Rules Change: Resetting the Playing Field for Corporations, People and Democracy
Action ideas for capitalism and the common good
May 3-5, 2013 / Univ. of Massachusetts-Amherst
SIX KEY CATEGORIES:
CONSIDERING RULES CHANGES
- CATEGORY ONE: Influence: -- Personhood, corporate money and politics -- Reconsidering the role of corporations in public policy, including charter reform. Overview by John Bonifaz, co-founder, Free Speech for People -- (AUDIO); or (PDF SLIDES)
- CATEGORY TWO: Measurement: -- Alternate success measurements, including internalizing externalities, genuine progress and gross domestic happiness indicators, corporate performance. Overview by Jim Boyce, director, Program on Development, Peacebuilding, and the Environment, Political Economy Research Institute, UMass-Amherst -- ; or (PDF SLIDES)
- CATEGORY THREE: Ownership: -- New models for business ownership, including co-ops, B-corps, L3C, including community role, limits to growth and size. Overview by Lynn Benander, president & CEO, Co-Op Power (AUDIO); or (SLIDES)
- CATEGORY FOUR: Accountability: -- Considering the market and community impacts on broad stakeholder groups such as employees, communities, customers, shareholders including wages, profits and taxes (loopholes, offshoring, capital gains, estate/inheritance). Overview by Marcy Murninghan, founder, Murninghan Post - (AUDIO); or (PDF SLIDES)
- CATEGORY FIVE: Governance: -- Public and shareholder influence over executive pay by disclosure or regulation: regulated adherence to world sustainability measurements (see category 2, Measurement), improved transparency. Overview by Jennifer Taub, assoc. professor, Vermont Law School (AUDIO); or (PDF SLIDES).
- CATEGORY SIX: Sustainability: — Transitioning local communities to less fossil-fuel dependent food, transportation and housing system.s Initiatives to include global environmental and ecological sustainability into measurements of corporate performance.
LINK: Google Doc background on five categories
- Densmore's 15 main-stream author proposals
- Hedrick Smith's "Ten Steps"
- United Republic's Nine Points
- Monks: Six symptoms of "government capture"
The five key categories listed above are drawn from more than two decades of writing and thought by dozens of executives, authors, scholars, public officials and engaged citizens. They are listed as 15 sub-categories below. All of these are relevant subject matter for the Rules Change Summit; to effective at initiating change, we'll focus the convening process on the top five, above. For a work-in-progress effort to identify the key sources of these mainstream ideas, see: "RESTORING DEMOCRACY AND CHANGING CORPORATE RULES (A new taxonomy/synopsis/overview): Charting two decades of thought on reforming the impact of money and corporations on American public policy." (also downloadable as a PDF.)
- Require federal “public good” charters for the largest public corporations
- Lobbying reform and transparency to curtail big-money influence
- Act for World Sustainability
- Accept Limits to Growth
- Encourage media diversity
- Short-term disincentives (to discourage excessive emphasis on short-term earnings and churning portfolios)
- Wall Street rule and incentive reform
- Internalize costs (corporations absorb pollution cost)
- Alternative “success” measurements besides Gross National Product (to show progress toward prosperity, e.g., “genuine progress indicators.”
- Progressive income/consumption taxes
- World trade -– Cost internalization, localize, cooperation, global charters
- Alternative ownership; incentives for localism
- Antitrust enforcement
- Constitutional issues – Limited liability, commerce-cause reinterpretations
- Additional policy reforms