Discover more from JoeWrote
The Case for Economic Democracy — Introduction
A book for JoeWrote readers
I’m excited to share the first section of my new book, The Case for Economic Democracy. This book is available to premium JoeWrote subscribers, with a new section being released every Friday.
This will not replace existing premium content. Paying readers will still receive exclusive articles in addition to this book.
If you’d like to read it, as well as support my work promoting Socialist and Progressive ideas and values, you can upgrade to a paying subscription here.
Across the political spectrum, there is a broad consensus that America’s economic system needs improvement. Were you to go back and listen to the financial frustration of 2016 Trump voters, you’d hear echoes of the left-leaning Occupy Wall Street a half decade prior. These claims are well-founded. The top 1% of Americans own 32.3% of the nation’s wealth, more than the bottom 90%. Meanwhile, the median American aged 35 - 44 has less than five thousand dollars in their bank account. 41% of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
And while a great deal of this hardship and anger can be attributed to the response to the 2008 Great Recession, which bailed out big businesses while leaving working out to dry, the problems predate the 21st century. It just took us until now to recognize them.
The following pages hold the case for democratizing the American economy. “Democratize” has been overused to the point of losing its value, so it's important to specify what this means. In short, if an American is impacted by a business, industry, or other financial entity, either by working for the company or by being affected by its outputs, they should have a democratic say in how it operates.
Such a philosophy stands in contrast to the current system, where the direction of companies is controlled by small groups or individual owners. Dictated by the need to profit, privately-owned companies have little-to-no regard for the financial or physical welfare of the American people. This is not a judgment, but an observation. Their disregard for humanity is not because the people running them are evil. Profit is their only focus, as mandated by the invisible hand of the market.
And while the current economic structure has built great wealth, it also has many flaws. Flaws that can be remedied the same way humanity fixed the faults of monarchy, dictatorship, and tyranny — through democracy.
JoeWrote is an independent publication free from corporate funding. Please consider a paid subscription to support my work promoting a more peaceful and equitable world.
To fully understand the argument for an economy for the people, by the people, this book will start with a brief history and explanation of political democracy, clarifying the “how” and “why” behind our preferred method of governance. Next, we’ll examine the contemporary economy and how it dictates the life of the average American. But instead of covering the complex and distant factors of micro and macroeconomics, we’ll explore the economy from the ground up to understand how it influences your life.
To finish, we’ll merge the two, welding an understanding of the need and effectiveness of political democracy with a clear picture of the faults in America’s socio-economic structure. The last third of this book will cover the philosophical need for democratic control of businesses and industry, as well as what such control would look like and how it would operate. There are also a few final words on similar political ideologies, and how they incorporate economic democracy into their goals.
Throughout this book are examples, anecdotes, and supporting evidence to help you envision both our economic problems, which are often hidden in plain sight, and the solutions, which go undiscussed.
One does not need to be an economist, political junkie, or to have graduated summa cum laude from an Ivy League college to read this book. There’s no complex economic analysis, artistic philosophy, or obnoxiously fancy words borrowed from Shakespeare. It was written by an average American, for average Americans. It is made up of real examples, simple language, and a clear argument — the American people should control their economy. Not the other way around.
The only thing you need is an open mind.
If you’re intrigued by what you just read, I invite you to join in on the further readings by becoming a premium subscriber. I’m also planning bonus interviews and discussions to complement the book, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn more about economic democracy.
Thanks for reading! Joe
. Frank, Robert. “Soaring markets helped the richest 1% gain $6.5 trillion in wealth last year, according to the Fed.” CNBC.com, 1, April, 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/01/richest-one-percent-gained-trillions-in-wealth-2021.html
. Wolfson, Alisa. “Here’s exactly how much Americans have in savings at every age — and (yikes) here’s what they should have.” MarketWatch.com, 5, November, 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/picks/heres-exactly-how-much-americans-have-in-savings-at-every-age-and-yikes-heres-what-they-should-have-01659384531#:~:text=The%20median%20savings%20balance%20%E2%80%94%20not,for%20those%20ages%2055%2D64.
. “Three in Five Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck.” 27, 9, 2022, https://ir.lendingclub.com/news/news-details/2022/Three-in-Five-Americans-Live-Paycheck-to-Paycheck-More-People-Are-Living-Paycheck-to-Paycheck-but-Making-Ends-Meet-Than-Not-Living-Paycheck-to-Paycheck/default.aspx#:~:text=Today's%20Paycheck%2DTo%2DPaycheck%20Landscape&text=In%20August%202022%2C%2041%25%20of,not%20live%20paycheck%20to%20paycheck.