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How American Corporations Transformed from Producers to Predators

Over the last 30 years, corporations have turned on the 99 percent. Here's how it happened and how to fight back.

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1) Ban It. Ban large established companies from buying back their own stock, and reward them instead for investing in the retention and training of their employees.

2) Link It. Link executive pay to the productive performance of the company, with increases in executive pay being tied to increases for the corporate labor force as a whole.

3) Occupy It. Recognize that taxpayers and workers bear a significant proportion of the risk of corporate investment, and put their representatives on corporate boards where they can have input into the relation between risks and rewards.

 

William Lazonick is professor of economics and director of the UMass Center for Industrial Competitiveness. He is president of the Academic-Industry Research Network . His book, "Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States" (Upjohn Institute, 2009) won the 2010 Schumpeter Prize.