Statement: Roosevelt Institute Experts Respond to Companion Bill to Strengthen Workers’ Voices
December 13, 2018
“By giving workers a seat on corporate boards and a voice in how their companies are managed, the Accountable Capitalism Act rewrites the rules of corporate governance so companies benefit everyone—employees, executives, consumers, and shareholders.”
Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, a companion to legislation introduced in the Senate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in August.
The bill would require large corporations to include and take into account employees and other stakeholders in their decision-making, helping to ensure that the interests of workers are better balanced against the interests of shareholders and top executives.
In response, experts from the Roosevelt Institute issued the following statements:
“The Accountable Capitalism Act takes an important step toward addressing growing inequality and runaway corporate power by rebalancing power inside corporations. Everyone benefits when workers have a real voice in corporate decision-making,” said Lenore Palladino, Senior Economist and Policy Counsel at the Roosevelt Institute. “Companies taking the interests of all stakeholders into account leads to greater economic security for workers, along with broad-based growth for individual corporations and the broader economy.”
“For decades, corporations have focused solely on maximizing profits for their shareholders without considering the needs or interests of workers and other key stakeholders. This bill is big step toward dismantling the myth that companies should only be run to serve shareholders,” said Susan R. Holmberg, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. “By giving workers a seat on corporate boards and a voice in how their companies are managed, the Accountable Capitalism Act rewrites the rules of corporate governance so companies benefit everyone—employees, executives, consumers, and shareholders.”
“The Accountable Capitalism Act is an example of the kind of bold policies that we need to rebalance our economy,” said Steph Sterling, Vice President for Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. “Any progressive agenda must take real steps to curb corporate power and restore the power of working people in our economy—and this bill should be important part of that effort.”
The Roosevelt Institute has led the charge for reforming corporate governance as part of an agenda to address economic inequality. Palladino co-authored the brief Towards ‘Accountable Capitalism’: Remaking Corporate Law through Stakeholder Governance, an overview of the ideas in the Accountable Capitalism Act, earlier this year. Holmberg is the author of Fighting Short-Termism with Worker Power, an analysis of Germany’s co-determination corporate governance system, also released by the Roosevelt Institute.
About the Roosevelt Institute
Until the rules work for every American, they’re not working. The Roosevelt Institute asks: what does a better society look like? Armed with a bold vision for the future, we push the economic and social debate forward. We believe that those at the top hold too much power and wealth, and that our economy will be stronger when that changes. Ultimately, we want our work to move the country toward a new economic and political system: one built by many for the good of all.
It takes all of us to rewrite the rules. From emerging leaders to Nobel laureate economists, we’ve built a network of thousands. At Roosevelt, we make influencers more thoughtful and thinkers more influential. We also celebrate—and are inspired by—those whose work embodies the values of both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and carries their vision forward today.