In a joint publication of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the Roosevelt Institute, Irene Tung and Katy Milani expose the extent of stock buyback spending across the U.S. economy from 2015 to 2017—finding that companies spent almost 60 percent of net profits on buybacks. At a time of growing economic inequality, with millions

Who Are the Shareholders?

The ideology of “shareholder primacy”—the belief that businesses function solely to profit and “maximize value” for shareholders—has had a profound and toxic effect on our economy. Corporate executives used to, in large part, manage companies for the long term, workers had more bargaining power and greater economic security, and the economy was more dynamic. Today,

Americans today rank corruption of government officials as their top fear—even above fear of North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons. Far from a new phenomenon, public trust in government has polled consistently low for over a decade. Newspapers report daily on elected officials who benefit personally from the policies they pass, regulators who once led

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The Financialization of Higher Education at Michigan State University is the latest report from Roosevelt’s Financialization of Higher Education project. To learn more about the project, click here. America’s higher educational institutions today are a far cry from the promise progressives have envisioned for higher education. Successful public higher educational institutions have, rightly so, been defined as

As workers, as consumers, and as citizens, Americans are increasingly powerless in today’s economy. A 40-year assault on antitrust and competition policy—the laws and regulations meant to guard against the concentration of power in private hands—has tipped the economy in favor of powerful corporations and their shareholders. Under the false assumption that the unencumbered ambitions

10 Ideas 2018

Roosevelters all across the country are rising to the challenges of today and building their own rulebook, so that government can be reflective of and responsive to the people it’s meant to serve. Our current political and social reality is profoundly different than ones that existed in previous iterations of this journal, but despite that,

The George Washington University (GW) has a student health insurance problem. Annual insurance premiums for the university-sponsored student health insurance plan (SHIP) reached a five-year high of $4,103 for the 2017-18 policy year. This cost is exorbitantly high in comparison to similar plans offered by many other universities, discouraging students from enrolling in the school’s

The ability of workers to bargain for a greater share of a firm’s corporate profits has eroded over decades, and one of the growing drivers of this reality is the financialization of the corporate sector. Corporate financialization can be summed up as two behaviors: firms (like Walmart or Pfizer) increasingly earning profits from financial activity

Despite record corporate profits and high stock prices, most Americans have not shared in the post-recession recovery. In a new Roosevelt Institute report, Fellows Mike Konczal and J.W. Mason discuss how the Great Recession changed the way the Federal Reserve (the Fed) uses macroeconomic monetary policy—a set of rules influencing the supply of credit and

Fighting Short-Termism With Worker Power asks, “Can Germany’s co-determination system fix American corporate governance?” Prioritizing immediate increases in share price and payouts at the expense of long-term business investment and growth—a behavior we refer to as short-termism—has driven the inequality crisis in America and weakened our economy. By comparing the German stakeholder system of co-determination