This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 20, 2019:
When the Business Roundtable (BRT) announced it was updating its “statement on the purpose of a corporation” on Thursday, most commentators yawned. David Goldman, writing for CNN Business, called it merely “symbolic,” and added, “The new statement is banal: it’s an updated mission statement for a Washington advocacy group.” Others claimed that it was a response to polls showing disfavor of “capitalism” in favor of “socialism.”
BR’Ts 1981 statement held that corporations “have a responsibility, first of all, to make available to the public quality goods and services at fair prices, thereby earning a profit that attracts investment to continue and enhance the enterprise, provide jobs, and build the economy.”
In 1997 it was shortened to read, “The principal objective of a business enterprise is to generate economic returns to its owners.”
Now, the revised statement is claimed to be a response to a 2016 Harvard study that found that 51 percent of those polled between the ages of 18 and 29 did not support capitalism while one-third supported socialism. A 2018 Gallup poll of the same cohort confirmed the Harvard study: Only 45 percent of those polled viewed capitalism favorably, a 23-point drop from 2010.
The new statement puts stockholder interests last, behind the interests of customers, employees, suppliers, and local communities.
Among the 181 CEOs signing onto the new statement is