Business offers enormous benefits when it fulfills its responsibilities to its multiple stakeholders as well as stockholders. A market-based economy is the most powerful engine of development, but to be sustainable over time, it must include environmental stewardship, shared prosperity and social justice. Government oversight of markets must support fair competition, minimize the impact of externalities, and protect the public and our resources. We must recalibrate our economy with good legislation based on these five principles:
- Competitive markets: We value our market-based system because it spurs innovation, rewards efficiency and allocates resources far better than any alternative. We should choose market-based solutions wherever possible and ensure that sustainable solutions are not hampered by unfair competition.
- Environmental stewardship: We must meet today’s needs without sacrificing future generations’ ability to meet their needs. We must provide stewardship of our resources and practice sustainability through products’ full lifecycles, instead of plundering tomorrow to boost output today.
- Broad prosperity: We must restore and expand broad prosperity as a matter of national self-interest. We must maximize every American’s opportunity to develop capabilities our country needs and be fairly rewarded, so they can participate fully in our economy.
- Public protection: We must maintain a strong market incentive for companies to innovate and operate efficiently, while vigilantly protecting the safety of all stakeholders: consumers, workers, and other businesses. We must enact robust legislation to protect these stakeholders and apply meaningful penalties, fairly and promptly, for violations.
- Transparency and accountability: We must recognize that a market is simply a set of rules and conventions negotiated by people through a political process. We must improve our rules and update our conventions so that the structure and management of America’s market is fair, transparent, and accountable to all participants.