Fixing Society 139


Much too little thought is given to fundamental ways of fixing society’s most pressing problem, which is massive inequality of wealth. Banking regulation is an important part of the problem. But to attack the root cause of corporatism, you need to look at the make-up of corporations.

Two simple measures can make a radical improvement. The first is share ownership by workers. This appears to have gone completely out of political discussion.

Whatever the legal basis of a company – private, public limited, partnership etc – a substantial share in it should be given to all those who work in it and actually create the wealth. This share should come with full voting and distribution rights. I would advocate that 40% of the ownership of every company should be given to those who work in it. The distribution of that 40% should be adjusted annually according to the number of man hours put in, on the basis that everyone’s man hours are equal. Retired and ex-employees would retain rights until death, with all hours ever worked in that company included.

Thus if Jane were one of four people working in a start-up and they all worked equal hours, after one year she would own ten percent of the company. If the next year four more staff joined, and they all continued to work the same hours, Jane’s share would fall but she would still own more than those who joined later. If eventually there were thousands of staff, her percentage would become very small, but of a very large company, and she would still own significantly more than people who had put in far less accumulated hours over the years. On retirement, in addition to her pension, she would still own a share in the company, but this would diminish as other people built up their own contribution to the enterprise.

It would make no difference if Jane were the cleaner or the MD, and if she owned or not other kinds of non-worker shares in the company,

The other major difficulty in society’s relationship to remuneration is the ludicrous over-valuation of “management” work. The gulf in salary and remuneration between higher and lower paid employees of a company has grown enormously in the last thirty years. This is an easy fix. There should be a limit on the multiple of total remuneration (including all benefits) between the highest and lowest paid person in a single company or other body, including government department, agency or authority. I should suggest a multiple of six as appropriate. So if the cleaner is on £18,000, the CEO can get no more than £108,000.

This measure would solve the low wage problem overnight, as the CEO’s prime drive becomes increasing the cleaner’s remuneration. Attempts to evade (ie management by separate consultancy company) should be a criminal offence.


139 thoughts on “Fixing Society

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  • Clark

    Martinned. I wondered about that. I think it probably is society’s most pressing problem; the biosphere’s most pressing problem is climate change.

  • Macky

    @Clark, so you now think that I’m a religious fanatic rather than a paid Kremlin shill ! 😀

    You’re comical but in rather a sad way ! Fact is that you can speculate all you want, it’s my arguments that you need to address.

    Another fact you overlook is that I was posting on this blog for years before the Ukraine crisis, and I think that I never ever mention Russia up until then ! So back to square one Sherlock Holmes ! 😀

  • Martinned

    @Clark: Even if I agreed that wealth inequality is a big problem, which I may or may not, I’d probably rank it below concerns about the functioning of democracy, including effective debate about important issues in society. Of course, they are to some extent each other’s cause and effect, but you have to start somewhere…

  • glenn_uk

    Clark wrote: “MPS: Mail Preference Service

    That might help, but by far and away the most effective way to eliminate junk mail is to do the following.

    Whenever you receive junk mail, write a cheery “No thank you!” on whatever forms come with it, and use the pre-paid envelope to send it all right back to them. They hate this for a number of reasons – they have to pay for the returned mail. They have to pay someone to open it, then they have to go to the trouble of disposing of it. It takes time to realise that this is not, in fact, an order – all of which increases their marketing costs substantially.

    One go at that, and you’re unlikely to ever hear of them again.

  • glenn_uk

    Martinned: Don’t you think that the huge disparity of wealth is itself damaging to democracy, when the wealthy can buy a great deal of influence. This influence largely concerns getting themselves more power, more money, less taxation, and very often then funneling of taxpayer money in their direction.

    Society becomes geared to keeping a handful of billionaires happy, instead of working to the greater good of all.

    The poor become increasingly disenfranchised, feel entirely left out of any supposedly democratic process, and their involvement in politics is reduced while politicians ignore their concerns.

    Lack of general public participation in politics tracks the concentration of wealth in society at the top, it’s fair to say, and does so very much by design.

  • fedup

    One is not opposed to those masking their true identity, but find it discouraging so many are fearful for speaking out under their real identity.

    Essentially you are self-censoring yourself and doing the bidding of a police state.

    Chris that is one way of looking at it. Then there is another way of looking at it too.

    Whence every damn government department agencies you can get in touch will only talk to you on the phone and if you ask for name will give you a first name no second name or any reference. You are living in a police state!

    Given these bastards are keeping themselves well camouflaged and hidden then to expect transparency form the citizens is just plain old counting on people’s stupidity to comply and be happy they are not living in a police sate!!!!

    FFS Gove is busy shutting down the courts in UK and there are plans to move the magistrates courts into community halls and universities, for pseudo mi’lards to preside over the cases!!!! The same cretin Gove was introducing a minimum charge/penalty of £1200 for each offender to pay for making a court appearance.

    Now you expect for people to start helping their SIS to keep better tabs on them without the bother of at least looking up an IP address? Facebook has made it a lot more easier for the spooks to work out any probable links and any networks, and they are privy to all the habit of the morons, then there is linkded in that keeps the spooks informed of employment history and current occupation.

    Marry the whole lot, and add the online activity too, what do you have before you?

    =============

    This is how the operation stuff them (we the people) takes shape;
    First find an innocuous and plausible cause!
    Then elaborate on it so the thick swine (we the people) understand the importance of the cause, lots of examples and lots of Mr and Mrs Miggins referrals all blaming themselves and their ghastly habits and doings.
    then deliver the solution and keep at it and then ask for the government to legislate for it!!!

    Portion sizes are the target now and probably in the next eighteen months they will pass legislation making mandatory how much food stuff is to be packed into the packages and sold in restaurant.

    You see deregulation is good for the banksters and the ponzi scheme operatives no need for any laws and regulation there, the chaps would know what is best for the king and the country. But when it comes to we the people there can never be enough regulations and laws!!!! Laws are good for the masses, and this is for certain these masses need laws! The precursor was the phony baloney theatre actors promoting/celebrating it/making fashionable all of this with soliloquises filled with bunkum and the phrase “law givers” to soften the plebs into believing laws are the good work of god!!!

    This Morning the bunkum bullshit corporation is busy advising people on “portion control” and how people are just too dumb to know when they are full!!! So best keep on telling them how much they should eat and then proceeds to talk bout the restaurants dishing out far too much food!!! Then starts using the fist size and the palm size as guides for the food portions. So there you are folks, you need to be sold less food at the same price as before and don’t you dare to complain because it is all for you own well being!!!!

    One of way of keeping the profits high while the demand is low because people can’t afford to buy stuff! In the past horse meat was pushed as beef and as yet no one has been even tried for it other than a couple of lowly gofers.

    Now make it legal and laugh all the way to the bank less is more has a new meaning these days.

  • james c

    Craig,

    The assumption behind your post is that economic forces can be overcome by changes in the law-specifically, that the widening range in salaries can be reversed by legal means.

    That might be the case if salaries did not reflect economic realities, such as productivity, supply and demand.

    However, it would be wise to consider the economic forces at play which determine the salaries of cleaners and chief executives.

    If, there are good reasons why companies want to pay the current market rate for both occupations, then that is what they will attempt to do, regardless of any edicts from the legislators.

  • fred

    “Whenever you receive junk mail, write a cheery “No thank you!” on whatever forms come with it, and use the pre-paid envelope to send it all right back to them. They hate this for a number of reasons – they have to pay for the returned mail. They have to pay someone to open it, then they have to go to the trouble of disposing of it. It takes time to realise that this is not, in fact, an order – all of which increases their marketing costs substantially. ”

    Stick a piece of Welsh slate in as well and they get hammered for excess postage too.

  • Chris Rogers

    @Fedup,

    And another way of looking at matters is to supply so much ‘misinformation’ as to crash the security state apparatus.

    In the UK they keep tabs us us via our NHS numbers and National insurance Numbers, in Hong Kong, you cannot get anything do, have utilities or get stuff delivered unless you produce either a Passport, or valid ID Card, and the same applies to employment, to work in HK you must have an ID card, if you don’t have one you are an illegal immigrant.

    However, and despite now being part of Communist China, the people in Hong Kong riot a little more than we do in the UK, which in itself is strange given how compact and densely populated much of the place is – indeed, anti-China sentiment is rife and many radicals do now cower, they openly confront the state machinery, which presently means confrontation with the police, but could escalate to confrontation with the PLA, which has a sizeable presence here in the Territory.

    I keep my nose out of HK affairs as I’m very much British and want back in to my country, namely Wales, which I prefer to anywhere else in the world, hence my concerns about UK politics and overseas policy.

    Anyhow we are ‘off agenda’, was this not a discussion about inequality – don’t want to be accused of ‘switch & bait’ I’m afraid.

  • Macky

    Ba’al; “Since the present system is inextricable from the current economic model”

    Yes,it’s one & the same, which is the point.

    Ba’al; “people generally need (economic)incentives to change their way of working/living”

    Not everybody is motivated by selfish interests, especially at the expense & deteriment of others; humans gather together in communal groups because they are social beings, and the more intelligent realise that a fairer, more just society is ultimately better for everybody, this is the message that will be the incentive, not the “Greed is Good”, “Dog eat Dog” “Everybody for themselves”, “Me me me !” messages we are subjected to. Appeals to the nobler traits in our Human nature, rather than the base traits, will be a natural incentive & motivation; treat people with honour, and they will be honourable themselves, which is why in previous close knit communities, a person honour was their most prized virtue; “Better to lose my eyes, than my honour” etc

    Ba’al; “– I’d suggest that before you change the (economic) system you need some concrete ideas of what (economic) system you are going to put in its place”

    The basic foundations & sense of direction of what is the best way to organise society (ie non-economic, in your terms) has to come first, and rest (economics, etc) will follow naturally; you need a sense of where you want to get to, before setting off !

    Ba’al;”What I ask myself…”

    All you need to ask yourself, is this the sanest, fairest & best way for everybody (& future generations, ie the enviroment), to live happy & content meaningful lifes ? Forget the selfish “Me, me !” Belly Politics apporach , because everybody benefits from living in a decent society.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Chris Rogers

    “@Fred,

    Usually I’m more concerned about the amount of ‘junk mail’ I get, which is now standing at about 1,000 per week, rather than having shit dumped on our garden, but wish the shit dumpers all the luck in the world if they can journey 6,000 miles to do so!”
    _______________________

    You live in Hong Kong – a rather crowded place by all accounts – and you have a garden….?

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Chris Rogers

    “And another way of looking at matters is to supply so much ‘misinformation’ as to crash the security state apparatus.”
    ____________________

    I would advise against such a course of action if you are really trying to get your new Filipina wife admitted to the United Kingdom.

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    Macky

    You are right to think about your wife and children.

    I can only approve.

  • Chris Rogers

    Habba,

    You are a fucking cunt old bean, I’ve been married nearly 16 years with a 8 year old daughter.

    Tell you what, apart from you cowardice and racism, why not identify yourself, as i do, and I’ll catch the next flight wherever you are and knock your fucking block off.

    How does that sound for a response you piece of slithering slime?

  • Chris Rogers

    Do the supposed ‘moderators’ do anything on this website, or is the poster hiding being the user name “HABBABKUK” allowed to get away with his racist taunts continually on a website that at the end of the day is supposed to focus on human rights?

    Personally speaking, how you have allowed this recast troll to remain on these boards for so long is shocking?

    Censorship is one thing, personal slants and abuse directed by this non-entity is quite another.

    This is what happens when people hide behind made up names – they what they like without retribution and they abuse, abuse, abuse.

    This man has no moral conviction, no purpose other than to fuck people off, and you stand for it!!!!!!

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    “Chris Rogers”

    “Habba,

    You are a fucking cunt old bean, I’ve been married nearly 16 years with a 8 year old daughter.

    Tell you what, apart from you cowardice and racism, why not identify yourself, as i do, and I’ll catch the next flight wherever you are and knock your fucking block off.

    How does that sound for a response you piece of slithering slime?”
    ______________________

    How does that sound, Chris? I’d say rather foul-mouthed and certainly stupid.

    And now have another gin or two…or three.

  • glenn_uk

    Chris Rogers, 21:01 – This blog doesn’t actually belong to the moderators, it belongs to the fellow with the name at the top, Craig Murray. It occurs that the Mods get an awful lot of stick around here, and all they are actually doing (in all likelihood) is following the policy set.

    If you don’t like the policy, or if you think they are not following it, complain to the blog owner. Beating up on the Mods all the time is rather misdirecting your ire, if you’ll allow me to say so. Do you imagine the Mods would allow certain people to hang around here, if the blog owner had given them the thumbs-down?

  • Chris Rogers

    Glenn Sir,

    As stated previously, if CM feels slighted by his detractors, he calls them out. And, I add his ‘detractors’ do not hide behind ‘usernames’, given much of the abuse is done on social media.

    The ‘Troll’ has abused the notion of anonymity on this blog, but has also made insinuations against my family. This was his intent and is as clear as day light.

    I’m asking the Troll identify himself, as i clearly do, and follow-up his insinuations with some astute action.

    He can twist and turn as much as he like, but if he insults my family I demand some recourse.

    I ask nothing more of CM and this Blog than he does himself when slighted. However, its impossible to deal with those who skulk in the dark and attack you if you do not know who they actually are. I’m not abusing this site and have never engaged in running down any mans wife and family. He really should pay for this as its really lower than vermin and an absolute disgrace, one that should not be tolerated and I won’t tolerate it.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Yes,it’s one & the same, which is the point.

    Glad we agree. So changing the system cannot be separated from changing its economic basis: merely changing peoples’ thinking isn’t enough….even assuming you are prepared to use the system’s own tried and tested means of mind control to get people to think your way. Moral dilemma here.

    Not everybody is motivated by selfish interests, especially at the expense & deteriment of others; humans gather together in communal groups because they are social beings…

    This (written in pre-feminist times, sorry) comes to mind.

    “In this the poor old chap resembles
    Prosperous idealists
    Who talk as if men reached for concord
    With their clenched or grasping fists.”

    Willian Plomer: ‘A Ticket for the Reading Room’

    I don’t think you can extrapolate from concerned people of goodwill to the population at large. Criminals and profiteers flourished during that socially-cohering event, WW2. There will always be greedy bastards willing and able to sidestep the law and social conventions to stockpile wealth. Look where every egalitarian movement you can think of eventually ended up.

    Ba’al; “– I’d suggest that before you change the (economic) system you need some concrete ideas of what (economic) system you are going to put in its place”

    The basic foundations & sense of direction of what is the best way to organise society (ie non-economic, in your terms) has to come first, and rest (economics, etc) will follow naturally; you need a sense of where you want to get to, before setting off !

    So it won’t be a natural evolutionary process after all? It needs to be planned? But surely you, at least, know where you want to get to? So what well-defined route stretches before you personally? How is yourchange to be made? Incidentally, neither Marx nor I feel that ‘organising’ society (your term – oxymoron, IMO) can be done non-economically. Further, since the problem comes in two parts: what do we want? and how do we remocve what we don’t want? it is not illegitimate to look for answers to the latter part before deciding that the move to Utopia is even possible.

    All you need to ask yourself, is …

    No thanks, I’m a cynic. I’ll stick to my own list. And continue to ask how anyone offering a saner society proposes IN PRACTICE to replace the present one, and what are the chances of it lasting, say, 50 years after the transformation.

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