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Night Owls
Long ago, at nearly every major city newspaper, a beat assigned to at least one staff reporter was labor. This was especially so in the days when cities often had two or more competing newspapers. The subject was covered extensively, just as newspapers now cover business. The number of full-time labor reporters to be found in American papers today can be counted on one hand. Daily Kos does more labor coverage, and labor union coverage, than 99.9 percent of the 1,382 daily newspapers in the United States.

It's no surprise then that those newspapers miss a few important stories. Like, for instance, the one highlighted in the on-line Yes! magazine in a recent article by Gar Alperovitz and Keane Bhatt: Cooperative businesses are proliferating quickly, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the Wall Street Journal:

Social pain, anger at ecological degradation and the inability of traditional politics to address deep economic failings has fueled an extraordinary amount of practical on-the-ground institutional experimentation and innovation by activists, economists and socially minded business leaders in communities around the country.

A vast democratized "new economy" is slowly emerging throughout the United States. The general public, however, knows almost nothing about it because the American press simply does not cover the developing institutions and strategies.

For instance, a sample assessment of coverage between January and November of 2012 by the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States, the Wall Street Journal, found ten times more references to caviar than to employee-owned firms, a growing sector of the economy that involves more than $800 billion in assets and 10 million employee-owners—around three million more individuals than are members of unions in the private sector.

Graph showing WSJ coverage of workers' cooperatives compared with other subjects.
Worker ownership—the most common form of which involves ESOPs, or Employee Stock Ownership Plans—was mentioned in a mere five articles. By contrast, over 60 articles referred to equestrian activities like horse racing, and golf clubs appeared in 132 pieces over the same period.

Although 2012 was designated by the United Nations as the International Year of the Cooperative—an institution that now has more than one billion members worldwide—the Journal’s coverage was similarly thin.

There's more from Alperovitz and Bhatt on this subject at the link.


A diary worth reading if you haven't already is A Siegel's Climate Chaos: some key 2012 events.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002
Southern anti-Americanism
:

At a time when any criticism of Bush's war effort is met with charges of anti-Americanism, how do Southerners get away with celebrating the Confederacy?

What can be more un-American than wearing the symbol of the rebel group that sought to destroy the United States, and build a new nation based on the subjugation of an entire race?

Put a little differently -- what is the difference between wearing a Confederate flag, and wearing a t-shirt with Osama Bin Laden's mug on it? Or, to be ultra contemporary, an Iraqi flag? All three represent enemies of the United States.
So once again, how do Dixie lovers get away with it?


Tweet of the Day:

Why doesn't John McCain offer the same bold and innovative proposal on the fiscal cliff that he proposed for Iraq? http://t.co/...
@BrendanNyhan via bitly




Every Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM PT by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."


High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Caviar... It's not just for rich folks anymore... (8+ / 0-)

    Promise!




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:34:00 PM PST

  •  Unfair. They Probably Cover Schooners Better Too. (11+ / 0-)

    The words "Wall Street" mean things.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:35:10 PM PST

  •  would we expect anything different from NewsCorp? (6+ / 0-)

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:40:01 PM PST

  •  interesting you'd be posting this (14+ / 0-)

    I just interviewed Gar Alperowitz for the next issue of Yes Magazine, which will be entirely dedicated to the cooperative economy. So, the moral of the story, for some real journalism, get a subscription to Yes Magazine, or read most of the articles online.

    •  oh, and some interesting facts (7+ / 0-)

      about the cooperative economy, from Eric DeLuca of the National Cooperative Business Association:

      The scope of the cooperative economy is already formidable—both in the US and internationally. The US accounts for a substantial portion of the global cooperative economy. 16% of the largest 300 cooperatives in the world are based in the US. People often describe the cooperative enterprise model as a ‘best kept secret.’ In fact, the subtitle of the 2012 NCB Co-op 100, which documents the largest cooperatives in the US by revenue, is “The secret is out on the impact of co-ops.” The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives’ Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives found that over 29,000 US cooperative enterprises account for over $650B in revenue and 2M jobs. Americans hold 350M memberships in cooperatives. The 2010 Global300, which provides data on the 300 largest cooperatives in the world, indicated that these 300 cooperatives represent $1.6T in revenue, comparable to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy. With 1B member-owners and 100M jobs worldwide, cooperatives already play a substantial role in the global economy and in the lives of countless communities. By contrast, US multinational companies employed 34M people worldwide in 2010, according to the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis
      •  here's another quote (7+ / 0-)

        from Gar Alperovitz:

        The New Economy movement is about democratizing ownership. This is the largest thing that's happening, because it involves worker ownership but also neighborhood ownership and many social enterprises. Co-ops of various kinds are a critical piece of the puzzle, but not only co-ops but democratized ownerships of which the leading edge is the cooperative movement that can build a powerful sector in the economy, if we all join in.

        What's driving all this is that other things are failing. And because things are failing, people are really open to looking at things they haven't looked at for a long time. People are hungry, and pain is driving it. That's why the cooperative vision as part of the democratizing ownership strategy in general is critical.

    •  Mind meld. nt (9+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:56:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or read it on DKos (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, JeffW, Eric Nelson, tardis10

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:58:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ha, nice (5+ / 0-)

        I didn't know Gar was a Kossack. Unfortunately that diary only got 4 comments yet deserves so much more attention. One of the 4 comments, however, highlights the recently released movie Shiftchange, which documents a bunch of great co-ops and co-op collectives, like Mondragón Cooperative Corporation in Spain, The Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, WAGES Cooperatives of immigrant workers, and Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives in San Francisco. One of their bakeries is right down the street from me, in fact I had one of their delicious English muffins this morning. Double yum!

        •  Looks like you are not the only one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven

          who didn't know .

          Have you looked at his comment list ?
          Some people say that people who never comment are trolls !

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:10:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, pretty meager (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            indycam, annieli, tardis10

            but it looks like he pretty much just re-posts here from articles he writes for other pubs. He probably doesn't have much time to engage with the community here, which seems to be a good way to get your diaries more attention, especially with the plethora of material being posted these days. I'll definitely watch out for his postings and try to bring it to people's attention. He's the real deal.

    •  This site might prove useful to your research (0+ / 0-)

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:57:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for the suggestion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, JeffW, Dirtandiron

      many people forget that cooperatives are as American as apple pie.  For generations, farmers have formed cooperatives for buying supplies and selling their products

  •  You 1st link is funny (5+ / 0-)
    Error!

    If this error doesn't make sense to you, please submit this error message to the helpdesk.

    Can't call method "url" on an undefined value at /www/dk4-perl/current/lib/ScoopDK/Controller/Story.pm line 31.

    .....................................

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:09 AM PST
    Wall Street Journal More Interested in Caviar Than Worker Owned Firms

    by GarAlperovitzFollow

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:41:20 PM PST

  •  Barred Owl sighting before dusk today (12+ / 0-)

    It came to light on a fence post barely 20 feet outside the cabin, and gave me a nice interval to observe it before it swept down into the field and then back up into the baren alder tree.

    An amazingly graceful presence, hopefully to be shared again.

  •  so I was messing about with a few ideas (5+ / 0-)

    and wrote a diary on how the fiscal cliff was more of a speed bump and attempted to use the defense part of it to discuss the connection to thinking about the armaments industry as more of a global problem; so as teacherken does, I invite you to take a look

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:45:36 PM PST

  •  Ever hear of Mondragon? The media here hasn't (12+ / 0-)

    Imagine a group of worker owned and operated co-ops that employ thousands of people, turn out decent products while paying good wages and NOT supporting a grossly overpaid management hierarchy.

    Never mind - you don't have to. It already exists.

    The Guardian knows about it.

    The BBC says they've managed to cope with the recession in Spain.

    They're not exactly a secret.

    Gee - I wonder what a Harvard Business School case study would conclude about their business model? I wonder if Jim Kramer has ever heard of them?

    I wonder what would happen if they got rolling in this country?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 08:52:58 PM PST

  •  Why is this surprising? (9+ / 0-)

    The WSJ has always been about the 1-2%, not about the rest of us, and that would include employee-owners. Of course, this has probably become more of a feature under NewsCorp.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:04:47 PM PST

  •  As I have said numerous times, (7+ / 0-)

    more can be learned from what they don’t talk about. This report makes it pretty obvious that employee-owned business is not something Wall-Street wants to see (or talk about).

  •  The WSJ's legitamacy is about as sound (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, JeffW, lostinamerica, Mike Taylor

    as editorial contributor Karl Rove's election day calculations.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:21:45 PM PST

    •  irony is the latest victim of austerity is GB (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, RUNDOWN

      where Cameron is talking raising income taxes on plutocrats and a mansion tax.  Not a single country has solved its problems with austerity.  Every one that has embraced austerity has only seen its economy tank even farther

  •  "Good people doing good things never (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, tardis10, Mike Taylor

    get publicity, as they are too busy doing good things to promote themselves." To paraphrase a wise man I once read.

    The statement was in connection to the observation that there are several billion acts of real decency occurring between people every day, today included, but "news" highlights the negative and so distorts our sense of the world as it actually is.

    I think of the truism about Time Magazine which extends to News in general: by time a trend gets noticed by the establishment, it's already over.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:46:41 PM PST

  •  Iceland shows the way forward again! (6+ / 0-)
    Executives at Collapsed Iceland Bank Jailed for Fraud

    REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Two former executives at an Icelandic bank which collapsed in the 2008 financial meltdown were sentenced to jail on Friday for fraud which led to a 53 million euro loss, in the first major trial of Icelandic bankers linked to the crisis.

    The CEO and CFO of Glitnir bank, one of Iceland's Big 3 Banks. Only 9 month sentences, and, from what I can figure, 6 of those suspended, but with a 2-year period of reporting in and being checked up on.

    More trials to come.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 09:53:11 PM PST

    •  Forward 'again'? But: (0+ / 0-)
      in the first major trial of Icelandic bankers linked to the crisis.
      I thought the stereotype out there was "Iceland jailed all the bankers"   ;)

      The real problem, both in Iceland and the US, is that most of what these people did was perfectly legal.  You can go after people for fraud, for insider trading, for illegal loans, false reporting, etc.  But you can't go after people for doing what was legal, even if it never should have been legal in the first place.

      •  You thought wrong (0+ / 0-)

        "Prosecuting the bankers!" was the stereotype.

        And now they're starting to jail them.

        Look, I don't know why every time there's some item that Iceland is handling their crime scene better than the rest of the West you have to write something downgrading it. But you do.

        If what the bankers did was legal, why are they going to jail?

        To pretend that the dubious-but-legal actions of the world's Bankster class aren't shot through-and-through with criminal fraud is absurd. Going after them for fraud is quite enough.

        There were victims of these crimes! The guys are in jail man! You've gotten tedious with this "oh it doesn't really count" schtick. Iceland is handling it better than the rest of the world.


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:09:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, "first major trial" *likewise* (0+ / 0-)

          means no prosecution.

          Sorry for being a stickler for facts thst interfere with how you wish the world was.  There were executives in the US jailed for fraud (Bernie Sanders being the most famous, but there were many more).  Howecer, most people who caused the crisis got off scott free.  Its no different here in Iceland.  Sorry that you don't like the truth.

  •  Whaaa? Year of the Co-op and I hear about it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Mike Taylor, Lily O Lady

    just after midnight on Dec 31, 2012?

    I would have thought Daily Kos might have informed me sooner. . . . . . . ?

    I'm not surprised about WSJ. . . . It's now about news but rather about 'lifestyle' and if you want another taste of same. . . . .read the bulletin board in the hallway at elite schools where people get their MBAs. Unlike other academic departments, Business Schools feature an awful lot about the high life.

  •  Per the tweet of the day ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, squarewheel
    Why doesn't John McCain offer the same bold and innovative proposal on the fiscal cliff that he proposed for Iraq? http://t.co/....
    — @BrendanNyhan via bitly
    Per HuffPo:
    "CPI has to be off the table because it's not a winning argument to say benefits for seniors versus tax breaks for rich people," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "We need to take CPI off the table -- that's not part of the negotiations -- because we can't win an argument that has Social Security for seniors versus taxes for the rich.”
    Per Saint Barack today at 5 minutes and 20 seconds into the video:
    David, as you know, one of the proposals we made was something called Chain CPI, which sounds real technical but basically makes an adjustment in terms of how inflation is calculated on Social Security. Highly unpopular among Democrats. Not something supported by AARP. But in pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long-term I’m willing to make those decisions.
    So far as I can tell, Obama proposed screwing the elderly and the GOP rejected that idea of his.
    •  Are they trying to f*ck with our minds? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, squarewheel

      Mindf*ck #1: Democratic president proposing to cut social programs.
      Mindf*ck #2: Republicans rejecting Democratic president’s proposal to cut social programs.
      Wonder if that Mayan galactic alignment sh*t has anything to do with it.

    •  what ?! the best president of my lifetime (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor

      wants to look serious by screwing the elderly out of their extravagant SS payments ?

      obviously you are a no-nothing Obama basher.

      ONE OF THE PROPOSALS WE MADE.

      Strange, the Obama can do no wrong crowd, assured me that Boehner proposed that.

      I'm very disappointed.  I thought the president was on my side.  Instead he wants to give in before the fight has started.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:40:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understood Obama had made an offer to consider (0+ / 0-)

      MC and SS and the GOP is insisting on 2x the cuts offered and are adamant on the cuts.  Having alienated various minorities and women, the GOP has now decided to see if they can win without the elderly vote.  Their insistence on cutting home health shows they have a death wish

  •  I heart Tamiflu (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    It's gotten a lot of negative publicity of late, but i've taken it twice now and both times it's been a wonder drug for me. I had the misfortune of developing a high fever Christmas night and the good people at Kaiser Permanente called in a Tamiflu prescription for me the very next morning.

    I went from having a 101.5 fever Wednesday morning, with all the awful symptoms the flu brings, to feeling mostly better and able to resume normal activities by Friday. It's the same outcome as when I took Tamiflu approximately 10 years ago, too.

    Some speculate whether Tamiflu works at all, but I have a hard time believing I would have felt better so quickly without it.

  •  why shouldn't the WSJ do what it's doing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Mike Taylor, Bush Bites

    do you think that people who give a shit about labor are reading it ?

    no, they're not.

    makes perfect sense to me.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:37:07 PM PST

    •  Well, there's this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, JeffW, squarewheel
      In the largest and most significant study to date of the performance of ESOPs in closely held companies, in 2000 Douglas Kruse and Joseph Blasi of Rutgers University found that ESOPs increase sales, employment, and sales/employee by about 2.3% to 2.4% per year over what would have been expected absent an ESOP. ESOP companies are also somewhat more likely to still be in business several years later. This is despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that ESOP companies are substantially more likely than comparable companies to offer other retirement benefit plans along with their ESOP.
      http://www.nceo.org/...

      But maybe I'm being old fashioned when I assume business leaders care about the overall health of their companies.

      The last thing the Bain Capitals of the world care about is business longevity.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:03:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor, raines, JeffW

    That was a big deal in the 80s -- ESOPs and other employee profit-sharing plans -- that I thought was long dead.

    Glad to hear it's not. How can tax laws be written to encourage the trend?

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:41:25 PM PST

  •  X-ray, X-ray... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel

    ...read all about it!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:41:42 PM PST

    •  notice the misdirection (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor

      the TSA is worried about the safety of backscatter x-rays.

      what our elected officials should be worried about is the violation of the 4th amendment.

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
      yeah, because being x-rayed when I'm about to get on a plane and have no criminal history AT ALL is perfectly fucking reasonable.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:55:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting tables on employee ownership. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    http://www.nceo.org/...

    (Growth of ESOPs seemed to level off during most of the the Bush years, then accelerated again.)

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:51:28 PM PST

  •  Ann Coulter (0+ / 0-)

    How can Coulter, raised as an über sophisticated and cultured New Yorker, educated in the great northern school of Cornell, assert that attacking Bush is treason turn around and call Obama a retard?

    Because people are not consistent.  Expecting them to be really shows a great lack of higher level thinking.  It is like people who say they respect the US Flag, then desecrate it by putting it on their car until it is in raged remains, or placing it in their clothes and washing it.  Or those that say they value all races, then choose in a place where white non-hispanics are segregated to certain areas, or non existant.

  •  How They Get Away with It, IMO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CardCarryingLibrul

    The rhetorical question posed in the Blast from the Past excerpt deserves answering literally and is worth considering a decade later, as neo-Confederatism hasn't gone anywhere. The short answer to how that movement is allowed to proclaim itself "patriotic" is that the South lost the war but --- a century later --- won the peace and now dominates wide swathes of popular culture from music to sports.
    Explaining how that happened would take an actual historian with research skills, but the Band and Joan Baez bear some of the responsibility. (Warning: sweeping generalizations ahead, unsupported by links. So sue me.)
    That is, a big part of the answer seems to be that a fantasy of the rural South became or made itself the focus of pastoralist nostalgia throughout the US. This fantasy, at least in its Northern liberal form, has no black people in it, so it's possible to love the idea of the rural South without being consciously racist.
    The first inflluential wave of neo-Confederacy (that I'm aware of) was academic and literary, the Southern Agrarianism of the New Critics beginning in the 1930s. At the same time they were developing the valuable critical techniques known as "close reading," critics like John Crowe Ransom and Allen Tate were publishing manifestos about plucky independent farmers. The prestige of New Criticism seems to have lent credence to the agrarianism and Confederate sympathies, to the point that in 1952 Robert Lowell wrote "For the Union Dead" in response.
    Over the next couple of decades, first the folk music boom and then the hippie movement further promoted a gauzy fantasy agrarianism that deliberately averted its view from economics or racism. At the same time the folkies were standing with the Civil Rights movement, they were reviving a body of traditional songs that often paint a romanticized view of rural life and detaching those songs from any historical context. Hippies, of course, loved to sing about "gittin' back to the country," even if many of them didn't get farther than Topanga Canyon or West Marin.
    But it was song "Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," in both the Band and Baez recordings, that really seems to have marked a watershed in promoting the idea that the wrong side had won the Civil War (whether or not that was Robbie Robertson's intention). The problem is, it's such a great song. IOW, it is effective propaganda for a pernicious point of view because it communicates so well. In particular, it personalizes the war and makes us see it through the eyes of an individual participant, a poor dirt farmer who presumably didn't own any slaves. Slavery is never mentioned, only the Yankees who laid Virgil Cain's brother in his grave. In the Band's version, Levon Helm so completely inhabits the character that we are drawn to identify with him. By contrast, in hearing Joan Baez sing it, we are aware of how distant she is from the character and of her own history standing with Martin Luther King, etc. So if she can sympathize with Virgil, we're invited to feel, we should too. This set the model for further works of popular culture like "Cold Mountain" that likewise invite us to sympathize with the experience of individual Southerners in the Civil War.
        There's a lot more to the story than I've sketched out here, including over last couple of decades the deliberate political pandering to the cultural nationalism of the Solid South that until the last election made paying lip service to NASCAR obligatory for Beltway journalists.  But again, it really deserves the attention of a historian who can do the history justice.

    "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

    by dumpster on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:39:14 PM PST

  •  ESOPs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, JeffW

    Just be aware, that employee-owned does not mean employee-controlled. Our ESOP has one non-voting employee member on the board. That's it for corporate oversight.

    ESOP means if you can hang around long enough, you get a chunk of the profits for retirement. You may have no say in how the company's run. And management can toss you overboard any time they like.

    "I never bought a man who wasn't for sale," -- Robber Baron William A. Clark

    by frostyinPA on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:39:18 PM PST

    •  seconded (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      The ESOP I worked for when I was just out of college was structured so that top management had almost all of the shares.  For the rest, it wasn't that different, effectively, from the types of stock ownership plans many companies have.  When a company claims to be employee-owned, it's important to ask who holds a majority of the shares.

  •  As a decades-old REI member, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raines, DeadHead, nikilibrarian, JeffW

    (And yes, in Seattle, you ARE judged by how low your REI number is), who buys Organic Horizons milk products by the case -- they make the best dehydrated milk for baking! And I recommend Clif Bar and Bob's Red Mill products to friends although I use King Arthur flours myself.  I'm always looking for companies that are employee-owned.

    I mentioned I live in Western WA?  So of course I own tons of Gore-tex clothing. Employee-owned also. I love G-tex anything, especially when they're Mountain Hardware brand clothes and gear.

    Buying local matters. Buying union is nice. But when employees control their own destinies, that's about as good as it gets.

    Caviar? I had it once. Thought it was awful. A friend assured me that I didn't eat "the right" caviar. So he ordered me some. It was nearly equally terrible.

    I'll stick to home-baked buttermilk bread on the top of a mountain after a long rainy hike and thank all the employee-owners who helped me get to that spot.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:40:55 PM PST

    •  The local franchise between the local power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      company and REI cuts across our property so I have to deal with both of them.  Quite a contrast in both rates and policies.  For example, with REI, you get several warnings before they cut the power for nonpayment (which happens more and more often as our local economy has contracted) and it takes a couple of weeks before the power is actually cut off, giving time for a compassionate appeal to the company.  The other provider cuts the power the day after the account goes delinquent and charges $150 reconnection fee in addition to paying off debt in full and also paying a $300 security deposit before they cut the power back on

  •  Venezuela VP: Chavez suffers 'new complications' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:40:57 PM PST

  •  whaddya expect? heard Kyl today try to claim hedge (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, Ender, el vasco, JeffW

    funds were really Mom 'n Pops, Main Street job creators while Schumer danced around how people making less than $1M per annum were living on the knife's edge of poverty "$250K or $300K in many parts of the country does not get you a mansion or lots of vacations"  mebbe not but it also does not qualify you for food stamps.

    INMT Fox is dancing a jig now a judge has overturned a French tax increase which would have raised the taxes of the top 75% French earners far more than any proposals our lawmakers have proposed.  Fox is now opining that the US really really needs to be more like France (no kidding: French Fries all around for all at the Fox buffet)

    Small proposal: if Congress wants to help the middle class, then kill the 7.5% AGI floor on medical deductions and start medical deductions at first $1.  Lack of medical insurance still plague both employees and small business owners who face bankruptcy at any major illness.  It would be a nice companion to the ACA to make it where a major illness does not destroy generations of a family (that would be much more useful than repealing the inheritance tax)
     

  •  You cater to your readership. (0+ / 0-)

    Worker owned businesses are usually closely held, whereas lots of wealthy stock owners eat caviar.  

    What's your point?  That they know how to sell newspapers?  Not a surprise, given the WSJ is the most widely circulated newspaper in the United States.  It's not like the WJS has an obligation to support labor.  They can support their own newspaper, or blog.  How much is a subscription again? ;>P

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:33:10 AM PST

  •  The People, Yes. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the link. Lots of wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth understandably going on over the excesses of the greedmeisters. Part of that coverage deficit might inhere in a connection between the self-congratulatory bully class and need to flattered by toady PR machine that it maintains for aggrandizement. There are also ongoing (small- and large-scale) acts of kindness and charity that appear not to be newsworthy, too. These actions also involve individuals or small groups overcoming fear (or fear-mongering) of the "other" and uniting in common cause. I wonder if those who live in (or fantasize living in) excess somehow feel the need for a larger audience or mass appeal to justify living in excess amid so much need for equanimity. I don't know.  Also, the Cleveland example brought a smile because I thought, how lovely the possibility that the descendants of slaves would rescue democracy from the abuses of the descendants of the exploiter class. I guess it's always been that way anyway.

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 05:28:17 AM PST

  •  The WSJ has (0+ / 0-)

    historically written about companies traded publicly. Do the cooperatives have a ticker id? Are they traded?
    Can you and I buy into them? Just wondering.

    If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

    by spacejam on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:13:53 AM PST

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