As entities, with a legal personality, similar to those granted to individuals, global corporations have rights that serve as protection under the law, but with a difference - unlike, individuals, they have virtually perpetual life span and with potential to own unlimited amount of money and resources. Thus, in the modern era, global corporations have been the force to reckon with its influence, not only the political and economic spheres but in the cultural and lifestyle aspirations of people across the planet.
Indirectly, because of their clout, global corporations have influenced governments, especially developing nations to pursue policies that favor free markets and consumerism, which has resulted to the decline of services in the public sector. Export policies are encouraged, so that people who produce expensive goods at the expense of
their cheap labor will never attain the buying power to afford these goods. On the other had, the local markets are flooded with cheap imports, especially food, that virtually kill local industries. In effect people, are constrained to think that it is better and wise to buy imported goods which are cheaper over locally produced ones, even if the imported goods do not pass stringent tests on quality and safety. In many countries, retail trade liberalization has paved the way for the entry of retail giants such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour to the detriment of small, homegrown retail stores. Moreover, tobacco multinationals such as Philip Morris have increasingly established presence in developing countries with little or no anti-tobacco laws, moving away from Western countries whose health lobbies have banned advertising on tobacco. In many developing countries, people are bombarded still with the cool image of Caucasians smoking on television long banned in Western countries, encouraging many young people to think that smoking is fun.
Behind the march of free trade as espoused by global corporations, lies the competitive ethos which makes countries and individuals think and act alike as if what matters is that one should concentrate on a particular skill or advantage to be able to compete - similar to how companies operate to gain market share from their rivals. So if the current global marketplace, favors outsourcing, nations must drop other traditional industries and race to compete to gain a slice of the offshoring phenomenon. Similarly, when IT skills were the ones needed, individuals lost no time to get college degrees in computers in favor of other vocations, which are not as in demand in the marketplace. In both cases, the value is placed on the prospect of high income or money - both for the country and the individual.
Because of their spread around the world, and their role in the transformation of labor markets, global corporations have influenced people to think that it is the pinnacle of an individual's career to work for a multinational. This has led people to work and relocate abroad, away from their own countries, or communities. Family, and other outside concerns are