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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 06:22 PM


WSJournal More Interested in Caviar & Foie Gras Than Worker-owned Firms [View all]

Wall Street Journal More Interested in Caviar and Foie Gras Than Employee-owned Firms
Published on Saturday, December 8, 2012 by Common Dreams - by Gar Alperovitz

Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional experimentation and innovation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders in communities around the country.

A vast democratized “new economy” is slowly emerging throughout the United States. The general public, however, knows almost nothing about it because the American press simply does not cover the developing institutions and strategies.

For instance, a sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States , the Wall Street Journal, found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners — around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.



This could be the start of something big. What's not to like about "democratizing the US economy" via worker-owned enterprises?

This kind of restructuring of our economy, literally from the ground up, represents a golden economic recovery opportunity: a win/win strategy that hugely benefits virtually everyone, everyone except the Filthy Rich who are insatiable parasites .... a "1% luxury" we can no longer afford, to continue to run roughshod over the bloody corpses of everybody else, at will.

This could totally become a game-changer, if we choose to make it so. For those of you rusty on your labor history, the early labor movements were ALL about worker-ownership.
In the 1880s, workers formed the Knights of Labor to resist capitalist efforts to reduce wages, create a reserve army of labor, and devalue worker skills. The Knights expanded to become the largest workers organization through mobilizing labor in factories and applying its resources to establish approximately 200 industrial cooperatives. By the end of the 19th century, as mercantile and finance capital established dominance over US politics, the Knights’ effort to create a national cooperative alliance with rural farmers failed to materialize. However these efforts reached an apogee in 1887 through the formation of a coalition with the Farmers Alliance and the organization of succession of new political parties to serve and represent the interests of the new cooperative movement.
In the 1880s, new worker-influenced political parties emerged, included the Greenback-Labor Party and the Populist Party to express the frustration of rural and urban workers against the growing domination of corporate trusts. Unfortunately, the movement was all but destroyed by the “Great Uprising,” the monumental confrontation between labor and capital that was building throughout the late 1800s and ended in the collapse of the Knights and the consolidation of corporate rule in America.


Worker-ownership is the next big thing, an idea coming full-circle, whose time has finally come, as evidenced by the WSJ's studied ignorance of this burgeoning phenomenon. This is no "pie in the sky" pipe-dream, as we speak US Senator Bernie Sanders is putting legislative legs onto this concept in Congress: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=782b77ac-49d6-408e-9b32-369735f0091b

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Reply WSJournal More Interested in Caviar & Foie Gras Than Worker-owned Firms [View all]
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 OP
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #1
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #2
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #3