On August 19, 2018, The Business Roundtable announced a new plan with 200 leading CEO’s agreeing that companies must not have only a fiduciary responsibility to their stakeholders but to their communities and workers as well. A historical return to serving communities and workers before the monied partners. It struck many as odd that a phenomenal social responsibility agreement would be made with a recession on the rise. Why would CEOs finally put We the People/Workers at the top of the list? That’s the key. It’s a fair warning to stakeholders that returns and investment may be shrinking due to a recession.
When do We the People know a recession is coming? Has your check been less? Has your boss whispered in your ear? Probably not. We the People must infer the coming doom from the news. Just hit a Google search for recession 2019 and over 108 million articles pop up Why do we have to do this, politics? As the recession nears our governmental leaders who have access to the best economists can prepare for the next hit. They, unlike us, don’t play a guessing game, they know when and where it’s going to hit. It’s time we have a national law that states our government leaders-namely Congress must warn us immediately instead of trying to save their own election campaigns.
The warning can be like the National Weather Services Tornado warning system. A mass alert signal is sent from a Congressional representative, possibly the Speaker of the House. The law can demand Congress to have a State of the Economy alert with every news channel interrupting your favorite show. They will explain the economic impact that will blow your wallet away. The address will include major and minor projections by top economists and the Federal Reserve. An approximate month when we should begin to see the onslaught of economic downturns including layoffs, decreases in common investment-like our IRAs, decreases in social transfers and a timeline to recovery.
The second part of the plan is to hold the socially responsible companies from the Business Round Table’s survey list accountable to maintain full employment and production. The government should not allow profits to skyrocket for any company during a recession. If these businesses have already forewarned stakeholders they are prepared for losses. The government must include a legal stipulation that layoffs cannot occur until profit losses are above 30%. When above the 30% these businesses can create New Deal Era programs such as a renewed CWA. The bottom line should be We the People, not profits.
This may sound like a Marxist rendition of a Utopian idea but after the Great Recession, we know businesses could have helped stave the course of destruction. The government must include a legal stipulation where the difference between profits and projections of a business during the recession must be factual. A business cannot file for the 30% profit loss if it’s not actually losing the money. Wallstreet banks tore America up worse than a tornado, it can’t happen again. Deregulation and lax business filing laws of the Great Recession allowed millions to be siphoned away to create huge bank and business conglomerations while We the People lost everything.
Big Brother must be watching this time. If 40% of Americans don’t have $400 in an emergency fund, the next recession could be even more destructive than the last. A national law enforcing these and other rules could not only save us but save political careers. Politicians must understand that their political careers can be saved as well as our lifestyles when we work together to fight the next economic beast.