the post-cold war consensus
When the Cold War ended, America entered a new world of international supply chains and financialization. Wall Street traders made a buck, but it came with a heavy dash of instability, which working families paid the bill for come 2008. Moreover, Communist China took advantage of our open-door policy to extend its totalitarian influence over our financial markets. Enter Senator Rubio, who has spent years in Congress working to make our economy more prosperous and resilient.
CALLING FOR COMMON-GOOD CAPITALISM
In 2019, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rubio released a report titled “American Investment in the 21st Century.” This research showed how, beginning in the 1970s and accelerating after the Cold War, Wall Street shifted its focus from physical asset development and business model improvement to financial engineering schemes, in large part due to the popularity of “shareholder primacy theory.” At the end of the report, Rubio called for policymakers to eliminate incentives for stock buybacks and for businesspeople to prioritize the nation’s long-term health over short-term profits.
DEFENDING FEDERAL EMPLOYEES’ retirement funds
Also in 2019, Rubio rang the alarm bell on the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s (FRTIB’s) willingness to funnel government employees’ retirement funds into blacklisted Chinese companies, including human rights violators and affiliates of the People’s Liberation Army. “Why should the retirement funds of our military service members be sent to companies building weapons designed to kill them?” Rubio asked. The FRTIB announced it would change course, but it later backfired. Resolving this issue remains a top priority for Rubio.
HOLDING FOREIGN COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE
In 2020, Rubio helped pass the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, a landmark bill — now law — that requires foreign companies traded in America to follow the same independent audit standards that American companies follow. This protects Americans’ savings from being invested in entities based in China that pose unacceptable risk under U.S. law. Rubio has also co-authored the INDEX Act. If passed, this important legislation would reinsert citizen agency into American finance by requiring investment fund managers to vote in accordance with the instructions of investors, rather than at their own discretion.