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Accountable Capitalism Act

Text of proposed Accountable Capitalism Act

The Accountable Capitalism Act is a proposed federal bill introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren in August 2018. It would require that employees elect 40% of a board of directors of any corporation with over $1 billion in tax receipts, and that 75% of shareholders and directors must approve any political spending. Corporations with revenue over $1 billion would be required to obtain a federal corporate charter. The Act contains a "constituency statute" that would give directors a duty of "creating a general public benefit" with regard to a corporations stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, and the environment, and the interests of the enterprise in the long-term.

Section 3 of the Act would establish an "Office of United States Corporations", with a director appointed by the President on consent of the Senate, at the Department of Commerce to grant charters to large federal corporations, and monitor compliance with the Act's requirements. Section 4 requires corporations with over $1 billion in tax receipts to obtain a federal charter.

Section 5(b)(2) requires US corporations to have the purpose of "creating a general public benefit", while section 5(c) requires that directors have a duty to consider the interests of shareholders, employees (including of subsidiaries and suppliers), customers, the community, environment, and the long-term. The section also recasts the limits of the business judgment rule, and its enforcement.

Section 6(a) requires the Securities and Exchange Commission in consultation with the National Labor Relations Board to issue rules on fair director elections. Section 6(b) requires that no less than 2/5 of the directors shall be elected by employees after one year introducing the rules.

Section 8 requires that any political spending (or "electioneering communication" under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 304(f)(3)) by a federal corporation over $10,000 has approval of both 75% of shareholders and directors before the spending is made.


The Accountable Capitalism Act was endorsed on August 15, 2018 by a group of 14 academic lawyers and economists, including Robert C. Hockett and William Lazonick. In media coverage following Elizabeth Warren's Wall St Journal op-ed, the Bill was described as a plan to "save capitalism"[4] and a "bold new plan to reshape American capitalism".

In response to similar proposals in the Reward Work Act in April 2018, a Civis poll found people in "the "lean Democrat" category voted 75% in favor of placing employees on boards of directors, and just 9% opposed. Around 43% of the "lean Republican" category supported the concept, while 31% opposed, and the pure Republican category saw 4% more opposed than in favor.

homepage: homepage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountable_Capitalism_Act

Elizabeth Warren unveils radical anti-corruption platform 21.Aug.2018 23:22

The Intercept

Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday unveiled a sweeping set of reforms that would radically restrict and publicly expose corporate lobbying in Washington.

In a major speech at the National Press Club, she laid out the parameters of what she is calling the "Anti-Corruption Act." If just half of it were implemented, it could transform the political economy of Washington and fundamentally upend the lawmaking process as it currently exists.

In broad strokes, Warren is attempting to take the profit motive out of public service by making it extremely difficult for former lawmakers and government officials to cash in on their government experience, while simultaneously giving Congress and federal agencies the resources needed to effectively govern without the motivated assistance of K Street.

In 1995, when Newt Gingrich and the "Republican Revolution" took over Congress, he systematically dismantled the intellectual infrastructure of the institution, defunding major functions of Congress and slashing budgets for staff. The public-facing explanation was to cut back on wasteful spending, but the true intent was to effectively privatize lawmaking, forcing Congress to outsource much of the work of crafting legislation to K Street. What followed was an explosion in the lobbying industry in Washington.

Warren proposes much stricter restrictions on the revolving door between public service and lobbying, but, more fundamentally, flat-out bans on any lobbying on behalf of foreign governments, an industry that has come under increased scrutiny as a result of the trial of Paul Manafort, who made his fortune carrying water for foreign governments in Washington, often whose interests ran against those of the U.S.

The new proposal comes on the heels of the Accountable Capitalism Act, and is a window into what she sees as one of the main functions of government, to be a check against runaway capitalism but in significant ways to strengthen, rather than challenge, the free market. "I am a capitalist to my bones," Warren said recently, in response to the conversation around democratic socialism.

Where some on the left view markets with deep skepticism, Warren's ideology sees concentrations of corporate power as a great threat, but views functioning markets as a check against that consolidated power. For markets to function properly, she has long argued, robust government regulation and serious enforcement of laws must be in place, otherwise fraudsters and monopolists ripoff both consumers and investors. That ideology led to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and undergirds her more recent proposals.