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Late Tuesday afternoon, as talk of all manner of bailouts was heating up, Senator Professor Warren proposed a series of conditions that she would like placed on any money sluiced into corporations.
1- Payrolls must be maintained; 2- Companies must enact $15/hr min wage by 1 year after emergency ends; 3- Prohibition on buybacks, dividends, executive bonuses for min. 3 years; 4- Companies must turn 1 board seat over to workers.
If you need a reason why these conditions are necessary, you can look at what happened to the windfall bestowed upon the airlines by the whopping tax cut that they received a couple of years ago. From CNBC:
The four biggest U.S. carriers — Delta, American, Southwest and United — have collectively spent about $39 billion over the last five years buying back shares, according to a tally from S&P Dow Jones Indices. Those carriers’ shares are now trading at multiyear lows. Boeing, which is also seeking government aid, spent more than $35 billion in that period.
“If there is so much as a DIME of corporate bailout money in the next relief package, it should include a reinstated ban on stock buybacks,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat.
“We fully recognize that the company had the opportunity to build up its cash reserves and repeatedly advocated for them to do so,” wrote Todd Insler, chairman of the union that represents United’s pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association. “In spite of ALPA’s warnings, they instead chose to spend company resources differently.
The current situation may be the last great chance to crack the encroaching oligarchy, but it’s going to require a radical change in how politicians think about the notion of what a stimulus really is. Mr. Keynes is knocking on the door again.
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