Elizabeth Warren has a big idea that challenges how the Democratic Party thinks about solving the problem of inequality.
Instead of advocating for expensive new social programs like free college or health care, she’s introducing a bill Wednesday, the Accountable Capitalism Act, that would redistribute trillions of dollars from rich executives and shareholders to the middle class — without costing a dime.
Warren’s plan starts from the premise that corporations that claim the legal rights of personhood should be legally required to accept the moral obligations of personhood.
Traditionally, she writes in a companion op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, “corporations sought to succeed in the marketplace, but they also recognized their obligations to employees, customers and the community.” In recent decades they stopped, in favor of a singular devotion to enriching shareholders. And that’s what Warren wants to change.
As much as Warren’s proposal is about ending inequality, it’s also about saving capitalism.