It’s a new century and time to chuck some obsolete ways of thinking. Take this bemusing realization. On paper, the sum of all obligations owed to union workers, company health plans and pension funds would make organized labor by far the biggest net owner of capital in the United States.
By some ways of reckoning, the workers already own the means of production. This was actually foreseen a long time ago.
Indeed, for decades, both labor and management have sought ways to avoid confronting this fact - for example, by separating off pension funds to be controlled by neutral specialists. Labor leaders are comfortable with an old-fashioned, adversarial relationship toward management. The idea of sharing some hybrid role terrifies them. Moreover, a few experiments in worker-ownership - such as United Airlines - seemed to prove it a bad idea. (These were contrived-to-fail.)