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By Arthur Piccolo

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 23, 2019:  It could be REVOLUTIONARY, or it could be nothing at all …

(another spoiler alert; an easy bet is it is NOT revolutionary at all) …

The Business Roundtable of Super-CEOs of the MAJOR American-based companies all collectively issued a statement this week that was Page One!

They all pledged that serving shareholders is no longer their only or even necessarily their major purpose. Do you understand how REVOLUTIONARY that is if it has sincere fundamental meaning?

Since the Beginning of Time meaning, since the birth of the modern company long ago, going all the way back to the 1600s and 1700s if you like, the mandate of all companies and even more major corporations has been to produce as much PROFIT as possible for “shareholders” …

And here in the real world that is not you or me; certainly not me who might own a few shares of this company or that company. The REAL shareholders are the 1% and also the mega-funds that serve the 1% who between them own 90% of the stock in these publicly traded companies ….

PROFITS euphemistically and very self-serving as positive spin, always referred by them as “income” rather than PROFITS … that has been the only REAL purpose of  these companies even though of course some more, some less do some good with tax free contributions and foundations, etc.

The point is in theory, this unprecedented powerful statement by the Business Roundtable in which they unanimously declare STAKEHOLDERS NOT stockholders are their purpose and their goal from now on.

Absolutely REVOLUTIONARY in theory IF true. I will repeat that again.

 If each of their decision-making apparatus throughout each of these corporations, from the very bottom up to the CEO and board of directors is not in every way directed to maximizing profits at all cost, we are indeed going to witness and benefit tremendously from this REVOLUTION ….

 Because up until now, as long as a company did not break any major laws – even though they do all the time without serious consequences – any negative impact they produced while seeking the maximum profit possible were AOK; like squeezing government generally from the Federal Gov’t all the  local communities to minimize their taxes and pay none at all even better has always been the goal and widely applauded by stockholders.

Same for paying employees as little as possible, little or no long-term benefits, and moving jobs out of U.S. to increase profits, degrade the environment to increase profits, selling dangerous products like opioids ALL so very good for increasing profits but ………….

After this week, NO more if you believe the Business Roundtable!

Do any of my readers doubt to their core why we should be SKEPTICAL?

In fact, they already FAILED, although it seems only I noticed.

Just this week, Trump announced he is seriously considering lowering capital gains taxes which are already so low. For any of my readers who don’t know, capital gains are profits that are made from buying and selling stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. etc., basically every kind of income except LABOR.

Capital gains are what the rich and super rich live off of and thrive on. Super rich like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg don’t even bother giving themselves salaries. why bother with such trivial amounts of income. The completely Idle Rich who are the many who have inherited vast fortunes don’t even pretend to be working and capital gains are their playground.

The Business Roundtable and their new “radical philosophy” could have been instantly put to “work” (sic) immediately, even just symbolically, by the Roundtable putting out another statement ..

“PLEASE President Trump do not lower the capital gain tax rate that will only serve to increase the price of our stock and our profits which will ONLY benefit the 1% but massively increase the government debt which hurts everyone else who gain nothing from lower capital gains. Please do not insult me and everyone with the trickle down crap!

 The Business Roundtable coming out against lowering the taxes of the 1% who effectively own all these companies… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Except doing so would be right in line with their new “mission statement” and …

 Why it is so much BULLSHIT, unless proven otherwise, UNLIKELY?

Let me dig more deeply to emphasize my important logic here.

Here is the headline of their press release on August 19, 2019 ..

“Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote ‘An Economy That Serves All Americans “so as I told you …

REVOLUTIONARY IF true???? Here is how the release begins …

Business Roundtable today announced the release of a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation signed by 181 CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.

There is a fatal flaw right in the press release and the attached so-called STATEMENT OF PURPOSE but let me give you more of the PR release …

“The American dream is alive, but fraying,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of Business Roundtable. “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term.”

“These modernized principles reflect the business community’s unwavering commitment to continue to push for an economy that serves all Americans.”

“This new statement better reflects the way corporations can and should operate today,” added Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson and Chair of the Business Roundtable Corporate Governance Committee.” 

“It affirms the essential role corporations can play in improving our society when CEOs are truly committed to meeting the needs of all stakeholders.”


With all the so-called effort over many months involving so many notable and powerful CEOs GUESS WHAT IS SO OBVIOUSLY MISSING?

NOT even one specific, be it just trivial and just symbolic step, let alone a detailed blueprint for change. Instead, NOTHING specific at all.

What is the Round Table really telling us? WAKE UP AMERICA. We’re changing nothing but we want you to think we are SUCKERS.

Now here is the good news or at least the very, very useful all-important message delivered by the Business Round Table this week to all of us.

It is up to ALL OF US to change them, not wait for them to change.

NO one has benefited more than both these super companies and the 1% from what ALL OF US in America have created in our nation; they benefit infinitely more from our efforts than the other 90+% of us …

What they are “accomplishing” (sic) with their GREED is destroying our nation and our future and the hope of America as a symbol for the world.

We absolutely do need right now the kind of nation and corporate structure the Round Table cynically is promoting and will not produce.

It must be ALL ABOUT STAKEHOLDERS, all of us, NOT about the GREEDY stockholders who are just one of many constituencies. The diabolical form of Capitalism these guys are practicing is PRIMITIVE and outdated and CEOs like Jamie Dimon are DINOSAURS …

We either take back our nation & re-invent Capitalism or we are DOOMED.

(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)


EDITOR’S NOTE: About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.

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