- Big Business
Big Business or big business is a term used to describe large corporations, in either an individual or collective sense. The term first came into use in a symbolic sense subsequent to the
American Civil War, particularly after 1880, in connection with the combination movement that began in American business at that time. Organizationsthat fall into the category of "big business" include ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, General Motors, Citigroupand Arcelor Mittal.Fact|date=September 2008
History, Post World Wars
The relatively stable period of rebuilding after
World War IIled to new technologies (some of which were spin-offs from the war years) and new businesses.
The new technology of
computersspread worldwide in the post war years. Businesses built around computer technology include: IBM, Microsoft( Bill Gates), Intel( Gordon E. Mooreand Robert Noyce).
integrated circuits, together with an expansion of radioand televisiontechnologies provided fertile ground for business development. Electronics businesses include: JVC, Sony( Masaru Ibukaand Akio Morita), Texas Instruments( Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Patrick E. Haggerty).
Nuclear poweradd to fossil fuelas the main sources of energy.
Criticism of big business
The social consequences of the concentration of economic power in the hands of those persons controlling "Big Business" has been a constant concern both of
economists and of politicians since the end of the 19th century. Various attempts have been made to investigate the effects of "bigness" upon labor, consumers and investors, as well as upon prices and competition. "Big Business" has been accused of a wide variety of misdeeds that range from the exploitationof the working classto the corruption of politicians and the fomenting of war.
Influence over government
Corporate concentrationcan lead to influence over government in areas such as tax policy, trade policy, environmental policy, foreign policy, and labour policy through lobbying. In 2005 the majority of Americans believed that big business had "too much power in Washington". [citation
author=Timothy P. Carney
title=Big Business and Big Government]
Whatever goes on behind closed doors between the CEOs and the senators can't be good or the doors would not be closed.
Human rights and working conditions
German industry collaborated with their
Nazigovernment during the Third Reich, thus exploiting the working classin the interest of productivity and efficiency. [citation
title=Volkswagen's history of forced labour
author=Frederic F Clairmont]
Hitler's order offered German capitalists, badly hit by the great recession, the prospects of huge profits. German workers did, admittedly, enjoy full employment, but, as William Schirer has said, this was at the cost of being reduced to serfdom and poverty wages. It was not long before these conditions became the lot of the whole of occupied Europe.
Benefits of big business
It has been generally admitted that much of the technological progress since 1850 has been dependent on and fostered by the growth in size and the increase in financial strength of individual business units.
During the rise of big business in the late nineteenth century, long run factors contributing the consolidation of businesses included technological changes and reductions in transportation costs. Cheaper transport costs made it feasible to produce in one location and then ship the product to market, instead of producing where the market was located. Technological changes made plant sizes more efficient in regards to capital-intensive assembly lines.
The rise of railroads contributed to decrease
transportationcosts during the 1800s. To expand, the railroad companies required large pools of capital to finance infrastructure development and daily operations. However, the governmentdid not have the budget to provide financing, due to the depression in the 1830s and 1840s. As a result, the railroad firms turned to private investors and investment banks to raise capital.
This article is originally based on material from "Dictionary of American History" by
James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
big business — ➔ business * * * big business noun [U] INFORMAL COMMERCE ► large and powerful businesses and organizations that have a lot of influence, considered as a group: »Investors and big business have put their money behind green energy. ► something that … Financial and business terms
Big Business — Big Busi|ness 〈[ bı̣g bı̣znıs] n.; ; unz.〉 1. Gesamtheit der Großunternehmen (u. ihre Geschäftswelt) 2. einträgliches, großes Geschäft ● die Interessen des Big Business [<engl. big „groß“ + business „Geschäft“] * * * Big Busi|ness [ bɪg bɪznɪs … Universal-Lexikon
big business — noun uncount important business activity that makes a lot of money: Organized science had allied itself with big business and government. Herbal remedies are becoming big business … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
big business — n [U] 1.) very large companies, considered as a powerful group with a lot of influence 2.) a product or type of activity that people spend a lot of money on ▪ Dieting has become big business … Dictionary of contemporary English
Big Business — Big Busi|ness [ big biznis] das; <aus gleichbed. engl. amerik. big business, eigtl. »großes Geschäft«>: 1. monopolartige Ballung von Großkapital u. Industrieorganisationen. 2. a) Geschäftswelt der Großunternehmer; b) vorteilhaftes großes… … Das große Fremdwörterbuch
big business — n. the largest business organizations regarded collectively and, usually, in terms of having distinctive political and economic interests … English World dictionary
Big Business — ist der Originaltitel folgender US amerikanischer Filmkomödien: der Kurzfilmkomödie Das große Geschäft mit Laurel und Hardy aus dem Jahr 1929 der Filmkomödie Zwei mal Zwei von Regisseur Jim Abrahams aus dem Jahr 1988 … Deutsch Wikipedia
big business — 1) N UNCOUNT Big business is business which involves very large companies and very large sums of money. Big business will never let petty nationalism get in the way of a good deal. 2) N UNCOUNT Something that is big business is something which… … English dictionary
big business — UK / US noun [uncountable] important business activity that makes a lot of money Organized science had allied itself with big business and government. Herbal remedies are becoming big business … English dictionary
big business — noun commercial enterprises organized and financed on a scale large enough to influence social and political policies big business is growing so powerful it is difficult to regulate it effectively • Hypernyms: ↑business, ↑business sector … Useful english dictionary