Bernie Sanders’s return to the campaign trail will come with a renewed message about the need to reform corporate America — and it will be backed by a comprehensive proposal to significantly transfer power to workers in the American economy.
Ahead of the fourth Democratic presidential debate, which will be Sanders’s first campaign appearance since suffering a heart attack on the trail two weeks ago, the Vermont senator’s campaign unveiled its “Corporate Accountability and Democracy” plan Monday. In broad strokes, the plan calls for giving workers ownership stakes in their companies, reversing major corporate mergers, and undoing the Trump administration’s corporate tax cuts.
Sanders has teased parts of this plan in the press previously, touching on themes Sen. Elizabeth Warren has raised about breaking up big tech, giving workers a seat at the table on corporate boards, and increasing taxes on corporations. But in Sanders style, this plan significantly broadens the scope of the conversation about corporate reform. It’s big.
Asked over the weekend how he differentiates himself with Warren, Sanders told ABC, “Elizabeth considers herself—if I got the quote correctly—to be a capitalist to her bones. I don’t. And the reason I am not is because I will not tolerate for one second the kind of greed and corruption and income and wealth inequality and so much suffering that is going on in this country today, which is unnecessary.”
Sanders has long advocated for curbing rampant inequality with a robust social welfare state, including tuition-free college and Medicare-for-all, paid for by significant tax increases on the wealthy and corporations. In this plan for corporate accountability, he’s laying out the groundwork for a different kind of economy all together.
“This is the most ambitious plan on corporate ownership ever put out by a presidential candidate,” Peter Gowan, with the Democracy Collaborative, an economic inequality-focused research institution, said. “[This is] giving real bones to Sanders’ vision of democratic socialism.”