Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 18, 2012, 5:48 a.m. EST by Eraser
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Please don't turn this into an argument about syndicalism, I just don't know what to call this idea. The syndicalist and capitalist influences are apparent, however.
Anyway, the basic proposition is to replace privately owned businesses with collectively owned businesses. Doing so would not only create a fairer distribution of revenue, thus reducing inequality, but it would give regular people the political power gained from wealth that rich individuals and businesses currently possess.
Accomplishing economic syndicalism in the free market:
Collectively-owned businesses may compete directly with traditional businesses. This would require significant investments from various founders. Due to most people's financial circumstances, these ventures will probably have to be on a small scale until small businesses can merge. If the businesses are advertised as being collectively owned by the laborers, it would probably appeal to common people. Once traditional laborers see the benefits, effectiveness, and efficiency of the new businesses, they should also aspire to their practices. As collectively owned businesses grow and competitors shrink, the private competitors will be compelled by market forces to lay off or fire workers. Collectively owned businesses should accept eligible workers with open arms.
This doesn't require a revolutionary shift in the economic or political structure, but it is effectively revolutionary.
The middle ground:
The government can provide financial assistance to begin the aforementioned process with small business grants and loans or subsidies. With this method, initiative is all that is required.
Innovation bonuses: Workers who develop new marketable products will be rewarded with a bonus for their ingenuity. I concede that there are problems with allowing people who are expected to give up some of their income to reward others, but the promise of the product increasing the company's overall profit should negate this dilemma. Inventors and innovators should be highly esteemed in their workplace.
Alternatively, inventors may choose to freelance and negotiate prices or payment contracts for their product with collectively owned businesses. This would preserve the entrepreneurial spirit as it has always been known. A group process is also possible.
Entrepreneurial practices will turn into collective practices.
As income gaps close, most workers will be unified by class, therefore advocating each other's interests.
Workers would gain much more political power as their expendable income increases. The political power of the wealthiest individuals and groups will decline proportionately with their income.
Collectively owned businesses that compete directly may merge and monopolize products and services. Outcomes of this possibility need evaluation.