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I’d like to ask a small favor. Please read the article at the following link. It’s a newspaper report about worker owned enterprises. There are more in America than you might think AND these types of enterprises often do better as a business and for the workers than a conventional corporation because the interests of the business and workers are aligned.
It even tells the story of an owner GIVING his business to the workers. This is an idea I thought I originated but apparently not.
If you own a business and are reading this thread, it’s an interesting thought that you may actually increase your economic security by giving away your business!
(P.S. – Maybe we could get more stories like this than those from Ms. Cepeda?!)
Last week, retiring Minnesota grocery chain owner Joe Lueken did something unusual: he gave his business to his 400 employees. The story received widespread attention as a heartwarming, It’s A Wonderful Life-esque act of beneficence.
But Lueken’s decision was no one-off Christmas fairytale. In fact, Bob Moore, owner of Oregon-based cereal producer Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, did exactly the same thing two years ago.
Their actions reflect the under-the-radar but growing trend of worker ownership in the United States. The surprising truth is that there are thousands of successful, majority worker-owned businesses in the United States. We’re not just talking small-scale hippie co-ops: the largest majority employee-owned business is Florida-based Publix Super Markets, a $27bn company that employs 152,000 people. That’s more workers than Costco (COST) and Whole Foods (WFM) combined.
I’ve been meaning to share some of these articles of interest with everyone but mostly haven’t had the time. I’ve got a small window of opportunity so here’s another one.
A good read about the costs/benefits of communities offering incentives to private businesses. Fascinating stuff.
When the automaker released a list of factories it was closing during bankruptcy three years ago, communities that had considered themselves G.M.’s business partners were among the targets.
For years, mayors and governors anxious about local jobs had agreed to G.M.’s demands for cash rewards, free buildings, worker training and lucrative tax breaks. As late as 2007, the company was telling local officials that these sorts of incentives would “further G.M.’s strong relationship” with them and be a “win/win situation,” according to town council notes from one Michigan community.
Yet at least 50 properties on the 2009 liquidation list were in towns and states that had awarded incentives, adding up to billions in taxpayer dollars, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
Some officials, desperate to keep G.M., offered more. Ohio was proposing a $56 million deal to save its Moraine plant, and Wisconsin, fighting for its Janesville factory, offered $153 million.
Last one today. Here’s a story about introducing markets to the sport of hunting. Remember a market is a way to distribute goods and services based on an ability to pay. Needless to say, in this case, it serves the interests of the wealthy more than it does the interests of an average hunter.
….It especially bothers him — and other hunters — that those with means can buy public licenses through private outlets, paying thousands of dollars to move to the head of the line. More than any state in the West, Utah has expanded hunting opportunities for the well-to-do and has begun to diminish them for those seeking permits directly from the state.
State wildlife managers recognize this, but they say their motives are grounded in animal — if not social — welfare. Utah has embraced an increasingly free-market model as a way to raise more money for conservation.
Here is how it works: the state has enticed ranchers with an allotment of vouchers for lucrative hunting licenses that they can sell for thousands of dollars as part of a private hunt on their land. Many used to complain bitterly to state officials about elk and other game eating forage meant for their cattle.
The vouchers for hunting licenses, handed out for more than 10 years now, give them ample economic incentive to nurture big game on their land and not get frustrated with ranching and sell their land to developers.
3 – Scott, a government run market is not the same thing as a free market. What you see with the Utah hunting licenses is the same with taxi licenses in NYC; when the government puts controls on a product, it naturally leads to only the most affluent being able to acquire them.
The free market solution to providing hunting licenses…well, there is none if we insist that a government license is needed to procure something (game) that belongs to everyone.
The answer, then, is to get the government out of it altogether. It’s not their business to say who can hunt and where (like marriage licenses…it’s not the government’s job to say who can and cannot get married). Now if a private landowner wanted to give – for a price – permission to this person or that to hunt on his own, private property, that’s a whole ‘nuther thing.
But that is not a free market in Utah, re the hunting licenses.
Now seriously 89Hoo, are you going to try and say that if private enterprise ruled there would not be similar controls and things would never lead “to only the most affluent being able to acquire them”? You know better!
There is no truly free market for a reason.
Louise Story from Scott’s link in #2 has done a three part series on her 10 month investigation of the taxpayer money spent on or given to business. No, it is not the free market and it is also sometimes wasteful spending. Did you know there is not even a database to track it or see where all that tax money is going, and for what? She uncovered over 80 Billion but that is not nearly the all of it.
Cutting spending on schools, public services and actual infrastructure needs to pay for expensive and sometimes failed business is a big deal when the federal government or the despised President Obama does it, but have you looked at your own state lately?
Business needs to stand on their own feet or fold. This has totally gotten out of hand. It pits localities against each other and forces concessions that might not even be necessary. The right wingers constantly decry the safety nets and “cradle to grave” benefits some poor people get; well for all too many businesses it has become “pay me to show up” and that is not always money well spent or even money accounted for so we can tell.
Terry Gross of WHYY did an interview with the Louis Story about her report on tax breaks, etc. cited in #2. I’ve not listened to it but I bet it’s good.
Look for an editorial on this topic tomorrow.
5 – Sandi, come on. The only licenses we’re talking about are the ones issued by the government, who has assumed the authority to issue the licenses. The only ones with the authority (legitimate or not) to oppose limits on who can hunt and where is the government. The government has, in effect, seized monopoly powers where no one has the right to tell anyone else what to do (much like licensing marriages).
In other words, remove the government from the equation, and affluence ceases to matter because – listen carefully – there is no market. It’s not like a private company could issue (much less enforce) a license to hunt. Bain Capital could not issue hunting licenses because they have no authority over property that is not their own.
The government has no more authority to license a sporting activity (and for many, a means of subsistence) than it has to license what two people do in the privacy of their own homes.
8 – what topic? The open thread? Kinda stream-of-consciousness editorializing?
2, 6 – no, it is not the free market (pretty much the definition of crony capitalism, in fact). But how does it differ from bailouts to companies deemed too big to fail?
10 tax breaks, sorry. We can try stream of consciousness another day.
Public lands, national forests, are “owned” by the government, of course they are the licensing entity. The fees pay for a lot of stuff the rest of taxpayers would be paying for if they did not.
I disagree that “no one has the right to tell anyone else what to do”, that is anarchy.
There is no “remove the government from the equation”, Over 200 years of history are written in stone.
Hunting and Fishing does not need a “market”. If private companies were allowed to license hunters (like they run our prisons)–for profit, things would be worse, not better IMO.
The government has and should have “authority to license a sporting activity” and marriage (among others) because both are good for society as a whole and need regulating and accountability.
You may want to sever all ties but it is not going to happen. Thankfully.
Sandi, it is an oxymoron to say that public lands are ‘owned’ by the government, and further that the government has exclusive jurisdiction. To support that position is to support the old private forests established in Norman England, in which private Forests were designed as hunting areas reserved for the monarch or (by invitation) the aristocracy. No, public lands are for use by all. A major difference, of course, is that feudal lords never even pretended that they governed only by the consent of the governed.
With regards to your statement “Hunting and Fishing does not need a “market”. If private companies were allowed to license hunters (like they run our prisons)–for profit, things would be worse, not better IMO.”….I agree, and it is precisely what I said in two previous posts (which you no doubt read). I've never advocated private companies issuing licenses (or running prisons…good analogy, by the way), I've said that there IS no market, because game (and fish) are public property. You shouldn't (and don't, morally) need a license to hunt, any more than you need one to breathe. There is no market, and the government seizing that licensing prerogative doesn’t change that fact.
Concerning markets in regards to hunting licenses:- There are a couple of take-aways as I see it.
1) The distribution of these licenses is a market. Free or not doesn’t concern me. The citizens of Utah need to ask themselves if they’re happy with licenses being distributed this way. I imagine many of them are not. There are other ways to do it, by lottery for example.
2) I wonder if the people of Utah, when voting for Republicans and other conservatives and those wedded to the idea that markets are the answer and government is the problem ever imagined this turn of events. Now that they’re on the receiving end of market driven reforms, I wonder if they’d make the same choice again.
I have not done any research on how licensing for hunters came about, but my guess is that property owners who did not appreciate people hunting on their land and the damages done in national forest land made the situation happen and it has turned into a rather large land and game management “business”.
I am not, BTW, defending this necessarily, just saying I understand it.
Hunters are the only users of public lands who are charged for the privilege. (I know some national parks have fees) Hikers, bikers, ATV riders, horse riders and others also use and deface the national forests but only the hunters have to pay fees for the privilege to hunt. That is grossly unfair IMO.
I do not think that it is an “oxymoron” to say that public lands are “owned” by the government. It is the fact of the matter. The government can sell them, the government manages them, the government acquires them and the government controls them. Land, to some extent, has to be managed, taken care of, and access controlled. I do not think it is nearly as insulting as you seem to.
15 – the people of Utah need to ask themselves why they should have to beg and pay for permission from anyone – government or private – to hunt. Must they also beg and pay for permission to breathe? THAT is the true issue.
17 – well, I don’t consider myself a serf, so we will have to agree to disagree.
Ah…Plato & his ideal plane.
I have a broader definition of “market” than ‘Hoo. To me everything is a market, a market of ideas, thoughts, actions etc.
Although I agree with ‘Hoo as to the lack of “pure”, “ideal”, or genuinely “free” markets in practice, I see this as no different than any other ideal vs. applied concept.
Begging the question for some, we must seek the ideal. Yet, striving toward is the best we will ever get. IMO, the “freer” the market…..the better.
Finding a place to hunt is a market. Such places are limited (supply) and desired (demand). The government should be involved only to the extent of collateral issues; the safe handling of firearms, property rights, in some legitimate cases protection of endangered species.
Safe handling of firearms does indeed include discharging of weapons in densely populated areas and/or where bullets, etc., will cross property lines.
Barring these (when) legitimate concerns, hunting on private property should always be legal. Hunting on public lands should be legal within concern for other legitimate public use.
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Mon, 20 May 2013 22:25:48 +0000