Politics & Society Vol. 47(4) 573-591.
29 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2018 Last revised: 23 Jan 2020
Date Written: September 2, 2019
Americans have trillions of dollars invested in public and private companies, yet stock ownership is highly unequal: the wealthiest one percent of American households possess forty percent of all wealth, and there is a large and persistent racial wealth gap. What if new innovations in distributed technologies allowed for democratic facilitation of new opportunities for wealth and a rebalancing of power within the capital markets? This chapter proposes the creation of a “Public Investment Platform” to use innovative financial technologies to create a public option for participation in the capital markets, and a “Public Investment Account” to universalize access to investment opportunities. Capital markets are currently governed by public policies that submerge the role of the public in structuring them and enable an inequitable accumulation of wealth. To democratize finance, new policies are required to democratize participation in investment.
Keywords: crowdfunding; investment; fintech; economic democracy
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