Sunday, June 17, 2012

Beyond corporate capitalism

Gar Alperovitz and Thomas Hanna have a recent article in The Nation called "Beyond corporate capitalism." Therein they discuss public ownership of some large businesses, and how it would boost the economy. Of course conservatives will cry socialism but they are not suggesting all (or even many) businesses be publicly run. And who really cares what conservatives say anyway? I say it's time to own the label under the moniker democratic socialism, and be proud of it. But that's me, not the authors.

One industry considered for public ownership is banking. Currently five giant banks own more that one-third of all deposits. They have thwarted every turn for tighter regulations due largely to their ownership of the banking committee (remember Dimon's blow job). They were responsible for the last meltdown and another is forthcoming due to still gambling with the same instruments. During the bailout we had an opportunity to make those banks publicly owned but blew it. Interesting enough, this argument was put forward by the conservative Chicago School of Economics. We already have three huge publicly-owned entities that are doing well: medicare, social security and the VA health system.

"Public enterprises do not spend large amounts on advertising or brokers’ fees to sell their products. They do not add a profit margin to every service they provide or article they sell. Nor do they pay exorbitant executive salaries.... Private companies also all too frequently run off to China or Mexico looking for cheap labor, leaving behind unemployed workers and wasted cities. Public enterprises stay here, maintaining jobs and sustaining rather than abandoning our communities. Public enterprises do not force cities and states to pay millions in 'incentives' to encourage them to locate in a particular area—often only to move on later, leaving discarded people and deteriorating schools, houses, roads and public services. Also, public enterprises do not spend huge amounts of money undermining the political process through extensive pro-corporate campaign advertising and lobbying. And public corporations are open to public scrutiny, while private corporations keep most of their internal decision-making secret."

Please see the rest of this interesting article.

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