HomeUncategorized10/15 News Roundup & Open Thread – Bernie Sanders: It’s Time To Redistribute Economic Power & More

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From the beginning of his rise to national prominence, Bernie Sanders has faced criticism and confusion over his insistence that he is a democratic socialist. “It has long struck me as puzzling that Bernie Sanders refers to his ideology — which I would characterize as social democracy or even just welfare state liberalism — as democratic socialism,” wrote Vox’s Matt Yglesias in 2016.

Monday, with the release of his “Corporate Accountability and Democracy” plan, which would radically enhance workers’ influence over their employers, Sanders has proved that this label is not just a holdover from the 1980s — and the vital importance of socialist policy for repairing what is broken in American society

But this is still one of the best ideas to come out of the 2020 campaign. Matt Bruenig calculates it would eventually take up $7.1 trillion in corporate equity. That would make a big dent in income and especially wealth inequality, which, as an unavoidable side effect of capitalism, has plagued the United States since its founding, even during the halcyon post-war days of high unionization and rising wages.

That inequality has gotten much worse since the mid-1970s, and is a major engine behind the various social catastrophes plaguing the United States. Corporations have abandoned all social responsibilities, austerity has eroded an already-threadbare welfare state, and the multiplying riches of the top 1 percent have led them to squirrel their wealth overseas and retreat to walled fortresses. Meanwhile, suicide, violence, and overdose stalk the communities that have been left behind. Even quite comfortable people are gripped by anxiety that they or their children might fall down the class ladder, given how precarious American working-class life can be.

America desperately needs some aggressive action to cut the masses back in on the fruits of economic production. Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialist vision is a great place to get started.



Oligarchy rules the United States: the republic has been ransacked, its commonwealth privatised, and rentierism runs amok. The richest 10% of Americans capture an estimated 97% of all capital income – including capital gains, corporate dividends and interest payments. Since the financial crisis of 2008, almost half of all new income generated in the US has gone to the top 1%. The three wealthiest people in the US now own more wealth than the bottom 160 million Americans. And the richest family in America – the Walton family, which inherited about half of Walmart’s stock – owns more wealth than the bottom 42% of the American people.

The case for bold action is clear and overwhelming. Only a deep reconstruction of economic and political rights can challenge oligarchic power and halt runaway environmental breakdown. Fortunately, Bernie Sanders has just announced a new plan that matches the scale of the crisis.

His announcement on Monday of the corporate accountability and democracy plan is the latest and boldest proposal for economic democracy in America to emerge from the Democratic presidential race. At its core, it seeks to democratise the company by redistributing economic and political rights within the firm away from external shareholders and executive management toward the workforce as a collective. This is about redistributing wealth and income, but critically, it is also about redistributing power and control. Democratising the company would transform it from an engine of wealth extraction and oligarchic power toward a genuinely purposeful, egalitarian institution, one where workers would have a collective stake and say in how their company operates, and would share in the wealth they create together.

The company – and the distribution of rights within it – are neither natural nor unchangeable. There is nothing inevitable about the existing, sharply unequal distributions of power and reward within them. The company is a social institution, its rights and privileges publicly defined. We can organise it differently: through social control, not private dominion, via democracy, not oligarchy. Sanders’s announcement is an important step toward that democratisation, and the deeper economic reconstruction that both people and planet deserve.


T and R, LD!! Interesting Common Dreams read written by a (retired) cardiac nurse on Bernie’s heart procedure:
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/10/few-informed-thoughts-veteran-cardio-rehab-nurse-bernies-heart-attack (h/t NC)
I chuckled at the end. 🙂

Don midwest
Don midwest

Help! This man posted on DK/TOP as ChicoRN . I followed his posting there.

I have a good friend in Chico, CA and would like to link him up with David Welch now that I know his name.

Does anyone have more info to get in contact with him?


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