It may be hard to believe in an era of Wal-Mart, Citizens United, and the Koch brothers, but corporations are on the decline, says Gerald Davis. The number of American companies listed on the stock market dropped by more than half between 1997 and 2012. In recent years we've seen some of the most storied corporations go bankrupt or disappear entirely. Corporations vanishing may sound like good news to some, but Davis insists it's not. He points out that in their heyday they offered millions of people lifetime employment, a stable career path, health insurance, and retirement pensions. This story tracks the rise of the large corporations, its role in greatly expanding the middle class, and the current economic pressures that are making it unsustainable.