Warren introduces Accountable Capitalism Act

Warren introduces Accountable Capitalism Act
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act on Wednesday, saying that it will ease income inequality and help hold large companies accountable to their employees.

The act will require corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue to procure a federal corporate charter, which mandates that directors consider “all major corporate stakeholders” in decisionmaking, according to a piece Warren wrote in The Wall Street Journal.


Corporations would also be required to have at least 40 percent of their directors elected by employees and at least 75 percent of directors and stakeholders would have to approve any “political expenditures.”

Directors and officers would also be barred from selling company shares within five years of gaining them or three years of a company stock buyback.

In the bill itself, Warren writes that the wealthiest 10 percent of American households own 84 percent of all American-held stocks. This, she argues, means that only the rich benefit from corporations’ interest in maximizing shareholder value.

“There’s a fundamental problem with our economy. For decades, American workers have helped create record corporate profits but have seen their wages hardly budge,” Warren said in an announcement of the bill. “My bill will help the American economy return to the era when American companies and American workers did well together.”

While writers on the left praise Warren’s proposition as a solution to income inequality in a capitalist framework, conservatives have opened fire on the bill as being ignorant of economic realities.