Hacienda, a supporter of neoliberal capitalism, says worker run companies could not survive the competition against capitalist firms in Silicon Valley:
There are no worker run firms in Silicon Valley.There aren’t any, because they couldn’t survive the competition. That’s seems to be the flaw of worker run firms. They can’t compete.
There’s no reason why a worker run could not survive against capitalist firms. I’m having a hard time imagining why they could not.
The cooperative sector in the US, the rest of the West, Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China and lots of places, does just fine. Most of China’s firms that are kicking the world’s ass are actually publically owned firms, often run by labor collectives or small municipalities. And co-ops have been going like gangbusters in Western Europe for ages. Don’t sell it short. It’s run just like any other firm, accept that the workers get the profits as owners instead of management.
Tito’s worker run firms did very well for a long time, but there was a flaw. Given the choice of reinvesting in the firm or taking the profits home in their pockets, workers usually decided to take them home, thinking short-term. Eventually, the plants collapsed through lack of upkeep.
The Mondragon Cooperatives in the Basque Region have been running great for years.
Mondragon has gotten away from the Yugoslavian problem in that large banks actually own the plants and run them. They make the decisions about how much to reinvest and how much to pay out to workers. In Mondragon, workers hire and fire their own managers. You would think they would fire anyone who made them work and only hire those who let them slack off, but it has not worked that way at all.