The recent stock market volatility underlines that we are watching what may be one of the most consequential macro-economic experiments of our time: What will U.S. companies do with the dollars they gain from tax reform? Pay more to employees? Buy new equipment? Give it all back to shareholders?
I believe in capitalism. Cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent certainly could charge up the economy and markets – and float wages higher. But there's also the potential for it to heat up inflation and worsen income inequality. It all comes down to what business leaders decide to do with this extra cash in 2018.
It's not an overstatement to say it will have an effect on our very perception of capitalism as an ultimately benevolent or purely self-interested force in America, particularly in the eyes of our younger workforce participants, who are more idealistic than their predecessors.
Think of it: Millennials have much kinder views toward socialism than any generation before. What happens next in our economy will be a formative experience for them and the generation that comes next. This is, increasingly, your company's workforce. And believe me, they are watching.
As an executive at Thinx, a for-profit, yet mission-driven company, I am inspired by my fellow CEOs, board members and investors who are looking at this as a legacy moment.
And, no, I don't mean "legacy" as in ever-larger trust funds for grandchildren. Nothing against trust funds – or grandchildren! – But imagine how this money could be used to make the world a better place for the less privileged among us. How do we invest in all of America?