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

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

The student loan program today serves industry insiders over its core stakeholder: students. The government justifies bailing out these other participants—lenders, servicers, debt collectors, and even colleges—as being in the best interests of students, student loan borrowers, and taxpayers. These claims, however, do not hold up. In Who Pays? How Industry Insiders Rig the Student

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,

For a full analysis of why stock buybacks artificially boost share prices and reward shareholders and executives to the real detriment of workers and our economy at large, see Stock Buybacks: Driving a High-Profit, Low-Wage Economy. Monday’s bold speech by Robert Jackson Jr., Commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will hopefully mark the

Why This Matters is a series from Roosevelt staff connecting our individual work—from papers to reports and everything in between—to our broader vision of creating a better, more equitable economic and political system. This series will give readers the top takeaways from our latest writing and thinking, with a focus on why they matter as we

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Awards honor individuals whose careers exemplify President Roosevelt’s extraordinary dedication to public service and who seek to inspire a renewed national commitment to the principles for which FDR stood. Change can take a lifetime, and these men and women have dedicated their lives to the public good, never

Following decades of lax antitrust enforcement, the airline sector today suffers from a market power problem. Fewer firms means there is less competition, which is great for corporate profits but bad for consumers and other stakeholders. In “Airline Consolidation, Merger Retrospectives, and Oil Price Pass-Through,” Roosevelt Research Director Marshall Steinbaum studies the last 10 years

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In light of the corporate tax cuts—included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—former Roosevelt Legal Fellow Andrew Hwang examines global tax avoidance schemes that are likely to remain pervasive among multinational corporations and proposes policy tools to curb these practices. “Thinking Outside the (Patent) Box: An Intellectual Property Approach to Combating International Tax

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The federal tax code is one of the most powerful tools of economic policymaking, housing critical rules that govern our economy. As such, it is also home to a set of hidden racial rules that, through intention or neglect, provide opportunities to some communities and create barriers for others. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,