For decades, corporate power has been increasing, in the economy and in our political system—and the power of ordinary working people has eroded.
Corporate profits are at new highs as a portion of the entire economy and wages are at new lows. Through shoddy enforcement and outright repeal of key laws, corporations are freer than ever to mistreat their workers and their consumers and manipulate the political process for their own advantage.
The clearest example of this in recent years is the 2008 financial crisis, where greed and irresponsibility combined with deregulation to create new, dangerous practices. They gambled with our money for their own benefit. Thanks to fraud and misconduct by banks and mortgage servicers, the economy tanked, housing values and retirement savings were devastated, and a crippling recession took hold. At great expense, the government stepped in to save the banks from their own mistakes—but in the years since, as banks have recovered, they haven’t changed their ways. They escaped serious scrutiny, they keep giving executives big bonuses, and they continue to lobby against reasonable reforms.
That’s unacceptable. Our country doesn’t exist to serve the needs of big corporations and Wall Street. Working America believes in holding corporations accountable, making sure they obey basic rules to protect their employees, their customers and their communities.
Corporations must pay their fair share of taxes. They must keep up their responsibility to create jobs and treat their workers fairly. No corporation should be “too big to fail” and nobody should be able to break the law and get away with it.
With more power than ever, corporations only can be countered by the involvement of working people, pulling together to create strength in numbers.