She’s running. What do people think of this idea?
Require businesses over $1 billion give 40% of their board seats to workers, require all political contributions to be approved by 75% of the board, take a huge chunk out of corporate pay, and distribute more money to workers, and more. But businesses are still the main driver of the economy, as opposed to something like the job guarantee, that would expand work options for democratically determined priorities. Or could these work together?
“If imposing stakeholder responsibilities on businesses and requiring half of the seats at the biggest firms to be elected by workers pushed the S&P 500’s Q ratio down to German levels, share prices could fall by 25 percent. For the vast majority of people who earn the majority of their income by working for wages, cheaper stock would be offset by higher pay and more rights at work.
“But for billionaires with huge stock holdings — and for CEOs with compensation packages tied to share price performance — it would be a disaster. If they thought the idea stood a snowball’s chance in hell of happening, rich people would denounce it to anyone who would listen — and since executives and major investors enjoy privileged access to the media, their denunciations would be heard.
“Indeed, it seems likely that literally trillions of dollars of paper stock market wealth could be eliminated by weakening shareholder hegemony in this way. But as economist Ed Wolff has shown, that lost wealth is owned overwhelmingly by a small minority of the overall population.
“In exchange, the laboring majority would make important gains.”
cc: Luísa AG, Raúl Carrillo, Rohan Grey, Michael Kink, Charles Kay
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