Part 1 In reading Marjorie Kelly’s article, the clear subheadings indicate the focal points she wishes the readers to concentrate on. These subheadings are as follows, the Principle of Equality, the property right of labor, emerging property rights, reclaiming Locke and Smith, restoring natural economic law, the pros and cons of employee ownership. The Principle of Equality is stated best by using the author’s own words, “efficiency is best served when gains go to those who create the wealth”. The point of her bringing this up is to mention how wealth is best distributed by giving it back to those who distribute it.
However she does advocate newer forms of how this should take place such as instead of just handing back money to the wealthy such as in the form of taxes, there should be other ideal forms to allocate the wealth into generating more wealth. Kelly’s second point she addresses is that of property and how that concept ties in directly with labor itself. Kelly addresses the obvious yet unfortunately not so obvious fact that aristocracy is alive and well in the form of our economic ideals and the reality of CEOs.
Property for the individual ought not to be earned solely through capital but rather through labor itself. Once again Kelly’s third point is a wonderful spot on observation of how the old superiority of kings and how their wealth trickles down to their descendants is alive and well today in our own world. Kelly argues that the automatic assumption that we as a society make that the wealth automatically travels upstream ought to be examined and then changed. Employees should be given a better share of the wealth that they themselves help create, and this today is not happening.
CEOs are our new kings and we are the lowly subjects. This can change when companies start to realize that greed is not good, and generosity to their employees is not just a deserved right, but the ideal. The fourth point the author nails home is that the supposed advocates for unrestricted capitalism are in actuality supporters of the common man and their needs not the kings of our day and the vast wealth they have accumulated on behalf of other men. The old authors Locke and Adam Smith are men that promote restrictions on extreme extraordinary wealth.
These two great writers if used properly can support a new revolution in economics, a much needed revolution. The revolution can be defined as supporting the average man’s rights to property and capital, and the taking the steps we need to accomplish this in whatever manner that is required to do so. Of course the ideal way is the dawning light of morality upon the extreme rich, but since not even Jesus could do that, maybe the reasoning and common sense of Locke and Smith might perhaps sway them to relinquish their wealth and place it back into the hands of their employees where it belongs.
Kelly next wants to emphasize the importance of profit sharing, which means that instead of the CEOs in a company taking all the profit and only paying the employees a wage, the company still pays their employees a wage, plus after capital expense, divide the profits with the employees fifty-fifty. This sounds like a grand idea, certainly a Christian based one, or at least a moral idealism that should define business especially in the Christian West, so it is tragic indeed when no one in our society does it, but Brazil does, great for Brazil, bad for us.
The last point to discuss is that of the benefits and cons of employee ownership. Kelly does mention both, yet it is apparent that she believes the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Employee ownership is a tool that can be used to promote true democracy in the workforce. It is a method of regulation of wealth that is an essential part of the economy. It is quite comforting to know that there are ideas such as these floating out there in the world today. Kelly brings valid arguments to the table, and does them justice.
Our economy needs to change, for if not I believe the Catholic Hilaire Belloc predicts it best when he deems our society being at best a “Servile State”, and how he believes the two, although many say three but socialism is really just another form of communism, methods of running the economy, capitalism and communism are going to take mankind into the age he had just exited, that of despotism and utter slavery. Part II One of the most interesting points in Kelly’s article was about employee ownership.
I believe that this aspect of a business gets ignored completely in America. True, down here in the Rio Grande Valley we do have the Magic Valley Electric COOP, yet the number of businesses across the board that apply these great principles is miniscule. However according to community-wealth. org, economist John Logue has done a study in Italy and compares Northeastern Ohio with the Emilian Romagna region of Italy. In his studies Logue has found that employee ownership comes somewhat natural, at least in comparison than what it does in the States.
Also in this article Logue does an excellent job of demonstrating and documenting the overwhelming evidence in support of employee ownership in the likes of such as our very own Magic Valley. Again the main objective point from Logue as well as Kelly alike is that bigger is not better, at least not in terms of businesses, smaller is the key to freedom from our current depravity and wage slavery towards true family values, which can only take place when we have our daily bread, or rather a generous and stable economy that is not dominated solely by greed.
In an article by Julie A. Nelson in the Washington Journal of Law and Policy, she goes on to support a much emphasized theme by Kelly in her very essential and knowledgeable book, and that is that the concept of maximizing profits is seen to be a concrete dogmatic process of our economy when in actuality this is just a dupe from those who want to maximize power from those to whom it actually it belongs the common man.
The article has to f=do with balancing the supposed conflict between love and money, and the conclusion that she reaches is that this conflict although the innate curiousness and impromptu mannerisms of human beings do tend to differ widely on the large scale, that there really is no conflict between these two at all.
Nelson comes almost to the same conclusions Kelly does when the solution does not necessarily reach the obvious conclusion of economic reform but personal reform. Some people might even go so far to say our economy can reform if we spiritually reform. This is truth if there is any, yet these academic intellectuals help reason out the metaphysical solution and bring light into the hall of darkness.