Senator Elizabeth Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act introduced last week, S. 3348, requires the few thousand very largest US corporations (over a billion dollars in annual revenue) to be chartered as a "U.S. corporation", and

  • Rather than the "shareholders first" philosophy of recent decades, these corporations will be required to consider the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, employees, and the communities where they operate.
  • Employees elect at least 40% of the board.
  • Directors and officers who receive corporate stock must keep it for five years (or three years after a stock buyback).
  • Any political expenditures by the corporation must be approved by 75% of shareholders and 75% of board members.
  • State attorneys general can petition for the charter to be revoked for repeated and egregious illegal conduct.

Matthew Yglesias at Vox writes about the background and meaning:

Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism
"She’s unveiling a bill to make corporate governance great again."

"...Warren’s plan starts from the premise that corporations that claim the legal rights of personhood should be legally required to accept the moral obligations of personhood....

Warren wants to eliminate the huge financial incentives that entice CEOs to flush cash out to shareholders rather than reinvest in businesses. She wants to curb corporations’ political activities. And for the biggest corporations, she’s proposing a dramatic step that would ensure workers and not just shareholders get a voice on big strategic decisions.

Warren hopes this will spur a return to greater corporate responsibility, and bring back some other aspects of the more egalitarian era of American capitalism post-World War II — more business investment, more meaningful career ladders for workers, more financial stability, and higher pay.

As much as Warren’s proposal is about ending inequality, it’s also about saving capitalism."

(Ellipsis and emphases mine. Read much more!)

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Replies to This Discussion

Too often in America’s ~230 years, approximately every seven or eight years, taxpayers’ money has saved capitalism from itself. Corporate welfare has to end.

Well put, Tom!

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