WASHINGTON – In a new op-ed for The Well News, ESCA president and CEO Stephanie Silverman writes that as “Congress works together to grow our economy, create good jobs, and build a foundation for generations of economic security for middle-class Americans, extending the proven, substantial benefits of employee ownership to more Americans should be among their top priorities.”
“There is no silver bullet solution to accomplish all of this,” Silverman writes. “But a growing body of research points to policies that encourage employee ownership of private companies – specifically companies owned by an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP – as an important part of the solution.”
As Silverman points out, pollster John Zogby recently found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “workers at employee-owned S corporations (S-ESOPs) reported being on significantly more stable financial ground than those who did not work at employee-owned companies. The differences between ESOP and non-ESOP workers were so stark that Zogby branded his findings ‘a tale of two economies,’ and it’s easy to see why. During the pandemic, employee-owners said they have experienced dramatically less financial adversity, and have had more stable jobs, better housing security and stronger retirement savingsthan their non-ESOP counterparts.”
The Zogby survey “tracks closely with earlier research revealing that S-ESOP participants have more than twice the average total retirement balance of the average American,” Silverman writes. “Earlier this year, economist Jared Bernstein, now a member of President Biden’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, authored a study affirming the many benefits of employee ownership and urging policymakers to take steps that encourage the formation of new ESOPs, steps which can be as simple as promoting awareness of the ESOP structure to business owners nearing retirement age. Previous researchconducted by Bernstein found that employee ownership can help close the wage and wealth gaps.”
Silverman explains that in Congress, “there has long been significant, bipartisan support for employee ownership. This broad agreement was reiterated recently as Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act and Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Jason Smith, R-Mo., introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House, providing real cause for optimism.”
To read Stephanie Silverman’s full op-ed at the The Well News, CLICK HERE.
To learn more about the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America (ESCA), CLICK HERE.