Would it improve or worsen the USA's economy to have most businesses worker-owned?
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 1 vote and with 5 points ahead, the winner is...
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The burden of proof is shared since both of us will be making a positive claim. I will argue an economy where the above should improve the American economy. Con will argue that, in such a situation, it will worsen it.
Definitions of terms I am proposing and that con accepts by accepting the debate:
Worker-owned company: A company in which the majority of common stocks, as opposed to preferred non-voting or common non-voting stocks, in the company are owned by the employees as a whole and they have some form of representation in major business decisions(with reasonable exceptions such as if a decision needs to be done quickly by a representative or president of the company).
Common, voting stocks: Stock options in a company in which risk is taken on the investment one has in the company but is typically very likely to change in price, they are also able to vote in certain business decisions normal stockholders would, such as voting for the board of directors and potential mergers.
Common, nonvoting stock: Same as the above, but with no voting powers in choosing the board of directors or mergers.
Preferred stock options: Often does not carry voting power(sometimes can, but given the other perks this gives, businesses do not often offer voting power with these) but does provide the buyer of these stocks with a much greater likelihood of a return than other normal stocks, since they are given a return at a higher priority than those with normal stock options. Often are not as volatile as common stock options, but can be again, depending on what the business is offering.
These definitions *should* be my own, but are definitely based on various definitions(too many to list probably) I've heard throughout my life.
For the definitions of "business", "economy" etc, we will use common definitions. The definitions of any other terms I will accept from my opponent automatically when presented in round 1 unless any are very unreasonable(i.e claiming "nice" means "a jerk" or something. We all know it doesn't). I would like to think I defined the above terms in a suitable way, though I recognize I may have left out or worded something improperly. If that's the case, my opponent should let me know IN THE COMMENTS, before accepting the debate so I may change the definitions if I agree with you that I somehow misrepresented these terms.
Since I think this debate will start off with me, I will just forego most of what round 1 is used for once someone has stated interest in accepting and there are no issue with what I've brought up. That said, here is the round structure:
Round 1: To be used for clearly stating you've read the rules and definitions in this debate. You may present definitions of terms you think will be important to present that I've not done so already. We will also clearly state our position, think of it as a thesis in a written paper. Our specific evidence and arguments, however, will be presented later. But you may (and should) state the contentions you plan on arguing, as one would do in a formal English paper's thesis. Leave it unsubstantiated for now though. The only thing I will do is state my thesis.
Round 2: We will offer opening arguments and attempt to refute the contentions our opponent listed in round 1 as well as start backing up our contentions in round one with evidence and logic. DO NOT specifically refute the logic, evidence, etc the other presents in this round: only the contentions/claims made in round 1. There should be some leniency, as it's possible for someone to refute a specific argument by coincidence(though it's doubtful it's a coincidence if someone refers to a specific article someone presents in this round). This will be up to voters to decide. The voters will award conduct points accordingly, as it would be a matter of conduct.
Round 3: Each of us will refute the specific logic and evidence the other brings up in round 2. We each can also still present new arguments and supporting evidence too.
Round 4: This round and round 5 are prohibited from presenting brand new positive claims supported by evidence or logic. This round is purely intended for refutation(negative arguments) of the positive claims one's opponent has made previously OR defending arguments you've yet to defend from your opponent's offensive on your points. If you feel you've done that already sufficiently, feel free to forego this round.
Round 5: Concluding remarks and closing statements. A proper closure would restate major points, point out why your points outweigh the opponent's, stuff like that. There should be no new arguments and no rebuttals. Rebuttal would be referring to presenting evidence/logic disproving what the opponent said. An argument, in this context, means to present logic/evidence in support of one's own proposition. Neither is allowed in this round. Only comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of each position is allowed.
Worker ownership would boost the US economy in the following ways: first, it would likely be followed by an increase in productivity and thus the GDP per capita of the nation, it would have an increase in consumption at the expense of investment, which I'll explain is needed and desired, and worker ownership would reduce the harm automation and shipping jobs overseas would do to the American worker.
- Impractical to hold this as superior to a system where many citizens invest in corporations whether or not they happen to work for that corporation.
- Impractical and Immoral because insider trading is strongly prevented by clauses that ban you from investing in competition while also allowing workers to invest in the company's funds but banning them to pull out the shares due to any conceivable foreknowledge of an incoming slump based on their job title and the information that enabled them to access. Immoral would be in cases where this clause of the contract is removed to enable this to be a freer arrangement as it screws over a company for letting their workers own most of their shares/stocks.
- There is no way at all to think the US would truly compete with the rest of the world if it stopped very rich groups (hedge-fund groups like the Vanguard Group and Black Rock) because these 'Illuminati' elite completely have so much control over the economy of the world as a whole so they'd move out of the country and drive it into a state of being impoverished by pressurising companies to trade less and less with the US until it caved in.
- The system is already a corrupt selfish system because it assumes the best advice will come from those with the most money to lose and gain, as opposed to any kind of honest and genuine motive to steer the company/corporation in the right direction. Therefore, there's no point appealing to morality or high emotive ideals in this debate.
C1: Worker ownership of businesses would likely be followed with an increase of the GDP per capita of our nation.
As my primary and most convincing forms of evidence, I am presenting two meta-analyses(studies which compiled numerous studies on the topic, analyzed them for bias, and determined what the net trend these studies are indicating). The first meta-analysis here found "a small, but positive and statistically significant relation to firm performance (r= 0.04)" and employee ownership. In particular, it found the difference more significant in "different sampling designs (samples assessing change in performance pre-employee–post-employee ownership adoption or samples on firms with employee ownership)". In other words, when a business transfers from private ownership by people at the top of the business hierarchy, to more-or-less equal ownership among those at the top and the lowest employees, the difference was greater in terms of how well the business performs. It should be self-evidence that increasing firm performance ought to increase the GDP per capita but to address any concerns that this isn't quite a variable indicative of productivity, this second meta-analysis looks at productivity more specifically. This meta-analysis found that for three separate concepts related to employee ownership, namely, profit sharing, worker ownership, and worker participation, are all positively correlated with an increase in productivity. The one concept that is associated with employee ownership which found a negative correlation with productivity were codetermination laws, such as those proposed by Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, as reported by the Washington Post here. If anyone is unfamiliar what a codetermination law is, it is defined as a law requiring some level of employee representation in the Board of Directors, either they get to vote for a director or are on the board of directors themselves. It's important to note the subtle difference this study makes, however. It is basically saying that when the state mandates employee representation on a board of directors, it coincides with less productivity. This is where I would concede to right-wingers that the state being involved often comes with less efficiency(I'm sure we are all aware of this talking point, and I can't disagree). However, the other three variables it looked at include voluntarily having the employees represented, which is found to be positively correlated with productivity. Since I'm not necessarily arguing the state ought to mandate employee representation, but rather the mere presence of it in general, this would be an irrelevant point to bring up. Indeed, as someone who is a libertarian, albeit left-wing libertarian, I'm as opposed to state involvement in this matter just as many right-wingers are.
They said, it is...
Impractical to hold this as superior to a system where many citizens invest in corporations whether or not they happen to work for that corporation.
So, before my opponent even presents evidence for this contention, the contention itself is irrelevant regardless of evidence supporting it, since people can still invest in worker co-ops, and worker-owned businesses in general, regardless of working for them. They just won't be given the same investment options as the workers there.
Impractical and Immoral because insider trading is strongly prevented by clauses that ban you from investing in competition while also allowing workers to invest in the company's funds but banning them to pull out the shares due to any conceivable foreknowledge of an incoming slump based on their job title and the information that enabled them to access. Immoral would be in cases where this clause of the contract is removed to enable this to be a freer arrangement as it screws over a company for letting their workers own most of their shares/stocks.
There is no way at all to think the US would truly compete with the rest of the world if it stopped very rich groups (hedge-fund groups like the Vanguard Group and Black Rock) because these 'Illuminati' elite completely have so much control over the economy of the world as a whole so they'd move out of the country and drive it into a state of being impoverished by pressurising companies to trade less and less with the US until it caved in.
The system is already a corrupt selfish system because it assumes the best advice will come from those with the most money to lose and gain, as opposed to any kind of honest and genuine motive to steer the company/corporation in the right direction. Therefore, there's no point appealing to morality or high emotive ideals in this debate.
Stick to only the practicality there, is my advice, otherwise you will be contradicting yourself here. Of course, I'll forgive you if this was an honest mistake, and voters, for me to be fair, I say you should give some leeway. So unless he continues to support both the position that morality arguments have "no point" while simultaneously arguing for a moral argument as posited in contention 1, then I say you may want to vote against my opponent. But, I'm understanding of one mistake, because I'm also prone to accidentally word things in contradictory ways too, and we're all human. They've been informed now though, so no excuse from here on out.
Based on the debate structure and how strong my case is vs my opponents baseless claims, I firmly am certain that the correct play here is to post nothing further in my R2 than was in my R1.
I get the feeling I'm being trolled now, which is surprising given we have another debate that RationalMadman seemed to have taken seriously.
Social enterprises are gaining in popularity among consumers and in-vestors because they produce attractive products and services that also appeal to the values of consumers. This type of socially conscious business does not need to have an international focus; it can thrive and create change in our own backyards. Stable, wealth building employment opportunities are vital to help vulnerable workers and their communities.Worker cooperatives can play an important role in creating these jobs and rebuilding economically distressed localities
This article titled Fear and Hope in an age of mass automation: debating the future of work, from 2018, argues that not only would it be helpful for the economy to have worker ownership as we move towards a society of complete automation, given that means everyone would still have an income, but that it is inevitable to happen. In order to avoid economic peril due to 1% of society owning all of the businesses, if all jobs were to become automated, then only 1% of society would still be getting an income, and the other 99% will have no means to consume. It would result in economic disaster and downturns as we move closer to closer to such a society. Thus, if all businesses were owned as a whole by workers or just anyone at all, it would alleviate this issue, and it's obviously required in order to maintain an economy.
I rest my second round of supporting evidence and hope that next round I'll have something of more substance from my opponent to refute.
- Bridgewater Associates LP: According to its website, this Westport, Connecticut-based firm with approximately 1400 employees manages$150 billion in global investments spread across institutional clients, central banks and governments, corporate funds, and pension funds. It has $87.1 billion in hedge fund management, making it the largest hedge fund management firm.
- J.P. Morgan Asset Management is a division of the larger JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM). Hedge fund management is a part of JPM Asset Management, along with management of other asset classes. JPMorgan Chase has $2.4 trillion in overall assets under management as of December 2013, of which, the hedge fund Asset Management has AUM of $59 billion.
In short, insider trading happens when someone makes a trade of stock based on information that is not available to the general public.To be accused of insider trading, you must usually be someone who has a fiduciary duty to another person, institution, corporation, partnership, firm, or entity. You can get in trouble of you make an investment decision based upon information related to that fiduciary duty that is not available to everyone else. This insider information allows a person to profit in some cases, and avoid loss in others (in the Martha Stewart/ImClone scandal, the latter happened to be the case).Insider trading can also arise in cases where no fiduciary duty is present but another crime has been committed, such as corporate espionage. For example, an organized crime ring that infiltrated certain financial or legal institutions to systematically gain access to and exploit non-public information (perhaps through the use of computer viruses or recording devices) might be found guilty of insider trading among other charges for the related crimes.
legality but didn't provide a legal source as I asked, such as the exact wording of the law in question. Given what I said already in round 2...
It's a little early for me to argue fully against this, but if it is as true as my opponent is saying, it seems odd that such worker-owned companies already exist in the US. So if they really are breaking a law for merely existing due to these issues you're bringing up of insider-trading being inherent to them given the employees would know when the company would crash/not crash and owning stock, why are they allowed to exist? So, this is the question I pose. It's not as strong as pointing out the irrelevancy of the previous contention, but it does cast doubt that the wording of these laws my opponent may bring up actually supports what they concluded here. So, I implore you to share with us the specific law for your primary evidence.
A source like "The Balance" isn't going to do the actual law against insider trading justice, considering they're simplifying and summarizing it. Given the US is completely permissive of those worker co-ops existing, I'm going to just dismiss your claim here since it seems logical to conclude there is likely some exception in the law since worker co-ops already exist and are allowed to exist by the state despite this law against insider trading.
I just wish to emphasize that many of the things my opponent had brought up weren't quite as true given how I pointed out that for the ownership aspect of the businesses, many of those worker co-ops and employee-owned businesses only require the voting stock be owned primarily by the employees. I pointed this out in C4 of round 2 of course. Any arguments concerning morality and such were irrelevant to the debate, as I pointed out in my response to my opponent's fourth contention. I believe, as should voters, that many of these arguments presented by my opponent did not hold water enough to be concerning.
Though I am critical of my opponent's arguments, I, of course, mean no offense, and I enjoyed this debate with them. May we debate again.