Long-Term Capitalism

What We’re Reading: September 2022

September 29, 2022  • 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. In recent years, a trend of worker activism has risen on the strength of tight labor markets. But now, persistent inflation is prompting policymakers to take steps which may change all that. This month’s edition of What We’re Reading looks at what hangs in the balance.

The Economy

Stubbornly High Rents, Food Prices Boost U.S. Inflation in August (Lucia Mutinaki, Reuters) The tone for business news was set with the release of data showing that inflation had not cooled—establishing, in the eyes of some policymakers, a mandate for even more aggressive action on prices.

The Fed Says Unemployment Will Rise. Here’s Who Economists Say Would Lose Their Jobs First (Max Zahn, ABC News 7 Chicago) Yet, language such as “aggressive action on prices” risks obscuring the lives whose trajectories such policy actions may disrupt.

Worker Voice

Latinos Rise Up Amid Resurgence of Unions (Shawna Chen and Hope King, Axios) Among other things, this piece offers a snapshot of the empowered state of the labor market as the Fed contemplates interest rate hikes.

America’s Seeing a Historic Surge in Worker Organizing. Here’s How to Sustain It (Thomas Kochan and Wilma Liebman, WBUR’s Cognoscenti) Where does the current surge in worker activism go from here?


ESG Needs A Texas-Sized Makeover (Sarah Keohane Williamson, Forbes) A thoughtful set of concrete proposals to tackle the politicization of ESG.

Billionaire No More: Patagonia Founder Gives Away the Company (David Gelles, The New York Times) A move with little precedent, it raises questions about the extent to which the current practice of capitalism in the U.S. can accommodate purpose-driven companies.


4,000 Google Cafeteria Workers Quietly Unionized During the Pandemic (Gerrit De Vynck and Lauren Kaori Gurley, The Washington Post) As commentators weigh the prospects for workers’ leverage under new economic policies, this piece suggests that what is possible may defy predictions.

Extreme California Heat Knocks Key Twitter Data Center Offline (Donie O’Sullivan, Brian Fung and Sean Lyngaas, CNN) A reminder that, amid the churn of daily business headlines, mounting environmental risks threaten the underpinnings of our entire system.

For more on our work to align business with the long-term good of society, sign up for our publications 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.)

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