For decades, regulators have had only limited success in taming a for-profit college industry that routinely defrauds students, inflates prices, and produces devastatingly bad outcomes for student loan borrowers. But recently, instead of promoting complex regulatory schemes, some policymakers have offered a simple solution: take away for-profit colleges’ federal subsidies. Today, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
Corporate profits and executive pay are sky high today, while wages for most American workers have remained low and stagnant over the past several decades. Today’s high-profit, low-wage economy is, in part, a result of rules and policies that shape corporate decision-making. These rules have allowed CEOs, shareholders, and executives to move more and more
In a new working paper, Roosevelt Senior Economist and Fellow Lenore Palladino argues that the 21st century American economy requires a new, more accurate, and more effective model for corporate governance—one that can advance worker power and employee representation within American corporations and curb inequality. As it stands, outsized shareholder power is contributing to rising economic
The mainstream economic theory that guides corporations in the US only works if markets are perfectly efficient. This flawed theory has led to corporate decision-making that centers shareholders above all else, including other stakeholders (e.g., workers), long-term business growth, and economic health. This shareholder-first ideology is referred to as “shareholder primacy,” which does not reflect
In a working paper, Roosevelt Senior Economist and Policy Counsel Lenore Palladino investigates whether stock buybacks occur more frequently, independent of other factors, when corporate insiders are selling their own personal shareholdings. In her empirical analysis of the relationship between insider sales and stock buybacks, Palladino finds that a 10 percent increase in insider sales
Tomorrow at Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart workers will call out America’s broken corporate governance system and propose that Walmart workers be included on its board of directors. Walmart associate Cat Davis will be joined by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who will speak on behalf of workers’ right to participate in corporate decision-making.
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. Meanwhile, real wages for non-executive workers have essentially remained stagnant for decades. Increasing worker bargaining power in the 21st century is necessary, and
This blog post is based off of remarks given at “Wall Street and the Next Recession: Protecting Main Street in the Next Economic Downturn,” an event co-sponsored by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Popular Democracy at the US Senate. One thing is certain about markets: they go up and they go down.
Corporate profits are at record highs and unemployment is below 5 percent, yet 40 percent of Americans say that they would not be able to meet a $400 emergency. For too long we’ve been guided by the 50-year-old myth that fewer regulations and lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy will lead to economic growth
Rejecting the Theory of the Firm: Why the ‘Free-Market’ Economy is a Myth and How to Rebuild Public Power
Companies today are not working the way that most Americans, policymakers, or the media think that they do. To fight inequality, we need to rewrite the laws that guide corporations. We must first, however, change the way that people understand the role of the American firm in our economy and explore how we can deploy