The Employee Ownership Update
November 15, 2016
What Does the Presidential Election Mean for Employee Ownership?One of the few clear implications of last week's election is that the character and policy agendas of both parties will inevitably change. Many traditional core principles of the Republican Party establishment do not bind president-elect Trump, who strongly identifies as a change candidate. The decisive loss by Hillary Clinton, one of the most emblematic members of the Democratic Party's establishment, is vivid proof that in order to win elections the party must rethink its approach to policy and politics.
The NCEO does not lobby, and we do not favor either party. We do believe in employee ownership, and we also believe that the disruption caused by this election is an opportunity for employee ownership to claim the prominence it deserves in our national conversation.
Employee ownership has broad bipartisan support, but more importantly, it directly addresses the party-spanning issues that drove this election. People angry at elite privilege will see employee ownership as a way to shift the economy toward the middle class. Communities that have seen jobs slip away can use employee ownership to root economic activity locally. Working-class Republicans, Democrats, and independents who feel themselves to be disempowered cogs in an impersonal economic machine can learn how business works and, together with their co-workers, take responsibility for their own economic futures.
Perhaps the divisiveness of this election can be the spur to seek a shared commitment to create more wealth in the middle class through employee ownership, a time-tested, pie-expanding, pro-business, pro-worker policy.
The NCEO is working to insert employee ownership into our emerging national conversation about where we are headed, and we ask for your help. We are looking for people who will share their stories with us or with the media. Drop me a line at LRodgers@nceo.org if you'd like to learn more.
The Elections and CongressLast week's elections saw many ESOP champions return to Congress, with some important exceptions. Some highlights follow:
- Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) overcame tight polls early in the race to win a comfortable victory
- Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and John Thune (R-SD), all co-sponsors of pro-ESOP legislation, all won re-election.
- Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was narrowly defeated.
- In the House, many pro-ESOP members won re-election, including Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), Ron Kind (D-WI), Richard Neal (D-MA), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Tom Reed (R-NY), Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Pat Tiberi (R-OH).
- One notable ESOP champion who will not be returning to the House is Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA).