Senator Cory Booker explains the problem with stock buybacks, walks us through his Workers Dividend Act, and offers Goldy some much-needed counseling. nCory Booker is the U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. nTwitter: @CoryBookernFurther reading: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/6/17083398/booker-buyback-populist nhttps://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/kill-stock-buyback-to-save-the-american-economy/385259/
You probably saw the news that Chipotle is raising its menu prices by 4 percent, and that leadership is blaming the price increase on the fact that they had to raise their starting pay to $15 per hour. It’s not at all surprising to see a large employer like Chipotle blame rising wages for everything, but what was disappointing was the media’s willingness to repeat Chipotle’s story without looking deeper into the numbers: namely, none of the stories covering the price increases mentioned that Chipotle gave its CEO a $24 million raise last year, and that the company is in the middle of enacting a $153 million stock buyback program to enrich a handful of shareholders. Around here, that type of trick will land you the title of Trickle-Down Clown! This week Goldy has a few choice words to say about Chipotle’s behavior, and then we thought it would be a good time to revisit our stock buybacks episode with Senator Cory Booker for an explanation of the pervasiveness and dangers of the practice.
Stock buybacks are one of the worst excesses of modern capitalism, which naturally means they’re one of our favorite subjects to cover on the podcast. And since they’re in the news again, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of our first episodes, from 2019. How much has changed over the past 4 years? President Biden’s proposal to raise taxes on buybacks to 4% is the most promising update so far, but much of our conversation with Senator Cory Booker remains relevant today.