The First Corporate Democracy

Creekside had no government. That is until the two 6th grade Cory’s came along. The old saying goes that great minds think alike. In this case, it just so happened that they were named alike too.  Seated in front of Mr. Levensohn, the MicroSociety coordinator, their faces wore masks of concern.  “We made a mistake,” declared Cory #1, who often went by the moniker, C.J. To make things easier.  

“Well, not ‘we’ as in just us two, “quickly added Cory #2. “We, as in the whole society.” Mr. Levensohn’s nod told them to proceed.

“I mean, at first we all thought that no government and no rules would be cool. We didn’t want to be controlled. But things were really getting out of hand,” C.J. continued. “Some businesses were paying their entry level employees $1 Micro per workday. And others were paying $50 Micros per workday for the same kind of job.”

“Yeah,” said Cory, “And some businesses had one price on their sign but another for their friends. If you know what I mean.”

“So you mean there was a black market for products and services,” Mr. Levensohn responded.  

“It was so unfair,” both boys said at once. Which didn’t seem to faze them one bit.

“That’s why we gave the memo out to all the citizens. About paying taxes. We needed some order. If Cory and I didn’t step up, it would have gotten ugly. Without police or a court or leadership, who knows what could have happened…” CJ trailed off.

The two Corys hadn’t told a soul that they had planned on turning the society on its head. They just walked in on a Monday with a stack of papers. A stack with a message. Taxes due by Friday to Cory and Cory. Society police force and court now hiring. Paid positions. C.J. had bartered lawn mowing for copying with his father.

No one knew quite what to say. Except for 3rd grade Claire that is. Memo in hand she had marched straight up to its distributors with a scowl that spoke for itself. “I refuse to pay,” she commanded. “I have worked hard all year to build my flower shop. I am finally making enough to pay for employees. You can put me in jail, I am not going to pay these taxes.”

Not knowing whether to arrest her or surrender themselves, the boys found themselves in the office of their coordinator. Where they spilled all. Their discontent with the status quo. Their confusion over the current state of things. Their complaint from Claire.

Mr. Levensohn didn’t holler at the boys. He didn’t send them to the principal for their “rebellious” act. He didn’t even call home.  Rather, he brought in the high school civics teacher from across the street to serve as their advisor.

The outcome? Each business did get a taxes due slip. C.J. and Cory agreed to a Legislature but they wanted representatives elected from existing MicroSociety businesses, not from homerooms. As for Cory and Cory, they got their leadership positions as part of a five-member cabinet along with the principal, Mr. Levensohn, and the newly recruited Mr. Sacks. They couldn’t vote. But they could veto. With that, the first MicroSociety Corporate Democracy was born.

As for Claire? She applied for a tax extension and got it.  Her shop would continue to bloom. Just like her innovative society.


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