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One Thing Everybody Can Agree On: More Employee Ownership
In this day and age it is rare to see much political unity. But everyone seems to agree on workplace democracy and employee ownership
As the Reaganite economic consensus grows increasingly thin, conservatives and progressives are seeking a way to reform it. It seems like they have landed on a similar solution: workplace democracy and employee ownership.
Nation writer Katrina Heuvel recently published an article about why progressives ought to advocate for workplace democracy. It discusses how democratic workplaces are capable of repositioning the relationships between workers and businesses: “Instead of choosing between what’s best for the business and what’s best for employees, incentives are such that those choices are one and the same.” For progressives, workplace democracy is a “kinder capitalism,” a demonstration that capitalism is capable of functioning for everyone.
On the opposite of the political spectrum, Blitz writer Sohail Choudhury states that one of the necessary ways to reform the British conservative party is an adoption of a more populist form of capitalism. One of these reforms would be stronger tax incentives for employee ownership leading to better outcomes. He states, “Wider participation in ownership, coupled with safety net state support, can create a more equitable society where individuals have a stake in their economic future.” For conservatives, employee ownership is a way of maintaining capitalism while providing more opportunities for the average worker to gain wealth.
In my opinion, the reason that progressives and conservatives are adopting workplace democracy and employee ownership policies is that they provide solutions to the inequalities inherent to capitalism. As these inequalities increase, there becomes more of a need to address them, and employee ownership is a good way to do just that.