss of identity and power of national sovereignties represented in parliaments vis-à-vis large corporations offers a new dimension in free trade agreements such as TTIP, CETA TISA or TTP.

Negotiated in silence and with large doses of obscurantism, although the veil imposed has been broken by the action of collectives and some political parties, these treaties turn multinationals into privileged actors in legislative decision-making, with the same capacity to intervene on certain matters that governments.

Along these lines, the report published this week by Global Justice Now is striking, in which it analyzes the market value of large corporations such as Shell, Volkswagen, Toyota, BP or Apple and compares it with that of the states.

Of the 100 richest economic entities on the planet today, 69 are companies and 31 countries, according to the study carried out by this organization, which has used data on annual income and expenses of corporations and states published in 2015 by the CIA and Fortune .

"A year ago, there were 63 companies and 37 countries. If we continue at this rate, in a generation we will live in a world completely dominated by giant companies," warns Aisha Dodwell, campaign director for Global Justice Now. If we broaden the look at the 200 richest entities, 153 are multinational.

The joint revenues of the top 10 of these large companies, almost three trillion dollars (2,856,595,000,000), exceed the total amount of income in 2015 by 180 countries (2,809,174,980,000), including Ireland , Indonesia, Colombia or Israel. They also earned more than the world's second largest economy, China.

Walmart is the first corporation to appear on the list, with a market value of $ 482.13 billion, ahead of Spain, Australia and the Netherlands.

"The immense wealth and power of corporations are at the center of many of the world's problems, such as inequality and climate change," says Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now. "The search for benefits in the short term seems to be above the most basic human rights of millions of people around the planet," he laments.

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Video: Canada and The United States Compared (May 2021).