The reimagined idea of a corporation drops the age-old notion that corporations function first and foremost to serve their shareholders and maximize profits. Rather, investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities are now at the forefront of American business goals, according to the statement.
In August the knights of the Business Roundtable announced that they are putting “stakeholders” ahead of shareholders as their primary business purpose. Now Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is rising in the presidential polls, is demanding that these CEOs prove they mean it ...Ms. Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act would end capitalism as we know it. Every company with revenue of more than $1 billion would have to obtain a new federal charter, in contrast to the current system of state charters.Instead of serving the interests of the shareholders who own the company, CEOs and directors would have to serve some combination of “the workforce,” “customers,” “the local and global environment” and “community and societal factors.” Forty percent of directors would also have to be employees, which would usually mean union representatives (emphasis added).
Actually, yes! My own thought is that there could be (and is) something worse; namely, capitalism as we know it now!
Warren's proposal, which I have not read, is apparently premised on the idea that large corporations must get a "charter" from our national government, prior to doing business, and that this charter would impose responsibilities not unlike those that the Business Roundtable says that corporations want to assume, anyway. I think Warren is absolutely on target.
Corporations may be "persons," but they are not like human persons, who are granted life by God or Nature (as you may choose to denote the mystery). Corporate persons are the creation of our system of laws and regulations, and the idea of making these giant economic engines respond to the public interest is most definitely not the "end of all life as we know it." It would only be the "end of capitalism as we know it."
As I already said, I think that would be a really, really good thing!