Corporatocracy occurs when a government is found to be run not by its own people, but by corporations or conglomerates within the country. The mixture of business and government allows corporations to control a country by deciding its governmental direction or economic plans (Mooney, Knox, and Schacht 256). Whether a corporation involves itself in a country's government for the good of its people or its profits, corporatocracy effects all involved, from employees and citizens to government and business. It is not uncommon for there to be a blurred line between government and business, but it is unfortunately a line that is all too often crossed.
Perhaps one of the strongest and most notable displays of corporatocracy in America was that of General Motors. In 1987, GM produced a solar powered car named Sun Raycer which won the first World Solar Challenge, hosted by Australia. Shortly after winning this race, GM requested its engineers to create an electric car that would be an environmentally friendly alternative to the gasoline powered vehicles that already existed on the road. GM introduced its version of the electric car at a car show in the mid-1990s, the first of its kind in almost a century. While the electric car had been made before, it had been long out of existence due to the cost of oil being less than that of elements needed to maintain the electric car. When GM created the EV1 in the 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) responded positively to the car. Not long before the EV1 was released, CARB then mandated that seven of the major car manufacturers must produce and sell a similar zero-emissions product in order to sell any of their products in the state of California (Paine).
After production, GM found that the EV1 was not as profitable as expected. Though it had a limitless supply of eager customers, the product was unprofitable because its parts were more durable, more reliable, and did not need oil or gasoline directly in order for it to operate. Consumers were able to rely on one charge to go up to 120 miles, which was often more than one person needed in one day. At the end of the night, the customer was able to charge their vehicle at home. The electric car offered a sense of ease that the gasoline powered vehicle did not: the constant purchase of gasoline at gas stations. This made the electric car unprofitable to oil companies. GM noticed this issue, and went to court along with other car companies and California dealerships to fight against CARB in order to reverse profit damage done by the new California mandate. In 2003, it was finally decided that the production of extremely low emission, natural gas, and hybrid vehicles could take the place of the electric car on the car dealership sales floor (Paine). However, the strategies that GM and other car manufacturers took to get to that compromise was uncalled for.
GM and other car companies fought against CARB in order to destroy the electric car and continue their growing profits that gasoline operated cars provided. Because CARB had released the zero-emissions mandate before GM had distributed their product to their sales floors, GM decided that instead of allowing customers to purchase their electronic vehicle, they would only allow a lease. It is often thought that GM provided the lease as a way to comply with CARB requests, but only temporarily. Once they were able to eliminate the zero-emissions mandate, GM repossessed the vehicles, transported them to their headquarters in Arizona, and had the vehicles destroyed. Other car companies repeated these actions; Toyota went as far as to shred their vehicle, the Th!nk (Paine).
The only way that the car companies would agree with the many requests that protestors and potential customers had would be if they saw a high enough demand for their electronic vehicles. GM stated that the process to create an electric vehicle was expensive, and it would have to have enough customers first. Upon denial of many requests, a group of protestors finally provided proof that four thousand consumers were wanting and willing to purchase the vehicle.…