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Polling on key elements of the democratic economy

YouGov in March 2019 conducted this poll for The Democracy Collaborative on several key questions related to aspects of the democratic economy, including support for worker ownership, public enterprises and democratic control over key economic activities.

On this page are highlights of that poll. A total of 1,132 registered voters were surveyed.

The democratic economy

Topic Total support Total oppose Strongly support Somewhat support Neither support nor oppose Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose Not sure
Requiring local governments to use publicly owned non-profit banks, such as state and Federal credit unions, for banking services rather than private banking corporations 38% 15% 17% 21% 25% 6% 9% 22%
Requiring companies with over 250 employees to put 2 percent of their shares into a workers fund each year, up to a maximum of 50 percent 46% 29% 24% 23% 14% 11% 18% 10%
Requiring companies with over 250 employees to put 10% of their shares into a workers fund (up to 50%) 43% 28% 21% 22% 18% 9% 19% 11%
Reinstating “postal banking,” permitting the US Postal Service to provide basic banking services like check cashing and loans 48% 22% 22% 26% 19% 10% 12% 11%
Instating citizen ownership of public utilities, in which the customers of a utility, rather than a smaller number of private investors, are its shareholders 55% 12% 28% 27% 17% 4% 8% 16%
Instating direct ownership of public utilities, in which the government owns the utilities and elected representatives make decisions for public utilities rather than managers 21% 49% 8% 13% 17% 19% 30% 14%
The creation of a federal version of a “social wealth fund” which invests government resources in stocks and bonds and uses the profits to pay a substantial dividend to every resident of the state 58% 15% 30% 27% 16% 5% 10% 12%
Providing tax benefits and subsidies to businesses that grant ownership stakes to workers, that is, to employees of the company who are not appointed by investors and are not themselves outside investors 58% 12% 25% 33% 18% 6% 6% 12%
Government offering tax assistance and subsidies to owners who transfer the businesses they own to their workers upon retirement 55% 13% 23% 32% 20% 6% 7% 12%
Requiring business owners to allow their workers a chance to buy the business if it is being sold or closed 70% 11% 41% 28% 12% 4% 6% 7%
Allowing the government to buy fossil fuel plants at fair market value and shut them down to keep carbon emissions within safe limits 38% 32% 22% 16% 17% 9% 23% 12%
Allowing the government to buy fossil fuel plants at fair market value and shut them down if the government is also able to create new jobs building and staffing green energy facilities for affected workers? 47% 27% 28% 19% 14% 7% 20% 11%
Local governments creating affordable housing including dedicated land trusts that are only used for the purpose of affordable housing 48% 22% 24% 24% 18% 8% 13% 13%
A program to help city governments across America build new high-quality homes and rent them out at affordable prices 55% 24% 31% 24% 14% 8% 16% 7%
Requiring local governments to prioritize purchasing necessary goods from local businesses wherever possible 61% 13% 28% 33% 17% 6% 7% 9%
Local Purchase Assist vs Require 60% 15% 27% 33% 16% 8% 7% 9%

Pension fund investments

Public pension funds are for the public benefit, and should be invested in businesses that grow the local economy rather than serve a few gamblers on Wall Street 41%
Public pension funds are for the public benefit, and should be invested in wherever they will have the highest annual yield, even if that means investing outside the local community 36%
Not sure 23%

Bank bailouts

In the event of another financial catastrophe like the Great Recession, the government should reorganize failing banks as public institutions rather than prop them up in the hands of their shareholders 53%
In the event of another financial catastrophe like the Great Recession, the government should do whatever it takes to keep the economy running, even if it means bailing out banks and their shareholders rather than letting major banks fail 19%
Not sure 27%

The federal deficit

The government should worry more about basic social needs like healthcare and housing, even if it means more deficit spending 50%
The government needs to relieve our tax burden by cutting the deficit, even if it means scaling back basic social programs for healthcare and housing 32%
Not sure 18%

Economic rights

  Support Oppose Should definitely have the right Maybe should have the right Should not necessarily have the right Should not be considered a right Not sure
An income that can support them and their family 65% 30% 51% 14% 8% 22% 6%
A job that pays at minimum a living wage 68% 27% 52% 16% 7% 19% 5%
Affordable housing 67% 27% 50% 18% 7% 20% 6%

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Polling on key elements of the democratic economy

YouGov in March 2019 conducted this poll for The Democracy Collaborative on several key questions related to aspects of the democratic economy, including support for worker ownership, public enterprises and democratic control over key economic activities. read more