Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Democratic Socialists of America: "Where We Stand":

Let’s just tale a quick look at the platform for the Democratic Socialists of America, “Where we stand.”  

This may look like a long mouthful of words (to quote some libertarian friends).  I’ve said many times, if we had single payer health insurance, we’d be used to it; it wouldn’t be so controversial.  It’s not quite true that all of Europe has it; Switzerland and Germany, for example, simply have much better regulated private systems than we do.

The Democratic Socialists (which David Hogg says he supports) want the “people” or “workers” to own their own production.  Actually, employee ownership of many companies happens now, but it can go the wrong way and eventually turn into franchising (actually we found out that’s a problem in the gay bar business recently).

“People’s” ownership of companies is likely to wind up as a top-down system of state-owned companies with a unary, top-down structure like what we have in China today.  Is that what socialists want?  It can be very restrictive:  you have to have a permit to move from the countryside.  Manufacturing workers live in dorms and are poorly paid and still exploited as they “stay in their place”.  That’s partly what Trump’s tariff battle is about.

So it's hard to get away from people using their own capital to hire other people to do their work with no ownership interest.  But there is on the flip side an idea of self-branding. 
The most convincing way to have people’s ownership is local intentional communities (April 7, 2012 article here on Twin Oaks in Virginia).  

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