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Many observers believe that the modern corporation is the most powerful institution in society today, eclipsing the power and resources of many governments. Some statistics uphold this point of view. One report published in 2000 indicates that when measured by company sales and country gross domestic product, 51 of the world's 100 largest economies are not nations or governments but in fact corporations. Among the top 200 global corporations measured by size, 82 were U.S. companies, and 41 were Japanese. Combined, these companies' annual income was 18 times that of the 1.2 billion people in the world who lived on less than $1 a day in 2000 (estimated to be about 1.1 billion in 2005). Furthermore, the report indicates that these companies' economic activities make ...

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