Senator Rubio’s report on American investment warns of the dangers of underinvestment due to financial engineering through stock buybacks and other mechanisms. His report argues that financialization is hindering American innovation.

“When my parents came as immigrants to the United States, they found a nation of opportunity and possibility where hard work could secure a stable and prosperous family life. Today, however, the American Dream of earned happiness is increasingly out of reach. Settled paths to skills and employment for millions of regular Americans have disappeared, and with them the prospects for starting a family and contributing to community life. Even those who make it into the upper ends of the job market often discover their position to be more insecure than they imagined it would be, or find their work a far cry from the confident projects of their predecessors.

We often grapple with this anxiety through how we view the economy, which provides a picture of how resources are distributed, but also a story about how value is created and who creates it. If the only way to understand what’s going on in the economy is how the stock market or GDP growth is doing, then this decline will not be evident. But behind recent positive numbers, there is plenty that isn’t working the way it should. We don’t have to look far for a troubling example: business investment, one of the most basic economic activities of the free enterprise system, is declining. As this report demonstrates, in the 21st century the American corporate business sector no longer plays the role of long-term investor that they carried out effectively for most of our history…”

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