Worker Control Over the Economy

For years, the United States has favored a response of austerity in reaction to economic crises,  putting working people deeper into debt and tightening the controls that creditors have over the lives of debtors. As socialists, our long-term goal should be to nationalize institutions such as higher education, housing, and healthcare, which are massive sources of debt creation. While working towards this, it is essential that we dissolve the predatory private banking system and replace it with a more equitable model to improve the material conditions of our society. We must also immediately break creditors' stranglehold on indebted workers and marginalized New Yorkers. 

In addition, we seek for working people to have meaningful oversight over how the value of their labor is used and to have ownership over their own labor. We support worker-owned cooperatives as part of this movement.

We also believe that technological infrastructure should be a public good. Instrumental to the functioning of our society, these technologies provide a backbone to our communications and economies, and, increasingly, to our government services. But they are currently owned, operated, and controlled by capitalist firms for profit. We must fight to bring these technologies under public control, away from the profit motive, to guarantee universal access and democratic control.

Debt & Finance

  • Establish public banks that democratize credit, direct New Yorkers’ money towards socially valuable projects, and ensure that the working people have meaningful oversight over how their money is used.

  • Make financial services like check cashing, bill payment, and savings accounts available to anyone at their local post office, prioritizing counties that are currently “banking deserts.”

  • Increase funding to civil legal aid, so that lawyers can zealously represent workers against creditors that harass them—including landlords, who increasingly use debt collection tactics to harass tenant in New York City.

  • Stop letting creditors with judgments impose interest (9% annually) and enforcement fees (5%) on individual New York debtors who cannot afford to pay the judgment

  • End the mass-filing of lawsuits against debtors and empower debtors to protect themselves by adding a private right of action and meaningful damages, including debt cancellation, to New York State collections abuse laws.

  • Mandate the exclusion of all medical debt-related reporting on credit reports.

  • Ensure that public employee pension funds immediately divest from private equity firms and the military industrial economy that contribute to gentrification,job loss, and imperialism and require future investment managers to sign legally binding agreements to forswear such investments.

Direct Worker Ownership of Labor

  • Support worker cooperatives by increasing funding for educational programs and providing technical assistance and financial support.

  • Provide worker cooperatives with necessary infrastructure, such as working and meeting space, so that these businesses can thrive.

  • Give workers the first right of refusal before an owner can close down a business or sell it to a third party.

  • Provide public incentives for  doing business with worker cooperatives. 

  • When considering procurement or contracting, the city/state should give preference to work-owned cooperatives over privately owned businesses.

  • Enhance the state worker cooperative statute, in addition to the creation of new tax incentives for the formation of worker cooperatives, make funding available through public banks and financial institutions, and permit groups of employees to pool unemployment benefits to fund cooperatives.

  • Demand that all workers, including part time workers and contractors, receive full healthcare and other benefits mandated by law for full-time employees

Collectively Owned Technology

  • Municipalize existing network infrastructure and utilities where possible.

  • Ensure that municipal broadband and rural cooperative broadband systems are built with public funds by workers with competitive union contracts, working with telecommunication unions when feasible.

  • Run public broadband transparently and not for profit.

  • End all government contracts with private surveillance companies.

  • All data collected by the government or private business should be heavily regulated to truly anonymize all data collected, and prohibit all use by advertisers, law enforcement agencies, and the military.

  • Increase transparency around the collection and use of data by the government.