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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    23 Jul '12 23:27
    Senator Bernie Sander (I-VT) has introduced two bills that would seek to promote and foster worker owned businesses:

    Under one bill in Sanders' package, the U.S. Department of Labor would provide funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers. These centers would provide training and technical support for programs promoting employee ownership and participation throughout the country. This legislation is modeled on the success of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center which has done an excellent job in educating workers, retiring business owners, and others about the benefits of worker ownership.

    A second bill would create a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank to provide loans to help workers purchase businesses through an employee stock ownership plan or a worker-owned cooperative.


    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=782B77AC-49D6-408E-9B32-369735F0091B

    If passed, these would be among the most significant pieces of legislation passed in a long while. As a long time supporter of worker owned businesses, I have said before that the federal government should do more to support them. With Bernie on the job, maybe that will soon become a reality.
  2. 24 Jul '12 00:16
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Senator Bernie Sander (I-VT) has introduced two bills that would seek to promote and foster worker owned businesses:

    [quote]Under one bill in Sanders' package, the U.S. Department of Labor would provide funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers. These centers would provide training and technical support for programs promoting e ...[text shortened]... should do more to support them. With Bernie on the job, maybe that will soon become a reality.
    Works for me!
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    24 Jul '12 13:22
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Senator Bernie Sander (I-VT) has introduced two bills that would seek to promote and foster worker owned businesses:

    [quote]Under one bill in Sanders' package, the U.S. Department of Labor would provide funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers. These centers would provide training and technical support for programs promoting e ...[text shortened]... should do more to support them. With Bernie on the job, maybe that will soon become a reality.
    Maybe you can help me on this one. This is a series of questions, not challenges.

    Who provides the capital for worker owned businesses?

    Are the workers personally responsible for contracts made by the worker owned business?

    How do worker owned businesses establish the credit necessary to start dealing with suppliers and other necessary partners?

    How much government assistance do worker owned businesses need to compete with capitalist owned businesses?

    Does government give these worker owned businesses a competitive advantage over businesses? If so, on whose dime?

    Thanks.
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    24 Jul '12 21:05
    Originally posted by sh76
    Maybe you can help me on this one. This is a series of questions, not challenges.

    Who provides the capital for worker owned businesses?

    Are the workers personally responsible for contracts made by the worker owned business?

    How do worker owned businesses establish the credit necessary to start dealing with suppliers and other necessary partners?

    How ...[text shortened]... orker owned businesses a competitive advantage over businesses? If so, on whose dime?

    Thanks.
    To answer your questions:

    1. The article mentions: "A second bill would create a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank to provide loans to help workers purchase businesses through an employee stock ownership plan or a worker-owned cooperative." That's part of the answer.

    2. I don't know.

    3. I don't know.

    4. Not much. There are a number of worker owned businesses successfully competing in the market now. And the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, with over 100,000 workers, is one of Spain's largest employers.

    5. Probably not. Personally, though, I would have no problem with a large chunk of my tax dollars going to support such an advantage.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 Jul '12 21:50
    Originally posted by sh76
    Maybe you can help me on this one. This is a series of questions, not challenges.

    Who provides the capital for worker owned businesses?

    Are the workers personally responsible for contracts made by the worker owned business?

    How do worker owned businesses establish the credit necessary to start dealing with suppliers and other necessary partners?

    How ...[text shortened]... orker owned businesses a competitive advantage over businesses? If so, on whose dime?

    Thanks.
    To answer 2 and 3:

    A cooperative or other employee owned business would presumably be a LLC, so the answer would be "no".

    The same way any new business does I imagine.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    24 Jul '12 22:24
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    To answer 2 and 3:

    A cooperative or other employee owned business would presumably be a LLC, so the answer would be "no".

    The same way any new business does I imagine.
    Until a business has a track record, any bank vendor offering credit is going to require someone of some means or steady income to accept personal liability for company contracts. I'm wondering who will accept such liability in this case.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    24 Jul '12 22:25
    Oh, and by the way, most big companies are at least partially worker-owned. Employees routinely receive stock options or share packages as part of compensation.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 Jul '12 23:07
    Originally posted by sh76
    Oh, and by the way, most big companies are at least partially worker-owned. Employees routinely receive stock options or share packages as part of compensation.
    Obviously that is NOT what is being discussed. A small percentages of shares going to employees has no effect on how the company is run.
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    24 Jul '12 23:15
    Originally posted by sh76
    Until a business has a track record, any bank vendor offering credit is going to require someone of some means or steady income to accept personal liability for company contracts. I'm wondering who will accept such liability in this case.
    That's hardly standard practice in this area. Vendors are generally in a competitive situation and fairly eager to offer credit. Those who insist on personal guarantees are unlikely to prosper. It is far more likely they'd want a deposit or collateral.
  10. 24 Jul '12 23:30
    Originally posted by sh76
    Oh, and by the way, most big companies are at least partially worker-owned. Employees routinely receive stock options or share packages as part of compensation.
    This reminds me of a vulnerability that exists for the employee who invests in the company he works for. It's a double whammy if the business tanks, which many start-ups do. I hope the legislation does not encourage too much risk backed by the taxpayer.
  11. 24 Jul '12 23:32
    Originally posted by sh76
    Oh, and by the way, most big companies are at least partially worker-owned. Employees routinely receive stock options or share packages as part of compensation.
    But do they have representation on the Board of Directors?
  12. 24 Jul '12 23:47
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Senator Bernie Sander (I-VT) has introduced two bills that would seek to promote and foster worker owned businesses:

    [quote]Under one bill in Sanders' package, the U.S. Department of Labor would provide funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers. These centers would provide training and technical support for programs promoting e ...[text shortened]... should do more to support them. With Bernie on the job, maybe that will soon become a reality.
    McClouth Steel went bankrupt, and the plan was implemented to stay in business by making workers owners. It was a short lived and failed experiment, as are most such.

    It is objected that McClouth was past its time, and on a glide path to failure for a long time. This is true.

    When it started it was a worker owned business. That is, the owner worked there.

    When someone shows me a group of workers large enough to finance a new business, unified enough not to be seeking personal gain and fame from their invention, and loyal enough not to be cutting each other's throats, I think it will work.

    Converting older business on the down slope are likely to end up like McClouth. A new venture usually has an inventor or promoter involved not a nebulous group of workers. And it is not too much to expect that the inventor or promoter seeks his own advantage.
  13. 24 Jul '12 23:48
    Originally posted by JS357
    This reminds me of a vulnerability that exists for the employee who invests in the company he works for. It's a double whammy if the business tanks, which many start-ups do. I hope the legislation does not encourage too much risk backed by the taxpayer.
    You bet. Can anyone say ENRON?
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 Jul '12 02:27
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Obviously that is NOT what is being discussed. A small percentages of shares going to employees has no effect on how the company is run.
    Depends on how you define worker.

    Is Mark Zuckerberg a Facebook worker?
  15. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    25 Jul '12 02:27
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    But do they have representation on the Board of Directors?
    They can vote their stock like any other shareholder.