A Solution to Massive Efforts to Cut American Wages

Photo for July 4 Article on SovereigntyA recent article in In These Times highlights how the corporate regime is cutting wages to increase profits during our great recession. What can be done?

Germany’s solution is elegant: economic co-determination. Investors elect half of the board of directors. Workers (including union members) elect the other half of board seats.

This could be done in two steps: Congress passes a law that all companies above a certain size be chartered at the federal level if they engage in interstate commerce; and then they pass a law that the federal charter requires economic co-determination as Germany does.

Now if we only had a non-corrupt, non-bribed, proportionally multiparty representative Congress as modern democratic nations do, that would be possible.

You can read much more about European innovations in creating hybrid capitalist/socialist, social democratic systems of governance in Steven Hill’s book Europe’s Promise.

Hill believes, as I do, that electoral and constitutional innovations are crucial for bringing about democratic governance in the United States.

The corporate coup is complete. The plutocrats won. Now we must united and create a modern democratic state with our inherent right to alter our government as we see fit. Jefferson got it right in his 1816 letter:

“This corporeal globe, and everything upon it, belong to its
present corporeal inhabitants during their generation.  They
alone have a right to direct what is the concern of themselves
alone, and to declare the law of that direction; and this
declaration can only be made by their majority.  That majority,
then, has a right to depute representatives to a convention, and
to make the constitution what they think will be the best for
themselves.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.

Note Jefferson’s not-too-familiar verb “debute.” I had to look it up. It means “delegate: transfer power to someone.”

The First Amendment right of assembly is the right to delegate to an assembly the right to deliberate on solution on our behalf. This is a crucial issue not only for the nation as a whole but for progressives.

Progressives seem unable to even understand this aspect of the First Amendment, and unwilling to even consider transferring our own power to our own progressive leaders in such an assembly to do strategic planning for us. When a union votes to strike, the whole union supports it, even those who voted against it. Who have we deputed to represent us to propose something for us to vote on? Who speaks for progressives? All of us. Which is as good as no one. We are scattered and impotent politically.

The worst fear of the plutocrats is that progressives would unite politically. We know this now because of the leaked documents about the insurance industry’s fears that Michael Moore’s film Sicko would lead to a mass populist movement to change the system. Yet *almost* nowhere in progressive discourse is such a discussion about uniting ourselves politically to plan such a movement happening.

Google “progressive political unity” and you’ll find some beginnings of such plans.

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