Making the Economy More Just

Making the Economy More Just

Structural financial reform will come not through the sweep of a single piece of legislation, but with new innovative economic models that better reflect the democratic values of this country.

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Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt of Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com.

Congress has passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, but the task of transforming our economy into one of shared and sustainable prosperity has only just begun. Structural reform will come not through the sweep of a single piece of legislation but with new, innovative economic models that better reflect the democratic values of this country.

The good news is that some of these transformative ideas are already taking root. Here are five ways to build a more just economy that Americans are experimenting with across the country.

The answer is ‘B’

Corporations are compelled to pursue a single objective: maximize profit. In fact, a company can be sued for following goals that veer from that statutory obligation.

That’s why Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin sponsored the Benefit Corporation legislation that was signed into law this spring. It gives businesses the option to register as a "B corporation," an entity legally obligated to maximize both shareholder value and advance a common public purpose such as cleaner air, open space or affordable housing. The B corporation’s stated public goal is vigorously monitored by independent, third-party groups. It’s a new business model with social consciousness in its DNA.

Read the rest of Katrina’s column at the WashingtonPost.com.

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