Americans are increasingly aware that corporations aren’t working the way they should. Roosevelt Fellow Lenore Palladino explains: “Today’s corporations have retained their privileges and lost their public purpose. Corporate power should not [surpass] people power.”
In a truly competitive economy, rules incentivize corporate behavior that promotes shared prosperity, including investments in higher pay for workers, better products, and long-term business growth. Today, however, the links between profit and prosperity are broken as the rules that govern our economy grant corporations an array of privileges that make them profitable, without holding them responsible for creating any benefit for their workers or the economy overall.
Sky-high stock buyback spending, unchecked corporate consolidation, and rampant monopoly power are some of the symptoms—and causes—of the structural imbalances within and across firms. And Americans, as workers and consumers, feel it in their daily lives: inadequate benefits on the job, fewer opportunities for upward mobility, limited savings, unaffordable health care, and more.
Now is the time to enact new rules that guide how American corporations function—and who they serve.