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  1. #1

    Default Market socialism and popular share holding?

    What are the views on the forum or even the knowledge of market socialist ideas? Is it a case of the worst of both worlds or a reflection of realism about mixed economies and interdependence of competition, co-operation, tax funded enterprise and private enterprise?

    I've read about a system of market socialism which would involve the distribution to each adult, voting member of the public of shares which they can not sell or lose, "inalienable shares" if you like, which confers upon the public/workers, employed and unemployed, ownership of the economy but which does not interfer with the price signals of the market place in planning the efficient allocation of resources.

    The dividend received from these "inalienable shares" would constitute individual revenue which replaces all present financial benefits and exchanges carried out by the tax and spending of welfare states, these shares could be transfered by individuals or financial service providers to increase returns, reflect ethical or other priorities but could not be sold, in the same way that you can not sell your identity or sell yourself into slavery, at least not legally, presently.

    In this way you could invest all your share if you want to reflect concerns about education, health, defence, policing etc. as you wish, it would permit some radical experiments in privatisation too without the negative externalities presently associated with the same policy, ie monopolisation for private gain of essential services which individuals have little or no choice but to consume, exploitation of tax payers in a "gravy train" sort of way, lack of accountability for policies like executive board pay rises for failing services or enterprises.

    Perhaps its too complex or presumes a degree of fiscal and financial interest and literacy on the part of the general population which is none existent and unlikely to exist even if the reforms are carried out, what do you think?

  2. #2
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    There's not much point in shares you can't sell.

    The pressure on the company by shareholders would be to pay out dividends, without those same 'social shareholders' worrying about the effect on investment which would affect share price.

    The effect would be less productive companies and disadvantage for other private shareholders, who are the ones who provide capital for investment.

  3. #3

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    I think I may have f**ked up that initial post, its some form of token or credit, as opposed to shares themselves which you can invest and can not to traded or given away, its not exactly the same thing.

  4. #4
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    My preferred form of market socialism is to make all private commercial entities worker cooperatives. In a worker cooperative, every worker gets one share in the company they join. That share carries with it the powers you'd expect including the ability appoint an executive. The effect is something much like representative democracy in government. This concept does not any way form an opposition to market economics, but does hypothetically lead to a healthier society than corporations do. Corporations pool their immense power and resources into the hands of a very small number of people who are detached from the process and are only interested in returning a profit. The worker cooperative is more inclusive, it gives decision making power to people who have concern from the workers (themselves) and then by extension concern for consumers, since these shareholding workers and their families are the consumers.

    Regarding banking, either I think should be nationalized would done with consumer cooperatives like credit unions.
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  5. #5

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    I'm a fan of co-management too, on the other hand I'm concerned that there are instances in which workers may attempt to "run the company" in their own interests as opposed to that of their service users or consumers, I can think of a couple of services which are provided to people who are difficult to interact with, now if the workers in those firms had the power to they would exclude those service users from receiving a service but those are the very people most in need to the services too if you know what I mean.

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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    My preferred form of market socialism is to make all private commercial entities worker cooperatives. In a worker cooperative, every worker gets one share in the company they join. That share carries with it the powers you'd expect including the ability appoint an executive. The effect is something much like representative democracy in government. This concept does not any way form an opposition to market economics, but does hypothetically lead to a healthier society than corporations do. Corporations pool their immense power and resources into the hands of a very small number of people who are detached from the process and are only interested in returning a profit. The worker cooperative is more inclusive, it gives decision making power to people who have concern from the workers (themselves) and then by extension concern for consumers, since these shareholding workers and their families are the consumers.
    The biggest reason there aren't more worker cooperatives is because of the initial investment. Middle and lower class individuals don't have the funds to start a business on their own, and rich, successful business owners almost never give their companies away to the workers. I've spent a lot of time trying to solve this problem over the years, but I don't have a solution (yet). The only thing I've come up with is tying it to an estate tax somehow. That could only work with privately held companies, though.

    Regarding banking, either I think should be nationalized would done with consumer cooperatives like credit unions.
    I don't think nationalized banks would be any less corrupt than the big Wall Street banks we have now. You're just changing the actors.

    I could see myself supporting a law that outlawed banks in favor of credit unions if it was done right.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The biggest reason there aren't more worker cooperatives is because of the initial investment. Middle and lower class individuals don't have the funds to start a business on their own, and rich, successful business owners almost never give their companies away to the workers. I've spent a lot of time trying to solve this problem over the years, but I don't have a solution (yet). The only thing I've come up with is tying it to an estate tax somehow. That could only work with privately held companies, though.
    As it stands, labor cooperatives and even new small corporations don't stand a chance against predation from large corporations. Getting past that is the great challenge for labor cooperatives. I don't know if it's possible without the government playing a heavy hand in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think nationalized banks would be any less corrupt than the big Wall Street banks we have now. You're just changing the actors.
    It depends on how it's governed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I could see myself supporting a law that outlawed banks in favor of credit unions if it was done right.
    The main problem is that consumer cooperatives aren't very good at growing large and I'm not sure how numerous credits unions around the country should be coordinated.
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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    As it stands, labor cooperatives and even new small corporations don't stand a chance against predation from large corporations. Getting past that is the great challenge for labor cooperatives. I don't know if it's possible without the government playing a heavy hand in it..
    The only window for that kind of change is if you let an economy tank (i.e. no bailouts, no stimulus). I bet we'd already be seeing smaller automaker startups if Ford and GM died (they would drag down many others too. From parts makers, to dealerships, to demand for oil). Apparently this is a trainwreck scenario, but I guess I enjoy a good trainwreck.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    The only window for that kind of change is if you let an economy tank (i.e. no bailouts, no stimulus). I bet we'd already be seeing smaller automaker startups if Ford and GM died (they would drag down many others too. From parts makers, to dealerships, to demand for oil). Apparently this is a trainwreck scenario, but I guess I enjoy a good trainwreck.
    I've heard that kind of thing said by both the left and the right wing visionary, its a chronic staple of "progressivist" thinking, ie come what may there will always be a bright tommorrow, and I think its absolutely ridiculous and ought to be challenged at every turn.

    Seriously if you think the prospect of the kind of complete collapse you're considering is anything to joke about you ought to hitch the next flight available to Somalia or some other failed state to give it a try.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've heard that kind of thing said by both the left and the right wing visionary, its a chronic staple of "progressivist" thinking, ie come what may there will always be a bright tommorrow, and I think its absolutely ridiculous and ought to be challenged at every turn.

    Seriously if you think the prospect of the kind of complete collapse you're considering is anything to joke about you ought to hitch the next flight available to Somalia or some other failed state to give it a try.
    It's no joke. I'm serious. Nor is it based on a "bright tomorrow". I'm not a dreamer. I have faith in real things.. hard work, ingenuity, and competitiveness. That might sound libertarian, but i'm definitely not that. The other part of the equation is that with a clean slate, regulation has it's own opportunity to set powerful boundaries as well. For example, I doubt there's any way to curb CO2 emissions significantly with our current system. There are too many cockblockers. It'd easily be done starting from the ground up.

    The difference with Somalia is mostly about territory. There's no reason why anyone should live there to begin with. Even if they had the most ideal social environment. Their land is dead. America isn't. There was a time when resources actually meant something. They would again in this scenario.

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