Corporate Global Catastrophic Risks (C-GCRs)

Epistemic status

Very un­cer­tain and spec­u­la­tive. I don’t ex­ces­sively hedge my claims through­out for clar­ity’s sake (‘bet­ter wrong than vague’).

Summary

Are cor­po­ra­tions caus­ing global catas­trophic risks (C-GCRs)?

Here, I ar­gue for this to be true, based on the fol­low­ing claims:

  1. Cor­po­ra­tions grow ever larger over time.

  2. Cor­po­ra­tions grow ex­po­nen­tially more pow­er­ful over time.

  3. Cor­po­ra­tions cause ex­po­nen­tially more reg­u­la­tory cap­ture over time.

  4. Cor­po­ra­tions cause ex­po­nen­tially larger ex­ter­nal­ities over time.

If all these claims are true and can­not be falsified, then it fol­lows that the ex­ter­nal­ities of big, pow­er­ful, un­reg­u­lated cor­po­ra­tions will in­crease over time to the level of GCRs.

I then ar­gue for the fol­low­ing corol­laries:

  1. Cor­po­ra­tions are already the dis­tal cause and main driver of an­thro­pogenic and emer­gent tech­nolog­i­cal GCRs such as global catas­trophic biolog­i­cal risks (GCBRs).

  2. C-GCRs are a big­ger threat than GCRs from state ac­tors.

  3. C-GCR re­duc­tion is more effec­tive than tar­geted GCR re­duc­tion be­cause it is broader, large in scale, ne­glected, and solv­able.

I sug­gest con­crete policy pro­pos­als to re­duce C-GCRs, by di­ver­sify­ing cor­po­rate own­er­ship, en­forc­ing cor­po­rate taxes, and op­ti­miz­ing fund­ing for reg­u­la­tory agen­cies.

1. Are cor­po­ra­tions grow­ing ever larger?

Eco­nomic the­ory sug­gests that cor­po­ra­tions try to max­i­mize prof­its. In­cen­tives cre­ate strong se­lec­tive pres­sure for cor­po­ra­tions to grow (e.g. be­cause they benefit from economies of scale).[1]

Em­piri­cally, cor­po­ra­tions have be­come much big­ger es­pe­cially in the last ~20 years, be­cause of cross-bor­der merg­ers & ac­qui­si­tions:[2]

  • Rev­enues of the For­tune 500 in­creased from 58% to 73% of US GDP

  • Big­ger, For­tune 100, corps grew even faster: from 33% to 46% of GDP. Their share of For­tune 500 rev­enues in­creased from 57% to 63%.[3] Some of it due to in­creased rev­enues from abroad.

  • Of cor­po­ra­tions with $1bn+ rev­enues the top 10% now cap­ture 80% of prof­its—up 1.6x.[4]

  • In­dus­tries be­come “in­creas­ingly dom­i­nated by ‘su­per­star firms’ with high prof­its and a low share of la­bor in firm value-added and sales”.[5] For in­stance, Wal­mart has >2 mil­lion em­ploy­ees‚ FAANG corps only on the or­der of 100k.

  • Markups, the ra­tio of the price to the marginal cost of pro­duc­tion, have also in­creased.

This trend should con­tinue: some cor­po­ra­tions’ mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tions are ~$1tn.[6] This is a proxy for mar­ket val­u­a­tion—the dis­counted sum of all fu­ture prof­its. Profits and rev­enues cor­re­late, so the mar­ket pre­dicts that cor­po­rate rev­enues and thus power will in­crease. Multi­na­tion­als can grow big­ger than non-multi­na­tion­als be­cause of cross-bor­der M&A.[7]

As a rule, cor­po­ra­tions grow larger over time.

2. Do cor­po­ra­tions op­ti­mize to be­come ex­po­nen­tially more pow­er­ful over time?

Power is roughly pro­por­tional to how many re­sources an agent has to achieve its goals.

Re­cently, re­searchers have pro­posed that states’ “bud­gets” (tax rev­enues) and cor­po­ra­tions’ “bud­gets” (rev­enues minus their prof­its) are com­pa­rable in that they are crude, but use­ful prox­ies for their power (de­spite cor­po­ra­tions and states spend­ing on differ­ent things).[8]

For in­stance, Shell’s rev­enue/​bud­get to sell fos­sil fuels is $272bn. About half of Boe­ing’s $96bn rev­enue comes from its defense con­trac­tor sub­sidi­ary—the amount of power to sell mil­i­tary equip­ment.

Big state ac­tors (e.g. U.S., EU, China) have the biggest bud­gets (+$1tn).[9] But, sur­pris­ingly, some cor­po­ra­tions now have ~$0.5tn bud­gets. Wal­mart has higher rev­enues than Spain or Aus­tralia and Ap­ple has higher rev­enues than Belgium or Mex­ico. 71 out of the 100 most pow­er­ful ac­tors are cor­po­ra­tions with com­bined bud­gets of $10tn vs. $18tn in com­bined bud­gets of the 29 states (see Ap­pendix; spread­sheet).

If a cor­po­ra­tion spends just 0.1% of its $0.5tn an­nual bud­get on things that might cause nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities, this equates to $0.5bn. For in­stance, Ap­ple spends >$1bn/​year on mar­ket­ing. Lob­by­ing bud­gets could in­crease to a similar level.

Also, cor­po­ra­tions some­times com­bine their power. For in­stance, if lob­by­ing for cer­tain fa­vor­able reg­u­la­tions benefits a whole in­dus­try, this cre­ates a free-rider prob­lem. Cor­po­ra­tions rou­tinely solve this prob­lem by shar­ing lob­by­ing costs and throw­ing bud­gets to­gether to fund in­dus­try bod­ies and trade as­so­ci­a­tions. This way, cor­po­ra­tions be­come even more pow­er­ful. In con­trast, state power is cur­tailed by manda­tory and en­ti­tle­ment spend­ing tak­ing up an in­creas­ing share of their bud­gets (e.g. >70% in the US).[10]

Over­all, cor­po­rate power has in­creased to the level of many state ac­tors.

3. Do cor­po­ra­tions cause ex­po­nen­tially larger ex­ter­nal­ities over time?

As cor­po­ra­tions grow, they cre­ate ex­po­nen­tially larger:

  • ex­ter­nal­ities, both pos­i­tive and negative

  • con­sumer sur­plus, but also harm to consumers

His­tor­i­cally, big cor­po­ra­tions ro­bustly in­creased net so­cial welfare—out­weigh­ing nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities.[11],[12],[13] Pos­i­tive ex­ter­nal­ities: Larger cor­po­ra­tions con­tribute dis­pro­por­tionately to the eco­nomic perfor­mance of coun­tries—they are more pro­duc­tive, pay higher wages, en­joy higher prof­its and are more suc­cess­ful in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.[14] Uber’s eas­ily quan­tifi­able con­sumer sur­plus is ~$3bn.[15] Even the at­ten­tion econ­omy, vil­ified for wast­ing trillions in peo­ple’s time, might ac­tu­ally cre­ate billions in con­sumer sur­plus through more con­tent and more effi­cient ads.[16]

But Big Busi­ness (such as Big Oil, Tobacco, Al­co­hol, Pharma, Food, Meat, Agro, Tech, Me­dia, Fi­nance), also cre­ates in­creas­ingly nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities and harm con­sumers.

Em­piri­cally, we have seen Big Busi­ness in­creas­ingly play­ing a large part in the fol­low­ing nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities:

  • The Global Obe­sity Epi­demic: 2 billion peo­ple are over­weight[17] (though some costs are in­ter­nal­ised by con­sumers)

  • The Global Tobacco Epi­demic: 1 billion peo­ple might die pre­ma­turely[18] (though some costs are in­ter­nal­ised by con­sumers)

  • Fac­tory farms: 50 billion an­i­mals/​year kil­led.[19]

  • 2008 fi­nan­cial crisis: >100% GDP cost for the U.S. ($50k-$120k for ev­ery U.S. house­hold) and caused 500k ex­cess can­cer-re­lated deaths wor­ld­wide (through in­creased un­em­ploy­ment).[20],[21]

  • The prison-in­dus­trial com­plex in­car­cer­ates many peo­ple and lob­bies[22] (but see [23])

  • Ad­dic­tive tech­nolo­gies (e.g. so­cial me­dia, smart­phones) af­fect billions and have been called an emerg­ing pub­lic health prob­lem.[24],[25]

In the­ory, cor­po­rate profit-max­i­miza­tion func­tions should cor­re­late strongly with the so­cial welfare max­i­miza­tion func­tion. But if con­sumer choice does not cor­re­late perfectly with (long-term av­er­age, to­tal) util­ity (of all morally-rele­vant agents), then even a small di­ver­gence might re­sult in side-effects caus­ing large nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities. Be­cause de­stroy­ing value is eas­ier than cre­at­ing value, nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities can be­come very high as ev­i­denced by the ex­am­ples above. Con­sider cli­mate change: this is not merely a co­in­ci­dence, but the re­sult of some­thing in­evitably caus­ing harm as a by-product of ruth­less op­ti­miza­tion.

Thus, as a rule, as cor­po­ra­tions grow they cause ex­po­nen­tially larger pos­i­tive ex­ter­nal­ities, con­sumer sur­plus and util­ity, but also cause ex­po­nen­tially larger nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities, harm con­sumers and di­su­til­ity.

4. Do cor­po­ra­tions cause reg­u­la­tory cap­ture pro­por­tional to their size?

In eco­nomics, gov­ern­ments are to re­duce busi­nesses’ nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities via reg­u­la­tion. But gov­ern­ments are in­creas­ingly un­able to reg­u­late large cor­po­ra­tions. Why?

  1. His­tor­i­cally, cor­po­rate and state power was cou­pled, be­cause cor­po­rate tax on prof­its in­creased gov­ern­ment bud­gets pro­por­tion­ally. But av­er­age global cor­po­rate tax rates are de­creas­ing, from 47% (GDP-weighted: 39%) in 1980 to only 23% (GDP-weighted: 26%) in 2018.[26] Cor­po­ra­tions ac­tively try to avoid taxes.[27]

  2. Govern­ments’ ca­pac­ity to reg­u­late has de­creased: be­tween 1979 and 2005, both US House com­mit­tee and Govern­ment Ac­countabil­ity Office staff de­creased by ~40%; Re­search Ser­vice staff, which pro­vides non­par­ti­san policy anal­y­sis to law­mak­ers, by 20%.[28]

  3. Cor­po­ra­tions can use lob­by­ing for reg­u­la­tory cap­ture[29]. The eco­nomics liter­a­ture has long wor­ried about in­creas­ing reg­u­la­tory cap­ture.[30] Gen­er­ally, lob­by­ing has in­creased in re­cent years[31]. In the US, cor­po­ra­tions spend about $3bn/​year lob­by­ing the gov­ern­ment[32]. In the EU, lob­by­ing has also in­creased in re­cent years.[33] In par­tic­u­lar, Big Tech’s and Fi­nance’s lob­by­ing bud­gets have in­creased.[34],[35]

In gen­eral, in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions can pro­mote their in­ter­ests through lob­by­ing and evade in­creas­ingly weak gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion through reg­u­la­tory cap­ture.

5. Are an­thro­pogenic and emer­gent tech­nolog­i­cal GCRs a form of C-GCR?

Be­cause hu­man­ity has sur­vived for >200k years, nat­u­ral GCRs (e.g. as­ter­oids, pan­demics) only have a 0.1%-1% risk of caus­ing ex­tinc­tion per cen­tury. This might be 10x less than man-made GCRs (e.g. nu­clear war, en­g­ineered bioweapons, AI, cli­mate change).[36]

Cor­po­ra­tions spend more on R&D than gov­ern­ments.[37] Gen­er­ally, cor­po­ra­tions are rele­vant ac­tors in ar­eas of an­thro­pogenic GCRs from emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy such as risks from AI[38], GCBRs[39], cli­mate change, and war.

  • Nu­clear weapons: The U.S. plans to spend $1.7 trillion on nu­clear weapons in the com­ing years[40]–a share of which will go to cor­po­rate con­trac­tors.

  • Bio-risk: Cor­po­ra­tions have re­ceived billions in re­cent years to work on syn­thetic biol­ogy, a field chang­ing the bio-econ­omy, worth sev­eral trillions.[41],[42] Since 2001, US biodefense re­search spend­ing has in­creased 20-fold, even though it does not (yet) meet the defi­ni­tion of a biomed­i­cal mil­i­tary–in­dus­trial com­plex.[43]

  • AI-risk: Cor­po­ra­tions are the main driver of de­vel­op­ments in AI and spend billions on R&D.[44] The level of tech­ni­cal AI ex­per­tise at lead­ing AI labs is sub­stan­tially higher than that within the US mil­i­tary.[45] Com­pet­i­tive pres­sure to de­velop AI is the only rea­son for AI risk be­cause it takes away the op­tion of slow­ing down AI de­vel­op­ment un­til we have a good solu­tion to the al­ign­ment prob­lem.[46]

Cor­po­ra­tions also lobby on GCR-rele­vant is­sues:

  • Cli­mate change: World En­ergy ex­pen­di­ture is in the trillions. [47],[48] Thus, it makes sense that fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies have spent >$1Bn on mis­lead­ing cli­mate-re­lated lob­by­ing.[49] Cli­mate change might be a GCR edge case: its di­rect effects might not be an x-risk, but its in­di­rect effects could cas­cade to GCR-level given that there is a 10% risk of >6°C warm­ing (see [50] for dis­cus­sion).

  • Nu­clear War /​ Great power war: Cor­po­ra­tions are lob­by­ing to get NATO coun­tries to spend 2%/​GDP on mil­i­tary.[51] The US ICBM pro­gram was par­tially cre­ated due to cor­po­rate lob­by­ing.[52] Defense com­pany Lock­heed Martin has the sec­ond most lob­by­ists in DC (31 in-house lob­by­ists + 53 con­nec­tions with lob­by­ing firms).[53] In France, In­dia, UK, and the US, cor­po­ra­tions make atomic bombs.[54] Cor­po­ra­tion made +$2bn in profit in the last 10 years, and there are many safety risks, while the Na­tional Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Ad­minis­tra­tion is un­der­staffed.[55] China’s and Rus­sia’s nu­clear weapons pro­grams are gov­ern­ment-owned and con­trol­led, but some talk about a Rus­sian nu­clear-in­dus­trial com­plex.[56]

  • Biorisk: Biotech-pharma has diluted the Biolog­i­cal Weapons Con­ven­tion ver­ifi­ca­tion pro­to­col and in­fluenced the US to re­ject it.[57]

  • Other emerg­ing tech: Fukushima has been cited as a case study for emer­gent tech­nolog­i­cal GCRs: the Ja­panese nu­clear sec­tor had re­volv­ing doors to the reg­u­la­tor, “des­tined to re­sult in [...] reg­u­la­tory cap­ture.” [58],[59]

Thus, cor­po­ra­tions de­serve spe­cial at­ten­tion when hori­zon-scan­ning for emerg­ing tech­nolog­i­cal GCRs as they are their dis­tal cause.

6. C-GCR re­duc­tion is more effec­tive than tar­geted GCR from emerg­ing tech reduction

Re­duc­ing C-GCRs is a more gen­er­al­ized in­ter­ven­tion than tar­geted re­duc­tion of GCRs from emerg­ing tech. Its broad cross-cut­ting na­ture makes it more effec­tive.[60]

Be­cause cor­po­ra­tions will cre­ate as of yet un­known emerg­ing tech that causes GCRs, C-GCR re­duc­tion is good for hori­zon-scan­ning and pre­ven­ta­tive GCR re­duc­tion. Reg­u­la­tors or al­tru­ists who fo­cus on par­tic­u­lar GCRs play Whac-A-Mole with cor­po­ra­tions. Every in­dus­try can cre­ate its own GCR—for in­stance, see re­search on GCRs from chem­i­cals.[61] Even if one is par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about just one GCR from say AI, C-GCR pre­ven­tion is more effec­tive than tar­geted GCR re­duc­tion, be­cause the dis­tal source of it comes from cor­po­ra­tions.

What can be done? I go through some poli­cies in the next sec­tions.

7. Policy solu­tions to de­crease cor­po­rate GCRs

1. Break­ing up big corporations

Be­cause cor­po­ra­tions cause ex­po­nen­tially more di­su­til­ity as they grow, break­ing up big cor­po­ra­tions (or pre­vent­ing M&A) to lower their power would re­duce the size of their ex­ter­nal­ities. But this is in­tractable, as coun­tries will worry too much about their eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness. There is no con­sen­sus amongst economists on whether gov­ern­ments should reg­u­late the size of big cor­po­ra­tions more gen­er­ally (e.g. through pre­vent­ing M&A or break­ing them up).[62],[63]

2. In­creas­ing cor­po­rate taxes for big­ger corporations

Cor­po­rate taxes have some ad­van­tages, but they are not usu­ally con­sid­ered to be Pi­go­vian[64] (and might also have other draw­backs[65]). But in light of C-GCRs, cor­po­rate taxes be­come Pi­go­vian be­cause cor­po­ra­tions are usu­ally caus­ing large ex­ter­nal­ities. In­creas­ing (the pro­gres­sive­ness of) cor­po­rate taxes (i.e. the big­ger the cor­po­ra­tion the higher the tax)[66] might re­duce C-GCRs.

But cur­rently cor­po­rate tax is re­gres­sive. Why? Be­cause big­ger cor­po­ra­tions are bet­ter at avoid­ing tax by shift­ing prof­its over­seas, and thus have a lower tax rate than smaller firms.[67] A poli­ti­cally tractable solu­tion might be to re­duce cor­po­rate tax avoidance.

A solu­tion might be to tax the self-as­sessed value of a cor­po­ra­tion’s do­mes­tic le­gal en­tity. [68] At the self-as­sessed value would ba strike price that they’d be re­quired to sell it to any­one. For in­stance, Ap­ple pays lit­tle cor­po­rate tax in the UK, be­cause Ap­ple UK does not make a lot of profit. But get­ting Ap­ple to give a true es­ti­mate of the value of Ap­ple UK Ltd and putting say a 5% tax might be harder to avoid.

3. Mis­sion hedg­ing to fund regulators

A foun­da­tion whose mis­sion is to stop cli­mate change can in­vest their en­dow­ment us­ing ‘mis­sion hedg­ing’ by in­vest­ing in fos­sil fuel stocks.[69] This way it has more money to give to or­ga­ni­za­tions that com­bat cli­mate change when more fos­sil fuels are burned, fos­sil fuel stocks go up and cli­mate change will get par­tic­u­larly bad. When fewer fos­sil fuels are burnt and fos­sil fuels stocks go down, the foun­da­tion will have less money, but it does not need the money as much. Gen­er­ally, in­creas­ing in­vest­ment in ob­jec­tion­able cor­po­ra­tions cre­ates a hedge around an ac­tor’s mis­sion, which some­times, max­i­mizes ex­pected util­ity.[70]

Similarly, gov­ern­ments can use mis­sion hedg­ing to re­duce C-GCRs. For in­stance, gov­ern­ments can set up a sovereign wealth fund that in­vests in an in­dex fund that cov­ers all cor­po­ra­tions weighted by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion or rev­enue. Div­i­dends from in­di­vi­d­ual cor­po­rate stocks could then be used to fund reg­u­la­tors so their bud­gets in­crease with cor­po­rate size. In other words, if Ap­ple rev­enue/​power in­creases and Ap­ple stocks gen­er­ate higher re­turns, this would in­crease the staff/​bud­get of a de­part­ment within a reg­u­la­tory agency tasked with reg­u­lat­ing Ap­ple. Similarly, the sovereign wealth fund could also own stocks of for­eign firms to fund in­tel­li­gence agen­cies to mon­i­tor for­eign cor­po­ra­tions.

4. Diver­sify­ing cor­po­rate own­er­ship through sovereign wealth funds and re­duc­ing home bias

If the own­er­ship of cor­po­ra­tions would be more di­ver­sified more, then there would be fewer in­cen­tives to cre­ate ex­ter­nal­ities. In other words, if ev­ery­one were a share­holder of Big Oil, then share­holder value might be max­i­mized by re­duc­ing emis­sions. This is be­cause both prof­its and nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities are shared more widely and no­body has an ad­van­tage from prof­it­ing from un­taxed ex­ter­nal­ities.

This might also re­duce arms races: if a tech­nol­ogy’s up- and down­sides are shared, then it de­creases ad­ver­sar­i­al­ism and in­creases col­lab­o­ra­tion.[71] Rel­a­tively few in­di­vi­d­u­als some­times own and con­trol ma­jor AI corps (FAANG).[72],[73] In con­trast, ~25% of Baidu is owned by 10 Western funds (Van­guard, Black­rock, etc).[74]

Govern­ments set­ting up sovereign wealth funds that in­vest in an in­dex fund that cov­ers all cor­po­ra­tions weighted by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion or rev­enue would di­ver­sify own­er­ship.

This policy might be poli­ti­cally tractable. Coun­tries such as China now al­low fully for­eign-owned en­ter­prises,[75] in­creas­ing gov­ern­ment-own­er­ship of cor­po­ra­tions has re­cently been sug­gested,[76] and sovereign wealth funds might in­crease tax re­ceipts[77] and cre­ate a hedge against risks to the do­mes­tic econ­omy. Note that gov­ern­ments be­ing minor­ity share­hold­ers across an in­dus­try would be differ­ent from state-owned en­ter­prises that of­ten cre­ate more ex­ter­nal­ities than pri­vate firms.[78]

Another way to di­ver­sify own­er­ship of cor­po­ra­tions might be to re­duce home bias, where coun­tries and peo­ple hold sub­op­ti­mal amounts of for­eign equity. US in­vestors have 78% of their equity port­fo­lio in U.S. stocks, which are only a third of world mar­ket port­fo­lio, by cap­i­tal­iza­tion.[79] Re­duc­ing home bias as an in­ter­ven­tion might be tractable be­cause get­ting home bi­ased in­vestors to di­ver­sify own­er­ship of cor­po­ra­tions might also benefit them fi­nan­cially. This might be an al­ter­na­tive to wind­fall clauses.[80] Govern­ments could grant tax in­cen­tives to their cit­i­zens in­vest in for­eign equities or give in­cen­tives for di­ver­sify­ing their port­fo­lio.

Coda: Are cor­po­ra­tions op­ti­miza­tion demons?

2.5bn years ago stro­ma­to­lites changed the at­mo­sphere from a CO2-rich to O2-rich through pho­to­syn­the­sis, be­cause they had no com­pe­ti­tion.[81] A cor­po­ra­tion might not be a su­per­in­tel­li­gence,[82] but it might cre­ate one. We should not let cor­po­ra­tions lead on AI gov­er­nance as has been sug­gested.[83] Usu­ally, CSR/​PR is rel­a­tively small rel­a­tive to lob­by­ing ac­tivi­ties and ex­ter­nal­ities cor­po­ra­tions cre­ate (e.g. fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies will some­times come out for a car­bon tax, but then spend money on anti-cli­mate lob­by­ing; cor­po­ra­tions will in­vest a small amount of money into AI safety but spend much more AI R&D).

In sum, I think it might be use­ful to think of cor­po­ra­tions as dan­ger­ous op­ti­miza­tion demons which will cause GCRs if left unchecked by al­tru­ism and philan­thropy.[84]

Ap­pendix: Top 100 state and cor­po­rate ac­tor by rev­enue ≈ power

Adapted fromBar­bic et al. “States ver­susCor­po­ra­tions”

Spread­sheet here

Bank­ing M&A chart:


References

[1] Break­ing down the bar­ri­ers to firm growth in Europe

[2] States ver­sus Corporations

[3] FiveThir­tyEight—Big Busi­ness Is Get­ting Bigger

[4] McKinsey Global In­sti­tute ‘Su­per­stars’—The dy­nam­ics of firms, sec­tors, and cities lead­ing the global economy

[5] David Au­tor—The Fall of the La­bor Share and the Rise of Su­per­star Firms

[6] List of pub­lic cor­po­ra­tions by mar­ket capitalization

[7] List of multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions—Wikipedia

[8] States ver­sus Corporations

[9] Wikipe­dia — List of pub­lic cor­po­ra­tions by mar­ket capitalization

[10] Wikipe­dia—US fed­eral bud­get #Manda­tory spend­ing and entitlements

[11] Steven Pinker—En­light­en­ment Now

[12] Tyler Cowen—Big Business

[13] Big Is Beautiful

[14] Break­ing down the bar­ri­ers to firm growth in Europe

[15] Us­ing Big Data to Es­ti­mate Con­sumer Surplus

[16] The Eco­nomics of At­ten­tion Markets

[17] Health Effects of Over­weight and Obe­sity in 195 Coun­tries over 25 Years

[18] The Global Tobacco Epidemic

[19] Fac­tory farm­ing − 80,000 Hours

[20] Eco­nomic down­turns, uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age, and can­cer mor­tal­ity in high-in­come and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries, 1990–2010

[21] Fi­nan­cial crisis may have caused 500,000 can­cer deaths wor­ld­wide: study

[22] Pri­son–in­dus­trial com­plex—Wikipedia

[23] Are pri­vate pris­ons driv­ing mass in­car­cer­a­tion?

[24] Prob­le­matic smart­phone use: Digi­tal ap­proaches to an emerg­ing pub­lic health problem

[25] Adam Alter—Irresistible

[26] Tax Foun­da­tion—Cor­po­rate Tax Rates Around the World

[27] Cor­po­rate Tax Avoidance Re­mains Rampant

[28] Lind­sey—The Cap­tured Economy

[29] Sti­gler—The The­ory of Eco­nomic Regulation

[30] Reg­u­la­tory Cap­ture—A Review

[31] Modern Lob­by­ing: A Re­la­tion­ship Market

[32] Tyler Cowen—Big Business

[33] Lob­byFacts Database

[34] Google, Ama­zon, and Face­book all spent record amounts last year lob­by­ing the US government

[35] Igan—Bank Lob­by­ing: Reg­u­la­tory Cap­ture and Beyond

[36] Toby Ord — Will We Cause Our Own Ex­tinc­tion? Nat­u­ral ver­sus An­thro­pogenic Ex­tinc­tion Risks

[37] Global pri­vate and pub­lic R&D funding

[38] The Mal­i­cious Use of Ar­tifi­cial In­tel­li­gence: Fore­cast­ing, Preven­tion, and Mitigation

[39] Schoch-Spana et al. - Global Catas­trophic Biolog­i­cal Risks: Toward a Work­ing Definition

[40] Congress Of The United States Con­gres­sional Bud­get Office—Ap­proaches for Manag­ing the Costs of U.S. Nu­clear Forces, 2017 to 2046

[41] Cen­ter for Biosafety Re­search and Strat­egy, Ti­an­jin Univer­sity, China — Syn­thetic biol­ogy: Re­cent progress, biosafety and biose­cu­rity con­cerns, and pos­si­ble solutions

[42] Syn­thetic Biol­ogy in the Driv­ing Seat of the Bioeconomy

[43] A biomed­i­cal mil­i­tary–in­dus­trial com­plex?

[44] Ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence: The next digi­tal fron­tier? - McKinsey

[45] 80000hours.org—US AI policy pro­file

[46] Thomas Sit­tler—A shift in ar­gu­ments for AI risk

[47] World en­ergy expenditures

[48] En­ergy ex­pen­di­ture, eco­nomic growth, and the min­i­mum EROI of society

[49] In­fluencemap.org—Big Oil’s Real Agenda on Cli­mate Change

[50] John Halstead—Is cli­mate change an ex­is­ten­tial risk?

[51] Defense Con­trac­tors Say Rus­sian Threat Is Great

[52] Who’s Really Driv­ing Nu­clear-Weapons Pro­duc­tion?

[53] Tyler Cowen—Big Business

[54] Don’t Bank on the Bomb

[55] Light penalties and lax over­sight en­courage weak safety cul­ture at nu­clear weapons labs

[56] The Rus­sian Nu­clear-In­dus­trial-Com­plex

[57] Un­war­ranted In­fluence? The Im­pact of the Biotech-Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­dus­try on U.S. Policy on the BWC Ver­ifi­ca­tion Protocol

[58] Clas­sify­ing global catas­trophic risks

[59] A Nu­clear Com­plex? A Net­work Vi­su­al­iza­tion of Ja­pan’s Nu­clear In­dus­try and Reg­u­la­tory Elite

[60] Nick Beck­stead—A Pro­posed Ad­just­ment to the Astro­nom­i­cal Waste Argument

[61] Global Catas­trophic Risks from Chem­i­cal Contamination

[62] IGM Fo­rum—Break­ing Up Large Tech Companies

[63] IGM Fo­rum—Break­ing up Euro­pean Champions

[64] Why Tax Cor­po­ra­tions?

[65] Good re­cent re­view pa­per on cor­po­rate taxes effects

[66] Why isn’t the cor­po­rate in­come tax pro­gres­sive?

[67] Cor­po­rate Tax Avoidance Re­mains Rampant

[68] Glen Weyl – Rad­i­cal Markets

[69] Brigitte Roth Tran—Divest, Dis­re­gard, or Dou­ble Down?

[70] Hauke Hille­brandt—A gen­er­al­ized strat­egy of ‘mis­sion hedg­ing’

[71] Amanda Askell on the 80k podcast

[72] The Top 5 Google Shareholders

[73] The Top 6 Share­hold­ers of Facebook

[74] Baidu Shareholders

[75] China un­veils draft law to al­low fully for­eign-owned enterprises

[76] Mar­i­ana Maz­zu­cato—The En­trepreneurial State

[77] Paul Chris­ti­ano on Sovereign Wealth Funds

[78] When Govern­ments Reg­u­late Governments

[79] Liter­a­ture re­view on Home Bias

[80] Allen De­foe—AI Strat­egy, Policy, and Governance

[81] Stromatolites

[82] Cor­po­ra­tions vs.su­per­in­tel­li­gences—Arbital

[83] Jade Le­ung—Why Com­pa­nies Should be Lead­ing on AI Governance

[84] Paul Chris­ti­ano—More re­al­is­tic tales of doom