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Corporate Prosperity Should Benefit Workers, Not Just Executives

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets is holding a hearing titled, “Promoting Economic Growth: A Review of Proposals to Strengthen the Rights and Protections for Workers.” The hearing will include Abigail Disney, heir of the entertainment company, who has been critical of the pay gap between Disney workers and the Disney CEO. Public Citizen submitted written testimony to the subcommittee supporting legislation aimed at redirecting corporate profits away from executive compensation and toward employees.

Economic growth should mean greater prosperity for American workers, not fatter bonuses for already pay-engorged CEOs. Public Citizen welcomes Congress’ attention to needed reforms. We must bridle manipulative stock buybacks that are supercharged by the recent corporate tax giveaway law. We appreciate proposals for improved investor disclosure of offshored jobs as well as the disclosure of how and where companies employ workers. Congress must address the need for broader disclosure of environmental, social and governance factors that matter deeply to investors.

Similarly, Congress also should embrace ambitious reforms that can truly arrest runaway CEO pay. This includes making executives – not shareholders – pay penalties for misconduct.