In the corporate world, the power you have (and the ability to make money too) is a mirage. What is powerful is the position you hold, not you. It’s very much like a political office. The legal structure of corporation (particularly public corporation) allows us to create entities and positions that are powerful as we can pool money publicly.
If you lose your powerful position in a corporation, your powerful aura could stick around with you for a few months but they begin to fade away if you don’t get another job. A half-life of that power is probably 6 months. After 12 months, you would be stripped naked, back to your old self. You would then know who you really are. This is why most corporate employees try to jump from one company to next while they still have jobs.
They can make money because their positions are properly empowered to do so; not necessarily because the people holding the positions are actually good at making money. If they were truly good at making money, they wouldn’t be working for faceless shareholders; they would be starting their own business (especially in today’s economy where VC money is easy to find).
Working for corporations is becoming less popular now because each corporation is hiring less and less people (by increasing efficiency). Young people now prefer small startups because they are more exciting, and more encouraging of self-expression. But I personally think working for big corporations while you are young is a better choice, as you could learn a lot about how the corporate world works, and that opportunity would not be available to you later in life (if you didn’t choose the corporate life right after school). But you do need to get out of the corporate world before you are 30. Once you have kids, you would probably be too scared to leave.
In the old days, people worked for others so that they could learn and eventually open their own business. Nowadays, people just keep working for others all their lives, never figuring out a way to make a living being who they are. We only live once. It’s a waste of life to toil away for anonymous shareholders who care about nothing but the bottom line.