Over at the Washington Examiner I riff off of this post by Kevin Drum and conclude that America is a lot more uncertain than it should be for many working class families. I’m not sure if this is simply my perception of things, but I think it’s a perception many people share. And when it comes to uncertainty, all that matters is perception.
So what’s to be done? Drum talks about the end of private sector pensions and how this has contributed to this fear in our future, especially since 401(k) plans haven’t been exactly sure things lately. This, he argues, is part of what is contributing to the antipathy toward public sector unions.
How can we make the American worker more invested in the capital of private enterprise? I haven’t written about distributism in a while, but there’s something to the notion of making more people capitalists even if the mechanisms of distributism are a little impractical. Here’s one question: Why don’t more public companies give stock options to their employees? Why isn’t this more common? Why don’t we replace health care as the employee benefit with stock in the company itself? Wouldn’t this go a long way toward making the American worker more of a capitalist themselves, more fully invested in the companies they work for? And while we’re at it, I think we should give shareholders more power over the boardroom decisions and the fate and salaries of executives. I don’t see a downside to this though I’m not an expert in how it would actually work.
Update. I’m not suggesting that employees should only be invested in the companies they work for. That’s crazy talk. No, I think diverse investment is much more sound. But some investment might be good. Nor am I sure of the mechanism here. Certainly the government shouldn’t compel companies to do this.