Economic democracy

Socioeconomic philosophy / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Economic democracy (sometimes called a democratic economy[1][2]) is a socioeconomic philosophy that proposes to shift ownership[3][4][5] and decision-making power from corporate shareholders and corporate managers (such as a board of directors) to a larger group of public stakeholders that includes workers, consumers, suppliers, communities and the broader public. No single definition or approach encompasses economic democracy, but most proponents claim that modern property relations externalize costs, subordinate the general well-being to private profit and deny the polity a democratic voice in economic policy decisions.[6] In addition to these moral concerns, economic democracy makes practical claims, such as that it can compensate for capitalism's inherent effective demand gap.[7]

Proponents of economic democracy generally argue that modern capitalism periodically results in economic crises, characterized by deficiency of effective demand; as society is unable to earn enough income to purchase its own production output. Corporate monopoly of common resources typically creates artificial scarcity, resulting in socio-economic imbalances that restrict workers from access to economic opportunity and diminish consumer purchasing power.[8] Economic democracy has been proposed as a component of larger socioeconomic ideologies, as a stand-alone theory and as a variety of reform agendas. For example, as a means to securing full economic rights, it opens a path to full political rights, defined as including the former.[6] Both market and non-market theories of economic democracy have been proposed. As a reform agenda, supporting theories and real-world examples can include decentralization, democratic cooperatives, public banking, fair trade and the regionalization of food production and currency.

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