Long-Term Capitalism

What We’re Reading: September 2019

September 16, 2019  • 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 we’re reading about anxious markets, a new definition of corporate purpose, and much more.

The Economy

Why are We Talking About a Recession? Economists Weigh in (Priyanka Boghani, PBS News Hour) Interesting discussion of how perceptions of medium-term uncertainty are deferring business investment, and what that may mean for consumers and job-seekers.

The Unexpected Consequences of Being Too Optimistic About Growth (Justin Lahart, The Wall Street Journal) Long-term social and technological trends make it unlikely companies will deliver the profits investors expect. New research suggests that may be a recipe for unethical corporate behavior.

Purpose of the Corporation

Disney Aspire Program Sends Disneyland Employees to College for Free: ‘It Changes Your Entire Life’ (Brady MacDonald, The Orange County Register) Last year, Disney joined the roster of companies from Amtrak to Walmart helping employees get a college education. This piece offers a view of the tuition-assistance program, and the impact it has inspired.

One Way to Slow Climate Change: Pay CEOs to Protect the Planet (Emily Chasan, Bloomberg) How does decision-making change when your paycheck depends on how you take care of the Earth?

Worker Voice

How to Make Tech Companies Actually Fight Climate Change (April Glaser, Slate) Another tool for climate action: change from the bottom up.

Why GM Workers Are Striking (Elaine Cromie, NPR) The General Motors strike is shaping up to be one of the longest in decades. What’s driving it? Read the workers’ answers, in their own words.

Technology

Facebook’s Suspension of ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Apps Reveals Wider Privacy Issues (Kate Conger, Gabriel J.X. Dance and Mike Isaac, The New York Times) Facebook has been under pressure for years to better protect users’ private data. But the problem may not be Facebook’s alone: the company built a digital ecosystem by sharing data with a wide range of third parties. How far does this issue reach?

The Redmond Doctrine (The Economist) “Is Microsoft a digital nation and does it have a Secretary of State?” The answer from the company’s top lawyer may reveal why Microsoft is being lauded for principled conduct while other tech titans are being scrutinized.

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.)