We believe business can and should play a positive role in our society, and that business has responsibilities to multiple stakeholders, not just investors.
We believe government has a role side-by-side with the marketplace: to structure markets so they work effectively, to manage the impact of externalities, and to ensure that public resources receive stewardship for the long term.
We believe that not only is sustainable economic development compatible with shared prosperity, environmental protection and regeneration, and social justice – it is essential from both a moral and pragmatic standpoint that we restructure our economy to achieve this balance.
We believe that a competitive market-based economy is the most powerful engine of prosperity yet devised. At the same time, the market must be structured differently than it is today for the good of all Americans, and the billions of other people who share this planet. Five core principles must be held in balance:
- Market competition: A competitive market-based business system must remain the heart of our economy. In most cases, it spurs innovation and efficiency and allocates resources far better than any alternative devised. Market-based approaches should be part of the solution wherever possible.
- Sustainability: We must manage our economy to meet the needs of the current generation without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This means stewardship, reinvestment, attention to sustainability through the full lifecycle and judicious use of resources – not taking from tomorrow to boost output today.
- Broad prosperity: It is both a moral imperative and a matter of national self-interest to run the economy in a way that offers full opportunity to participate and prosper to all Americans, regardless of their economic standing, race, religion, or gender, and fully develops and taps the capabilities, creativity, and industriousness of all Americans.
- Public protection: Without eliminating a strong market incentive to innovate, and to operate efficiently and safely, it is the proper role of government to be vigilant in protecting consumers, through stronger consumer protection legislation, and tough penalties for companies who violate consumer, worker, and environmental protection laws.
- Transparency and accountability: Any market is nothing more and nothing less than a set of rules and conventions negotiated by people through a political process. The market should be structured and managed to be fair, transparent, well regulated, and accountable to all participants.