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The Third Way: Share-the-Gains Capitalism


The Third Way: Share-the-Gains Capitalism

Robert Reich

Marissa Mayer tells us a lot about why Americans are so angry, and why anti-establishment fury has become the biggest single force in American politics today.


Yes: the solution to all our problems is to own shares in capitalist enterprises. What a wonderfully refreshing idea!


It's called cooptation.

The real third way is democratic control of the work place.


Gut feeling - from a former small business owner and for one year a stockbroker (1988):

~ The Corporation has to go ~

To paraphrase the economist Herman Daly, the current 'economic model', which is in fact not an economic model at all, but a largely chrematistic model, i.e., money and wealth for the few:

'We treat the world like a business in liquidation'

I presume most of us know that in all likelihood no one is going to save this system - collapse is all but inevitable.

But once collapse is thoroughly underway, we're going to have to rebuild, barring an atomic war, in which case we can all just watch ourselves die and mutate for awhile.

So for the present, let's just sound off on ideas from the few 'superhuman' individuals in our midst.

James Hansen wants 350 ppm CO2 or less.

Edward O. Wilson wants at least half the Earth set aside to preserve biodiversity.

Evo Morales wants 'bien vivir' as a modus operandum - not mindless growth.

James Kasting, John Lewis and friends are prepared to map and exploit the near reaches of the solar system for energy and resources (now there is real optimism - but in all probability, the only way to actually make progress happen).

And the long deceased individual anarchist and former constitutional lawyer Lysander Spooner, by way of John Gofman (Manhattan Project - then doctor and anti-nuke activist forever), wants (wanted) - real social justice - Magna Carta Trial by Jury, wherein the paramount duty of the jurors is first to judge, without interference, the 'justice' of the law in question, and wherein they have the power to dismiss out of hand any suit brought against a person or persons that contravenes their collective idea of 'justice'.

I suppose I could go on and on - but we'll leave it at that for now.

\\ Manysummits in Calgary ///


Robert Reich's article is yet another example of 'if we could just get along...?' It's certainly nice that civility can be demonstrated. Of course there's a long history of that kind of civility...for upper echelon members in an organization. But it's not addressing the chasm wide core flaws of capitalism. You don't replace a cancer, you get rid of it. Any solution that mentions 'competition' is a dead giveaway that the author of that 'solution' is taking their eye off the ball.


Another utopian scheme for a worker-friendly capitalism based on a humane system of capitalist generousity and philanthropy. It won't happen. It will never happen. Capitalism cannot be reformed in the interests of the worker.

But i am reminded of probably apocryphal story of Baron Rothchild accosted by a worker demanding he share out his wealth. Okay, the Baron replied..." i'm worth 100 million francs and there are 50 million people in France, here is your 2 francs share. And now be off with you"

The issue is not wealth re-distribution but the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. Reich keeps avoiding the need for socialism to reach an egalitarian society and hopes he can mend capitalism to do it...


Sorry Bob, In view of the responses thus far, this proposal went over like a lead balloon.


Based on the public support for Trump/Clinton, Americans are fine with this. But somewhere along the line, we're going to have to figure out what to do with our surplus population, those who aren't of current use to employers. Not everyone is able to work, and the last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people who still have the means to get one (home address, phone, bus fare). I think it's likely that cities will have to burn again, as they did in the 1960s, before the broader public starts figuring out that something has gone very wrong.


"Democratic control of the means of production" is a phrase applied to what one can consider the "workers' paradise" theme. There an be no paradise when so many are left out, as they are today.

On redistribution, my gosh, we have redistributed a massive share of the nation's wealth upward since the 1980s, to the few at the top. Liberals have spent another decade calling for "redistributing the wealth" -- but only as far down as those who are fortunate enough to have jobs. The middle class want more, and don't want a crumb to trickle down. The rich want more, and don't want a crumb to trickle down.


What would you do to those who aren't of current use to the economy? Middle classers seem oblivious to how much things have deteriorated since the 1980s, when our jobs began getting shipped out, when the war on the poor was begun. People don't disappear simply because they aren't of current use to employers. The rage just quietly continues to grow, and when such rage explodes on a large scale, it has proved to be disruptive to the economic/social agenda.


Certainly the Keynesian version of capitalism pushed by Reich would be better but, it is no solution. The problem is capitalism itself. We need to move from the cancerous system of endless growth and material consumerism beyond the planet's real resources to a system of sustainable sufficiency that guarantees a livable reality for all. Without eco-socialist systems, --

We are
the walking dead
not yet calcified
the earth warming
beneath our feet
as we hunt for bargains
and argue politics

and recalcitrance purchased
at the ultimate price
nearing daily
as the rise
of dying acidic seas
our legacy written
in refuse --

Arrogance Avarice Myopia


"Last Tuesday Ulukaya announced he’s giving all his 2,000 full-time workers shares of stock worth up to 10 percent of the privately held company’s value when it’s sold or goes public..."

Reich seems to saying that if the company is never sold or goes public, Ulukaya continues to rake in all the profits for himself, just like any other capitalist.

There is no hint that Ulukayahas has any intention to sell or go public, so this is all an exercise in blowing hot air.


Both the Sanders and Trump campaigns are fueled by ticked off lower and middle class folks who realize that they are being screwed.


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Cap wealth. Share the rest. Problems solved.