Why We Need a Wealth Tax

  
Via:  john-russell  •  2 months ago  •  257 comments

Why We Need a Wealth Tax
Dynastic wealth puts economic power into the hands of a relatively small number of people who make decisions about where and how to invest most of the nation’s capital, as well as which nonprofit enterprises and charities deserve support, and what politicians merit their campaign contributions. That means their decisions have a disproportionately large effect on America’s future.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Why We Need a Wealth Tax


The crisis of income inequality in America is well-known, but there is another economic crisis developing much faster and with worse consequences. I’m talking about inequality of wealth.

The wealth gap is now staggering. In the 1970s, the wealthiest tenth of Americans owned about a third of the nation’s total household wealth. Now, the wealthiest 10 percent owns about 75 percent of total household wealth. 

America’s richest one-tenth of one percentnow owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

Wealth isn’t like income.  Income is payment for work.  Wealth keeps growing automatically and exponentially because it’s parked in investments that generate even more wealth.

Wealth is also passed from generation to generation. An estimated 60% of the wealth in the United States is inherited. Many of today’s super-rich never did a day’s work in their lives.  The Walmart heirs alone have more wealth than the bottom42 percentof Americans combined.

America is now on the cusp of the largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history. As wealthy boomers die, an estimated $30 trillion will go to their children over the next three decades.

Over time, this wealth will continue to grow even further – without these folks lifting a finger. This concentration of wealth will soon resemble the kind of dynasties common to European aristocracies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

It’s exactly what our Founding Fathers sought to combat by creating a system of government and economy grounded in meritocracy.

Dynastic wealth puts economic power into the hands of a relatively small number of people who make decisions about where and how to invest most of the nation’s capital, as well as which nonprofit enterprises and charities deserve support, and what politicians merit their campaign contributions. 

That means their decisions have a disproportionately large effect on America’s future.

Dynastic wealth also magnifies race and gender disparities. Because of racism and sexism, women and people of color not only earn less. They have also saved less. Which is why the racial wealth gap and the gender wealth gap are huge and growing.

Today, government is financed almost entirely by income taxes and payroll taxes – totally ignoring the giant and growing wealth at the top.

So how do we address the crisis of wealth inequality?

A wealth tax, as proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, would begin to tackle all this by placing a 2 percent tax on to wealth in excess of 50 million dollars

According to estimates, this tax would generate 2.75 trillion dollars over the next decade, which could be used for health care, education, infrastructure, and everything else we need.

Not only would a wealth tax raise revenue and help bring the economy back into balance, but it would also protect our democracy by reducing the influence of the super-rich on our political system.

We must demand an economy that works for the many, not one that concentrates wealth in the hands of a few. A wealth tax is a necessary first step.

Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
Find text within the comments Find 
 
JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 months ago

Applying a wealth tax and keeping it in effect is the single greatest thing we as Americans can do for future generations. 

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1  MUVA  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 months ago

#work harder and you too can be wealthy or complain and spend all day on a comment site.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  MUVA @1.1    2 months ago

I don't think you know what we are talking about. What is the problem? The "wealth tax" does not begin until the 50 million mark. Then 2% is taxed for every dollar above 50 million in other words if you have 60 million you would pay 2% on 10 million, or $200,000.  Are you telling me that people with 60 million dollars cannot afford to pay 200,000 in order to help make the lives of their fellow Americans better? 

This has nothing to do with the people below the 50 million mark "working harder".  There are people who work very hard that don't make 50,000 let alone 50 million. 

This is about changing America for the better. 

What did Robert Reich say that you think is wrong? 

 
 
 
Sunshine
1.1.2  Sunshine  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    2 months ago
Are you telling me that people with 60 million dollars cannot afford to pay 200,000 in order to help make the lives of their fellow Americans better? 

It isn't about affordability.  I could pay more too and I am certainly not wealthy.

When you run out of that money, who will be taxed next?  The middle class?  Should they just pay it and shut up "for the good of America".

Taxation is endless with you people.  There is nothing more unconstitutional than taxation, but yet government put it in place to protect themselves.  Do you know that USA is about individualism?  Every time your rights are stripped away with the heavy hand of the government, such as the IRS, the government violates your constitutional right to freedom and private property.  IRS (government) has complete immunity to not bide by our constitutional laws, yet people like you want to give them more power.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sunshine @1.1.2    2 months ago
There is nothing more unconstitutional than taxation

Utter nonsense.   Every government in the history of the world obtained revenue by taxation. 

Just telling people who have exploited and abused the economic system of the United States " go ahead, do it forever" is doing no favor to our future generations. Inherited wealth is ingrained in our society now and it is time to eat away at it. You want everyone to work? Tell the trust fund babies to work. 

There is NOTHING wrong, unethical, or immoral about taxing great wealth . Nothing. We should get started asap. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
1.1.4  Sunshine  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    2 months ago
 Every government in the history of the world obtained revenue by taxation. 

Not on individuals.

Just telling people who have exploited and abused the economic system of the United States "

Just because someone is wealthy does not mean they exploited anyone.  That is just your narrow minded view.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Sunshine @1.1.4    2 months ago
Just because someone is wealthy does not mean they exploited anyone

I suspect some blame their lot in life on rich people because it alleviates them from taking personal responsibility for the own lives.

Why NOT blame people you are jealous of?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.1.6  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    2 months ago
I don't think you know what we are talking about. What is the problem?

There will be several, but none insurmountable.

The "wealth tax" does not begin until the 50 million mark.

That's the current proposal.  That will drop over time.  If this passes, we will necessarily have a much more liberal government than we do today, and they never saw one of your dollars they didn't thing was really theirs.

Then 2% is taxed for every dollar above 50 million in other words if you have 60 million you would pay 2% on 10 million, or $200,000.  Are you telling me that people with 60 million dollars cannot afford to pay 200,000 in order to help make the lives of their fellow Americans better? 

Ahhh.  Thanks for bringing that up.  How....specifically...will this make anybody's life "better"?

This has nothing to do with the people below the 50 million mark "working harder".  There are people who work very hard that don't make 50,000 let alone 50 million. 

True.  Working smarter is always more important than working harder.

This is about changing America for the better. 

Nah.  Not at all.  This is about liberals and their whole "it's not fair" that some people have lots of money and they don't.

What did Robert Reich say that you think is wrong? 

A lot of things, actually.  

First of all, $30 trillion inherited over 3 decades is not very much money in the scope of the US economy and US personal wealth.  It's only about 10% of the projected costs of the Green New Deal, and is only about 20% of the cost of single payer healthcare.  If you taxed it all at 100%, you couldn't begin to cover costs on either of those programs.

If the idea is to make sure rich kids don't inherit, you need an estate tax, not a wealth tax.  But that's not really the idea, and everybody knows it.

If we're really talking about generational wealth, all we need to do is subsidize life insurance and mandate everybody buy some.  The precedent is certainly there and the costs are microscopic next to the ACA.  But that's also not the real topic, and everybody knows it.

If the intent is really to tackle "wealth inequality" as a danger to our democracy, WTF does 2% on assets over $50million matter? Wealth will still be vastly unequal. That's just trying to produce a ridiculous rationalization using "feelings" math.  But the danger to democracy slogan is bullshit, and everybody knows it.  People only care about it when it goes against their views.  

Raising $2.75 trillion with any tax pretends taxes do not motivate behavior.  Nobody pays taxes they don't have to, and people with $50 million can afford very good tax counsel.  Any such tax will be easily avoidable in the modern global economy, to the point where almost nobody is going to pay it.

The fact that people don't want to acknowledge is that closing the wealth gap and/or the income gap is going to require a fundamental behavioral change for the people at the bottom.  Until we start to eliminate financial ignorance and stupidity, anything else is simply window dressing that makes emotional people "feel better".

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.1.7  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    2 months ago
Just telling people who have exploited and abused the economic system of the United States

This is one reason why stuff like this never goes anywhere.  Very quickly, all the people who support it start saying things to indicate they have no clue how the American economy works and should never be trusted to advise on it.

Do tell us how Jeff Bezos has exploited and abused the economic system of the United States.

Mark Zuckerberg?  Larry Ellison? (look him up first)  Larry Page?  

 
 
 
katrix
1.1.8  katrix  replied to  Jack_TX @1.1.7    2 months ago
Larry Ellison?

Larry buys me a drink from time to time, although he doesn't know it.  My friend is an Oracle rep.

What people don't seem to understand that wealth IS taxed at some point.  If I own a lot of stocks, I don't get taxed on the paper value (which fluctuates anyway).  When I sell them, then I pay capital gains taxes.  If I own a bunch of houses or paintings, I am not taxed on their paper value (again, which fluctuates).  When I sell the houses or paintings, then I pay taxes on the profit.  As you mentioned, the estate tax is a whole different animal.

Taxing wealth is a stupid idea.  If I'm taxed based on the paper value of my wealth, do I get a refund when the value drops as the markets fluctuate?  Will the government  appraise my valuable paintings and cars every year?  I suppose if someone's wealth is all tied up in assets, they'd just be told to sell some of them so they could pay the wealth tax?

I don't understand all the jealousy and animosity towards those who have successfully built businesses or invested their way to wealth.  The useless kids like Paris Hilton?  Sure, that's annoying, but it doesn't give me the right to take her money just because she inherited it.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.1.9  Jack_TX  replied to  katrix @1.1.8    2 months ago
Larry buys me a drink from time to time, although he doesn't know it.  My friend is an Oracle rep.

I'm sure he doesn't mind.

As you mentioned, the estate tax is a whole different animal.

It is and isn't.  The estate tax was always relatively easy to avoid, with proper advance planning.  Similarly, a wealth tax will be relatively easy to avoid.  

I suppose if someone's wealth is all tied up in assets, they'd just be told to sell some of them so they could pay the wealth tax?

I'm not sure how you could have a wealth tax without that.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 months ago

It will never work because.....

there are simply not enough people that have that kind of wealth (or net worth), for it to make any difference.

If you add a wealth tax to the income tax, the wealthy will leave the country and take their wealth with them.

Dumb idea.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    2 months ago
If you add a wealth tax to the income tax, the wealthy will leave the country and take their wealth with them.

And?  Does knowing that there are extremely rich people living in the same country you do complete you?  Does the wealth of a billionaire rub off on you?  The truth is that no one will leave because the tax is a tiny percentage. The extremely wealthy should just agree to pay and go on their merry way. The hundreds of billions of dollars that will be collected can be used to benefit society. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.1    2 months ago

No....

the extremely wealthy like to lower the amount the goes to US treasury to reasonable amounts, just like everyone else does. The idea that this action would generate hundreds of billions of dollars is simply a wet dream.

 
 
 
Snuffy
1.2.3  Snuffy  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    2 months ago

yep,  even if it did generate the estimated $275 billion annually,  what makes anybody think that our government would use it properly? 

Don't we already have an inheritance tax to help prevent this sort of dynastic wealth?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.2.4  Jack_TX  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    2 months ago
If you add a wealth tax to the income tax, the wealthy will leave the country and take their wealth with them.

They won't have to.  

They'll just do some high level accounting and call it a day.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.2.5  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.1    2 months ago
And?

That's a stupid question.

  Does knowing that there are extremely rich people living in the same country you do complete you?

And another.  I'm not sure how it's not obvious that having them invest their money here is better for America and Americans than having them invest it overseas.

  Does the wealth of a billionaire rub off on you?

Ever been to a public school?  How do you think those buildings were financed?  Ever been to a hospital?  How do you think that building was financed?  Driven on county roads?  Sat in a public park?  Do you know what "municipal bonds" are?

  The truth is that no one will leave because the tax is a tiny percentage.

They won't leave because the tax will be uncollectible.

The extremely wealthy should just agree to pay and go on their merry way. The hundreds of billions of dollars that will be collected can be used to benefit society. 

Even if you collected it, it would not "benefit society".  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
1.2.6  Nerm_L  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    2 months ago
t will never work because.....

there are simply not enough people that have that kind of wealth (or net worth), for it to make any difference.

If you add a wealth tax to the income tax, the wealthy will leave the country and take their wealth with them.

Dumb idea.

The political promise is to reduce wealth inequality.  Taxing wealth will make the rich poorer and making the rich poorer will lower wealth inequality.  The political promise can be kept by simply imposing a tax on wealth.  (The rich will still be wealthy so that shouldn't be a concern.)

But that won't do anything to make the poor richer.  The government could use revenue from a wealth tax to pay down national debt, build more monuments in DC, raise the pay of politicians, or any number of things that avoids making the poor richer.

The government could create or expand various assistance programs, too.  But that transforms wealth into income, so the poor may become more affluent but still don't become richer.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
1.2.7  Jack_TX  replied to  Nerm_L @1.2.6    2 months ago
Taxing wealth will make the rich poorer and making the rich poorer will lower wealth inequality.  The political promise can be kept by simply imposing a tax on wealth.

Presuming they can actually get anybody to pay it, which is more than a bit naive.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
1.2.8  Nerm_L  replied to  Jack_TX @1.2.7    2 months ago
Presuming they can actually get anybody to pay it, which is more than a bit naive.

Well, that's kinda the point.  All these 'proposals' are really nothing more than empty politics that won't accomplish anything.  These political stunts only provide a forum for things like flat taxes.  (BTW, the Federal tax code already functions like a flat tax so the flat tax, fair tax, and VAT is just political noise to distract people.)

The only viable means of making the poor richer is returning the economy to building wealth at the bottom of the economy.  The poor are never going to become investors; finance is stupid way to make the poor richer.  Using finance to increase wealth at the bottom of the economy of necessity requires a mechanism for redistribution.  The money would have to pass through too many hands before it got to the poor and all those middlemen would take a share.

What the poor have in abundance is time and labor.  Those resources of time and labor should be leveraged to generate wealth at the bottom of the economy.  Currently finance is the biggest obstacle to leveraging the resources of the poor to build wealth at the bottom of the economy.  What we need are taxes on monopolies and some means of progressive incentives (and disincentives) for monopoly businesses to distribute generated economic output.  People who do lift a finger to generate wealth should be receiving a larger share.  (BTW that's how capitalism is really supposed to work.)

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.3  Freedom Warrior  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 months ago

Often overlooked in these type of discussions is the fact this is basically a false narrative.   The reality is inequality is not a crisis and the wealth gap isn’t something that needs to be resolved. 

 That’s obviously a set up for the rationalization that it’s OK to take money or time from somebody else. 

 Additionally we can talk about things that we would like to and hope to achieve as a society as a whole but this isn’t one of them. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2  Bob Nelson    2 months ago

original

 
 
 
It Is ME
3  It Is ME    2 months ago

"I’m talking about inequality of wealth."

I thought Obama and company already fixed that ?

It's only really, really, really important now, 'cause Trump is president ? jrSmiley_89_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Nerm_L
4  Nerm_L    2 months ago

A wealth tax won't correct the underlying problem that caused the disparities in the first place.  A tax, by its nature, would transfer that wealth to government.  And as we have seen government has become nothing more than a power struggle between two political parties for the personal gain of politicians and political elite.  Government revenue made available to politicians works the same way as inheritance for the wealthy; neither has to actually do anything to obtain the money.

Somehow making politicians richer by transferring wealth through taxes doesn't seem to change anything.   That's been tried in the past.  Wealth doesn't trickle down from government any more than it trickles down from the wealthy.  At best the government only provides a subsistence lifestyle.

Dr. Robert Reich's government-first ideology is much less likely to work today than when Franklin Roosevelt was President.  In the 1930s the United States was a producing nation; the United States created wealth by producing things.  But that is not how United States creates wealth today.  As Dr. Reich points out today's wealth is created by financial investments; there isn't any need to lift a finger.  Today's rich aren't getting richer by producing something.  Keep in mind that today's politicians don't obtain government revenue by by producing anything, either.  

More government intervention might have been appropriate when the United States was a producing nation.  However, today's government only provides the same trickle-down subsistence solutions as does the wealthy.  Replacing the wealthy with government isn't going to change anything on Main Street.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
5  Nerm_L    2 months ago

What Dr. Robert Reich is actually proposing, without explicitly stating it, is to socialize Wall Street.  Dr. Reich is arguing that finance has become the means of generating wealth in the United States; therefore, that mechanism of wealth generation needs to be socialized to reduce inequalities.  

If the United States becomes a socialist nation, it will happen in the financial markets.  And it will be far easier for government to socialize financial markets through taxes and government redistribution than by seizing private property.  But that approach doesn't actually remove barriers and obstacles responsible for establishing economic disparities; that approach only replaces the wealthy with politicians.  The general public will still be dependent upon wealth being trickled down from those who control wealth.

IMO the only way to avoid that future of socialism and trickle-down government is to return the United States to using production as the means to generate wealth.  Production requires labor; working is the most egalitarian means of distributing wealth based upon merit.  It would be much fairer to distribute wealth as it is generated rather than through tax/redistribution afterwards.  If the United States can compete in its own domestic marketplace then the United States will be in a better condition to compete in international markets.  If we can't make things in the United States for our own consumers then we certainly cannot sell things overseas.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6  tomwcraig    2 months ago

The only equitable way of taxing the wealthy is to have a National Sales Tax and eliminate all other taxes and fees at the Federal level.  The wealthy are the people seeking status symbols, like mansions and expensive cars.

 
 
 
Texan1211
6.1  Texan1211  replied to  tomwcraig @6    2 months ago
The only equitable way of taxing the wealthy is to have a National Sales Tax and eliminate all other taxes and fees at the Federal level. The wealthy are the people seeking status symbols, like mansions and expensive cars.

I would hazard a guess that won't ever happen as long as the Democratic Party is viable.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6    2 months ago

Sales tax is regressive. Purchases subject to sales tax are consume close to 100 % of a poor family's revenue.

The percentage goes down proportionally, as revenue rises.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
6.2.1  livefreeordie  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2    2 months ago

This is an oft repeated lie from the left

1. “Fair Tax

Prebate 

How does the prebate work? 

Under the FairTax, all Americans consume what they see as their necessities of life free of tax. While permitting no exemptions, the FairTax (HR25/S122) provides a monthly universal prebate to ensure that each family unit can consume tax free at or beyond the poverty level, with the overall effect of making the FairTax progressive in application. There is no marriage penalty as the couple gets twice the amount that a single adult receives.

While everyone pays the same tax rate at the cash register, the prebate results in effective tax rates (annual taxes paid divided by annual spending) that increase as the level of spending increases a progressive tax rate structure. For example, a person spending at the poverty level has a 0% effective tax rate, whereas someone spending at twice the poverty level has an effective tax rate of 11.5%, and so on.”

http://fairtax.org/faq

2. The fair tax eliminates the payroll tax which is the largest tax paid by the middle and lower class

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @6.2.1    2 months ago

The "Fair Tax" is in part a sales tax. The rest of it is dedicated to alleviating the ferociously regressive character of an unmodified sales tax.

Thanks for proving my point.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
6.2.3  livefreeordie  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2.2    2 months ago

[delete]

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6.2.4  tomwcraig  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2    2 months ago

Bob, have you NEVER read any of my arguments on how to implement a National Sales Tax?

1) You exempt things necessary for life.  You know basic food items, non-luxury beverages, homes just big enough for the family, small appliances, cleaning supplies, non-luxury clothes.

2) The actual National Sales Tax necessary is 22% on everything else and that gives us a surplus compared to current spending at the Federal level.

Easiest solution possible.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @6.2.3    2 months ago

You probably would do better to read more carefully...

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.4    2 months ago
Bob, have you NEVER read any of my arguments....

Perhaps I have... but they didn't catch my attention.

Your proposition would lock in our current inequalities. We need a system that tends towards greater equality.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6.2.7  tomwcraig  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2.6    2 months ago

You realize that a Sales Tax is on what you SPEND and not on what you EARN, correct?  You eliminate taxes and fees on basic necessities and there is no inequality as the poor and middle class no longer get taxed at the greater amount.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.8  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.7    2 months ago

Yes.

and

Your proposition would lock in our current inequalities.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6.2.9  tomwcraig  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2.8    2 months ago

How will it lock in the current inequalities, since the tax would not be on items used by the poor and middle class for survival?  The only people paying the taxes would be those getting items like DVDs, electronics, luxury items, homes bigger than they need, etc.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.10  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.9    2 months ago

It does nothing to correct inequality. It maintains the status quo.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
6.2.11  livefreeordie  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.9    2 months ago

Don’t you understand that Bob and all these good leftists are firm believers as Marx stated “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”

only communism effectively achieves their sense of “fairness”

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6.2.12  tomwcraig  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2.10    2 months ago

You repeating your assertion does not prove how it will do so.  So, please answer the question or admit that you either don't know or are absolutely wrong.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.12    2 months ago

I didn't say it would make things worse. I said it would not make them better.

There's no mechanism for making things better.

 
 
 
tomwcraig
6.2.14  tomwcraig  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.2.13    2 months ago

So, you say that letting people keep more of their money by eliminating all the fees and taxes on services and eliminating the income tax, while exempting necessary items for life will not improve people's economic status?  

Granted this is a state level thing but:

Eliminating the fee for getting a driver's license would mean that the person getting the driver's license would be saving that fee.

That means if you are renewing your license, you would not pay the $40 fee, because it was already paid for via the sales tax that is only applied to non-necessary items, like Xboxes and Playstations.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
6.2.15  Bob Nelson  replied to  tomwcraig @6.2.14    2 months ago
So, you say that...

No. Nothing like that.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6.3  Nerm_L  replied to  tomwcraig @6    2 months ago
The only equitable way of taxing the wealthy is to have a National Sales Tax and eliminate all other taxes and fees at the Federal level.  The wealthy are the people seeking status symbols, like mansions and expensive cars.

A sales tax is a tax on consumer income, not wealth.  Wealth is something that is already owned.  A national tax on wealth would require something like a national property tax.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
6.3.1  Jack_TX  replied to  Nerm_L @6.3    2 months ago
A sales tax is a tax on consumer income, not wealth.

It's actually a tax on expenditure, not income.  Small distinction, but expenditure is more easily controllable than income, giving people more freedom within the taxation system.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7  Tacos!    2 months ago

I support the idea of increasing opportunity, prosperity and wealth to more people. I don't know if a tax is the only or best way to do it. Maybe, maybe not. Seems like we should have some level of taxation. The question is always: how much?

What struck me was the way Reich characterizes the wealth and the wealthy who hold it. He talks like they cheated somebody out of it. As if it belonged to someone else and they stole it.

Why shouldn't the Walmart heirs have money? Why shouldn't they control a huge corporation? You can say they didn't work for it and that might be true, but so what? Why is that important? If you could make enough money to make life easier on your kids and grandkids, wouldn't you do it? That's all that's happening at Walmart. The wealth of the Walmart heirs does not steal from anyone else.

What is supposed to happen to family owned companies - which, by the way, are the backbone of our economy? Are companies supposed to fold up shop when the founder dies? Is the market supposed to reset? Nothing gets passed on? It all gets passed on to the state? What did the state do to earn it? Why should other citizens who did nothing to create that wealth have any claim to it?

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't do anything to more broadly generate wealth, but if this is a moral issue as Reich frames it, then our moral concerns should apply equally to the non-wealthy.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7    2 months ago
Why shouldn't the Walmart heirs have money? Why shouldn't they control a huge corporation? You can say they didn't work for it and that might be true, but so what? Why is that important?

You've gone to the heart of it.

IMNAAHO, your first two questions should not be interronegative ("should not"). Try these:
- "Why should the Walmart heirs have money?"
- "Why should they control a huge corporation?"

I believe in equality of opportunity. I believe in realizing one's own best.

The Walton heirs were far, far, far from equality at birth.

They have never controlled a huge corporation. They have never had any significant role in Walmart management. They have done things like charity.

It's important that they have done nothing to deserve their fortunes, because there are millions of Americans who are born with zero, and who have done nothing to deserve their poverty.

Such differences are, in my opinion, the absolute opposite of "equality of opportunity".

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.1  Sunshine  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1    2 months ago

So if a person has worked for their wealth over $50 million should be exempt?

The reasoning here is all over the place.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.2  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1    2 months ago
"Why should the Walmart heirs have money?"

Because it was founded by Sam Walton and he should be able to make as money as he wants and dispose of it as he pleases. 

"Why should they control a huge corporation?"

Because Sam Walton built that corporation and should be able to turn it over to anyone he wants. These are basic property rights.

there are millions of Americans who are born with zero, and who have done nothing to deserve their poverty

Sam Walton was born into poverty. His parents lived on a farm in Oklahoma. He didn't do anything to deserve that, but I can't think of a moral justification for taking someone else's money and giving it to him. Instead, Walton overcame his humble beginnings to become - for a time - the richest man in America.

When we look at poverty, we often speak of a "cycle of poverty," but the great thing about America is that anyone has the opportunity break out of that cycle. Once they do, why would they want to doom their descendants to that cycle again? Wouldn't they want to do something - even if it's a relatively small thing compared to Wal-Mart - to improve life for their family?

But if the government is just going to take it all away, why bother? Why go to the trouble?

Such differences are, in my opinion, the absolute opposite of "equality of opportunity"

There will always be differences. You can't legislate a perfectly level playing field into existence. I could never have the opportunities of LeBron James because you can't legislate me to be 6'8". What about the great scientists and inventors? I wasn't born as smart as they are, so I don't get to invent the iPhone or personal computer. That's not fair either.

The thing about our system is that we all have the freedom to be the best us we can be. It's never going to be perfect.

Now, having said all that, I recognize that sometimes things can get so out of balance that it's bad for society or the economy overall. In that case, we can make some small adjustments, but I think it's overreaching to suggest that the heirs of successful people shouldn't have access to the wealth and accomplishments of their parents. It's also bad for the economy. Imagine if Wal-Mart just dissolved when Sam Walton died. Or Sears. Or JC Penney. And on and on. Imagine if Ford had totally liquidated when Henry died. How would that be good for the country?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.1    2 months ago
So if a person has worked for their wealth over $50 million should be exempt?

WTF??

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.2    2 months ago
Because Sam Walton built that corporation and should be able to turn it over to anyone he wants. These are basic property rights.

Inheritance is not a right. It is a privilege that those who rul us give to themselves in order to sustain the power of their dynasty.

In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring. (The formula for sharing is open to discussion.)

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.5  Sunshine  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.4    2 months ago
Inheritance is not a right.

He didn't say inheritance is a right....he said the owner of the wealth can leave the money (property) to whom they please.  Not any different than leaving a home to relatives if they so desire that is their right of ownership.  It isn't your money/property or the states, it is theirs to disperse as they please.  Someone can leave $50 million to a dog if they choose.  None of your business.

In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring. (The formula for sharing is open to discussion.)

I have worked for an ESOP company for 15 years and they are not structured any different than a public company.  Only difference is the employees have stock ownership. And the shares have to be earned (purchased).  Not any different than buying shares for a public company in the market.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.5    2 months ago
None of your business.

Of course it is.

"Property is theft" - - P J Proudhon

Property is not a right. It is institutionalized robbery.

"Rights" do not take anything away from anyone else. My free speech in no way reduces yours. Your right to a speedy trial in no way reduces mine.

Property is different. What I own, you cannot own.

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine,' and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.
-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.7  Sunshine  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.6    2 months ago

"Property is theft" - - P J Proudhon

Bunch of socialistic hogwash.  

Try living in the real world, instead of some absurd collective belief system.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.8  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.4    2 months ago
Inheritance is not a right

Correct. But bequeathing your property to whomever you choose is a right.

In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring.

So, the moment you get hired by a company, you deserve a voice in how that company is run? Where it's located? If it can be expanded or sold? If the production/service should be diversified or not?

That means there's no such thing as private ownership of a company. If I start a company, why would I ever hire someone who wasn't family? Heck I might not hire anyone ever. I don't want strangers forcing me to do things with my company.

Employees are compensated for their work with money and/or benefits. If the owner wants to share ownership in the company, that's his choice, but how can you force someone to give that up? Why would you want to?

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.9  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.6    2 months ago
Property is not a right. It is institutionalized robbery.

Please send me your computer right away. I need to use it for a while.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.10  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.4    2 months ago
Inheritance is not a right. It is a privilege that those who rul us give to themselves in order to sustain the power of their dynasty.

And here we are at full insanity.  That didn't take long.

In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring. (The formula for sharing is open to discussion.)

Nothing is stopping you from starting such a company.  Shared ownership is a common technique used to attract top talent.  I wish you every success.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.11  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.7    2 months ago

Try answering, instead of vociferating.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.12  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.6    2 months ago
Of course it is.

I think you'll find it's not.

"Property is theft" - - P J Proudhon

Repeating the insane ranting of a French anarchist does not somehow magically reduce the stupidity of his statement.

Property is not a right. It is institutionalized robbery.

The US Constitution disagrees with you....as does most of the rest of US law.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.8    2 months ago
bequeathing your property to whomever you choose is a right.

Nowhere, to my knowledge. How would you justify it?

the moment you get hired by a company, you deserve

I said nothing of the kind. What part of "The formula for sharing is open to discussion" is unclear?

If I start a company, why would I ever hire someone who wasn't family? Heck I might not hire anyone ever.

Fine.

I don't want strangers forcing me to do things with my company.

"Strangers"? You just hired them! "Forcing"? How? You're the senior partner.

how can you force someone to give that up?

By passing a law.

Why would you want to?

Equality.

---

Please... This is too frequent. You're assuming stuff - in general, bad stuff - and then you argue against that You don't ask, you assume. Do as you wish, but from now on, I won't get involved in such conversations with yourself.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.14  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.12    2 months ago
The US Constitution disagrees with you...

Oh?

I think not.

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.15  Sunshine  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.11    2 months ago
Try answering, instead of vociferating.

You got the appropriate answer to such nonsense.

Perhaps Mr. Reich would like to share his stolen wealth. jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.16  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.13    2 months ago
What part of "The formula for sharing is open to discussion" is unclear?

I am discussing it. I'm sorry you don't like what I am saying. I'm not trying to annoy you. This is what I believe. As I indicated above, I am open to adjustments - as small as necessary - but you are talking about eliminating fundamental property rights.

You're assuming stuff - in general, bad stuff

I'm taking your suggestions to logical conclusions. The concept of private property means that people have control over something, whether it's money, real estate, or a business. The law recognizes a "bundle of rights" related to this property. Most fundamental to these rights are the rights to control and dispose of the property as one sees fit. So yeah, if you want to take away those rights, "bad stuff" is the consequence.

Heck I might not hire anyone ever.

Fine.

It's not fine. A single individual, operating on his own, could not - for example - create the Ford Motor Company as we know it. And I don't just mean as we know it today. I also mean as we knew it in the 1920s and 30s. Corporations like Ford were able to generate such massive industrial production that allowed America to turn back the aggressive tide of Nazi and Japanese imperialism. You take away private property rights in business and we're all speaking German and Japanese (that is, the white non-Jewish people who are still alive to walk the streets).

I know that sounds extreme, but that's a real and possible consequence. You take the stability of your current life for granted. That's why this is so important. The freedom to make your own fortune incentivizes people to do amazing things that can ultimately benefit the whole society.

Look back at Walmart. Look at the huge variety of products they are able to bring to market cheaply. How many millions of Americans benefit from being able to purchase everything they need at low prices? And those items are available every day. Contrast that with life in communist countries where they line up around the block for toilet paper.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.17  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.16    2 months ago
I'm taking your suggestions to logical conclusions.

You're taking your perceptions, not always accurate, to your conclusions, completely divorced from mine.

I'm not involved. So I won't respond

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.18  Sunshine  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.14    2 months ago
Oh? I think not.

It most certainly does protect life, liberty, and property.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.19  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.17    2 months ago
You're taking your perceptions, not always accurate, to your conclusions, completely divorced from mine. I'm not involved. So I won't respond

Hey feel free to correct me where I'm wrong. You say you want to have a discussion but then all you're doing is complaining about my responses. I have no idea specifically what it is you find inaccurate about anything I have said. Don't say you want a discussion if you're not going to participate.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.20  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.19    2 months ago
Hey feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.

That's not how it works. If you'd like to discuss what I wrote - exactly what I wrote - fine. If you'd like to ask questions, fine. If you'd like to present your own thoughts, fine.

But I won't go down the rabbit hole of discussing what you imagine to be my ideas.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.21  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.20    2 months ago
If you'd like to discuss what I wrote - exactly what I wrote - fine.

I literally quoted you in every single comment I posted and then I responded to those quotes. They weren't summations. I copied and pasted. So, what you are suggesting has been tried - multiple times.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.21    2 months ago

Please re-read: "If you'd like to discuss what I wrote - exactly what I wrote - fine."

You said "I'm taking your suggestions to logical conclusions." Those are your conclusions, obviously... and they are what you discussed, rather than what I wrote.

Once again... I see no point in discussing what you imagine to be my ideas.

If you'd like to give your ideas we can discuss those... or we can discuss what I have written.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.23  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.22    2 months ago
Those are your conclusions, obviously.

Of course they. And I based those conclusions on your statements. What else would I be talking about?

Bob, seriously, why are you being like this? If you disagree, say so. Say how. Please say why without vaguely accusing me whatever it is you think you're accusing me of. This exchange between us is silly. You can't say I'm not reacting to what you said when I quote you and my comments connect to your words.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.24  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.23    2 months ago
Bob, seriously, why are you being like this? If you disagree, say so. Say how.

Tacos, seriously, why are you being like this? If you disagree, say so. Say how. Do not invent stuff and then ask me to discuss that.

You're asking me to discuss "something" that is not mine and not yours. What's the point?

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.25  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.24    2 months ago
Do not invent stuff and then ask me to discuss that

Really? What specifically did I invent? Which quote that I copied and pasted was not directly copied from your comment? 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.25    2 months ago
You said "I'm taking your suggestions to logical conclusions."
 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.27  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.26    2 months ago

And if you don't like my conclusions, I invite you to say how they are wrong. That's what a debate is. But don't say I'm inventing something or not responding to your words. That's not true.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.28  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.27    2 months ago

Look... I will not discuss what you imagine about my ideas. I will discuss what I wrote - precisely what I wrote - or your ideas, if you wish to present them.

Otherwise, I think we're done.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.29  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.8    2 months ago
That means there's no such thing as private ownership of a company. If I start a company, why would I ever hire someone who wasn't family? Heck I might not hire anyone ever. I don't want strangers forcing me to do things with my company.

The company would be owned by the workers.

You could bring on only family members, if that is your desire.   You might, however, go outside your family to get needed talent and/or a larger workforce.

Your decisions will be affected by the competitive  environment and your goals. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.30  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.29    2 months ago
The company would be owned by the workers.

Right. So, for example, you open the first McDonald's. You want to sell burgers and shakes. You buy property. You build the restaurant. You buy cooking equipment. Your product is popular so you hire a bunch of people to work the restaurant. Then they decide McDonald's should be in the shoe business so they sell all your restaurant equipment and start selling shoes. They can do this because they "own" the business.

What the hell kind of system is that?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.31  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.30    2 months ago
Right. So, for example, you open the first McDonald's. You want to sell burgers and shakes. You buy property. You build the restaurant. You buy cooking equipment. Your product is popular so you hire a bunch of people to work the restaurant. Then they decide McDonald's should be in the shoe business so they sell all your restaurant equipment and start selling shoes. They can do this because they "own" the business. What the hell kind of system is that?

Not sure, your scenario is slightly confused.  

First, franchising a McDonald's implies a purely private ownership capitalist-based enterprise.  (Although, McDonald's in particular leases the land and building to its franchisees so this is not a great example.  But we can ignore those details to stick with your scenario.)  Here you as the entrepreneur have acquired all the capital resources, assumed all the risk, got no support from the community at large and then hire people for their labor.   To then go one step beyond that and give all workers voting rights makes no sense whatsoever.    No system proposes anything like that.

So change your scenario to what is actually proposed (and in operation).   The scenario is the worker cooperative.   In this scenario a group of individuals collectively form a business.   They are, in effect, partners (not necessarily equal partners by the way).   These individual will 'hire' people (bring on more partners) when it makes sense to do so.   If 'hiring' an individual is worth the dilution that takes place (and the nominal reduction in voting power) then they will do so;  otherwise they will not.

The full scenario is a worker cooperative in an environment where the capital resources are effectively leased (not acquired).   The individuals have not put out major upfront capital but they will be paying (in effect) a tax for using the resources.   The risk/reward scenario is very different from what we are used to in our system (fully distributed) so to evaluate you need to recognize that.   In other words, do not take a purely capitalist scenario and then drop in the factors of workplace democracy.   That is a distorted scenario and will, of course, make no sense.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.32  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.31    2 months ago
First, franchising a McDonald's 

I wasn't talking about a franchise. I specifically said it was the first McDonalds. Besides, it's just a hypothetical. It's an archetype. It could be any burger stand.

implies a purely private ownership capitalist-based enterprise

Well, yeah. That's what we've been talking about. That's what Walmart was. We started this thread with Walmart. Walmart started out as a privately owned company. They've since gone public, but all that means is that people have been allowed to purchase ownership shares. The decision - and the right and power to make that decision - rested solely with Sam Walton.

No system proposes anything like that.

But you are saying the workers would be owners. Ownership implies the right and power to sell or destroy. The people who already own the company purchased that right and that power. Workers are already being compensated for their effort with salary. Now, some companies will also compensate employees with shares in the company, but that's something that is negotiated between private parties, i.e. employer and employee. If the employees do get a share in the company, it's because of that negotiation, not because they have a right to it.

So change your scenario to what is actually proposed (and in operation).   The scenario is the worker cooperative.  In this scenario a group of individuals collectively form a business.

Where in this thread was that proposed? Obviously if workers combined to form a company, they would have ownership rights. I haven't been talking about that at all with anyone.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.33  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.32    2 months ago
It could be any burger stand.

... and that is how I addressed your scenario if you noticed.

But you are saying the workers would be owners.

Yes, but you put forth a scenario of an entrepreneur taking all the risk who then simply turns over control to his collective employees.    I know of no system that suggests anything like that.

Where in this thread was that proposed?

It is not proposed in this thread.   I had just noted that no system correlates with what you described.   Now I am suggesting that you focus your questions or comments on systems that actually do exist or have been proposed.    Workplace democracy is the prime example.

I haven't been talking about that at all with anyone.

Yes.   You instead put forth an example that I have noted does not match any system I have ever heard of.   I agreed that what you proposed makes no sense.   And since I know of no system that matches your proposal it does not make much sense to talk more about it.   Maybe talk about a system that actually has been proposed?

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.34  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.33    2 months ago
I know of no system that suggests anything like that.

I really don't either, but in the context of a conversation about Walmart, Bob wrote:

In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring.

So to me, that says that the first person Sam Walton hired - and every person he hires after that - should own part of the company. As you can see, that is not a proposal that a collection of workers came together to form a company. His scenario is a formed company making a hire. And then turning that hire into an owner. And every hire after that.

I think that's insane. That's what I have been responding to.

It is not proposed in this thread. 

Then I don't understand why you would claim it had been proposed or why you would criticize me for not talking about it. Kinda weird. 

Now I am suggesting that you focus your questions or comments on systems that actually do exist or have been proposed.

Again, if it hasn't been proposed in the conversation I have been having, why would I be talking about it? (that question is rhetorical). If you want to start a conversation with a different focus, go right ahead, but that would require you to make the proposal, which as you acknowledge, had not yet happened.

Maybe talk about a system that actually has been proposed?

Go ahead and propose one. I will probably be happy to discuss it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.35  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.34    2 months ago
So to me, that says that the first person Sam Walton hired - and every person he hires after that - should own part of the company. As you can see, that is not a proposal that a collection of workers came together to form a company. His scenario is a formed company making a hire. And then turning that hire into an owner. And every hire after that. I think that's insane. That's what I have been responding to.

I am confident that is not what Bob meant.   I would be surprised if Bob would put forth a scenario in which one person takes the entrepreneurial risk and then freely shares control over the entity with all employees.

He might put forth a scenario where one person starts a company and then takes on additional partners who bring sufficient value to the entity to warrant sharing equity.   For example, Sam Walton with a one-man store who joins forces with another person who brings another store, franchise options or a cost-effective supply chain.   But to hold full financial risk and then give up control each time the entrepreneur hires a new clerk is an unworkable model.   Nobody would do that, nor should they.

Go ahead and propose one. I will probably be happy to discuss it.

Workplace democracy in a cooperative organization is the obvious system.   What I am trying to do is distinguish classic entrepreneurial structure and dynamics from those of workplace democracy.   What you seem to have in mind is somewhat of a hybrid that does not exist (and I do not think could possibly exist).

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.36  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.35    2 months ago
I am confident that is not what Bob meant.

You are right. That is not what I meant. It is NOT what I said.

I am very tired of Tacos's habit of "paraphrasing" in a way that in totally adulterates the original ideas. Tacos said:

I really don't either, but in the context of a conversation about Walmart, Bob wrote:
In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring.
So to me, that says that the first person Sam Walton hired - and every person he hires after that - should own part of the company.

Since when does "own part of" mean "have control over"? I said explicitly that the modalities of acquisition are open to discussion. I'm not going to discuss what someone else imagines to be my ideas. I'll discuss what I write... or what the other person writes... but not something completely imaginary.

Instead of presuming... whatever... why doesn't Tacos ask, "What is to prevent newly hired collaborators from 'overthrowing' the founder, and taking the company in a different direction?" That would open up an exchange of ideas.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.37  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.36    2 months ago
Instead of presuming... whatever... why ...

I agree.  In general (leaving Tacos! out of this now) I find that disagreement rarely leads to discussion or honest debate.   Rather, disagreement yields argument where the other person seeks to publicly show you to be wrong.   Presumption, misinterpretation, and other tactics tend to be liberally employed.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.38  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.36    2 months ago
What is to prevent newly hired collaborators from 'overthrowing' the founder, and taking the company in a different direction?"

OK, I'm asking.

Because if I start my own private company, there is no way in hell that I want to be forced to give every employee I hire part ownership.  If I'm taking the risks, why should they get the benefits?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.39  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.38    2 months ago
Because if I start my own private company, there is no way in hell that I want to be forced to give every employee I hire part ownership.  If I'm taking the risks, why should they get the benefits?

Certainly not.   In a scenario where one person assumes the financial risk, provides the entrepreneurial leadership, etc. and hires people to help her achieve her vision in return for compensation, it makes no sense for her to simply give up control.

The workplace democracy concept does not fit well in an entrepreneurial example.   The more appropriate example is a group of people forming a business to manufacture and/or sell basic goods such as hardware.   They all participate in the risk and the reward (albeit at different levels based on performance) and they bring on new workers (partners) if the perceived value of the new worker is worth the further dilution of control.   In a socialist environment, the capital would not be provided by the owners but rather leased from public domain.   The risk is very distributed and the community thus has general, indirect say in what every new business does.   For example, a business that pollutes the community might find restrictions on its access to the means of production.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.40  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.35    2 months ago
I am confident that is not what Bob meant.

Why?   

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.41  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.40    2 months ago

Because that is not how the concept of workplace democracy works and I am confident that this is what Bob has in mind.

The closest I can come to the scenario Tacos! illustrated is a professional firm (e.g. a law firm) where the firm is established by a few partners.   To expand they will bring on additional partners who will bring value to the entity but also dilute control.    But even here, the firm will have workers (not partners) who will work only for direct compensation so it is not a great analogy.

Another example is a group of workers forming an entity which then acquires a traditional company.   The workers are all owners and continue to operate as a workplace democracy rather than a traditional structure.   At this point, they would 'hire' new workers as part owners (sticking with the workplace democracy concept).

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.42  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.38    2 months ago

1 The new employee would have to buy their shares.
2 There are voting and non-voting shares.
3 A contract of shareholder alliance restricts strategy to a restricted zone for a given period.

I'm sure there are any number of other possible dispositions.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.43  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.39    2 months ago

But that's not what Bob said.  He said:

                  In my opinion, the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring.

And he talked about using the law to force that.  His comment, to me, says that if I start a company, I should be forced to share ownership with all of my employees, beginning with the very first hiring.  And I am vehemently against that. 

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.44  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.42    2 months ago

Private companies don't necessarily have shares. And how would you value them?  What if you want to sell them - if they're not publicly traded, they won't be very liquid.  The SEC doesn't get involved ... sounds pretty risky to me.  And the whole point of staying private is to NOT dilute ownership or control.

As for public companies, all employees are free to buy stock in any company, just as I am.

And as any financial expert would tell you, it is NOT smart to invest much in the stock of the company where you work.  It's too risky.  Look at Enron as a major example of that.  They recommend that if you do get shares of your company's stock, you sell it and diversify.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.45  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.43    2 months ago

Yes, he is talking about workplace democracy.   (Although 'hiring' is a poor choice of words.)    If every worker is also part owner (with voting rights) then you have the basis for workplace democracy.

Describing this as one person starting an entity and then 'hiring' the second, etc. is misleading.   Much better to describe the genesis as a collective effort where the workforce as a whole initiates the enterprise.

His comment, to me, says that if I start a company, I should be forced to share ownership with all of my employees, beginning with the very first hiring.  And I am vehemently against that. 

If that is what Bob meant then he is talking about a system that I am not aware of.   I think there are quite a few missing details that would emerge if you discussed this with him.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.46  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.43    2 months ago
His comment, to me...

The key here is "to me". That's what you understand.

It's not what I said, nor what I meant.

I am s-o-o-o-o tired of people drawing conclusions without ever asking a single question.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.47  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.44    2 months ago
And the whole point of staying private is to NOT dilute ownership or control.

Another thing to keep in mind is that under Bob's scenario (if it is workplace democracy) the enterprise remains exclusively private.   All shares are owned by the workers.   There are no external owners.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.48  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.36    2 months ago
You are right. That is not what I meant. It is NOT what I said.

Except it is what you said:

the ownership of a company should be shared among the employees, beginning with the very first hiring.

Every employee is an owner, from the very first hire.  That's what you said.

Which, BTW, would seem to be in contradiction to your "property is theft" and "property is institutionalized robbery" statements.

Since when does "own part of" mean "have control over"?

Since always.  Those employees would have control over their shares.  That's what "ownership" is.  If they don't have control over their shares, what would be the actual point of owning them?

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.49  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.46    2 months ago

You made a statement that said that companies should be forced to give ownership to all employees - starting with the first employee - so how am I supposed to take it?  If I start a company, I would be forced to give part ownership to the very first employee I hire.  You said nothing about forming a cooperative.  If that's what you meant, you should have stated it so as not to be misunderstood.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.50  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.48    2 months ago
If they don't have control over their shares, what would be the actual point of owning them?

Voting and equity vs. equity only.   Is Bob referring to control over the enterprise or shares?   Logically he would be referring to control over the enterprise.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.51  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.41    2 months ago
Because that is not how the concept of workplace democracy works and I am confident that this is what Bob has in mind.

Why?  I realize you are a fan of workplace democracy but that's no reason to presume Bob is. 

How does that coordinate with Bob's "property is theft" and "property is institutionalized robbery" declarations?

The closest I can come to the scenario Tacos! illustrated is a professional firm (e.g. a law firm) where the firm is established by a few partners.   To expand they will bring on additional partners who will bring value to the entity but also dilute control.    But even here, the firm will have workers (not partners) who will work only for direct compensation so it is not a great analogy.

The "first hire" in such a firm will not likely be an additional partner.  It will be clerical or support staff. 

Another example is a group of workers forming an entity which they acquires a traditional company.   The workers are all owners and continue to operate as a workplace democracy rather than a traditional structure.   At this point, they would 'hire' new workers as part owners (sticking with the workplace democracy concept).

Again, you're not talking about the "first hire".  You're talking about an established business that has made many previous hires.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.52  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.50    2 months ago

For public companies, it already works that way.

For private companies, it appears to be forcing the owner to give all his/her employees part ownership - basically outlawing private companies which aren't cooperatives.  And that would mean a lot of people wouldn't bother starting a company in the first place.  I shouldn't have to issue shares in my private company if I choose not to.

 
 
 
Texan1211
7.1.53  Texan1211  replied to  katrix @7.1.49    2 months ago
You made a statement that said that companies should be forced to give ownership to all employees - starting with the first employee - so how am I supposed to take it? If I start a company, I would be forced to give part ownership to the very first employee I hire. You said nothing about forming a cooperative. If that's what you meant, you should have stated it so as not to be misunderstood.

You know what would be really nice?

If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs. Form a company, come up with capital and a sound business plan, ensure whatever they deem to be a "living wage" today is paid to all employees/owners, and take the risks involved WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

No one would care.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.54  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.51    2 months ago
Why?  I realize you are a fan of workplace democracy but that's no reason to presume Bob is. 

You presume I am a fan of workplace democracy because I explain it?    Stop presuming Jack.

How does that coordinate with Bob's "property is theft" and "property is institutionalized robbery" declarations?

I do not know.   I am not that aware of Proudhon.

The "first hire" in such a firm will not likely be an additional partner.  It will be clerical or support staff. 

Exactly.   Ergo my comment: "But even here, the firm will have workers (not partners) who will work only for direct compensation so it is not a great analogy."

Again, you're not talking about the "first hire".  

Yes.   That is what I am talking about.   If you are going to grab hold of Bob's "first hire" phrase and presume that his concept can only literally mean a single person starting an entity and hiring another person then you will never understand his position.   If you want to understand his position then ask him a direct question.

I am not going to pack all that he has in his mind relative to workplace democracy into a meaning that literally supports "first hire".

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.55  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.50    2 months ago
Voting and equity vs. equity only.   Is Bob referring to control over the enterprise or shares?   Logically he would be referring to control over the enterprise.

A person being logical does not state that property is theft or that the US Constitution does not protect property rights.  

You are presuming what Bob means. 

So if, as Bob has said, there would be voting and non-voting shares, who gets which?  If the employees have non-voting shares, that's certainly not workplace democracy.  If the original owner's shares are non-voting, then control of the company will be transferred to the employees almost immediately.

Given the context of Bob's previous anarchist statements, I'm not at all sure it's safe to presume that Bob intends for the original owner to have any say whatsoever.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.56  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.44    2 months ago

You're throwing up every objection you can think of, without making the slightest effort to resolve them.

I could give you answers, but your attitude tells me that you would simply find other objections.

So... I'll let you think about it. If you want to find solutions, there are plenty. If you don't want to find solutions, there are none.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.57  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.35    2 months ago
I am confident that is not what Bob meant.

I tried quoting him but he didn't like that. You're speculating about what he meant. It's a waste of time at this point.

What I am trying to do is distinguish classic entrepreneurial structure and dynamics from those of workplace democracy.

Go ahead. Explain how that would work.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.58  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @7.1.53    2 months ago
If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs. Form a company, come up with capital and a sound business plan, ensure whatever they deem to be a "living wage" today is paid to all employees/owners, and take the risks involved WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

That is not the scenario.   It makes no sense for a person to capitalize an entity and then turn around and simply give away control (which you are implying would happen).

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.59  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.56    2 months ago

I don't want to find a method to force people who start businesses to give all their employees ownership.  If people want to form a cooperative, they're free to do so.  If they want to start their own business and run/own it themselves, they should be free to do that as well.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.60  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.41    2 months ago
Because that is not how the concept of workplace democracy works and I am confident that this is what Bob has in mind.

"Workplace democracy" is not a phrase Bob used. I see no justification for assuming that's what he was talking about.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.61  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.57    2 months ago
You're speculating about what he meant.

Speculating sure.   But my 'speculation' is grounded by the fact that Bob is an advocate of workplace democracy.   It is rather safe speculation to speak of basic workplace democracy.

Go ahead. Explain how that would work.

At this point, given all that I have written in this thread, I suggest you read what I wrote.  If you want to discuss some specific factor further let me know.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.62  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.52    2 months ago
For private companies, it appears to be forcing the owner to give all his/her employees part ownership - basically outlawing private companies which aren't cooperatives.  And that would mean a lot of people wouldn't bother starting a company in the first place.  I shouldn't have to issue shares in my private company if I choose not to.

As noted, a system that would force an owner to distribute ownership is a system that I am not aware of.    That is not how workplace democracy operates.

 
 
 
Texan1211
7.1.63  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.58    2 months ago
That is not the scenario. It makes no sense for a person to capitalize an entity and then turn around and simply give away control (which you are implying would happen).

I didn't imply it--you assumed it.

Why wouldn't the people forming the company not invest in it?

A bunch of like-minded individuals who think personal ownership of companies by an individual could easily form their own company and run it as they see fit.

What I am suggesting is that people who think that way live that way---DO IT THEMSELVES before trying to make everyone else do it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.64  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.60    2 months ago
"Workplace democracy" is not a phrase Bob used. I see no justification for assuming that's what he was talking about.

It is obvious to me.   I recommend you ask Bob if he is talking about workplace democracy,  cooperatives, etc.    He is right here.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.65  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.48    2 months ago

Gotcha!

This is s-o-o-o-o boring...

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.66  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @7.1.63    2 months ago
I didn't imply it--you assumed it.

Bullshit.   I knew you were going to play this game.

Your scenario is classic entrepreneurship unless you imply the distribution of ownership which is the core topic of this thread.   Read what you wrote:

Texan @7.153 - If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs. Form a company, come up with capital and a sound business plan, ensure whatever they deem to be a "living wage" today is paid to all employees/owners, and take the risks involved WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

The above describes one or more entrepreneurs providing capital (their own money) and executing their business plan assuming all the risks.

Ever start up a business Texan?    You just described an extremely common scenario.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.67  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.36    2 months ago
I am very tired of Tacos's habit of "paraphrasing" in a way that in totally adulterates the original ideas.

And I'm getting kind of tired of you attacking my character and lying about me. You keep trying to portray me as someone who is up to something nefarious. I'm just here to comment on the topic. You accuse me of not responding to what you actually write, but I have quoted you exactly in every post. You claim I don't ask questions, but I have asked several questions. I have asked you more than once to correct me where you think I am getting something wrong and you decline. Instead, all you have done is attack me personally. Now you have decided to talk about me to others and make me the topic of the seed.

Since when does "own part of" mean "have control over"?

Ownership of property has always meant control over it. What else could ownership mean? (Wow! Look! a question! What are the chances it will get answered?)

I said explicitly that the modalities of acquisition are open to discussion.

Go for it. Suggest some.

I'll discuss what I write

Clearly not true. I have quoted you several times and you refuse to discuss what you wrote, insisting only that I am assuming things about your position. At this point, it's an obvious lie.

why doesn't Tacos ask, "What is to prevent newly hired collaborators from 'overthrowing' the founder, and taking the company in a different direction?" That would open up an exchange of ideas.

Another lie! I addressed that exact topic way back in @7.1.8 when I wrote:

So, the moment you get hired by a company, you deserve a voice in how that company is run? Where it's located? If it can be expanded or sold? If the production/service should be diversified or not? That means there's no such thing as private ownership of a company. If I start a company, why would I ever hire someone who wasn't family? Heck I might not hire anyone ever. I don't want strangers forcing me to do things with my company.

Did that question open up an exchange of ideas? Hell, no! Bob, people have tried to engage you in discussing the topic. I'm not the only one. You refuse. The only person stopping you from having a conversation on the topic is you

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.68  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.54    2 months ago
"But even here, the firm will have workers (not partners) who will work only for direct compensation so it is not a great analogy."

OK fair enough, but that does make it more difficult to fit Bob's declaration into some sort of workplace democracy framework.

If you are going to grab hold of Bob's "first hire" phrase and presume that his concept can only literally mean a single person starting an entity and hiring another person then you will never understand his position.

My living is made consulting with small and medium sized businesses on compensation and the compliance surrounding it.  My team and I have literally been through thousands of "first hires".   They include everything from the single person you describe to the multinational opening it's first US offices to the four lawyers breaking off from the previous firm to the landscaper who gets caught calling his crew "contractors" and gets in trouble with the IRS.  I know what first hires look like far better than most people.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.69  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.49    2 months ago
If I start a company, I would be forced to give part ownership to the very first employee I hire.

If I said "give", I misspoke. You would be forced to sell. The price would be negotiated. The shares might be voting or non-voting, or a mix, or convertible. Your work contracts - tasks, salaries, bonuses - would be different.

If seems to me that a competent founder would have nothing to worry about. An incompetent founder probably wouldn't be hiring...

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.70  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.65    2 months ago

That is not helpful.   

Bob, are you talking about workplace democracy?

Does your 'first hire' phrase mean that workplace democracy necessarily starts with a single owner who then distributes ownership to each 'hire'?   That is, do you not find that the most common scenario is a group of owner/workers collective start an enterprise and choose to operate as a workplace democracy?

Further, is your qualification @7.1.42 an example of how workplace democracy could start with just one person or are you suggesting that what you outlined is how it must work (always start with one owner)?

 
 
 
Texan1211
7.1.71  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.66    2 months ago
Bullshit. I knew you were going to play this game.

Why do you make it personal?

Your scenario is classic entrepreneurship unless you imply the distribution of ownership which is the core topic of this thread. Read what you wrote:
Texan @7.153 - If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs. Form a company, come up with capital and a sound business plan, ensure whatever they deem to be a "living wage" today is paid to all employees/owners, and take the risks involved WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

I am well aware of what I wrote. I am sorry you don't understand it. I suppose it is easy to overlook this part: "If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs"

That means if people who want collective ownership would do it themselves instead of imposing on others, GO FOR IT. Do it themselves. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.

I can't make it any clearer. 

Either you choose to understand or not--not my problem either way.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.72  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.57    2 months ago
I tried quoting him but he didn't like that.

I'm pleased to be quoted.

I am not pleased when you reformulate and denature my meaning.

Your protestations make me wonder if you can tell the difference between my words and your misinterpretation of them.

Not my problem.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.73  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.68    2 months ago
OK fair enough, but that does make it more difficult to fit Bob's declaration into some sort of workplace democracy framework.

Yes, trying to describe workplace democracy starting with one owner is tough.   I can see a very small business (e.g. a little candy shop) growing this way.   They would all be candy makers but would take turns cleaning, sweeping, taking out the garbage, etc.   Some would focus on the books, others would focus on supplies, etc.   That could grow incrementally as a workplace democracy.

The easier to understand scenario is to start with a group of workers.

I know what first hires look like far better than most people.

Not really the point though is it?   As I noted, if you insist on filtering this entire concept through those two words in Bob's opening comment (which is just a post, not a definition or well-crafted academic work intended for publication) then you probably will never understand what the man has in his mind.    

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.74  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.59    2 months ago
I don't want to find a method...

OK.

Then we have nothing to talk about, here.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.75  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.60    2 months ago
I see no justification for assuming that's what he was talking about.

TiG and I have discussed similar issues many times. We are familiar with each other's ideas.

Of course, I favor workplace democracy. But at the moment of first hire, with just two persons, workplace democracy doesn't mean much.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.76  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @7.1.71    2 months ago
I am sorry you don't understand it.

Bullshit again.   What you described was not a 'feel good' scheme.   It was classical entrepreneurship.   

That means if people who want collective ownership would do it themselves instead of imposing on others, GO FOR IT. Do it themselves. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.

See, you admit that you were implying collective ownership just as I noted.   Your description ....

Texan @7.153 - If all these folks with these "feel good" schemes would actually do with their own money what they want others to do with theirs. Form a company, come up with capital and a sound business plan, ensure whatever they deem to be a "living wage" today is paid to all employees/owners, and take the risks involved WITH THEIR OWN MONEY.

... is basic entrepreneurship.   Since your tone was one of dismissal you had to be implying something more than what you wrote.   I noted that you were implying distribution of ownership.  You denied that and then come back noting that you implied collective ownership.    You directly contradicted yourself.

Either you choose to understand or not--not my problem either way.

You directly contradicted yourself.   It is your problem.

 
 
 
Texan1211
7.1.77  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.76    2 months ago
See, you admit that you were implying collective ownership just as I noted.

Oh, FFS.

I KNEW you didn't understand.

No point in this with you.

Have a nice day.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.78  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @7.1.77    2 months ago
No point in this with you.

Exactly my position.   Bye.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.79  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.67    2 months ago
And I'm getting kind of tired of you attacking my character and lying about me. You keep trying to portray me as someone who is up to something nefarious. I'm just here to comment on the topic. You accuse me of not responding to what you actually write, but I have quoted you exactly in every post.

I have not implied evil intent. I avoid talking about intent because I'm not a mind reader.

You have indeed quoted me... and then immediately "drawn conclusions" and discussed those conclusions rather than the quotes. I'm beginning to realize that you truly do not understand the difference. Your problem, not mine.

...

What part of "own part of" do you not understand?

...

Did that question...

That was not simply a question. It was an aggression. You were not encouraging conversation; you were aggressively shutting it down. If you're polite, I'm polite. If you're rude, I'm rude.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.80  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.70    2 months ago

I wasn't particularly talking about workplace democracy, but obviously that's closely related to ownership conditions.

I was thinking of a one-person company taking on a first collaborator, because I've been there... but the same ideas would apply to a group of people establishing a company.

The important thing to keep in mind is that while "ownership" - and dividends - should eventually be equal among all participants (probably after a buy-in period), work contracts would vary according to the contribution of each participant. An engineer would earn more than a draftsman. (Do those still exist?)

IMHO - that's my opinion and nothing more - workplace democracy is not so much about ownership as about management. Small companies can operate like small towns, with assemblies of everyone. Larger companies would probably have to use representative democracy.

The role of the assembly would be defined in the company's charter. Minor decisions in frequent meetings, more significant decisions in less frequent meetings.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.81  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.80    2 months ago
I was thinking of a one-person company taking on a first collaborator, because I've been there... but the same ideas would apply to a group of people establishing a company.

The obvious problem with that scenario is when the one-person company hires an administrative assistant as the first hire.    If the point is to discuss underlying principles that manifest in concepts such as workplace democracy this will confuse people who are looking at this strictly from the perspective of conventional capitalism.

I offered another example.   Imagine a sole-proprietorship candy maker.   The 'first-hire' might be to bring on another candy maker.   The subsequent 'hires' might also all be candy makers.   Everyone is working the means of production to produce the product.   Then we have some who focus on customer-facing, some who focus on the books, others who focus on supply chain, others who focus on equipment.   All might participate in cleaning, promotions, maintenance, etc.

That I can see as an example of how a cooperative enterprise might form from a single business.   However, this still poses a problem depending on how much the original owner invested in the enterprise.   If the original owner bought the equipment, developed the brand, etc. the distribution of ownership will be a bit awkward.   If everyone buys into the business as you suggest, that could be a solution.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.82  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.73    2 months ago
Not really the point though is it?

When you imply that my view is limited to "one owner hiring one person", yeah, it kinda is.

As I noted, if you insist on filtering this entire concept through those two words in Bob's opening comment

These two words are a pivotal indicator that you and Bob are not talking about the same thing.  

You will no doubt notice that I've expressed no objection to the concept of employee equity.  In fact 2 days ago I said there was notthing stopping Bob from starting such a company.

The fact is that various forms of employee ownership exist everywhere.  It has been a common tool for attracting top talent for decades.  We've helped clients establish many such programs. 

But those programs almost never start with "the first hire", and they are never mandatory.   Bob's plan would require both.

what the man has in his mind

Communication styles and context clues being what they are, I find it nearly impossible that "Bob" is actually male.  Not that it matters.

But context does matter, and in the context of Bob's other statements both on this and other seeds, it is certainly fair to draw some conclusions similar to those Tacos has drawn.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.83  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.82    2 months ago
These two words are a pivotal indicator that you and Bob are not talking about the same thing.  

Same underlying philosophy, he is just expressing it with an example that I think misleads people.

This is about distributed control among the workforce.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.84  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.81    2 months ago
The obvious problem with that scenario is when the one-person company hires an administrative assistant as the first hire.

I don't see why. The company decides how to distribute profits. Part goes to salaries and part to dividends. In a "Boss & secretary" configuration, each would receive the same dividend, but not the same salary or bonuses. I don't see the problem.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.85  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.83    2 months ago
Same underlying philosophy, he is just expressing it with an example that I think misleads people.

Bob's expressed views on this topic are very different from your expressed views.  

This is about distributed control among the workforce.

For you, yes... I believe it is.   I do not think that describes Bob's view.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.86  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.85    2 months ago
Bob's expressed views on this topic are very different from your expressed views. 

No.

If you think so, you have not understood us.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.87  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.84    2 months ago

In this scenario:  why would an admin assistant receive the same dividend as the business owner, the person who put up the capital, had the ideas, took on all the risk, etc.?  The admin assistant is clearly not a partner in the business sense, so why would they be treated as one?

What if the business owner wants to re-invest the profits into the company and has no interest in issuing dividends?  What if the owner has no interest in issuing stock?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.88  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.84    2 months ago
I don't see why. The company decides how to distribute profits. Part goes to salaries and part to dividends. In a "Boss & secretary" configuration, each would receive the same dividend, but not the same salary or bonuses. I don't see the problem.

When you say "same dividends", is that "same $ amount" or "same dividend per share"?  Does the secretary have voting shares? What would be the minimum % of the company distributed to each employee?  

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.89  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.84    2 months ago

Does the administrative assistant have voting rights?   If so, in a two person company would the AA have a 50% vote?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.90  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.86    2 months ago
No. If you think so, you have not understood us.

I understand you both very well.

To start, you have said your idea "forces" businesses to share equity.  TiG has stated repeatedly he does not support that.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.91  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.87    2 months ago
why would an admin assistant receive the same dividend

Because both hold the same shares. Don't forget that their salaries are not the same.

as the business owner

Both are now owner.

the person who put up the capital

The newcomer must buy their share, so both are now putting up the capital.

had the ideas

Old ideas are covered by the newcomer's share purchase. New ideas are covered by differing salaries and bonuses.

took on all the risk

Both are now taking the risk.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.92  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.89    2 months ago

The thing is, most small private businesses don't issue stock in the first place, and I doubt if many issue dividends.  They don't have a board and therefore have no voting members.  Bonuses would be how an employee gets rewarded for doing something exceptional, or as a profit-sharing mechanism. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.93  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.88    2 months ago

Open to discussion.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.94  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.89    2 months ago
Does the administrative assistant have voting rights?   If so, in a two person company would the AA have a 50% vote?

I'd let them decide.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.95  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.90    2 months ago
To start, you have said your idea "forces" businesses to share equity.  TiG has stated repeatedly he does not support that.

Seriously? You consider that essential?

I repeat, you have not understood us.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.96  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.92    2 months ago

We're talking about a new legal context.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.97  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.92    2 months ago

Bob is not talking about a classical capitalist model.   

Any small private business can distribute equity and/or control using any number of methods.   Shares is just an easy way to express the concept of distributed ownership.

A more elaborate view of workplace democracy is one where the enterprise consists of worker/owners with different compensation but a single vote.   Democracy is prevalent.   The management structure itself could take the form of council management where the traditional manager is replaced by a team which is elected by the workers (or by lower councils) and whose head (chairperson) is elected by the council.   Each manager's position depends upon continued satisfaction of those who voted them to assume the role.

This gets complicated, and is quite different from what we are used to.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.98  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.79    2 months ago
I have not implied evil intent.

And yet you then accuse me of this:

That was not simply a question. It was an aggression. You were not encouraging conversation; you were aggressively shutting it down.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.99  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.79    2 months ago
What part of "own part of" do you not understand?

All of it, apparently. Maybe you could explain it. I won't hold my breath.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.100  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.95    2 months ago

Agreed way too much focus on a single word or phrase.   Best to ask qualifying questions rather than anchor literally on individual words and insist they critically determine the point.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.101  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.91    2 months ago
Because both hold the same shares.

Both now own 50% of the company? What happens when they hire employee 2?

The newcomer must buy their share, so both are now putting up the capital.

So the secretary effectively has to buy the job?  What happens if they lack the capital?

 

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.102  Tacos!  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.82    2 months ago
it is certainly fair to draw some conclusions similar to those Tacos has drawn.

Thank you. It's incredible to me that somebody actually flagged your comment. I can't imagine what for.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.103  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.99    2 months ago
Maybe you could explain it.

Someone who owns part of something... does not own all of it. Owning part does not give control.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.104  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.101    2 months ago

I'll give you a few minutes.

I'm sure that any intelligent person can find answers to your questions very quickly.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.105  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.90    2 months ago
TiG has stated repeatedly he does not support that.

Jack, I am not talking about personal support or personal aversion to anything in this thread.   I am simply communicating known concepts.

To wit, when I explain a concept that does not mean that I support it.    If I support something or am against something I will state that explicitly.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.106  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.103    2 months ago
Owning part does not give control.

Then who controls? And what is the point or benefit of ownership?

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.107  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.97    2 months ago
Any small private business can distribute equity and/or control using any number of methods.   Shares is just an easy way to express the concept of distributed ownership.

I get that.  Where I'm having the problem is imagining them being forced to distribute equity and control.  I wouldn't start a company if I knew I would have to give control to people who, quite frankly, might not be qualified to help me make business decisions.  Someone can be a really good janitor, secretary, IT geek, or engineer - and not have a clue about how a company should be run or be able to look at the big picture.  It's a completely different skill set.

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.108  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.97    2 months ago
 The management structure itself could take the form of council management where the traditional manager is replaced by a team which is elected by the workers (or by lower councils) and whose head (chairperson) is elected by the council.   Each manager's position depends upon continued satisfaction of those who voted them to assume the role.

I can guarantee with that situation the company would not prosper very long.  It is too complicated for most and open to extortion, favoritism, corruption and a host of other problems.

I have worked for an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company for 15 years that employs about 90.  I am their accountant so I am very familiar with structure of the company and stock options/ownership of the employees.  It is not a Democracy and if it was the company would not survive the weight of it.  We are structured the same as most companies as far as the levels of responsibility and appropriate compensation.  Employees do own shares and earn shares on a annual basis.  ESOP's can also be S Corps too.  There are many different ways to set up a company as employee owned as Jack stated.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.109  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.106    2 months ago
Then who controls? And what is the point or benefit of ownership?

For this to be meaningful, I think we're must advance in time. The company now has twenty participants. They're in various stages of their buy-ins, so they have differing voting power.

As I've said, this is just one person's opinion. All is open to discussion.

For a company this size, I'd see an oversight committee of about five persons, meeting about once a month to consider management's ongoing actions.

Then probably a "committee of the whole" once a year to decide strategy, and to renew (or not) senior management, perhaps on five year contracts.

Advancing further, to hundreds of participants, there would be intermediate oversight committees.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.110  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.107    2 months ago
Where I'm having the problem is imagining them being forced to distribute equity and control. 

I think Bob was using 'forced' in a legal sense.   Just like we are all 'forced' to not discriminate.   Every system will come with its rules and regulations.

As for janitors with voting interest, I of course appreciate your point.   In a smaller entity the distribution of voting control is going to be strange - especially if we only think in terms of classical organization.    Instead, and this is why I proposed this scenario, consider the candy shop I described @7.1.81 (and before):

Imagine a sole-proprietorship candy maker.   The 'first-hire' might be to bring on another candy maker.   The subsequent 'hires' might also all be candy makers.   Everyone is working the means of production to produce the product.   Then we have some who focus on customer-facing, some who focus on the books, others who focus on supply chain, others who focus on equipment.   All might participate in cleaning, promotions, maintenance, etc.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.111  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.107    2 months ago
I wouldn't start a company if I knew I would have to give control to people who, quite frankly, might not be qualified...

Is this a real problem? At least for the first few years, the founder will surely be doing the recruiting. The founder will be selecting her collaborators.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.112  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.91    2 months ago
Because both hold the same shares. Don't forget that their salaries are not the same.

So now a small business owner - who may own a few lawnmowers and hire someone to cut grass for him - has to go through the complication of issuing shares for a private company (which most private companies have no interest in doing)?  And again, many small businesses plow their profits back into the business - what happens if I don't want to issue dividends?  Maybe I want to buy a bigger trailer so I can take on bigger yards.    It's my company and that should be my decision.

          The newcomer must buy their share, so both are now putting up the capital.

So if I put a half million in capital into my business - someone who wants to work with me has to come up with a quarter million, even if they're only making $50k per year?  And if they don't, why are they entitled to share ownership?  Hell, in  my smaller lawn mowing example, the type of person who hires themselves out to cut grass typically can't afford to buy a single ride-on mower (or a trailer to haul it around), much less buy into a business where the owner has invested thousands. 

What if I took out loans or borrowed from family or investors - will my new hire/equal owner now be equally responsible for the debt, and will they have to take a mortgage out on their house as I did on mine, or rack up their credit cards when our cash flow isn't good?  Will they physically own half of the equipment I bought?  What if the business ends up losing money, as so many small businesses do?  Will they share the bankruptcy with me?

            Both are now taking the risk.

If someone has the capital and wants to take the risk, why aren't they starting their own company?  If they're not, I seriously doubt the newcomer (depending on what they're hired to do) has the acumen required to make the business decisions and determine what risk to assume, or wants to put in all the hours, or has the contacts in the industry, or whatever. 

On a voluntary basis, there is nothing wrong with these ideas.  But forcing it into law?  That makes no sense to me.  Nobody is entitled to own a business they didn't start.  And the idea of splitting the ownership equally - that really screws the person who started the business.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.113  katrix  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.110    2 months ago

But if I run a candy store, I'm far more likely to be the only person making the candy.  There aren't that many candy makers out there.  I'd specialize in that, and hire a store clerk, and maybe someone to run the books (although at first I'd probably be doing that as well).  I'd be responsible for the building lease, and the bills, and the loans, and I'd be the one taking all the financial risks.  Honestly, nobody who's hiring out as a shop clerk is likely to have the money to take on half of my financial risk.

You're not going to find too many skilled people who want to do janitor work as part of their job, or who are skilled at maintenance.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.114  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.107    2 months ago
Someone can be a really good janitor, secretary, IT geek, or engineer - and not have a clue about how a company should be run...

Of course.

I've known quite a few employees, at all levels, in a long career in industry. I have met a few who thought much too highly of themselves... but their collaborators always knew what they were truly worth.

In an employee-owned company, the employees' interest is that the company be as efficient / effective as possible. That's how they will vote.

To vote intelligently, they'll need information... but I think that's a good thing.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1.115  katrix  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.111    2 months ago
At least for the first few years, the founder will surely be doing the recruiting. The founder will be selecting her collaborators.

What if the business doesn't need collaborators, but simply employees?  If I'm trying to hire someone to cut grass or sell candy, or wait tables, I'm not likely to find someone with the skills necessary to collaborate on owning and running a business - they'd be looking for much better jobs if they had those skills.  You don't exactly "recruit" for lower level jobs like that.  And again, those employees are not likely to have the capital to assume their share of the risks in the first place. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.116  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.109    2 months ago

It seems to me that all you're really describing is the corporate process as it already exists. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.117  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.108    2 months ago
I can guarantee with that situation the company would not prosper very long.  It is too complicated for most and open to extortion, favoritism, corruption and a host of other problems.

Actually you cannot.   There is a working counterexample in the Mondragon cooperative in Spain.   Plus worker cooperatives (in many forms) have existed for decades.  Politics, extortion, favoritism, corruption can (and one can confidently also state will) appear in any system.  Our existing system is clearly not without these problems so your point is not well founded.

And if you wish to limit your comment strictly to council management then it seems to me you have read all sorts of complexities into such a brief description.   Have you ever tried to summarize matrix management?   Regardless, I sense you are not really all that interested in considering alternate approaches but rather wish to simply dismiss anything that differs from status quo.

It is not a Democracy and if it was the company would not survive the weight of it.

Might be the case.   Hard to tell without specifics.  If your program were based on democratic principles we would need to see the details.   If you think that workplace democracy involves every worker voting on every issue then you are using the most naive definition and I agree that would never work.

There are many different ways to set up a company as employee owned as Jack stated.  

Yes there are.   So why do you categorically dismiss all possible forms of workplace democracy?   And if you do not think you are categorically dismissing then say so and I will take you at your word.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.118  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.116    2 months ago
It seems to me that all you're really describing is the corporate process as it already exists. 

Then you two really should have a calm, honest, thoughtful conversation because he is not describing conventional practices.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.119  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.118    2 months ago
Then you two really should have a calm, honest, thoughtful conversation

You know what? Don't condescend to me. I have done nothing but try to have a calm, honest, thoughtful conversation here. Save your moralizing for someone else.

he is not describing conventional practices

I think he is. His talk of committees and oversight and accountability and such are things that are actually required by every state's laws of incorporation. That's why I observe the similarity.

Frankly, I'd prefer if you let Bob speak for himself. You don't have a good track record at it. A while back you tried to say Bob was talking about "workplace democracy" (@7.1.41 and @7.1.45) only to have Bob respond by saying that wasn't so (@7.1.80). So please refrain from telling me what Bob means to say.

Of course, Bob didn't attack you for assuming things about his position like he did with me and Jack. That, at least, would have been fair.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.120  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.112    2 months ago
So now a small business owner - who may own a few lawnmowers and hire someone to cut grass for him - has to go through the complication...

I started one. I gave a lawyer a thousand dollars, and a month later it was done. No big deal.

many small businesses plow their profits back into the business

Why not? There's no reason not to do the same.

Maybe I want to buy a bigger trailer so I can take on bigger yards.    It's my company and that should be my decision.

In the beginning, the founder has the votes. When several collaborators have been recruited, they must be convinced. Is that a bad thing?

Hell, in  my smaller lawn mowing example, the type of person who hires themselves out to cut grass typically can't afford to buy a single ride-on mower (or a trailer to haul it around), much less buy into a business where the owner has invested thousands.

Exactly. So the newcomer's buy-in period will be long. That's a good thing.

What if I took out loans or borrowed from family or investors - will my new hire/equal owner now be equally responsible for the debt

I don't see why. Each of you handles your personal finances however you wish. Mixing personal finances and company finances is never a good idea.

If someone has the capital and wants to take the risk, why aren't they starting their own company?  If they're not, I seriously doubt the newcomer (depending on what they're hired to do) has the acumen required to make the business decisions and determine what risk to assume, or wants to put in all the hours, or has the contacts in the industry, or whatever.

This sounds very much like, "If I start a company, I want to keep it. Period." I understand the sentiment. That's precisely why I would make employee ownership a legal obligation.

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.121  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.117    2 months ago
Actually you cannot.

Yes I can, people are uneducated and lazy and forced to vote on decisions that they are not informed on or understand.

That is just a fact.  And those same people will vote for their stupid friend or relative to be in management who makes wrong decisions and it just snowball's from there until the business has to dissolve.

That is the real world....I have been working for and involved in all different types of companies for over 30 years, and the ones that succeed have strong educated management teams who are hired for their skills not voted in.  And they do value there employees by understanding what skill level they have or can achieve, not by forcing them into something they are not capable of understanding.

Your ideas are nice, but not practical or sustainable.

If you think that workplace democracy involves every worker voting on every issue then you are using the most naive definition and I agree that would never work.

I used your description in your post....

I normally listen to someone who has real world experience over someone who does not and only puts forth conjecture.

Have a nice day.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.122  TᵢG  replied to  katrix @7.1.113    2 months ago
There aren't that many candy makers out there. 

Katrix.

I'd specialize in that, and hire a store clerk, and maybe someone to run the books (although at first I'd probably be doing that as well).  I'd be responsible for the building lease, and the bills, and the loans, and I'd be the one taking all the financial risks.  Honestly, nobody who's hiring out as a shop clerk is likely to have the money to take on half of my financial risk.

These are all personal choices to not run as a cooperative.   Your preference for traditional structure does not mean that such an organization could not exist as a cooperative.   You (personally) do not have to be responsible for paying bills and clearly if you are assuming the financial risk then you are not operating as a cooperative to begin with.

You're not going to find too many skilled people who want to do janitor work as part of their job, or who are skilled at maintenance.

Small companies have workers wearing many hats.  The existing cooperatives are working examples.   Larger companies will naturally have more division of labor because it becomes possible to do so.  And I would not ignore the ability to buy janitorial services, as an example, from a company that specializes in same.  In a society replete with cooperatives it makes sense to presume the environment will be different than what we have today.   

Remember that I am explaining how a tiny cooperative could evolve from one or a very small group of founders.   It is fine that you would not want to run things as a cooperative but that does not mean these organizations do not work.   They have been around for decades.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.123  Bob Nelson  replied to  katrix @7.1.115    2 months ago

I use the word "collaborator" for all participants in the organization.

I see all employees as worthy of consideration. If we start with a presumption that the people we recruit are stupid... that's what we'll get.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.124  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.121    2 months ago
Yes I can, people are uneducated and lazy and forced to vote on decisions that they are not informed on or understand.

You ignored my example of Mondragon.   This is an easy example to look up for yourself.   It is the largest cooperative in the world.   There are countless others, but I gave you this one because it is obvious.

So, no you cannot simply declare these structure will fail because the counter examples prove you wrong.

... people are uneducated and lazy and forced to vote on decisions that they are not informed on or understand.

Not the kind of people one would seek to form a cooperative.   You seem to be arguing that taking a traditional company and opening up things for direct democracy would likely fail.  Yes, I agree.   But we were not discussing the extemporaneous conversion of a traditional business to a workplace democracy.

Your ideas are nice, but not practical or sustainable.

These are not my ideas.   I am simply explaining concepts.   Second, again, incredulity is not an argument.   The fact that you have worked in a traditional setting for decades does not mean that alternative structures cannot work.   Importantly, since these alternative structures have existed in the real world for longer than you have been a professional (and even longer than my tenure), your argument is countered by reality.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.125  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.116    2 months ago

Aside from the minor detail that the only shareholders are employees...

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.126  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.119    2 months ago

I clearly stated that TiG and I understand each other's ideas. We may disagree on details, but not on the essential.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.127  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.121    2 months ago
I used your description in your post....

I did not state universal direct democracy.    Indeed, my example of council management is clearly not universal direct democracy.   Did you miss that?

I normally listen to someone who has real world experience over someone who does not and only puts forth conjecture.

You presume I lack real world experience in founding, running and selling successful businesses?   Why?   Because I dare explain an alternate system?   

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.128  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.126    2 months ago

Indeed, the essential ideas are not ours.   They are, for the most part, well established ideas in practice worldwide.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.129  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.128    2 months ago
Indeed, the essential ideas are not ours.   They are, for the most part, well established ideas in practice worldwide.

Damn!

Unmasked!

I was hoping to pass for a genius original thinker...

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.1.130  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.127    2 months ago
I did not state universal direct democracy.    Indeed, my example of council management is clearly not universal direct democracy.   Did you miss that?

Did I say you did?  Why make shit up? 

I commented on your words, nothing else.

You presume I lack real world experience in founding, running and selling successful businesses?

Do you?

You try to speak as if you want an open discussion but as soon as someone disagrees with your ideas you get defensive and go off on some tagent.

Not playing your games, toodles

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.131  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.119    2 months ago
Don't condescend to me.

That was not condescension.    Ease up on that hair trigger.

A while back you tried to say Bob was talking about "workplace democracy" (@7.1.41 and @7.1.45) only to have Bob respond by saying that wasn't so (@7.1.80).

I think you are reading what you want to read.   Bob's scenario was, as he noted, based on the concept of the shared ownership of the entity.   Ask him.   When someone talks about all workers sharing equity and control for an enterprise, what do you think that concept is?    Workplace democracy / employee ownership.   Again, ask him if his scenario is not an illustration of a form of workplace democracy.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.132  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.131    2 months ago
That was not condescension.

I say it is. Don't tell me how to talk to other people and I don't need you to tell me to be honest, etc. How about just mind your own business. Will that do?

I think you are reading what you want to read.

No I'm reading the words as written. You wrote:

the concept of workplace democracy works and I am confident that this is what Bob has in mind

and then you wrote:

Yes, he is talking about workplace democracy.

And then Bob wrote:

I wasn't particularly talking about workplace democracy

It's pretty simple. If anyone was reading what they wanted to read, it looks like it was you. So, like I said, let Bob speak for Bob and let me speak for me. Good day.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.133  Tacos!  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.125    2 months ago
Aside from the minor detail that the only shareholders are employees...

How do you mean? Do you mean any shareholder should have to physically do something day-to-day?

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.134  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @7.1.130    2 months ago
Why make shit up? 

I was not.   I misread your intent.   Sorry.

Do you?

Plenty of experience in same.

... but as soon as someone disagrees ...

... you use it as an excuse to cry foul and leave.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.135  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.133    2 months ago
How do you mean?

Shareholders are employees and employees are shareholders. Same people. Can't be one without being the other.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.136  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.132    2 months ago
I say it is. Don't tell me how to talk to other people and I don't need you to tell me to be honest, etc. 

Hair trigger victim claim.   This was such a simple, calm interaction ...

Tacos! @7.1.116 - It seems to me that all you're really describing is the corporate process as it already exists. 
TiG @7.1.118 - Then you two really should have a calm, honest, thoughtful conversation because he is not describing conventional practices.

... and you turn it a claim of condescension.   

I am not telling you to be honest, I suggested that you and Bob have a 'calm, honest, thoughtful conversation'.

If anyone was reading what they wanted to read, it looks like it was you.

You left off the rest of his sentence:

Bob @7.1.180 - I wasn't particularly talking about workplace democracy, but obviously that's closely related to ownership conditions.

My comment was workplace democracy is what Bob had in mind (the underlying concept).   Maybe Bob will make a clearer comment on this.   I would be quite surprised if Bob, who advocates workplace democracy, would be speaking of shared ownership and control in an enterprise and not be thinking in terms of workplace democracy.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.137  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.135    2 months ago

Bob, will you clear this up?

TiG @7.1.136

Was I wrong to view your discussion as workplace democracy?   If I was wrong and your scenario could not be considered workplace democracy then what precisely were you discussing?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.138  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.136    2 months ago
I would be quite surprised if Bob, who advocates workplace democracy, would be speaking of shared ownership and control in an enterprise and not be thinking in terms of workplace democracy.

I don't see how either can exist without the other. IMHO, shared ownership and workplace democracy are inextricably entwined.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.139  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.137    2 months ago

I was talking about ownership. But that's just at that particular moment. As I just said, I think the two - employee ownership and workplace democracy - are inextricably entwined. One implies the other.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.140  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.138    2 months ago

I do not see how one can be without the other either but Tacos! leaped on your ...

Bob @7.1.180 - I wasn't particularly talking about workplace democracy, but obviously that's closely related to ownership conditions.

... sentence with both feet in full GOTCHA mode.

So to be clear, you are talking about ownership exclusively by the employees (no outside ownership), every employee is an owner, every employee has voting shares but compensation naturally differs due to different skills and applicability.

That is the foundation of workplace democracy, but the concept of workplace democracy of course goes into greater details (e.g. tiered voting structure) to make this a workable system.  I presume that is why you used 'particularly'.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.141  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.104    2 months ago
I'll give you a few minutes. I'm sure that any intelligent person can find answers to your questions very quickly.

[deleted]

What's the matter, Bob, haven't thought past the "wealth-redistribution and pouting" stage of your plan?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.142  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.114    2 months ago
In an employee-owned company, the employees' interest is that the company be as efficient / effective as possible. That's how they will vote.

That's possibly the most unrealistically naive thing I've seen in the past month.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.143  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.122    2 months ago
These are all personal choices to not run as a cooperative.

Which your plan would prohibit her from making.  By force.

It is fine that you would not want to run things as a cooperative but that does not mean these organizations do not work.

But you're talking about forcing businesses to run that way.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.144  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.143    2 months ago
Which your plan would prohibit her from making.  By force.

Where do you find 'my plan'?    Where do you find 'force'?

But you're talking about forcing businesses to run that way.

Did you mean to respond to someone else?   If not, then deliver a quote because I have no idea where you are getting this based on what I have written.  

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.1.145  Jack_TX  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.144    2 months ago

Sorry, my mistake.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.1.146  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.136    2 months ago

You really don't get it. I have tried to be patient. At this point it's like harassment. Your attempts to TiGSplain Bob's thoughts to me are unhelpful, unwelcome, and offensive. It's a free country and all, so do as you will, but any further attempts at this nonsense from you will not be met with a positive response. You'd think that would be clear to you by now. You repeatedly accusing me of having a "hair trigger" only makes it worse. Your whole focus is on me, and not on the topic. Drop it!

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.147  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @7.1.146    2 months ago

Well Tacos! you tried to transform a perfectly calm, suggestion from me that you and Bob could and should have an honest thoughtful discussion into condescension.   I calmly told you that I was not being condescending in any way and was quite serious.   You returned insisting that I was — apparently you think you know my intent better than I do.   Then you complain that I weighed in on a public discussion and expressed my opinion on Bob's position.   And then tried to cobble together a case that I did not know what I was talking about.

I responded to your allegations and you now complain that my self-defense is somehow harassing you.

Here is how you fix this.   Don't come after me with inflated allegations and I will not have any need to defend against them; then you will not feel 'harassed' by my defending myself.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.1.148  TᵢG  replied to  Jack_TX @7.1.145    2 months ago

Not a problem.   Thanks.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.149  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.1.140    2 months ago
... ownership exclusively by the employees (no outside ownership), every employee is an owner, every employee has voting shares but compensation naturally differs due to different skills and applicability.

Exactly.

That is the foundation of workplace democracy, but the concept of workplace democracy of course goes into greater details (e.g. tiered voting structure) to make this a workable system.  I presume that is why you used 'particularly'.

Exactly.

The difference between your perception and Tacos's is that you make an effort to understand, while Tacos - and many others - is usually in "full GOTCHA mode". I have to wonder if there are many NT members who really want to understand.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.1.150  Bob Nelson  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.1.149    2 months ago

Addendum:

The difference between your perception and Tacos's is that you make an effort to understand, while Tacos - and many others - is usually in "full GOTCHA mode". I have to wonder if there are many NT members who really want to understand.

Perhaps it would be useful to recall to everyone that "understand" does not mean "agree".

TiG and I understand each other on religion... but we most certainly do not agree.

It should be possible to discuss "alternate" possible economic realities without having to be a disciple, and even less an apostle...

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.2  Jack_TX  replied to  Tacos! @7    2 months ago
The wealth of the Walmart heirs does not steal from anyone else.

This point should be obvious.  However many leftists disagree.   

Why should other citizens who did nothing to create that wealth have any claim to it?

Excellent question.

I'm not suggesting we shouldn't do anything to more broadly generate wealth, but if this is a moral issue as Reich frames it, then our moral concerns should apply equally to the non-wealthy.

The non-wealthy should be the exclusive focus of any "equality" program.  They're not poor because they want to be.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.2    2 months ago
The wealth of the Walmart heirs does not steal from anyone else.
This point should be obvious.

Not obvious at all.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.2.2  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.1    2 months ago
Not obvious at all.

Hence the phrase "should be".  Alas, some people are incapable of getting their minds around even that rudimentary concept.

But then there are people who claim not to realize smoking is killing them or that cheeseburgers make them fat.  I guess I should lower my expectations of the ability of the average American to understand basic finances.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.2.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @7.2.2    2 months ago

It's not obvious because it's wrong.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.3    2 months ago
It's not obvious because it's wrong.

Why not explain why it is wrong (to be clear)?

The problem is economic leverage.   It has an obvious clustering effect as evidenced by the concentration of enormous wealth.    Control increases due to leverage producing an increased level of leverage.  The problem of monopolies has an analogous problem in aristocracy.

Leverage, like many dynamics, is good up to a point.   Entrepreneurial endeavors thrive on leverage - the ability of a strong leader(s) to see a vision to fruition.   This is at the heart of the good sides of capitalism.   But when critical mass is achieved and wealth almost effortless continues as a result of leverage alone, the dial turns from net positive to net negative (in societal terms).

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.2.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.4    2 months ago
Why not explain why it is wrong (to be clear)?

Because I'm very tired of trying to converse with people who vociferously and peremptorily announce... bullshit.

 
 
 
TᵢG
7.2.6  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.5    2 months ago

I typically respond to the audience (and not necessarily to the person).   So even if the person is expected to not engage 'nicely' my point is made.    (This is not always true, however.  There are some people I will quickly ignore because they only intend to generate snark or other nonsense and replying perpetuates their juvenile game.)

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.2.7  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.3    2 months ago
It's not obvious because it's wrong.

Another empty declaration.  I would invite you to explain how Walton wealth takes away from others, but I doubt very seriously you can.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
7.2.8  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.5    2 months ago
Because I'm very tired of trying to converse with people who vociferously and peremptorily announce... bullshit.

The irony.  

Tell us all again how property is theft.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
7.2.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.6    2 months ago
I typically respond to the audience...

[Removed

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.3  Nerm_L  replied to  Tacos! @7    2 months ago
What struck me was the way Reich characterizes the wealth and the wealthy who hold it. He talks like they cheated somebody out of it. As if it belonged to someone else and they stole it.

The wealthy do cheat someone to increase their wealth, that's the point.  Dr. Reich is pointing out that wealth is increased with financial investments.  Financial investments grow by taking a share of economic output without contributing to generating that economic output.

Why shouldn't the Walmart heirs have money? Why shouldn't they control a huge corporation? You can say they didn't work for it and that might be true, but so what? Why is that important? If you could make enough money to make life easier on your kids and grandkids, wouldn't you do it? That's all that's happening at Walmart. The wealth of the Walmart heirs does not steal from anyone else.

The Walmart heirs are owners, not workers.  The Walmart heirs are not required to contribute anything towards generating economic output.  Walmart cannot generate economic output without labor but labor wages compete with noncontributing owners for a share of economic output generated by the business.  

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.3.1  Sunshine  replied to  Nerm_L @7.3    2 months ago
Financial investments grow by taking a share of economic output without contributing to generating that economic output.

That isn't always true....that is how capital for growth is generated and used for a business to produce more.  

I bet Sam Walton took his assets (wealth) and reinvested in his company, borrowed money from an investor.  Companies don't grow or produce without capital.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.3.2  Nerm_L  replied to  Sunshine @7.3.1    2 months ago
That isn't always true....that is how capital for growth is generated and used for a business to produce more.  

A business generates its own capital.  Otherwise the business could not attract investors.  For a new startup the time required to accumulate capital can be quite long.  What investments do is buy time; the business does not need to wait to accumulate capital.

A business can sell stock to raise capital.  But the only time the business receives capital is when the stock is issued.  After that the stock becomes an operating cost.  Issuing stock also transforms the business model toward protecting share value (which is an additional cost) rather than internal operating requirements.  Running a business by a committee of shareholders transforms the business operation into something more like government; business decisions become more political. 

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.3.3  Sunshine  replied to  Nerm_L @7.3.2    2 months ago
A business generates its own capital

Yes, but not enough for growth, that is where investors are needed.  

Who do you think the investors are?  Could be many sources, could be private or public.  But it comes from wealth.

Wealth contributes to the growth of a service or production of goods.  

 
 
 
Nerm_L
7.3.4  Nerm_L  replied to  Sunshine @7.3.3    2 months ago
Yes, but not enough for growth, that is where investors are needed.

A business generating capital IS growth.  Investments buy time but not growth.  The idea behind investments is they allow a business to grow faster.

 
 
 
Sunshine
7.3.5  Sunshine  replied to  Nerm_L @7.3.4    2 months ago
Investments buy time but not growth. 

It doesn't matter, either way the investment (wealth, either internal or external) is contributing.

 
 
 
Tacos!
7.3.6  Tacos!  replied to  Nerm_L @7.3    2 months ago
Financial investments grow by taking a share of economic output without contributing to generating that economic output.

The investment is the contribution.

Let's say I have a taco truck, but I want to open a restaurant that will generate more revenue. But I have a problem. I can't afford the initial costs to get into a building. I could work for years and save whatever extra money I can hold onto while property values increase, or I could get an investor to give me money for it right now.

Unless he is in the charity business, he is going to want his money back someday and probably with interest. We could just negotiate a loan on those terms or I could promise him a share of my profits. I do the work and he gives me the means to turn that work into more profit than I ever could have made with my taco truck. We both win. This is what banks do and it's what private investors do. No one is cheated.

Why would you want to take that opportunity from either of us? How does it hurt you or anyone else?

The Walmart heirs are not required to contribute anything towards generating economic output.

Pretty good business model if you can set up your descendants like this. Why do you care how much money someone else has? You are free to make money, too. Open up your own store.

Walmart cannot generate economic output without labor but labor wages compete with noncontributing owners for a share of economic output generated by the business.

So, Sam Walmart or his heirs could shut down the stores, liquidate all assets and just spend their money on something - say land, or clothes, expensive food, or internet porn. Whatever. They can do it until they're broke, if it makes you happy. Thousands of Walmart employees will lose their jobs. How is any of that a good thing?

 
 
 
Sunshine
8  Sunshine    2 months ago
It’s exactly what our Founding Fathers sought to combat by creating a system of government and economy grounded in meritocracy.

It is the constraints of government that can hold individuals back not the wealthy.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Sunshine @8    2 months ago
It is the constraints of government that can hold individuals back not the wealthy. 

That is totally false. Completely divorced from reality.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
8.2  livefreeordie  replied to  Sunshine @8    2 months ago

Our Marxist fascist tax system is designed to manipulate and redistribute wealth from the rich to those who didn’t earn it.

Marx would love the American tax system

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.2.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @8.2    2 months ago
Our Marxist fascist tax system...

Some of the vocabulary you use is downright silly.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
8.2.2  livefreeordie  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.2.1    2 months ago
(deleted)
 
 
 
lib50
8.2.3  lib50  replied to  livefreeordie @8.2.2    2 months ago

More context. Read the whole article. Its balanced. 

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/27/18283879/nazism-socialism-hitler-gop-brooks-gohmert

But despite joining what would be called theNational Socialist” German workers party, Adolf Hitler was not a socialist. Far from it. In fact, in July 1921, Hitler briefly left the NSDAP because an affiliate of the party in Augsburg signed an agreement with the German Socialist Party in that city, only returning when he had been largely given control of the party itself.

Whatever interest Hitler had in socialism was not based on an understanding of socialism that we might have today — a movement that would supplant capitalism in which the working class would seize power over the state and the means of production. He repeatedly pushed back efforts by economically left-leaning elements of the party to enact socialist reforms, saying in a 1926 conference in Bamberg (organized by Nazi Party leaders over the very question of the party’s ideological underpinnings) that any effort to take the homes and estates of German princes would move the party toward communism and that he would never do anything to assist “communist-inspired movements.” He prohibited the formation of Nazi trade unions, and by 1929 he outright rejected any efforts by Nazis who argued in favor of socialistic ideas or projects in their entirety.

Joseph Goebbels, who would eventually become Reich Minister of Propaganda once the Nazi Party seized control of Germany, wrote in his diary about Hitler’s rejection of socialism at that 1926 meeting, “I feel as if someone had knocked me on the head ... my heart aches so much. ... A horrible night! Surely one of the greatest disappointments of my life.”

Rather, Hitler viewed socialism as a political organizing mechanism for the German people more broadly: a way of creating a “people’s community” — the volksgemeinschaftthat would bring everyday Germans (and businesspeople) together not based on their class but on their race and ethnicity. Thus, he would use the unifying aspects of “National Socialism” to get everyday Germans on board with the Nazi program while simultaneously negotiating with powerful businesses and the Junkers, industrialists and nobility, who would ultimately help Hitler gain total power over the German state.

What Hitler actually thought about “socialism”

The best example of Hitler’s own views on socialism are evident in a debate he had over two days in May 1930 with then-party member Otto Strasser. Strasser and his brother Gregor, who was an avowed socialist of sorts, were a part of the Nazi Party’s left wing, arguing in favor of political socialism as an essential ingredient in Nazism.

But Hitler did not agree. When Strasser argues for “revolutionary socialism,” Hitler dismisses the idea, arguing that workers are too simple to ever understand socialism:

“Your socialism is Marxism pure and simple. You see, the great mass of workers only wants bread and circuses. Ideas are not accessible to them and we cannot hope to win them over. We attach ourselves to the fringe, the race of lords, which did not grow through a miserabilist doctrine and knows by the virtue of its own character that it is called to rule, and rule without weakness over the masses of beings.”

And when Strasser calls for the return of 41 percent of private property to the state and dismisses the role of private property in an industrialized economy, Hitler tells him that will not only ruin “the entire nation” but also “end all progress of humanity.”

In fact, Hitler dismisses even the idea of challenging the status of capitalism, telling Strasser that his socialism is actually Marxism and making the argument that powerful businessmen were powerful because they were evolutionarily superior to their employees. Thus, Hitler argues, a “workers council” taking charge of a company would only get in the way.

“Our great heads of industry are not concerned with the accumulation of wealth and the good life, rather they are concerned with responsibility and power. They have acquired this right by natural selection: they are members of the higher race. But you would surround them with a council of incompetents, who have no notion of anything. No economic leader can accept that.”

Strasser then asks him directly what he would do with powerful steel and arms manufacturer Krupp, known today as ThyssenKrupp. Would Hitler permit the company to stay as big and powerful as it was in 1930?

“Of course. Do you think I’m stupid enough to destroy the economy? The state will only intervene if people do not act in the interest of the nation. There is no need for dispossession or participation in all the decisions. The state will intervene strongly when it must, pushed by superior motives, without regards to particular interests.”

In this debate, Hitler isn’t making the case for socialism, much to Strasser’s dismay. He is making the case for fascism — in his view, not just an ideal system to organize government, but the only real option. “A system that rests on anything other than authority downwards and responsibility upwards cannot really make decisions,” he tells Strasser.

“Fascism offers us a model that we can absolutely replicate! As it is in the case of Fascism, the entrepreneurs and the workers of our National Socialist state sit side by side, equal in rights, the state strongly intervenes in the case of conflict to impose its decision and end economic disputes that put the life of the nation in danger.”

The concept of the “people’s community” undergirded much of the National Socialist project. Much like the basic idea of fascism, a word that stems from the Italian word for a bundle of rods tied together tightly, National Socialism was intended to tie Germany together under one leader — Hitler, the führer — with “subversive elements” like Jews, LGBT people, Roma, and, yes, socialists and Communists, removed by force.

In a 1923 interview with pro-Nazi writer George Sylvester Viereck, Hitler said, “In my scheme of the German state, there will be no room for the alien, no use for the wastrel, for the usurer or speculator, or anyone incapable of productive work.”

In Hitler’s version of National Socialism, socialism was “Aryan” and focused on the “commonwealth” of everyday Germans — a group of people he unites as one based entirely on their race. In that same interview with Viereck, Hitler added:

“Socialism is the science of dealing with the common wealth. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic... We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national. We demand the fulfillment of the just claims of the productive classes by the state on the basis of race solidarity. To us state and race are one.”

Both Otto Strasser and his brother Gregor paid the price for challenging Hitler and advocating for socialism within the Nazi party. Gregor was murdered during the Night of Long Knives in 1934, a mass purge of the left wing of the Nazi Party in which between 85 and 200 people were killed as part of an effort, in Hitler’s words, to prevent a “socialist revolution.” Otto Strasser fled Germany, ultimately seeking refuge in Canada.

Nazism wasn’t a socialist project. Nazism was a rejection of the basic tenets of socialism entirely, in favor of a state built on race and racial classifications.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
8.2.4  livefreeordie  replied to  lib50 @8.2.3    2 months ago

Nonsense, Hitler and Goebbels as I quoted we’re proud to call themselves Socialists and theirs and Mussolini’s actions demonstrated that fact

Fascism and Nazism parallels to Democrats welfare State ideology

History is a great teacher for those who are willing to study it.  A look back at the welfare state policies of Mussolini and Hitler, they are virtually identical to those of the modern Democratic Party

Social Welfarism and Public Works

Both National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy were welfare states that spent heavily on public works. A former school teacher, Mussolini’s spending on the public sector, schools and infrastructure was considered extravagant. Mussolini “instituted a programme of public works hitherto unrivalled in modern Europe. Bridges, canals and roads were built, hospitals and schools, railway stations and orphanages; swamps were drained and land reclaimed, forests were planted and universities were endowed.”[255] As for the scope and spending on social welfare programs, Italian fascism “compared favorably with the more advanced European nations and in some respect was more progressive.”[256] When New York city politician Grover Aloysius Whalen asked Mussolini about the meaning behind Italian Fascism in 1939, the reply was: “It is like your New Deal!”[257]

By 1925 the Fascist government had “embarked upon an elaborate program” that included food supplementary assistance, infant care, maternity assistance, general healthcare, wage supplements, paid vacations, unemployment benefits, illness insurance, occupational disease insurance, general family assistance, public housing, and old age and disability insurance.[258] As for public works, “the Mussolini’s administration “devoted 400 million lire of public monies” for school construction between 1922 and 1942, compared to only 60 million lire between 1862 and 1922.[259]

Hitler and the German National Socialist spent large amounts of state revenues for a comprehensive social welfare system to combat the ill effects of the Great Depression, promising repeatedly throughout his regime the “creation of a socially just state.”[260] In 1933, Hitler ordered the National Socialist People's Welfare (NSV) chairman Erich Hilgenfeldt to “see to the disbanding of all private welfare institutions,” in an effort to socially engineer society by selecting who was to receive social benefits.[261] Under this state-operated welfare structure, Nazi administrators were able to mount an effort towards the “cleansing of their cities of ‘asocials.’”[262] Nonetheless, the NSV instituted expansive programs to address the socio-economic inequalities among those deemed to be German citizens. Joseph Goebbels remarked about the merits of Hitler’s welfare state in a 1944 editorial “Our Socialism,” where he professed: “We and we alone [the Nazis] have the best social welfare measures. Everything is done for the nation.”[263]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism_and_ideology

 
 
 
livefreeordie
8.2.5  livefreeordie  replied to  lib50 @8.2.3    2 months ago

Mussolini, fascism is anti capitalism 

Fascism has had complicated relations regarding capitalism, which changed over time and differed between Fascist states. Fascists commonly have sought to eliminate the autonomy of large-scale capitalism to the state.[191] Fascists support the state having control over the economy, although they support the existence of private property.[192] When fascists have criticized capitalism, they have focused their attacks on "finance capitalism", the international nature of banks and the stock exchange, and its cosmopolitan bourgeois character.[193] Under fascism, the profit motive continues to be the primary motivation of contributors to the economy.[192] That policy abruptly changed in Italy by 1934 when Mussolini “reiterated that capitalism, as an economic system, was no longer viable.”[194] Mussolini went so far as to proclaim that the economy of Fascist Italy was to be “based not on individual profit but on collective interest.”[195] Originally, Fascists theoreticians supported limited private property, individual initiative and market economy because it was, as expounded by Sergio Panunzio, a major theoretician of Italian Fascism, “the only economic system that allowed a socialism for the entire nation,” since it was believed to encourage “productionism.”[196] Most Fascist theoreticians and revolutionary syndicalists followed Karl Marx's admonition that a nation required “full maturation of capitalism as the precondition for socialist realization.”[197]Fascist intellectuals were determined to foster economic development in order for a syndicalist economy to “attain its productive maximum” that was identified as crucial to “socialist revolution.”[198] Italian Fascism's position towards capitalism adjusted over time; the Italian Fascist movement in 1919 was radical and anti-capitalist, where he continued to campaign for “nationalization of land” and to have “workers’ participation in the running of factories”,[199] but became more moderate in the 1920s when it sought to consolidate power, and then grew more radical again during the 1930s under its entrenchment of power, and by 1940 again emphasized anti-capitalism.

Mussolini praised the historic developments of "heroic capitalism" - what Mussolini considered the first stage of capitalism, which he found had provided useful economic developments, but he claimed that capitalism had deteriorated, and criticized the contemporary stage of capitalism that he termed "supercapitalism". He argued,

I do not intend to defend capitalism or capitalists. They, like everything human, have their defects. I only say their possibilities of usefulness are not ended. Capitalism has borne the monstrous burden of the war and today still has the strength to shoulder the burdens of peace. ... It is not simply and solely an accumulation of wealth, it is an elaboration, a selection, a co-ordination of values which is the work of centuries. ... Many think, and I myself am one of them, that capitalism is scarcely at the beginning of its story.[200]

Years later in a November 14, 1933 speech, Mussolini decidedly rebuked economic liberalism and laissez-faire. In the United States, the Hearst Press printed his speech under the headline: “Mussolini Abolishes the Capitalist System.”[201] Mussolini declared:

To-day we can affirm that the capitalistic method of production is out of date. So is the doctrine of laissez-faire, the theoretical basis of capitalism… To-day we are taking a new and decisive step in the path of revolution. A revolution, in order to be great, must be a social revolution.[202]

To Mussolini, the capitalism of his time had degenerated from original capitalism, which he called dynamic or heroic capitalism (1830–1870) to static capitalism (1870–1914) and then finally to decadent capitalism or supercapitalism, which began in 1914.[203] Mussolini, in 1933 amid the Great Depression, announced that modern supercapitalism was a failed economic system that was the result of the long-term degeneration of capitalism.[204][205] Mussolini denounced supercapitalism for causing the "standardization of humankind" and for causing excessive consumption.[206] Fascists argued that supercapitalism "would ultimately decay and open the way for a Marxist revolution as labor-capital relations broke down.[207]

Mussolini claimed that supercapitalism resulted in the collapse of the capitalist system in the Great Depression.[208] Mussolini claimed that fascism would preserve those elements of capitalism that were deemed beneficial, such as private enterpriseprovided that it would be supervised by the state in fascist economics.[209] However Mussolini claimed that fascism explicitly rejected the typical capitalist elements of economic individualism and laissez-faire.[209] Furthermore, Italian Fascism also acknowledged socialist influences, such as revolutionary syndicalism.[210] Mussolini claimed that in supercapitalism, "[it] is then that a capitalist enterprise, when difficulties arise, throws itself like a dead weight into the state's arms. It is then that state intervention begins and becomes more necessary. It is then that those who once ignored the state now seek it out anxiously."[211] Due to the inability of businesses to operate properly when facing economic difficulties, Mussolini claimed that this proved that state intervention into the economy was necessary to stabilize the economy.[211]

Not long after the creation of the Institute of Industrial Reconstruction, Mussolini boasted in a 1934 speech to his Chamber of Deputies that “Three-fourths of Italian economy, industrial and agricultural, is in the hands of the state."[159][160] As Italy continued to nationalization its economy, the IRI “became the owner not only of the three most important Italian banks, which were clearly too big to fail, but also of the lion’s share of the Italian industries.”[161]

During this period, Mussolini identified his economic policies with “state capitalism” and “state socialism,” which later was described as “economic dirigisme,” an economic system where the state has the power to direct economic production and allocation of resources.[212] Earlier in 1922, Lenin employed the same phrase to favorably characterize “state capitalism” as an appropriate economic system for Soviet Russia that would encompass “a free market and capitalism, both subject to state control," where, according to Lenin, every state-owned enterprises had to operated on a "profit basis."[213]

By 1939, Fascist Italy attained the highest rate of state–ownership of an economy in the world other than the Soviet Union,[162] where the Italian state “controlled over four-fifths of Italy’s shipping and shipbuilding, three-quarters of its pig iron production and almost half that of steel.”[163]

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism_and_ideology

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.2.6  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @8.2.2    2 months ago

Pure nonsense.

 
 
 
Tessylo
8.2.7  Tessylo  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.2.1    2 months ago

It's all marxist this and socialist that and communist this and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,  that's all you'll get from this 'pastor'

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.2.8  Bob Nelson  replied to  Tessylo @8.2.7    2 months ago

I keep trying, but so far I have been unable to make any sense of it...

 
 
 
MUVA
8.2.9  MUVA  replied to  Tessylo @8.2.7    2 months ago

It is called history you may try to catch up and study a little then just maybe you wouldn't be so uninformed.I would say his comment is more informed  than turd this and turd that. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
8.2.10  Tessylo  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.2.8    2 months ago

Don't strain your brain on him - there's never any sense to be made of any of his rants. 

 
 
 
lib50
8.2.11  lib50  replied to  MUVA @8.2.9    2 months ago
It is called history

It's called revisionist history.    Like the conservative attempts to redefine 'nationalism'.     Hitler used socialism to manipulate Germans and get them to embrace Hitler and shore up his support for Nazism.   You are totally leaving out the racism and authoritarianism.

 
 
 
Sunshine
9  Sunshine    2 months ago

The three wealthiest counties in the US surround Washington DC, I suggest they start taxing themselves at 70%.  How would that fly for the money grabbing thieves?

 
 
 
TᵢG
10  TᵢG    2 months ago

Simple redistribution of wealth does not work for many reasons.   The most obvious is that the redistributed wealth will controlled by the uber-irresponsible politicians who have saddled future generations with a $22T and counting national debt.   Philosophically, the principle of lowering the high is wrong.   What we need is an evolutionary path whereby the low have (and are encouraged to pursue) opportunities to improve their own situations.    This is what has happened historically.   The feudal system gave way to mercantilism which gave way to capitalism.   The progression enabled the masses to pursue their ambitions, not to simply give them things.

I see no quick fix.  The unintended consequences of going after the ultra-rich is for them to take counter actions.   And they have many at their disposal.   Aristocracy has historically ruled nations and the USA is no different.   Even if such a measure passed, the existing tax laws provide plenty of mechanisms for the ultra rich to largely bypass the effects.   Further, pursuing this to close 'loopholes' brings the major downside of encouraging the ultra-rich to tap more of the global economy rather than focus on our national economy.   Many more problems with this approach, ...

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
10.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @10    2 months ago
The unintended consequences of going after the ultra-rich is for them to take counter actions.

Let's not invert the situation. It's the ultra-rich who have been acting already. Until the 1970s, revenue growth for all quintiles was roughly parallel to national growth. Since then, the 0-20 and 20-40 quintiles have flatlined. 40-60 and 60-80 have maintained some growth, 80-100 have done well. The top 1% has skyrocketed.

"Going after the rich" is in fact self-defense.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1    2 months ago

Phrase it any way you wish, Bob.   I would have preferred you address the point I made rather than quibble about word choice.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
10.1.2  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.1    2 months ago

I wasn't quibbling. I felt that you were presenting today's absolute dominance of the ultra-rich to be the natural state of our society, and taxing the ultra-rich to be an anomaly.

I doubt that you meant that, but it is what I read in your post. Correcting that impression is not quibbling.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @10.1.2    2 months ago
Correcting that impression is not quibbling.

Except you did not address the actual content of my post.   (Which is the point I just made.)

I felt that you were presenting today's absolute dominance of the ultra-rich to be the natural state of our society ...

Unfortunately dominance by aristocracy is historical reality.   Dominance (and abuse) then overthrow and then new aristocracy forms to repeat the cycle of dominance and abuse.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
10.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.3    2 months ago
Except you did not address...

I addressed what appeared to me to be the most important aspect of your post.

I won't do it again.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
10.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @10.1.3    2 months ago
Unfortunately dominance by aristocracy is historical reality.   Dominance (and abuse) then overthrow and then new aristocracy forms to repeat the cycle of dominance and abuse.

So is wife beating.   I really don't think you have much to stand on if your advice is to say "thank you sir may I have another".

Capitalism exploits the workers. Yet, we mostly all agree capitalism also creates material progress. How to deal with this dilemma? Tax the rich. There's nothing wrong with it, at all. There is no God given right to exploit people. The society has the right to take rectifying measures.

I don't think your last few comments have been your finest hour.

 
 
 
TᵢG
10.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @10.1.5    2 months ago
I really don't think you have much to stand on if your advice is to say "thank you sir may I have another".

From where do you get that simplistic, cynical view?   I stated historical fact at the macro societal level to illustrate that this is not a problem that is simply addressed by legislation.   

The society has the right to take rectifying measures.

Of course it does; and it needs to because history shows this ends badly.   My post suggested that the rectifying measures might not accomplish what one would expect.   

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
11  Freedom Warrior    2 months ago
According to estimates, this tax would generate 2.75 trillion dollars over the next decade, which could be used for health care, education, infrastructure, and everything else we need.

So he talks about the wealth gap then tells us that it  won't accomplish that goal.  The dude clearly thinks everyone is frickin stupid.

He throws in the Democracy angle for good measure even though we are not a Democracy because I suppose he thinks it sounds good in a sales pitch.

Another wolf in sheep's clothing con.   So in reality he's just putting another face on socialism, wealth distribution and wrapping it up in the flag while entirely ignoring the immorality of it all.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1  TᵢG  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11    2 months ago

Reich is promoting forced redistribution of wealth by the State.   His objective is to lessen the concentration of economic (and thus political) power.   A good objective, but a very questionable tactic.

While the uber rich should not have such ever-increasing (leveraged) control - it is unhealthy - there is no simple, immediate solution.    The key problem is using our system to reduce the control of those who effectively control the system.  

The proper approach would be to use the power of the vote (and other democratic influences) to drive systemic change (evolutionary).   But with such an exquisitely divided electorate at each other's throats parroting talking points with very little critical analysis, the electorate is effectively nullified.   Aristocracy has little to fear from a divided, disoriented electorate who think that members of 'the other' political party are the enemy.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
11.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @11.1    2 months ago

"Wealth redistribution" will not be effected without a political consensus, at least of a voting majority.

The powers that be do not want to put a living wage in place, they stall and stall and stall on it. Trump wants to raise the poverty level so that people who need government benefits due to low wages will be shut out. Greed is human nature, which is exactly why addressing income and wealth inequality is a political problem. No one in their right mind would depend on our business leaders to righteously solve this issue on their own.

Two useful plans are on the table for the relatively near future, although probably not in 2020.  A wealth tax on fortunes over 50 million, and a 70% marginal income tax on yearly earnings over 5 million (the 70% only applies to dollars above the 5 million mark). Both of these are a good starting place.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @11.1.1    2 months ago
Greed is human nature, which is exactly why addressing income and wealth inequality is a political problem. No one in their right mind would depend on our business leaders to righteously solve this issue on their own.

Yes, and I was talking about the difficulty of achieving a political solution.   The problem is that we do not have a clear separation of political and economic powers.   They are quite nicely intertwined (consistent with history).   So relying upon our politicians to actually make net-positive inroads to reduce runaway consolidation of wealth through leverage is also not going to happen.    That was my point.

Both of these are a good starting place.

Now my prior comments come into play (again).   I doubt that these ideas (simple in principle) will go into effect.   But even if they did, the uber rich have quite a few tools in their tool chests.   When one can afford to employ entire teams of legal and accounting advisers to exploit the deliberately complex landscape of US tax law, one is well armed to mitigate the effects of legislation.   And if the tax code simplifies over time and, in so doing, reduces the ability to skirt taxation, the global economy provides plenty of escape hatches for the uber rich to play outside of our national economy.

Declustering economic power would be a long, evolutionary process.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
11.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11    2 months ago

ignoring the immorality of it all.

In no way shape or form is it "immoral" to tax great wealth for the benefit of the many. If anything is immoral, it is the exploitation that leads to the great wealth in the first place.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @11.2    2 months ago

Some people cannot see the difference between an innovative entrepreneurial force creating disruptive technologies and driving societal change (good) and the leveraged accumulation and clustering of wealth (bad).

Preserving the productive forces is critical and it is clear that there are few leaders and tons of followers.   Thus society needs the Elon Musks, Steve Jobs, etc. of the world (and all the lesser but critical ambitious, talented leaders who work for them).   What societal value, however, comes from Warren Buffet, Koch bros, Walmart heirs, growing increasingly wealthier because they own Park Place & Boardwalk fully loaded?

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
11.2.2  Freedom Warrior  replied to  JohnRussell @11.2    2 months ago

Putting a gun to someone's head and demanding they give you their time or money IS IMMORAL  That you feel that is just hunky dory for whatever reason you decide is an incredibly dangerrous philosophy.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.3  TᵢG  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11.2.2    2 months ago

Is taxation theft?

 
 
 
Sunshine
11.2.4  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @11.2.3    2 months ago

Is wealth theft? 

That seems to be the opinion of some who agree with a wealth tax.  The stance is those who accumulated wealth are evil and exploited/stolen their money, so of course that is the justification for the taxation.

In reality they have no idea how each individual acquired their wealth.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.5  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @11.2.4    2 months ago
Is wealth theft? 

Not in my view.   Wealth is power.    The more one owns the more influence one has on society.

The stance is those who accumulated wealth are evil and exploited/stolen their money, so of course that is the justification for the taxation.

Evil?   You might want to explore that with whomever you have in mind.   For example, if a successful farmer generates a $10M nest egg that is considered modest wealth.   Do people find that to be evil?    Is $50M evil?    If at some point wealth = evil try to figure out the characteristics that cause wealth at that level to become evil.    Might be interesting.

The question I would pose is how much control should one person have over society?    That philosophical view could be used to make sense of wealth.    Some will simply exclaim:  'there should be no limit on how much control an individual has over society'.   No point discussing this with that individual since the opening position is irrational and clearly defensive.

In reality they have no idea how each individual acquired their wealth.

Since I do not know who these people are that you have in mind, I have no way to judge their knowledge.


Is taxation theft?

 
 
 
Sunshine
11.2.6  Sunshine  replied to  TᵢG @11.2.5    2 months ago
Since I do not know who these people are that you have in mind, I have no way to judge their knowledge.

Those who claim wealth is accumulated by exploitation/theft expressed on this seed.

The more one owns the more influence one has on society.

Is taxing going to decrease that power?  No, of course not, it is just a way to grab their money and let the government waste it.  

If one wants to decrease power, then a cap on wealth is needed and of course that would mean more government intervention and control.  It never ends with these people, until the government has consumed all and the system collapses.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
11.2.7  Freedom Warrior  replied to  TᵢG @11.2.3    2 months ago

What's the point of asking a question you already know the answer to?

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.8  TᵢG  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11.2.7    2 months ago

It is fundamental to the dialectic.  Clearly you are familiar with the idea of asking questions to encourage the other person to be explicit (and, in some cases, force them to think about some factor).

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.9  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @11.2.6    2 months ago
Is taxing going to decrease that power?  No, of course not, it is just a way to grab their money and let the government waste it.  

So taxation is theft?   (And I agree our current government will waste the revenue.)

If one wants to decrease power, then a cap on wealth is needed and of course that would mean more government intervention and control.  It never ends with these people, until the government has consumed all and the system collapses.

Are you in favor of limiting power or should individual power grow unchecked?

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
11.2.10  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Sunshine @11.2.6    2 months ago
If one wants to decrease power, then a cap on wealth is needed and of course that would mean more government intervention and control.

Ever wonder why people advocate for reduced power vis a vis money in politics while overlooking the obvious solution of limiting government power in the first place.  Instead they irrationally pursue the contradictory means of achieving a goal which is on its face duplicitous.  The reality is they don't want to limit power at all they want to increase the power over peoples lives in a manner that they favor and can exert control.

And this doesn't just apply to taxation, that's just one means to an end.  You'll find it just about every anti-constitutional pursuit they are advocating.

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.11  TᵢG  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11.2.10    2 months ago
... limiting government power in the first place ...

Explain how this is accomplished.   Do not simply state that the electorate vote in the right people unless you can provide details on how we can evolve an electorate that is active, informed and not apathetic.   What is your plan for limiting government power?

Next, how would a more limited government mitigate unlimited individual power among the aristocracy (what we were discussing)?   Or are you of the opinion that there should be no limit on the amount of power a single person can accumulate?

 
 
 
Sunshine
11.2.12  Sunshine  replied to  Freedom Warrior @11.2.10    2 months ago
Ever wonder why people advocate for reduced power vis a vis money in politics while overlooking the obvious solution of limiting government power in the first place. And this doesn't just apply to taxation, that's just one means to an end. You'll find it just about every anti-constitutional pursuit they are advocating.

I wonder if Soros has too much wealth?

 
 
 
TᵢG
11.2.13  TᵢG  replied to  Sunshine @11.2.12    2 months ago
I wonder if Soros has too much wealth?

Well?   Is it possible that Soros has too much wealth (as in power)?   

Another example is Apple CEO Tim Cook.   Clearly a D supporter (sensing that using D examples would help mitigate partisan bias).

Or the world's richest person, Jeff Bezos.   He is a libertarian and could hardly be seen as an R (supporting Clinton over Trump, championing gay marriage, etc.).    Does Jeff Bezos have too much wealth (power)?

Should there be a limit or is it good (beneficial for societies) for individuals to amass nearly unlimited power via wealth?

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
11.2.14  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Sunshine @11.2.12    2 months ago

I don't. jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
12  Bob Nelson    2 months ago
Bob's expressed views on this topic are very different from your expressed views. 

No.

If you think so, you have not understood us.

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

nightwalker
arkpdx
igknorantzrulz
loki12
Heartland American
CB
Dignitatem Societatis


46 visitors