Jun 24, 2013

Book: The Citizen's Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy

The Citizen's Share: Putting Ownership Back into Democracy by Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman, Douglas L. Kruse

This is a book about corporations and employees. This is the official description.
In the largest study of profit-sharing and employee ownership in years, Joseph R. Blasi, Richard B. Freeman and Douglas L. Kruse investigated dozens of large- and medium-sized companies across all sectors of the United States' economy. The ten-year effort involved nearly 50,000 employees, and the findings were unequivocal: when rank-and-file employees - not just top executives - are given an ownership stake in their company, the result is better worker engagement, more loyalty, more innovation, and drastically lower turnover. The common notion that profit sharing creates a "free rider" mentality among workers proves totally unfounded. In The Citizen's Share, Blasi, Freeman and Kruse argue that the concept of employee ownership has deep roots extending back to the political and economic vision of America's founders. Thomas Jefferson, for example, conceived of the Louisiana Purchase as a path that would lead to widespread economic independence through individual land ownership. The authors discuss the founding generation's seminal ideas about personal economic independence, explain how we have strayed from those ideas, and propose practical solutions for bringing employment practices back in line with the nation's founding principles.
The book's ideas could be applicable to countries and citizens. A country with citizen ownership rights and dividends could lead to more active participation by citizens, if only to safeguard their dividends.

A more interesting ideas from the book:
  • "We citizens must press our elected officials and business leaders to adopt concrete polities to implement broad-based capitalism more widely—from changes in the tax system on equity and profit sharing plans that encourage firms to spread ownership widely, to compensation and personnel practices within companies that offer ownership stakes to all employees."

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