a friend sent this excellent post over at the Nation and I glanced down at the comments and thought this does not sound like who I pictured reading the Nation and even if a person had a reasoned disagreement it shouldn't come laden with hostility. Today in comment #6 I recognize a fellow human on the path to: how in the hell are we going to organize ourselves so our descendants will have a hospitable home on this beautiful planet?
We must change our ways and do it now and I welcome the discussion about how we go about that. We are at peak everything and still no planet B in sight. Atmosphere, land, and water are the finite lifeblood we depend on.
I hope we will jump in full speed, looking ahead seven generations.
Published on The Nation
The Government Nudge: A Public Role in the Private Sector
Robert Weissman | June 8, 2011
It’s not easy envisioning a more democratic and just economy not dominated by large corporations. It may be even harder to imagine ways to get from here to there, with giant corporations restructured or displaced altogether. The central involvement of the government in the private sector—as a direct market participant and as a rule setter—offers opportunities, too little appreciated, to spur new forms of economic organization.
Consider the recent case of General Motors. In June 2009 GM—the world’s leading auto maker for much of the twentieth century, and the emblematic enterprise of the modern corporate era—declared bankruptcy. When it re-emerged a month later, the government was its majority holder. Remarkably, this move was accompanied by precious few ideas about how the government could manage and restructure GM to achieve social ends. There was no serious talk about directing R&D funds to speed the introduction of electric cars. No serious consideration of converting closed plants to produce light rail or other products for a sustainable future. No proposals to give workers—who own a sixth of the company’s postbankruptcy shares—meaningful control over the company, or to break it up. Instead, Obama administration officials emphasized their interest in returning GM to private shareholder control as soon as possible.
The GM example is less of an outlier than it might seem. When the government took an ownership stake in Citigroup, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the midst of the financial crisis, it also took a severely limited view of its role—imposing few obligations in exchange for the bailouts. Whether the public maintains control over an extended period or not, such ownership positions offer an opportunity to fundamentally restructure corporate giants. If the government is going to use taxpayer money to save corporations from disaster, it should seize the opportunity to reshape them for the public good.
read excellent post here