Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act to help eliminate skewed market incentives and return to the era when American corporations and American workers did well together. The legislation aims to reverse the harmful trends over the last thirty years that have led to record corporate profits and rising worker productivity but stagnant wages.
- Requires very large American corporations to obtain a federal charter as a "United States corporation," which obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders:
- Empowers workers at United States corporations to elect at least 40% of Board members:
- Restricts the sales of company shares by the directors and officers of United States corporations:
- Prohibits United States corporations from making any political expenditures without the approval of 75% of its directors and shareholders:
- Permits the federal government to revoke the charter of a United States corporation if the company has engaged in repeated and egregious illegal conduct:
The details: Warren Introduces Accountable Capitalism Act
It appears Sen. Warren is proposing the creation of a new Office within the Dept. of Commerce that would be the "Controller" and Arbitor" for compliance with her new legislation.
Combine this with her Reparations stance and I think her goose is cooked.
GA, I know that you and the "righties" don't approve of Salon, but there was an interesting article from Robert Reich that well explains where I am as a progressive and why Warren's take on the issues remain the most viable regarding the changes that I want to see. Rather than just a Trump basher, it bashes the status quo.
https://www.salon.com/2019/05/15/the-di … f_partner/
I read your link Cred, but it was a struggle.
With a caveat that his numbers regarding median wages and the Rich's wealth increases are probably accurate, I saw nothing more than an anti-Trump, anti-evil rich people diatribe.
Further, except for perhaps the Act's point of 40% employee-elected board members, (empowering the workers?), I don't see any part of Reich's rant that applies to the Act - this topic of discussion.
So, your mission Jim, and you must accept it, is to explain which of your link's points that so explains why you are a Progressive, relate to Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act.
Here is a head start:
Warren's Web site page for the Accountable Capitalism Act
The legislation's "one-pager for the Accountable Capitalism Act
The text of the Accountable Capitalism Act
The problem, GA, for me is the overriding principle that I do not trust the aristocracy and corporate power. You are confortable with the status quo, and would be more than content if Trump's ugly mug did not represent it.
Rather than controlling corporations and the Aristocracy, I wish to see their power and influence in Washington sharply curbed. Citizens United was a bad decision, for example.
I really believe that Democracy is threatened when moneyed interests overrides the popular sovereignty of the people.
I confess that her initiatives go too far too fast, but the only thing worse is the status quo.
That is the direction I see us all heading in, but that's just me.
And while many of Warren's proposals introduces an uncomfortable element of government control over private business, I rather accept her excesses than continue with the status quo, which, in my opinion requires a radical makeover.
Cred, I'm wondering if a sustained, determined and persistent campaign to call out corporations on their unethical behavior would be an acceptable alternative for you?
Consider, once we give the feds the kind of power Warren's plan would give them, there'd be no turning back. And that power could readily be used for MORE than the intended purpose.
Did you see the dressing down Senator Warren gave one of Trump's henchmen who was supposed to be providing regulatory guidance but was actually asleep at the switch while Wells Fargo was ripping everyone off? That is the sort of "going for jugular" regarding the excesses of corporate America, that I need to see from those that want my vote.
I would rather have government regulation than a cowboy Capitalism where basically a greedy and selfish class enrich themselves at the tax payers expense. Altruistic, my foot.
Government regulation is part of life, protects consumers, and levels the playing field. There are regulations as to how much extraneous matter is allowed in my bowl of corn flakes. Because what you don't see can hurt you.The private sector (Corporate class) is only interested in profit, I trust them far less than I do an elected government and its processes.
We have a fundamentally different view of Government verses the Private sector. I see government as only source of protection from the unscrupulous, who operate without ANY restraint, that is if we can keep the tentacles of this group away from having any inordinate influence within Government. Why else complain about Excessive Government regulation, it is always easier for a Corporate entity to just dump their wastes into the river if there is no government authority to prevent it. If there is no penalty for not cleaning up why incur the expense of cleaning up? They are not responsible or ethical people without application of external pressure.
No, Sir, I abhor this sort and won't give them an inch, as ultimately they are out to "take it all".
So, if Senator Warren comes through with her battle axe, to get these guys that is just that much more red, red vino on tap to enjoy.
"I would rather have government regulation than a cowboy Capitalism where basically a greedy and selfish class enrich themselves at the tax payers expense. Altruistic, my foot."
I'm with you. And there's a good deal of regulation in place now that I support. Also, I thought that getting rid of Glasse-Steagle was a really bad idea (I probably misspelled that, but am too lazy to look it up).
Warren's concept is for yet MORE regulation, whereas my thought was that companies could perhaps be shamed into doing more of what's right by social campaigns, even those supported by the government.
Again, looking for your thoughts on that idea!
Corporations can seldom be shamed into doing the right thing. Any more than politicians can.
Corporate behavior can be changed by hitting them in the pocketbook - you don't like WalMart's low wages and prices, don't shop there. Politicians behavior can be changed in the voting booth - you don't like their behavior vote them out of office.
Unfortunately we as a people will do neither. Our greed is no less that of the corporations or the politicians, as we will continue to do what we think is best for us personally rather than what is best for the country.
Prof, conservatives always speak of a assuming the greedy, drunk with power corporate entities would ever do anything based on public pressure. As a amoral entity, they respond only to the profit motive. The remedy to that having to be government regulation to force them to do what they would never volunteer to do without the proper coercion.
Do the anachronista right wing types have this same attitude about Social Security or Medicare?
Do all of you feel comfortable in the 19th century as a place to live?
Of course, I am not a socialist but excesses of capitalism needs to be curbed to a greater extent than most conservatives or rightwingers will accept, in my opinion.
ah geez Cred, chill out. It was a funny video.
This Social Security and Medicare retort is old and non-functional in this discussion. You can do better.
Feeling comfortable in the 19th century? But what about Hillary?
I know that didn't make sense, but it seems to fit with your 19th-century thought.
And for the knock-out punch; I agree with you that there are excesses of our current state of capitalism that need to be curbed. We just disagree on what those excesses are and the proper ways to curb them.
"I agree with you that there are excesses of our current state of capitalism that need to be curbed. We just disagree on what those excesses are and the proper ways to curb them."
Just butting in on a conversation again, but I think this is important because it seems to be where Americans could really come together if we are ever able to get past all the noise. Survey after survey come to the same conclusion...Americans basically want the same things. The disagreements come in how we get there. I think there's a starting point to where we can at least try out some real changes that have a chance at solving our major problems. Or, we can just continue to listen to the big-money interests on all sides that serve to divided us because some of us disagree on how to get to the same point. I hate to bring him in again, but, this will never happen with someone like Trump in office.
"I confess that her initiatives go too far too fast, but the only thing worse is the status quo."
The status quo is the result of centuries of effort that has produced a steadily increasing standard of life, and the lowest proportion of truly destitute people we've ever seen.
So there are much worse things than the status quo, and the dismantling of the system that produced a very comfortable living for the vast majority could easily be one of them. Giving the government the ability to virtually control business decisions is almost certainly a sure fire way to end up bad.
I hear you Wilderness, but not all of us are satisfied that the most is being done to control the excesses of capitalism. But again, a lot of that depends on which side of the looking glass you are sitting on. Those centuries of effort has benefitted some people more than others, let's say.
Of course it benefitted some more than others. At the same time, though, "equality for all" is but a liberal myth and if instituted cannot endure. People, for some odd reason, demand compensation commensurate with production and equality denies that possibility. Because people are NOT equal (in ability, in motivation, in goals or in anything else) no matter how hard we pretend they are.
But was merit truly the foundation of why some benifitted from this system over others? I really doubt that. People are different in their abilities, but have the opportunities available to all been equal? We have struggled with this concept within your vaunted Status Quo for centuries, Right ?
These ideas form the basis of the dissatisfaction with the way things are currently.
"have the opportunities available to all been equal?"
Again, of course not. One lives next door to a factory, the other lives on a farm. One has rich parents, one does not. One lives in a small town with a university, one must move elsewhere for education. There IS no "equality" - not of the kind you want.
No, these ideas are not what form the basis of dissatisfaction. That comes from greed, from wanting more than we are willing to build ourselves.
My comfort with the status quo may not be exactly as you think Cred, but speaking of the status quo of keeping the government's controlling hands out of private business operations, (as described earlier), is one I am comfortable with.
I also think Citizens was a bad legal decision. And I would like to see Big Business move to a model described by the Beneficial Corporations plan. However, I think it must be a voluntary decision - not a government mandated one.
As much as I dislike social engeneering by taxation, I dislike it by government mandate much more.
I agree with your point about "moneyed interests," but we need to find a controlling mechanism(s) that doesn't rip the fabric of American Capitalism.
Your acceptance of her excesses to progress towards a solution you deem necessary sounds a lot like that old quip about willingly giving up some, (more), freedoms for some, (more), security.
We may not be on the same page regarding "Government intervention in private business activity." I see too much Corporate influence through lobbying and their virtually writing legislation in Washington so I don't trust the moneyed class to do anything above board.
I don't trust the private sector and Corporate class doing what they like, using the Government as an enabler to promote completely selfish objectives. You don't really think that they do anything beyond line their own pockets, do you? These sort can never be held accountable. The remaining 99 percent are mere serfs, designated to do their bidding.
I want to keep Capitalism, but I am willing to,experiment much more than the red or purple to see how to make it more fair and accountable in the interests of its own survival.
When freedom becomes exploitation, I am not so much concerned about making a trade toward properly lassoing the cowboy as a viable alternative.
Lord have mercy. Am I a closet Bernie fan? I'd like to hear the pros and cons. I can't dismiss it out of hand.
The essentials are in the bullet points of the link.
Google the Act and you will get plenty of speculation, from both sides, on what those bullet points really mean.
However, as mentioned to Hxprof, her intent will come from Warren herself as she talks about it on the campaign trail.
Upon first glance, I see some good, some bad. I don't like the 40% of board members being elected by workers as I don't see most workers having the knowledge it takes to make those decisions. I like the political expenditure point. Personally, I still think executive pay/bonuses needs to be capped based on corporate earnings. I'm going to look into this more. I know I'm not a big fan of her throw money at the "opiate crisis" plan, but that's another topic.
Here is a good starting point hard sun - the text of the Act
Check out Sect. 5, starting on page 10
"(A) shall manage or direct the business
5 and affairs of the United States corporation in
6 a manner that—
7 seeks to create a general public
8 benefit; and ..."
"General public benefit" is defined as;
(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:
21 (1) GENERAL PUBLIC BENEFIT.—The term
22 ‘‘general public benefit’’ means a material positive
23 impact on society resulting from the business and
24 operations of a United States corporation, when
25 taken as a whole.
That seems to leave a lot of room for interpretation, and it is The Office of United States Corporations that gets to do the interpreting.
OK, wow! I thought you may have been cherry picking one of the worst aspects/wordings of the bill here GA, but it seems to be the main thrust of the Bill.
And, yeah, very wide interpretation, directors must act in "good faith?" I do see that it very specifically "Absolves members of that Office of US States Corporations from any liability and includes some substantial fines for corporations that violate these ill-defined rules" and sets forth specific/substantial fines for not being compliant.
Perhaps I can still see the merit of SEC. 8. POLITICAL SPENDING, but it doesn't really have a great deal of meat to it.
This is why people talk about those "big gubment" Dems. I'm certainly not against government spending, but this just seems set up for misuse and abuse. Way too much latitude given here. We need targeted/smart spending and regulation. I bet a few of us here could put together a more effective and genuine corporate accountability bill.
And, I used to see myself as at least a moderate Warren supporter. I'm not feeling that anymore.
I am glad to see my point wasn't taken as "cherry-picking hard sun.
A few years ago I had warmer feelings for Warren due to some of her financial markets reform ideas, but those thoughts quickly cooled when I saw her speak to reparations as part of her early campaign stumping.
Now, her Accountable Capitalism position seems on par with AOC's Green New Deal proposal. Crazy.
I think both concepts have the right idea - to address perceived, (or real), societal problems, but the method of approach and scope of actions are just unrealistic, and to promote them as solutions destroys their credibility for me.
I also think the political expenditures aspect is something that should be addressed. And I also think Citizens United was a bad decision--a legal one, but a bad one.
I am not so sure we could come up with something better for controlling political expenditures. It is a tough problem because it is one of scale, not action.
Consider; I doubt most of us would have a problem with a neighbor having a backyard BBQ to promote and generate support for a local town council member, yet, except for the scale, that is no different than a SuperPac's multimillion-dollar efforts to promote and generate support for a national candidate. Both are examples of free speech Rights.
Of course, one obvious solution is dollar-amount limits, but we already have those. This problem was addressed in one aspect of her legislation when it defined the different ways, (promote candidate, oppose candidate, support idea, oppose idea, support party, etc.), that money is spent for political purposes.
It seems a solution must be able to determine if that backyard BBQ was open support for that council member or hidden support disguised as opposition to an opposing candidate's proposed ideas.
Who do we want to trust with making that distinction?
"I think both concepts have the right idea - to address perceived, (or real), societal problems, but the method of approach and scope of actions are just unrealistic, and to promote them as solutions destroys their credibility for me."
I couldn't agree more on this. Even carbon cap and trade schemes seem more targeted and less corruption prone than this broad-worded bill. Concerted advertisement. I think environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) and social responsibility in corporations must be address from both the demand and supply side, with demand side being the most effective. Social marketing and environmental literacy are known methods that affect these behaviors and governments can participate in these.
"Of course, one obvious solution is dollar-amount limits, but we already have those. This problem was addressed in one aspect of her legislation when it defined the different ways, (promote candidate, oppose candidate, support idea, oppose idea, support party, etc.), that money is spent for political purposes"
To me, the biggest problem with lobbying dollars are fake grassroot efforts. I write about these, and took part in them at one point, out of a necessity to feed my families. I'm talking about things such as pharmaceutical companies starting a group called "People for Cheaper Pharmaceuticals" and duping citizens into supporting a bill that serves only industry needs. If people think politicians are supporting and voting for things they support, then they often support those officials. These efforts have an even bigger impact on elections than SuperPacs IMO and they are illegal in most "developed" nations other than the US.
Your point about Big Business 'grassroots' shenanigans goes to my point about those backyard BBQs. Who do we appoint/trust to decide which is a legitimate, (Free Speech protected), local effort and which is a Big Business, (Free Speech manipulation), BBQ?
I see it like the problem with computer hacking; for every safeguard a human can devise, another human will devise a workaround.
But that isn't a defeatist thought. Just like a hacking effort can be combated, (or discovered), by forensic 'Net tracking, so can Big Business' efforts be combated/discovered by forensic examination of the money trail.
Unfortunately, in both cases, the truth/solutions come after-the-fact, when the initial damage is already done.
Indeed. This is reflective of just how corrupt our nation has become. We have to be able to trust our institutions, at least to an extent. Laws can only be so targeted and we can only have so many watchdogs watching the watchdogs. I just re-read The Prince, and he states something about when a "free" Republic reaches a certain level of corruption, it's necessary for the people to return to the values that brought about that republic. Basically, immorality can bring a strong nation, with a strong constitution, to its knees. We are seeing this now and Trump is the result. I just don't want to see the left-wing equivalent take his place.
Bernie Sanders may have lost to Hillary, in part, because he said "All lives matter!" Is this what we want?
Edit: Bernie did eventually state in a debate "Black lives matter" in response to the question "Do black lives matter."
However, this was after he took so much heat for stating this: "Black lives matter; white lives matter; Hispanic lives matter. ... It's too easy for quote-unquote liberals to be saying, "Well, let's use this phrase."
So, he was skewered for adding that white and hispanic lives matter. I don't think this brings the country together anymore than the reparations talk.
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