Long-Term Capitalism

What We’re Reading: July 2020

July 28, 2020  • Creating the Conditions for Long-Term Capitalism

What We’re Reading is a roundup of current news and commentary on the challenges and opportunities of aligning business decisions with the long-term health of society. This month’s readings illuminate the economic and social forces impacting the US–and how changemakers are working to build a better way forward.

The Economy

How the Eviction Crisis across the U.S. Will Look (Annie Nova, CNBC) Last Friday, a four-month moratorium on evictions covering about 30% of US rental units lapsed. This article details state-by-state estimates of the number of evictions that may soon follow, and what that may mean for the economy as a whole.

America’s Hidden Economic Crisis: Widespread Wage Cuts (Megan Cassella, Politico) By one estimate, up to 20 million Americans who haven’t lost their jobs have seen their paychecks shrink, as companies aim to avoid layoffs. The consequences could be long-term.

Worker Voice

Essential Workers Hold Walkouts and Protests in National ‘Strike for Black Lives’ (Rachel Treisman, NPR) How widespread is support for racial and economic justice? This article highlights last week’s countrywide protests in support of Black lives, by workers in industries from fast food to nursing, retail, transportation and more.

Slack Is Fueling Media’s Bottom-Up Revolution (Steven Perlberg, Digiday) This summer, employees at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal became the news when they organized protests against management’s choices. How did they do it? A common workplace tool played a key role.

Purpose of the Corporation

Kodak Lands $765 Million U.S. Loan in Start of Medical Supply Chain Fix (Rachael Levy, The Wall Street Journal) What does it take for a company find a new sense of purpose in a moment of crisis?

Ben & Jerry’s Radical Ice Cream Dreams (David Marchese, The New York Times) “When your company is acting on its values and those values resonate with your consumers’ values, it’s an incredibly deep connection.” How can businesses move beyond “wokewashing” to integrate purpose in meaningful ways?


Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook Face an Antitrust Grilling (The Economist) Perhaps the most provocative insight of this piece? Despite the historic parallel to the tobacco industry’s hearing in 1994, “chances are that the proceedings will prove far less momentous.” If so, where does that leave us?

How ‘Sustainable’ Web Design Can Help Fight Climate Change (Clive Thompson, Wired) Would you believe the code behind your thank-you emails can shape your carbon footprint? What other low-hanging fruit should the industry address?

For more on our work to align business with the long-term good of society, sign up for our monthly newsletter and visit our website. (Please note, the purpose of this newsletter is to highlight what Aspen BSP staff are reading, and is not intended as advertisement or endorsement of content or viewpoints.)