Caller Suggests Law Mandating Socialism

let's go next to our caller from the nine five one area code who's calling today from 951 hey David this is Dylan in California hey Dylan what's going on I was wondering I know you specifically talked about how your identify as a social democrat not a Democratic Socialist right I was wondering if you would support theoretically if Democrats like created legislation where it gave American workers a right to purchase the corporation that they owned that they work for from the owners mm-hm would you support legislation for that or would you consider that like two socialist for your own political ideologies let me see if I so you're saying imagine that there is a company I don't know let's imagine it's what what kind of a company it's an accounting firm for example and one accountant starts an accounting firm and after a few years they hire a second accountant and then after a few years they hire ten more accountants and twenty accounting assistants and some administrative staff and they get to 35 employees or something like that the a year would be that a law would be passed where if those 34 employees in other words there's 35 employees including the owner if the other 34 employees want to buy the company that the founder of the company would be forced to sell the company to them is that what you're suggesting I would be against that yeah what would be your reasoning I don't know what basis there would be for the government coming in and saying business owners are going to be forced by statute to sell businesses they may not want to sell I don't that that doesn't make any sense to me that's not something I would push for okay thanks all right very good thank you I mean in the same way that it you know I wouldn't allow the government to say you have to sell other property of your own I wouldn't say that the government should come in and say people have to be forced to sell a business it's just that's not my politics okay I guess to me that sounds like a lot like us saying that's different than us regulating corporations and other ways like how I guess for me is that different than a thing you can't like right so wrapped in your hamburgers or something like that like that us like so you for do what with your hand like restaurant like we tell fast-food places that you can't write you can't sell rat in your hamburger otherwise the government is going to come and shut you down right yeah government regulate government regulation of businesses is based on completely different government authority than the government mandating that employers that owners sell their business to employees would be based on so I don't think that it's a good analogy at all um okay I guess I see it as like a moral argument like really cleanliness is a value of ours so like if we you value like like worker representation and the workplace then you would give them avenues to better represent themselves right sure and that there are a number of ways that that could be done that stopped short of mandating that people sell businesses that they don't they don't want to sell you know what I mean doing yeah totally what would what would be a policy that you would support that like adheres that value I'd have to think about it but it would have to vary depending on company size because what's reasonable and practical at small businesses would differ from medium and from large but let me think about that a little bit okay well I'd love sorry I'd love some content on that appreciate your show thanks for taking my call okay great Dylan thank you appreciate the phone call very much

  1. The main thing that doesn't make sense to me about the idea is that it gives every employee equal importance. That's not to say that isn't the whole point – however, some people, even if they want to buy a stake in the company, for the time being, are going to move on with their lives, or do something else for whatever reason. Now do they have to sell their share to the person who replaces their job, does it go to them automatically or…? What if the company grows? Then your share is automatically lessened, right? I find the whole thing pretty confusing.

  2. Look, I'm no fan of capitalism, but…
    If you mandate that a business owner must sell to his employees you're creating a couple of very big problems.
    1. Why start a business if you're just going to be forced to give it up?
    2. Not everybody is cut out for business decisions. What happens when you have a talented entrepreneur, and you force him to sell his business to his workers, and his workers don't have the talent for building the business and they just tank it. Most people are not capable of making the types of decisions that make businesses successful, and leadership by democracy is seldom successful in these types of situations.

  3. Over time I'm realising I'm probably not as left wing as I thought I was. Forcing a business owner to sell his business because others want it seems absolutely crazy and unethical, yet it's a popular idea on the left.

  4. America will never be socialist in our life time but you have to be born into it too understand.addiction to money is a disease called greed the country is rampant with it.

  5. If the livelihood of a substantial amount of shareholders is in jeopardy and the company is liquidating assets [i.e factory] or moving a manufacturing plant to another location and closing the previous, then a mandatory bid should be opened, in the interest of continuing productive labor, first for the workers and community to purchase the business or asset then for competitive forces of industry.
    If no buyer is found, the intentions of the owner may be carried out. Capitalists do not live in a bubble in which their decisions have little or no real effect on social agents. Shame that the caller was unable to conjure an adequate analogy or scenario to fulfill the indeed authoritarian maneuver of enforcing capital considerations.

  6. I think David's framing of the issue is incorrect. The owner of a company should never be forced to sell anything, but the employees that contribute to the growth of the company should earn some of that growth beyond just what the owner deems to give out as salary.

  7. This take is lacking some necessary nuance in my (and many other commenter's) opinion. Right of first refusal and basic workplace democracy are overlooked as well as distinctions between private/personal property. Overall David's thesis takes for granted the primacy of investment capital in company administration, which is a shaky justification for alienation of labour at the best of times, let alone in modern mixed economies where so much publicly funded subsidisation is available for businesses big and small. Archaic definitions of 'property' really don't fit all that neatly into modern economics.

  8. Pakman at his best. This is a somewhat unexciting call, but this is a perfect example of what makes DP so good. Honesty and civility free of kowtow.

  9. What do you think of something like Jeremy Corbyn's policy of right of first refusal? I think that's what this caller wanted to talk about… he just doesn't know how to articulate it

  10. David Pakman, would you support a plan like Jeremy Corbyn's?

    Workers get the right of first refusal, should the company decide to move oversees (outsource) or sell.

    If the workers choose to buy, the government would loan them the money.

    It's a way of encouraging worker cooperatives and democracy in the workplace.

  11. Come on David put Hatriot Mail back on Saturdays! It's one of the things I look forward to on Sat. afternoons. Right there with Daily Koss posting all their cartoons on Sat.

  12. Caller would probably have more traction with "right of first refusal." Whereby the company that is going to sell itself out, has to offer the sale to its workers before selling elsewhere. And creation of subsidization for financing could also be done via government.

  13. If this is the case, what does David think of the British Labour Party’s proposal for Inclusive Ownership Funds (see a detailed outline of the policy here –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *