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Peter R. Orszag

Obama Should Push to Give Workers a Stake

Here's a good idea that I'd like to see prominent in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech tonight: shared capitalism.
Invested in employer's success.

Invested in employer's success.

Photographer: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Here's a good idea that I'd like to see prominent in President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech tonight: shared capitalism. That is, stock-ownership plans or simple profit-sharing schemes for corporate employees. These plans have been shown to effectively align workers' incentives with those of the company's equity owners, but they have not received much attention lately.

The idea has been resurfaced, however, by a commission formed by the progressive Center for American Progress, co-chaired by Lawrence Summers, a veteran of the Obama administration (as I am), and Ed Balls, a leader of the British Labour Party.