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'An Idea Whose Time Has Come': Lawmakers Roll Out Plan to Expand Worker Ownership


'An Idea Whose Time Has Come': Lawmakers Roll Out Plan to Expand Worker Ownership

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Amid increasing corporate power and dwindling worker profits, a coalition of lawmakers on Thursday put forth one solution that just may take off.


I do believe that "worker-owned businesses is a great way to mitigate the harm that the current business and economic paradigms have reeked on the middle and lower classes. Such workers more motivated and energized to produce superior products and services out of pride and havig more of a financial stake in the outcome, Moreover, their vested interest also collectively gives them more power to confront countervailing influence of traditional socio-econonic powers.

But, one must necessarily have safe-guards against either legislation or corporate predators sabotaging such efforts, should they come to pose a serious threat to the status quo.

Though "owned" by the citizenry, I had always analogized certain governmental entities such as public utilities, schools, criminal justice facilities, etc. as "worker-owned." Even bridges, highways and other types of infrastructure seemed to be inherently "public."

It was the common-person's bastion against the inherent greed and built-in inertia of capitalism. It was a way in which unions could thrive, as well as counter-balance and trend-set certain procedures and practices of the private sector. It was a way for the citizenry to have a different type of indirect voice in promoting socio-economic progress.

Then, there came the onslaught of privatization; it is effectively substantially diminishing an already relatively powerless voice of the common folk. They even demonized the public-school system; actually, they intentionally broke it and provided a solution, i.e., vouchers and charter schools. They are going to do the same to Social Security Administration. the Postal Service (IUSPS) and other (quasi) governmental services.

That said, I do think that something ought to be done to drastically strengthen the laws and enforcement thereof related to financial services industry, outlawing tax-havens, identifying and prosecuting especially institutional money-laundering activities. Also, laws should be passed to reign in the obscene income which top corporate executives shamelessly receive; after all, the excess should go to better things such as dividends, retained earnings or innovative projects.

Most importantly, there should be a gradual reversal of affects of the various privatization initiatives which have been implemented over the past two decades, at least.


Top 10% Liz??  Are you kidding??  It's the top ONE percent who've benefited – and almost NOBODY else!

It would also have been of great help had T.R.'s anti-monopoly laws been enforced for the past half century.
#1 We need to roll back to 2000 - or earlier - any and all mergers that have taken place.   #2 pass, AND EN­FORCE, a law that makes it illegal for ANY company having more than a 20% share in any market to absorb, merge with, or purchase any other company in that market — be it autos, banking, electronics, food, health-
care, insurance, newspapers, railroads, radio, shipping, software, T-V, etc.   And #3 make it illegal for ANY-
ONE to serve on the board of more than one korporation.

(It's this last problem that, IMHO, accounts for the vast majority of problems with outrageous executive comp­ensation at the expense of stockholders – person A on corporation board #1 votes for a high salary for person B on board #2, and in exchange person B - who also serves on board #1 - votes for a high salary for person A on board #1 – it's blatant collusion by the Fat Cats to defraud middle-class stockholders, pure and simple.)


Be Careful! The devil is in the details, as in -- ""Simply put," said Sanders, "when employees have an ownership stake in their company . . ." is different from employees owning their company.

Too many companies advertise "employee owned" as a euphemism for "non-union," when the companies are not in fact owned by the employees, who only have a minor "stake," or small amount of company stock shares.

Genuinely employee-owned companies are a wonderful idea, but there is a lot of hype and dissembling going on around all those terms, and great care must be taken to examine in detail each and every such proposal.


United Airlines was recently in the news for allowing gratuitous police violence against one of its customers. Didn't United Airlines become employee owned some time ago? If so, then all things were not necessarily made better.


One of the most important things humans can do is understand that we are all LABOR
and that we must unite -- and that we are not dependent upon corporate employers to
allow us to unite, nor upon government to permit us to unite.
Unite in mind and spirit and joint action.


Did a quick search with Google and found the United went bankrupt and diluted existing employee ownership. I haven't monitored the situation enough, so I spoke too soon about it. Also found the CD opinion piece by ms. Bonnano had more about United Airlines.


No surprise. These ESOPs are scams one way or the other. The workers typically vote their stock.


Exactly what I was thinking when I saw the headline. I know of companies like that. They are able to call themselves "employee-owned" but really aren't.


AMEN!  Individual, employee-owned companies – NOT socialist or communist government-run companies, susceptible to the usual corruption of any and all large organizations – but small and medium sized, efficient companies; competing with one another for the benefit of all citizens, and contributing a fair share of taxes for the common good – for infrastructure and especially for good schools & colleges to enable all citizens to con­tribute to and share equitably in the economy.   (Anti-monopoly and tax policies as outlined above to apply.)