Political Revolution

Class Time: Stakeholder Capitalism vs. Shareholder Capitalism

Professor Richard Reich is teaching class. In an effort to explore two different types of capitalism, he holds a simulated corporate board meeting with his students. His agenda is to increase profits for shareholders. But what about stakeholders? What about the company’s future?

Robert Reich examines the role of corporations in America, and how the decisions of corporate executives impact the rest of the economy.

~ Inequality Media

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About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • The predominant silence of the students upon hearing Reich’s ploy to dramatize corporate greed speaks louder than the votes that they made with their clickers.

  • I didn’t like it, I loved it! I could hear, in Reich’s “shareholder capitalism” argument echos of Ronald Reagan’s “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”

    As I understand, while Reagan’s comment was labeled by the ethical side of the population as unethical, corporate America took it to heart (e.g., the bank). Thus Reagan and the conservatives implemented the “greed is good’ neoconservative policies under the publicly and (no doubt) purposefully eye-fogging phrase, “Supply-Side Economics,” which was/is the very model Reich was presenting.

    The major parts of SSE are: suppress wages (mainly by weakening or destroying workers unions, give huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy and deregulate industry (especially the Wall Street financial institutions) by removing those profit-suppressing regulations such as consumer financial and health protections from unethical corporate practices.

    I recall hearing back then, as today, among conservatives such vote getting but thoughtless phrases as, “I want an economic system in which everyone can get rich.” The result of that view, of course, is what we see in the Trumpian-Republican tax cut bill–the greatest boost for SSE since it was implemented and a greater gap in income disparity..

    Many work-a-day conservatives today seem thrilled that they may (or will) get a small increase in their pay. But, of course, it is merely a few bits of meat on the bones they’ve been thrown in order to keep them happy while conservatives give the meat market to Wall Street.

    Greed is good, for the insensitive wealthy. By the way, what ever happened to the conservative abhorrence of deficits and debt? I think conservatives are secretly holding faithfully to this quote:

    “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.—Grover Norquist

    • So glad you loved the video, Max. That’s an interesting phrase: “I want an economic system in which everyone can get rich.” As inequality becomes greater, there’s less opportunity for regular people to strike it rich – no matter how smart, hard-working, and good they may be. The American Dream has become an American Fantasy.

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