Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act

I thought I could wait a little longer before getting out my credit card, and going into debt for a 2020 presidential candidate, but I’ve been reading stories about how Elizabeth Warren is lagging behind her fellow candidates on the fundraising front, and felt compelled to put a few dollars into her account. I don’t know that she’s necessarily my favorite candidate — it’s far too early in the process, I think, to pick favorites — but, from what I can tell, her policy positions are the most comprehensive and well thought out of any of the candidates, and, for that reason alone, I’d like to see her remain in the top tier of the ever widening Democratic field. And the reality is that it’s the candidates who raise the most money that get the most attention. [I also gave to her Senate campaign back in 2012, because I liked the fact that she was talking about income inequality when few others were.]

Speaking of Warren’s interesting, ambitious, and well thought out policy positions, here’s just one example. She’s proposed, as part of her Accountable Capitalism Act, that corporations with annual revenue of over $1 billion, reconfigure their boards so that 40% of all seats are held by workers… Here, with a little more detail, is an excerpt from the Harvard Business Review.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a novel way to reform corporate governance. It would require companies with more than $1 billion in revenue to get a corporate charter from the federal government (rather than from an individual state), which in turn would require a commitment to a broad range of stakeholders, including not just shareholders but also employees and the communities in which the businesses operate. In addition, federally chartered companies would be required to let workers elect 40% of board members. There are other aspects of the proposal, including an aim to limit stock buybacks and stock-based compensation — you can read more about it here or here.

Warren’s vision is to ensure that the success of U.S. companies is shared more broadly, rather than largely benefiting shareholders. But would it have that effect?

The idea seems to be that having a more collaborative decision-making structure would cause better and more-equitable decision making. Here the example of Germany is illustrative. For the past 40 years, corporate governance in Germany has been based on the idea of codeterminance, in which workers have a say in company decision making. Workers elect a substantial share of the board and form work councils, which are groups of employees, distinct from trade unions, empowered to consult with management about decisions. Germany’s codetermination model does seem to lead to a more equitable distribution of company profits, and so Germany is commonly cited as an example of why such an approach should be adopted in the U.S…

Another component of this same ambitious proposal would require both 75% of shareholders, and 75% of board members, to agree before a corporation engages in any political activity.

I’d like to go on, but I’ve got television to watch and laundry to fold… Here, though, for those of you who want to know more about Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act, is a clip from her office’s press release.

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29 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I should add that, while I have a bit of an issue with Pete Buttigieg’s claim that Democrats, at least in recent memory, have just been defining themselves against Republicans, I really like how he talks about Capitalism and Democracy.

  2. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    If Warren wants to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United, she needs a Constitutional amendment or a different SC ruling. Because we are not a democracy, but are in fact a republic, we cannot pass any law that the SC has ruled to be unconstitutional.

    The more people know about Pocahontas, the less likely she is to be elected. Please keep posting more about her Mark. A requirement that 40% of the board members be workers, and 70% of the board must support any political involvement is insanity. If workers want a controlling interest in the operation of a corporation, they should put an equal amount of capital at risk by buying the stock. Corporate decisions are accountable to their shareholders. What do you think would happen if unions were required to have 75% support of all its members before any political involvement? Or if Congress needed 75% to pass any legislation? Is there anything left that 75% of Americans can agree on?

  3. Sad
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Now I’m starting to see why Warren isn’t catching on. She will really need to put in a strong performance at the debate in June.

    Nice name calling EOS. Once again you undermine your own proclaimed values.

    An interesting interview with Mayor Pete. Inter generational responsibility. Reperations and Climate change. What do last generations owe future ones and how to actions from the past reverberate into the present and future?

    https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/mayor-pete-aims-for-the-history-books

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Not only the first woman president but the first WoC! The only reason anyone could possibly vote against her is an unholy union of racism and sexism.

  5. Sad
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    She’s wonderful and has done a lot. I wish she would have ran against Clinton in 2016. But I guess she wanted to get more experience.

    We need a new generation of leaders.

  6. wobblie
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Aloha EOS, Wondering why you reduce your arguments to name calling , Pocahontas really? Political arguments reduced to name calling. That is the way to uplift the discussion and help unify the nation. Almost seems like that is the opposite of your intent.

  7. wobblie
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Aloha, What Warren proposes is very much like how German Capitalism is organized. They call their system Co-Determination. Has been the law in Germany since the 1950’s. Plausibly the reason the German economy is the strongest in Europe.

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    That name makes a point. She falsified having (significant) Native American ancestry.

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    But those high cheekbones though!

  10. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Sad,

    I don’t engage in name-calling with any other person on this blog. Few can say that. If Elizabeth were to post, I would not address her as Pocahontas. Claiming an false ethnicity to gain employment shows her character.

    Wobblie,
    I’m not sure that Germany is the strongest economy in Europe, but I do know that it is significantly less robust than ours. We have 4 times the population and a significantly higher GDP per capita.

    https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/germany/usa

  11. wobblie
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Aloha EOS, what is your definition of “robust”? It seems clear to me that it requires large amounts of government support through oil subsides and endless war. Your per capita income statistics are meaningless when nearly 40% of US households can not afford a $1000 emergency. I am so glad that character is important to you in deciding who to vote for. How do you stomach our current President?

  12. Anonymous
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Kevin O’Keeffe just said pretty much the same thing.

    “I donated to Warren, and I highly recommend everyone else do the same. Even if she’s not your #1 candidate, she’s focusing on policy (smart policy! well-explained policy!) in a way literally no one else in the race is. She deserves to stay in the fight.”

    https://twitter.com/kevinpokeeffe/status/1115057251914403840

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted April 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    HW loves to employ racist tropes when accusing others of racism.

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Employ racist tropes? You scumbag. Warren is the one who talked about her cheekbones being Native.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    In soccer that is called an “own goal”. It’s when you kick the ball into your own team’s goal and score one for the opposing team.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Maybe now that Hillary’s not in the race, we’ll be able to talk about sexism in US elections. Or maybe not.

    “Elizabeth Warren Had Charisma, and Then She Ran for President” -same old story, over and over. Formerly popular and admired women who seek more power are dismissed. Wonder why that is?

    http://on.theatln.tc/Qlf7CcI

  17. Jim Monsoon
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I wish she were catching on more in the polls. Hers is the only campaign I’ve donated to so far this round. I do like what I’ve heard from Buttigieg so far too.
    She’s laying out real, substantive policy proposal to address income inequality in this country – which is one of my top concerns. And I love that she’s not a socialist – I think many on the left are heading down a dead-end path by embracing that ideology.
    Maybe we should host an event for other Warren-iors?

  18. Sad
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Go Elizabeth Warren.

    How she does depends as much on her supporters as her.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/08/upshot/democratic-electorate-twitter-real-life.html

  20. Sad
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Why isn’t Elizabeth Warren raking in the money?

    Is it this silly idea that it’s too early to pick a candidate?

  21. iRobert
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Warren needs to announce she’s transitioning to a man. A candidate has to set themself apart from the crowd.

  22. iRobert
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Are you still crushing on Mayor Pete, Sad?

  23. Sad
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah.

    He keeps making it fun!

    Pete Buttigieg
    @PeteButtigieg
    ·
    6h
    People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.

    Any group could take that and run with it! Mike Pence is already ready crying about how he’s being persecuted because he’s a Christian. Ha -Ha.

  24. Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to dedicate this song to Sad’s primary/caucus crush on his behalf.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f5eCEdu_gQE

  25. Sad
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s perfect.

    Sweet wonderful you
    You make me happy with the things you do
    Oh, can it be so
    This feeling follows me wherever I go
    I never did believe in miracles
    But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try
    I never did believe in the ways of magic
    But I’m beginning to wonder why
    I never did believe in miracles
    But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try
    I never did believe in the ways of magic
    But I’m beginning to wonder why
    Don’t, don’t break the spell
    It would be different and you know it will
    You, you make loving fun
    And I don’t have to tell you but you’re the only one
    You, you make loving fun
    It’s all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It’s all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It’s all I want to do
    You, you make loving fun
    It’s all I want to do

    I’ve have never believed in miracles. But now I do.

    Just when I loose all hope in you IRobert you come through.

  26. iRobert
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m good at ready people’s enotions, Sad.

  27. iRobert
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome, Sad. I’m good at reading people’s emotions. I’m not so good at remembering to proof read for autocorrects little mischief.

  28. iRobert
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, I can relate, Sad. For years I’ve had a crush on a dog catcher from Mishawaka.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Despite all the buzz among lefties on social media saying no one os progressive enough for them still, Biden is the front runner and is most self-proclaimed progressives second choice and so he will likely cruise to the nomination, leaving our hopes and dreams and endless internal squabbles behind us.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/4/11/18302119/joe-biden-name-recognition-polling-lead

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