Skip to main content

By a wide margin, Americans support “inclusive ownership funds”

John Duda

John Duda

Executive director, The Real News Network more

Democratic Ownership

“Inclusive ownership funds” are an exciting new idea building momentum in policy circles on both sides of the Atlantic. The basic idea is to mandate and institutionalize a more equal distribution of corporate profits and a more inclusive design for corporate governance by requiring small cumulative grants of company shares to a trust operated on behalf the workers at larger companies.  These inclusive ownership funds create an automatic share for workers of any dividends issued by a profitable corporation–a critically important result in an era when worker compensation has been largely stagnant despite rising economic productivity.

We know that worker ownership generally is quite popular—our polling around the democratic economy indicated, for instance, that 69% of Americans would like to institutionalize a right of first refusal allowing workers an opportunity to purchase their workplace in the event of a sale. But do inclusive ownership funds, which create a pathway to scaling up meaningful employee ownership in all of our largest corporations, also enjoy wide popular support?

The answer is: yes. Working with YouGov, we asked survey respondents “Would you support or oppose a policy requiring companies with over 250 employees to put 10 percent of their shares into a workers fund, which would pay dividends out to the company’s employees?”—and 55% indicated they would support such a policy, with only 20% opposed.

Copy and paste to embed

We also tested to see whether Americans would support an inclusive ownership funds policy with a significantly higher cap on the size of share of corporate ownership for workers that could be mandated. To our surprise, a policy with a yearly share levy of 2% of corporate equity, up to a maximum of 50%, enjoyed essentially indistinguishable levels of support.

Copy and paste to embed

Notably, while this ambitious policy advancing a more egalitarian distribution of power and profits within U.S. companies was predictably popular with respondents identifying as Democrats, 50% of Republicans surveyed expressed support for the idea of inclusive ownership funds that would, at the end of 25 years, hold up a 50% stake in every US company with more than 250 employees.

Copy and paste to embed

 

 

John Duda

John Duda

Executive director, The Real News Network more

More related work

Doctor at work

Primary health care is in critical condition. Making primary care public will restore its health—and protect ours

To avoid the catastrophic effects on our health and our economy of hollowing out our primary care system, the U.S. should create a national program for universal public primary care. read more

Democratic by Design: A new community wealth building vision for the British economy after COVID-19

We can develop the ecosystem to reconstruct genuinely inclusive communities and grow local economic democracy in the United Kingdom. read more
Public pharmaceutical

Public pharmaceuticals

Public pharmaceutical enterprises are free from the constraints of profit maximization and can define their bottom line based on such values as their contributions to public health and local economic resiliency. read more