Americans Perceptions of the Role of Business in American Society

Written by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier on 06/21/2019

Based on the views of 90,000 Americans polled over the last five years, in a recent article in Forbes, the business magazine, Martin Whitaker of JUST Capital offers the following reflection about the public’s perceptions of business’ role in American society.

“The results are surprising in that they tell the story of a nation more united in its belief that business can and must be better than one divided over economic ideology. They also provide a unique insight into people’s lived experience in the real economy and a blueprint for the kind of economy they want.

We know that the vast majority of Americans from across the political spectrum agree that a company’s treatment of its employees, customers, and community is more important than the returns it makes for shareholders. We know people believe that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of shareholders and that greater stakeholder balance is required. And we know people want companies to invest in their workers, pay fairly for a fair day’s work, provide an inclusive, safe workplace, create decent jobs in places that need them, invest in healthy families and communities, apply the same moral standards wherever they go in the world, protect the environment, and stand up for what is decent and right.”

Martin Whitaker regularly writes a column in Forbes Magazine. JUST is a partner of the Living Wage Tool.