To the Left: Economic Democracy for All People
By Duane Paul Murphy
Lately in the news, we, the American public, have been hearing about the gradual decay or delicate balance of our democracy and our republic due to the state of President Trump’s executive administration as well as Republican majority rule over the majority of states, including in the Heartland, the Southwest and the Deep South. Even though our politics, society and culture are historically and currently democratizing one way or the other, our national economy, on the macro and micro level, is greatly authoritarian as well as centralized. For example, before the ratification of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by the Republican majority congress and neoliberal President Bill Clinton, there were just 50 corporations or more controlled about 90% of the media, which appeared to be competitive in our capitalist society. After the bill was signed and enacted into law, massive deregulation activities resulted in only six nationally based corporations, Comcast, 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Corporation, Tim Warner, CBS and Viacom, controlling more than 90% of the media, including certain major platforms on the internet. If there is a lack of competition and if consumers rely on very few companies, fiscal as well as innovative stagnation may occur. Not mention a greater of concentration for those on top. While greater monopolization or economic centralization is an obstacle to greater prosperity for all, the current business model of a few bosses or executives calling the shots in order to maximize profits rather than being greatly concerned about the worker and the consumer. In order to resolve such a hyper-centralized authoritarian economic system, we need to implement massive economic decentralization in which prosperity, innovation, and competition for all working and consuming Americans. Enforcing anti-trust laws and regulations can break up big business and greatly increase market or product competitiveness. Supporting worker cooperatives, in which all workers own the company and share the profits, and other forms of profit sharing can increase wages as well as overall socioeconomic mobility. In fact, productivity in worker cooperatives is higher than productivity in corporatized companies. Additionally, fair trade policies and an increase in labor unions can also become positive factors. If these solutions are being dialogued and enacted into our economy, globalization may be viewed less controversial and neoliberalism can be defeated.