Image: © Sophie Brown via Wikimedia Commons

Labour wants businesses to share profits with their employees

Businesspeople are pissed off about it.

Businesspeople are pissed off that a new Labour policy would force them give some of their company's profits to their employees.

What it means: The profits-for-workers plan was announced at the TUC conference this week by Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, aka the guy who will be in charge of financial and economic stuff if Labour wins the next election. McDonnell hasn’t decided yet how much of a company’s profits should be paid into ‘employee funds’ to be shared out among staff, but another Labour insider says it’ll probably only be a few percent.

McDonnell didn’t invent this idea of giving out dividends (economist-speak for sharing out some of your profits). Businesses already give them to shareholders, who are the people who collectively own the company. McDonnell also didn’t invent the idea that workers could own their company instead of shareholders. Companies owned by their staff are called cooperatives, and include department store John Lewis and the supermarket chain Co-op (we bet they spent ages coming up with that name).

So why are company bosses so upset? Well, it’s partly because they don’t like governments telling them what to do. And it’s partly because they think they’re already having their profits squeezed enough by ‘uncertainty and change’ (read: Brexit) and government taxes. (Labour also wants to raise corporation tax from 19 to 26 percent).

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?