Well, at least we know where Howard Reed’s coming from then

The third plank of policy should be aimed at rebalancing the economy in the medium term …(…)… and a decisive shift away from the industrial feudalism of the plc and private equity dominated neoliberal economy towards a social economy which foregrounds worker-managers, cooperatives, social enterprises and crowdfunding.

That’s from the barking mad quadrant of the available economic policy space then.

17 comments on “Well, at least we know where Howard Reed’s coming from then

  1. Picking on one aspect and noting that that one bit isn’t entirely barking mad (although it would need the govt to stop effing interfering, which is hardly Reed’s position):

    Crowdfunding seems to be significantly successful at the SME level – at least in providing a degree of start-up capital.

    Of course, it isn’t as functional as it should be. I look at some crowd funding proposals and think they are brilliant ideas but I don’t want, either personally or as a present, what is being offered. To avoid coming under the complex deliberately-new-entrant-denying regulatory frameworks, Kickstarter (as an example) forbids equity as a reward for supporters.

    Hence it is extremely limited in value.

    Although, you could make a pendantic point that investment by pension funds is just crowd-funding with intermediaries. And what fundamentally differentiates a Pension Fund Manager with an active investment strategy from Perry Chan and Yancey Strickler? Well, apart from the PFM’s relative lack of imagination 🙂

  2. If the social economy crap worked there would be a lot more of it than there is and the economy wouldn’t need “re-balancing”. As it is what it needs is to say goodbye to the state and any influence (however slight) held by leftists like (the non-thinking) Reed.

  3. Hmmmmm Meriden Motorcycles, the Scottish Daily News and Kirby Engineering Ltd. I suppose Mr Reed is too young to remember any of that lot.

  4. It’s true that if the current system favours certain business ownership models then that should be fixed.
    The economic system should be agnostic as to whether businesses are owned by shareholders, employees or customers, and then the best model should win out. Successes and failures seem to be pretty much spread across the board, suggesting there isn’t much in it. Of course businesses shouldn’t be owned by the government, but nobody sensible would suggest that.

  5. I am like Tim on this one.

    The ownership of a company can be any flavour you like. Here we have the Mondragón Corporation. Hailed world-wide as a marvellous example of mutually-owned cooperative businesses.

    Unfortunately, their white goods manufacturer (one of the biggies) recently went belly up and their supermarket chain has just managed to reschedule its debt to avoid a similar fate.

    Generally spèaking they are solid medium-sized businesses but when they get bigger the influence of the blue collar over the decision-making process tends to work like chucking a spanner into a gear box.

    When times are good the owners (workers) love the payouts and smirk and preen, but when times get tough they come over all faux-union and protest (at themselves). It’s a shame, because in their smaller versions they sometimes work well.

  6. @John B

    ‘When did ‘to foreground’ become a verb?’

    I was going to ask that.

    These people are always reverbing the language.

  7. Reading the entire extract on Murphy’s blog, there are too many flaws to poke holes in without being here for a day. If the extract above is the flavour of the entire thing that Murphy and Reed plan to put forward in 2015, it will quickly be forgotten or thrown into the recycling bin – harking back to the halcyon days of the USSR as a viable economic entity, mass nationalization, ration queues, black markets – it’s like these guys have no historical knowledge beyond 1979. For people who are both over 40 (I think Murphy’s in his mid 50s)it’s really quite embarrassing to see such childishness masquerading as serious thought…

  8. A lot of these ideas work if you forget human nature.

    I suspect Murphy is probably autistic, as well as mental, so he can’t be blamed for not knowing how people work.

    That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be laughed at and embarrassed, because when people like him get the chance to put their lunatic ideas into practice they soon rub up against actual humans and then they have to spend the next fifty to a hundred years killing and imprisoning millions of people.

  9. Imagine Tony Benn’s disastrous economic plans funded by Richie’s Great Pension Heist (sorry, funding opportunity).

    Just imagine that.

  10. Rob

    As neither of the two ‘thinkers’ has anything in terms of historical knowledge beyond the Marxist claptrap version of history offered by some of the scions on Murphy’s blog (indeed so appalled am I at the idiocies of three commentators in particular, Andrew Dickie, Ivan Horrocks and Carol Wilcox, that I will venture into discussion of their comments purely on historical issues) it isn’t surprising that when I point out the similarities between their vision and that of Tony Benn’s in the 1970s, they splutter various mantras about ‘Green New Deal’, ‘alternative to neo-Liberalism’ and the like, almost as if by rote. I doubt either has had a thought that could even be vaguely described as original…

  11. Surreptitious Evil – “Of course, it isn’t as functional as it should be. I look at some crowd funding proposals and think they are brilliant ideas but I don’t want, either personally or as a present, what is being offered.”

    Sounds like it is working pretty well to me.

    But can someone explain to me why crowd funding is seen as an alternative to red-blooded capitalism? I mean if you did it in a coffee shop instead of on line, and then came back and did it again, you would have a stock market. Except with actual shares being offered.

  12. can someone explain to me why crowd funding is seen as an alternative to red-blooded capitalism?

    I’m clearly not being clear enough again. Crowd funding is, or should be, red blooded capitalism.

    Just hamstrung by the deadweight attached to equity purchase schemes. Because some people “need” to be protected from their stupidity. Apparently. Or, cynically, there are votes in protecting people …

  13. Surreptitious Evil – “I’m clearly not being clear enough again. Crowd funding is, or should be, red blooded capitalism.”

    This time I am not being clear enough. It was not a comment about your comment. It was a comment about Howard Reed’s comment:

    and a decisive shift away from the industrial feudalism of the plc and private equity dominated neoliberal economy towards a social economy which foregrounds worker-managers, cooperatives, social enterprises and crowdfunding.

    The odd one out there is crowdfunding. Why isn’t it part of his fantasy about industrial feudalism? I am failing to follow his logic. How does crowd funding differ from raising capital any other way – in his deluded mind? Except that, as you say, you don’t get equity. Which I would have thought was a bad thing. If anything makes capitalism acceptable surely it is allowing the lucky and smart to get in on the ground floor and become filthy rich?

  14. Surreptitious Evil, I have found a way around the barrier-to-entry problem for equity crowdfunding. The product, I hope, will be available before the end of the year.

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