CORPORATIONS: The Elephant and the Chickens

The powder mill that Eleuthere Irenée du Pont de Nemours built in 1802 on the banks of Delaware's Brandywine River has exploded into a vast corporation that did $3.6 billion worth of business last year, and now ranks 18th on FORTUNE'S roster of the largest U.S. industrial companies. Du Font's base remains in tiny Delaware, 47th in population among the states. That disparity in size intrigued Economist Lewis Anthony Dexter, who studied the situation in 1963 and concluded: "The elephant takes care not to dance among the chickens." It also intrigued Ralph Nader, who feels otherwise. In...

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