Economic inequality is on the rise. Corporate “shareholder primacy” means that the vast majority of today’s record corporate profits are used to increase the wealth of shareholders, through dividends and stock buybacks.[1] Meanwhile, real wages for non-executive workers have essentially remained stagnant for decades. Increasing worker bargaining power in the 21st century is necessary, and

Workers are increasingly powerless in today’s economy. The decades-long assault on the voice and agency of American workers continues to erode their position under employers: Declining unionization rates, the proliferation of noncompete and arbitration clauses, and outsized employer power plague labor markets today. Additionally, an increasingly fissured workplace is yet one more challenge our most

Every year during Women’s History Month, we celebrate the strides that women have made throughout history. In the fight for dignity and equity on the job, the government played a crucial—albeit imperfect—role in ensuring that women today are better off than their sisters of past generations. Yet, workplace equality remains out of reach for many.

For nearly half of a century, America’s public corporations have been driven by a shareholder primacy approach to corporate governance, increasingly prioritizing shareholder payments over other, more productive uses of corporate resources. Over the same period, employee bargaining power has decreased and wages for nonexecutive workers have remained flat across sectors. In Ending Shareholder Primacy in Corporate Governance,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2019 CONTACT: Ariela Weinberger, aweinberger@rooseveltinstitute.org   Roosevelt Senior Economist Explores Corporate Prosperity and the Decline of Employee Bargaining Power Research finds that the rise of shareholder primacy has contributed to America’s high-profit, low-wage economy   NEW YORK, NY – Today, the Roosevelt Institute, a New York-based think tank that promotes

At its December meeting, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter point. The move, while widely expected, represented a clear rebuke to President Trump, who has repeatedly urged the Fed to keep rates low. He took to Twitter after the move to attack Fed head Jerome Powell as a golfer who has

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Today, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) introduced the STOP Walmart Act, which prohibits large companies from engaging in stock buybacks unless they make serious investments in their workers. While the act takes aim at Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, it highlights the theme of my work: that excessive giveaways to

The 2016 corruption scandal at Wells Fargo, in which executives pressured employees to meet “wildly unrealistic sales targets,” created a work environment described as “relentless pressure.” Once revealed, the massive fraud committed against millions of consumers led to congressional hearings, substantial fines by state and federal regulators, and a series of announced changes by Wells

Last week, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced a sweeping, bold economic policy idea: the LIFT the Middle Class Act. The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families) Act would essentially be a dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making it much larger and available to many more Americans. A few days later, the conservative

Recently, The New York Times published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. The profile is a tragic example of the steep toll levied on women, and particularly women of color, who face economic and social rules that are rigged against