Friday, May 1, 2015

Sanders Promotes “Worker Cooperatives”

Ken O’Brien

As he promised, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) has launched his Presidential campaign with a focus on issues.

Among the 12 platform planks that he published there are several traditional ideas such as rebuilding American infrastructure and guaranteeing health care to all. But the very last platform offers a genuinely fresh idea: boosting America's worker co-ops.

The Sanders campaign writes:
We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. Study after study shows that when workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs. 

In the United States, co-ops are often associated with small businesses such as coffee shops or groceries. But with the right regulatory incentives and support, worker-owned businesses can be much larger. Take the Mondragon corporation of Spain, for example. Today it has over 70,000 employees and brings in annual revenues of over $12 billion Euros. Within the various units of the corporation, workers decide on the direction of production for the company as well as what to do with the profits. While CEO-to-worker pay ratios in the United States have reached over 300-to-1, in Mondragon the cooperative model ensures that in most of its operations, “the ratio of compensation between top executives and the lowest-paid members is between three to one and six to one.” 

Today, there are 11,000 worker-owned companies in America, and there are up to 120 million Americans who are involved in some form of co-op if you include credit unions in the tally. By endorsing their expansion, Sanders is proving that his differences with his opponents are not just in style but in substance – providing an alternative to the top-down corporations that run our economy.


  1. I liked it when he mocked the Media with the Scooby van comment . When Clinton had her innovative van trip reliving a stunt from her 2000 U.S. Senate campaign that also featured a trip around New York in a van named “Scooby.”
    And his what is her platform -what does she stand for remarks; “At present, alas, the Democratic primary is being dominated by a corrupt, controlling, soulless, cynical, entitled, and mostly synthetic avatar named Hillary Clinton, and, in consequence, it is almost entirely devoid of ideas.”

    Unfortunately/fortunately with his socialist and communists ties Bernie Sanders doesn't stand a chance in getting the democratic nomination but he clearly will provide entertaining rhetoric. .

    1. It would also be a testament to the public's devotion to pure capitalism if all of those who objected to socialism would refuse to accept any participation in medicare or social security.

      As for any ties to communism, there simply are not any. Finally, you need to distinguish between socialism and democratic socialism, Senator Sanders being an adherent to the latter.

    2. There is no difference between socialism and democratic Socialism as both want cradle to grave entitlements paid for on the backs of other people.

    3. You're both mistaken and clearly capable of speaking only in pejoratives.

  2. Debate is a good thing, but I have to believe Hillary has this nomination bought and paid for. The rest of these dems are wannabees.


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