Support and Co-sponsor Accountable Capitalism Act (S.3348)

 

Senator Diane Feinstein

SF Office: (415) 393-0707
DC Office: (202) 224-3841
LA Office: (310) 914-7300
Fresno Office: (559) 485-7430
San Diego Office: (619) 231-9712

If you can't get through to one office, try another.  There is no benefit to calling one office over another.  Leaving a voicemail is as good as reaching a live person. 

Senator Kamala Harris

SF Office: (415) 981-9369
DC Office: (202) 224-3553
Sacramento Office: (916) 448-2787
LA Office: (213) 894-5000
San Diego Office: (619) 239-3884

Call the SF office first, but try the other offices if you can’t get through. If you can’t get a live person, leave a voicemail and also send a follow-up email written in your own words.

 

Call Script

My name is __________. I am a constituent, and my zip code is _______. I am a member of Indivisible SF.

I’m calling to urge the Senator to support and co-sponsor the Accountable Capitalism Act (S.3348). Corporations are neither people nor citizens; they are legal fictions created by legislation. Today, their power and influence has grown wildly out of balance with the needs of our society and nation. 

his Act will help restore that balance, by requiring giant firms with more than a billion dollars in annual income to obtain a federal charter and follow policies that balance shareholder return with the interests of other stakeholders--employees, customers, shareholders, business partners, and the communities in which they operate.


Background

Prior to the Reagan Era, many American corporations (perhaps most)  balanced the interests of stockholders with those of other stakeholders (employees, customers, community, business partners, and the corporation itself). On average, half their profits went to shareholders and the other half were reinvested. 

Then in the early '80s, about the time that CEOs were replacing Presidents at the top of corporate ladders, free-market ideologue Milton Friedman convinced business leaders to adopt his mantra that the only legitimate and legal purpose of a corporation is to act in the sole interest of  shareholders by “maximizing shareholder value.” Today, large American corporations dedicate 93% of their earnings to shareholders, while doing everything in their power to maximize total profits by reducing costs at the expense of employees, customers, partners, communities, and taxes. 

Since the advent of shareholder value maximization, worker productivity has risen steadily but real wages have stagnated and the share of national income that goes to workers has dropped markedly. Since 84% of American-held shares are owned by the top 10% of our richest households and most American households own no stock at all, corporate America’s commitment to “maximizing shareholder return” is a commitment to making the richest

Americans even richer at the expense of everyone else. And, of course, the share of taxes paid by corporations has plummeted. 
Yet corporations have always been legal fictions, “creatures of the State,” as Teddy Roosevelt's once called them. Now they've become immortal Frankenstein monsters wreaking havoc on the countryside. To address these issues, Elizabeth Warren  who is running for reelection as Massachusetts Senator (and possibly President in 2020) has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act (S.3348) which sets up a legal framework that:

  • Requires corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue to obtain a federal charter which will obligate company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders – including employees, customers, shareholders, and the communities in which the company operates.

  • Requires that at least 40% of the directors of such federally-chartered corporations be selected by the corporation’s employees.

  • Restricts when company shares can be sold by directors and officers, in order to balance their personal financial incentives between shareholder returns and the long-term interests of all stakeholders.

  • Requires that federally chartered corporations must obtain both shareholder and board of directors approval for all political expenditures, to ensure that campaign expenditures benefit all corporate stakeholders.

  • Establishes that federally-chartered corporations may have their charters revoked for repeated and egregious illegal conduct that they have failed to take meaningful steps to address (subject to overrule by Congress).

For more information:
S.3348 - Accountable Capitalism Act (U.S. Congress)
Accountable Capitalism Act one-pager (Warren for Senate)
How to Cure Corporate America’s Selfishness (New Republic)
Add your name: Citizen Co-Sponsor (Warren for Senate)