June 17, 2019

Reactions to the Sanders Proposal

In its initial reporting on Sen. Sanders' new proposals discussed on this blog, Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein noted that the new proposals are "expected to face significant opposition from the business community."

In a June 6 column (subscription required), the Economist argues that "employee ownership has a lot going for it. But not if it becomes over-politicised." The article notes that "America leads the way in the number of blue-collar capitalists. But even it still has a long way to go," and it cites the NCEO's research (Employee Ownership and Economic Well-Being) as reason to believe that widespread employee ownership would reducing the "gaping" wealth gap in the United States. The Economist concludes, however, that Sen. Sanders' new proposals use a mandate when an incentive is a better tool: "compelling rather than coaxing firms to give away shares to workers jeopardises a delicate compromise between progressives and conservatives that has historically helped advance the cause of employee ownership in the West."

Reporting in the New Yorker on June 7, Osita Nwanevu describes the delicate politics of support for employee ownership, citing cautionary reactions from Loren Rodgers of the NCEO and Joseph Blasi of Rutgers. On the other hand, he also notes a poll by the Democracy Collaborative that found 55% of respondents support mandatory stock contributions to employees by large company.