Chuck’s Gambit: Spend Your Tax Windfall Like We Tell You To!

On Monday, senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and senator Bernie Sanders wrote a New York Times Opinion piece that, quite frankly, left me a bit puzzled. I understand why the piece, titled “Limit Corporate Buybacks”, was written, but it can’t be considered real policy. The opening paragraphs constitute a bit of anti-Randian fantasy:

“From the mid-20th century until the 1970s, American corporations shared a belief that they had a duty not only to their shareholders but to their workers, their communities and the country that created the economic conditions and legal protections for them to thrive. It created an extremely prosperous America for working people and the broad middle of the country.

But over the past several decades, corporate boardrooms have become obsessed with maximizing only shareholder earnings to the detriment of workers and the long-term strength of their companies, helping to create the worst level of income inequality in decades.”

I had to read this a few times to believe it. It seems as though the magnanimous corporations of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s were displaced by a new and greedier corporation of the 1970’s. And these corporations are what helped to create income inequality. Maybe the corporations of the early 1900’s were also greedy, because we had worse income inequality in the late early part of the 20th century than we do today. So out of the last 120 years, we have had 30 years of generous corporations that held the best interests of their employees and society as a primary concern.



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