An opportunity to make corporations more pro-consumer

 

Source: Gavin Benke, Washington Post ( Paid Registration )

Last month, in a stunning about face, the Business Roundtable swept aside decades of advocacy for “shareholder primacy” — the notion that the interests of stockholders must be placed above all other considerations. The organization, whose members are all CEOs of major U.S. companies, now believes that corporations must serve the interests of a broader set of stakeholders, including consumers, employees and the communities in which they operate.

This is a moment to be seized. Activists should invoke the Business Roundtable’s statement whenever corporate leaders begin to privilege the market to the detriment of other considerations. It will take a sustained effort to push executives who signed the statement beyond mere rhetoric, and toward meaningful action. But such efforts are worth it because corporations are powerful actors that can, when pushed, benefit a public that is wider than those who own the company’s stock.

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