The Myth of Maximizing Shareholder Value… INET interview with William Lazonick

Passing along a great video from INET with its interview of William Lazonick. He talks about the ideology changes through the 80’s, stock buy-backs, labor becoming a commodity and lack of real investment for the future.

Yet, he mentions another very important thing… There is an ideology that only shareholders take risk, so therefore they should receive the profits. Yet, even workers have risk by taking an initiative to be creative. As well, regular taxpayers pay taxes as an “investment” with an implicit risk. Taxpayers are then due a return from increased productivity partly due to taxes. Then when the government invests taxes in technology and infrastructure, companies benefit. But regular taxpayers should receive a return on their risk through higher wages. Companies used to understand this Lazonick says, but then through the 80’s… the ideology changed.

 

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