November 30, 2020

Biden Names Key Pro-Employee Ownership Advisers

NCEO founder and senior staff member

President-elect Joe Biden has named Jared Bernstein to the Council of Economic Advisers. Bernstein wrote a 2016 paper, Employee Ownership, ESOPs, Wealth, and Wages, for the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA) on why employee ownership is important. Bernstein said that he did not support further tax incentives, but did support a federal outreach program on ESOPs and conditioning current corporate tax incentives on sharing ownership.

Biden also nominated Neera Tanden, who currently heads the Center for American Progress, to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. In 2020, the Center published a detailed set of proposals to encourage employee ownership in its report Building Workers’ Wealth in Cities and States, stating, “city and state policymakers across ideological divides can help raise standards for workers and boost sustainable economic growth by supporting employee ownership and broad-based profit-sharing.” The paper encouraged states to set up outreach programs and provide employee ownership companies with contracting preferences. In its 2015 report “Capitalism for Everyone: Encouraging Companies to Adopt Employee Ownership Programs and Broad-Based Profit Sharing,” the Center recommended similar policies at the federal level, as well as loan support, and recommended the creation of an Office of Inclusive Capitalism. NCEO data were used extensively in both reports, and we worked closely with the Center for American Progress in developing its proposals.

Bernstein’s appointment is not subject to Senate approval, but Tanden’s is, and has already sparked opposition from the left and the right.