Hillary Clinton Sees Too Much Political Power Amassing In Big Business
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Good morning. Alan Murray here, still filling for Adam. (Hang in there; just one more day.)
I interviewed Hillary Clinton yesterday on the stage at the annual summit of the Shared Value Initiative, an organization started by Harvard’s Michael Porter and his partner Mark Kramer to encourage businesses to focus on having a positive impact on society as part of their core business strategies.
Clinton, you will recall, famously acknowledged “I’m a capitalist” during her heated primary campaign with self-declared socialist Bernie Sanders in 2016. “Did that hurt you in the primary?” I asked yesterday.
“Probably,” she replied.
Clinton said the reputation of business was in tatters after the 2007 financial crisis, particularly among young people, with polls showing majorities that didn’t share her allegiance to capitalism. Among all Democratic voters in Iowa, she said, more than 40% said they didn’t believe in capitalism.
“I support hard work, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial energy,” she said. But the current system is out of balance, with too much power tipping “toward biggest companies with the most influence… They’re disrupting our democracy.”
She encouraged the group to continue its efforts to demonstrate that business has the ability to address social problems and to increase its positive impact on society.
Speaking of positive impact, Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to struggle to define exactly what that means for the social media giant. His meeting with news executives this week led to conflicting opinions about his understanding of the company’s role in providing people with reliable news, which you can read here and here.
And then there is Tesla’s (TSLA) Elon Musk, who is so convinced that he is doing good in the world that he doesn’t need to answer analysts’ “dry” questions.