Abstract DI Dr. techn. Harald Frey
In literature there are several references on linguistic metaphors, which compare the economic system, financial institutions and corporations regarding their obligation to economic growth, with the proliferation of a malignant tumor. Cancer metaphors were used all times for the description of breaking and overshooting constraints. The metaphorical logic can be used to describe relations and is therefore able to help, to overbear infirmities of the traditional scientific languages. The main thesis of this work to be verified should not only identify an analytical isomorphism between the growth of corporations and cancer (the way it metastasizes in living organism), but also proof this empirically. The basis forms the experience with evolutionary epistemology, which shows that substantial regularities already exist in subjacent layers of evolution. Corporations are only committed to their shareholders and the pursuit of maximum profit. All other values become inferior related to this permanent push to growth. In this exploitation process the corporations attend not only political but particularly technical structures. The growth of transnational corporations depends specially on global infrastructure networks. Infrastructure for fast transport forces processes of economic concentration and increase the radius of accessibility for the procurement of raw materials as well as goods distribution. The dominance of large corporation-structures over local economic and resource-circulations was mainly caused by the increase of transport- and travel-speed in the past decades. Funds can be moved by the worldwide electronic cross linking without frictional losses. Compelling growth as a characteristic of corporations is analogously found at malignant tumors in the human organism. Cancer cells extract themselves from the united cell structure with their neighbouring cells and follow boundless growth as their only target. They need space as well as energy for their supply. Therefore metastasizing cancer cells built up their own supply system (tumorangiogenesis). Implementing the Dynamic Energy budget Theory (DEB) of Kooijman (2000), van Leeuwen et.al (2003) developed a tumor model which focuses especially at the tumor-host interaction. It shows, that the tumor forces his growth, analogue to the corporations, by reducing growth- and maintenance costs (in comparison to the host). These externalisation-processes are mainly responsible for the growth of corporate structures. Paradigms for externalized costs of corporations are exemplarily described. Thereby it can be assumed that only a sub range of these costs is known. For the other indicators of externalized corporation-costs estimations were made. Analogue to the tumor model these costs were assigned to the categories by growth- and maintenance-costs. The tumor model which is based in the essentials on the growth equations of Bertalanffy was thus modelled that the growth courses of the profit, turnover and capital assets of the groups are illustrated. The parameters of the tumor model, which is based primarily on the growth equations of Bertalanffy, were diversified, so that the growth progression of profit, turnover and capital assets of the corporations were reproduced. Estimating the scale of externalized costs, the parameters for growth- and maintenance-costs were accordingly changed and the monetary part of externalized costs of profit and assets is described. It is shown that the annually earned profits of the examined corporations are based among 68% to 110% on externalized costs. An internalization of these costs implies a stagnation of capital assets at a level of the years 1970-1980 on average. Evaluating the 100 most profitable US-corporations showed, that 83% of their growth- and 73% of their maintenance-costs were externalized. Regarding the effectiveness of the parameters, 130% of the annual profits of the 100 most profitable US-corporations, are based on externalized costs. In other words, these corporations would have to deliver their annual profits and, in addition, 30% to the community. An internalization of these costs would cause a limitation of assets on the value of the year 1969. Solutions should include the obvious internalization of costs by charges and taxation, etc., the deconstruction and redemensioning of corporation relevant transport infrastructure, implementation of the so-called "Tobin tax", the comprehensive initiation of local currencies and of new indicators instead of the BIP (e.g. Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare). If a corporation offends against rules and laws it must be liquidated juridically. A state must be able, based on democratic and national principles, to declare an embargo on imports of products which contradict social or environmental standards. It was demonstrated that there exists not only a qualitative-analytic but also an empirically provable analogy between the growth of corporations and malignant tumors. The present work delivers a contribution on the increased consideration of externalized costs of corporations. Linking the knowledge of different scientific disciplines (technology, economy, biology and medicine) prepares necessary tools. In this process the sense of responsibility of engineers is extremely important for future developments. Knowing and understanding the effect mechanisms of dynamic feedback systems and linking of scientific disciplines for the gain of scientific knowledge are significant.