For this year's Corporate Power Chart, though, we've culled a list based on our own research.
Poring over tax figures and financial statements, and up to our ears in investor reports, we are proud to offer you a list of the biggest players in Seattle. These are the companies that pay the most Seattle business and sales taxes, who own the most property, who employ the most people. They aren't all multinationals, and maybe they don't have Bush on the speed dial, but their legions of lobbyists, campaign donations, and tax dollars assure that when they bark, city hall heels.
While it's a much more conventional idea than it was, say, 10, or even five years ago, the concept of "corporate power"--the idea that transnational corporations (not the government) are the dominant political and cultural force in society--it's still a difficult concept for many to grasp or explain without drifting into academic lectures or trite rhetoric.
Despite recent, blatant manifestations of corporate greed and villainy--can anyone say Enron? (by the way, they got a nod in our last corporate power chart)--corporate power is ultimately a tricky concept. We're hoping it helps to put a few names, faces, and numbers on the 10 companies we've identified as local corporate titans.
--Brook Adam and Josh Feit