Okay, it seems we have the same values but tell give different explanations for why things should be the way we want and why things are the way they are. We both favour co-ops, but I see the employer-class as unethical and undesirable, I don't want a return to any "natural state", I want society to make an ethical and practical decision to rearrange things and abolish capitalism - or create a hybrid between capitalism and socialism where socialism is favoured and promoted. I don't think Democratic Socialism is enough but it's better than nothing.
To perhaps better relate everything back to your primary concern about the employer-employee relationship: we can start off asking why abusive forms of such relationships exist. — Pfhorrest
While your analysis about how wealth inequality leads to further wealth inequality is correct, how employees aren't property but buying consumers and need buying power to live, the only way to get that buying power for the majority is to exchange labour for wages as an employee. It will always be this way in capitalism and the disparities can only increase. Technology similarly through increased efficiency, capabilities and automation can cater to ever greater numbers and a handful of companies, after defeating their competitors over and over again, rise to the top.
The employer could have more or less wealth than the employee but the power imbalance is inherent in their positions. The employee exchanges wages for labour, nothing more, what wages and what labour, are the only questions. The employer owns his business, makes all decisions regarding the businesses direction, chooses how his business will operate, promote, demote, fire his employees. Should the business care about the environment? Should it care about the community? Should it do anything? Only the capitalist decides, the employees have no voice. That is why it doesn't matter if we're talking about high-level employees or low-level employees who make nothing, we're only talking about the ability of an employee to negotiate or resign in opposition more easily. The profit drive is to pay for expenses, enable the business to grow and enrich the capitalist. The employee only exchanges labour for wages, they're not involved in what happens to profit. In every single situation, about everything, the employer has near-absolute command and his authority is in-built into capitalism. It's not dependant upon his wealth, status or connections, the employer-class simply has these authorities over employees and that's how capitalism works.
So, I contend it's the very system, rather than the specifics or specific people and the unethical employer-employee relation which is by itself, a class-based system. The unequal resources are a product of the unequal system, the inequality of the relationship goes deeper than that for me.
I'm going to use this opportunity to respond to these comments about how an employer might treat his employees, publically owned companies and employee agency.
Firstly, with regards to how employees are treated, really by other employees or employers, can be viewed through the lens of common decency and respect. That should be promoted and is but it doesn't address the underlying problems. It is not exceptionally different from how a master might treat his slave well. My point isn't to compare employees with slaves, just to say, if it can be true in a situation that is much, much worse, then it can be true here. Slavery is a problem regardless and I contend employers are a problem regardless, the relation is inherently unethical.
When it comes to publicly traded companies, the employees can own it if they buy stock. Then, we'll have to see where their morals lie when they are looking at quarterly dividends versus "doing the right thing" generally. — James Riley
I don't actually expect employees to always be doing "the right thing", I expect them to view their interests beyond the scope of what makes sense from the perspective of capitalists or investors. Giving themselves better working conditions, protecting their local environment and community, all while making a profit, people are often just talking about making things better for themselves. They are the local community and exist in the local environment. They are the workers. If workers choose to screw the environment for profit, that's a separate problem. We can look at existing co-ops to see how this might work, not how capitalist structured publically owned businesses run. Employers, employees, investors, they're all just people, how they act depends on the situation you put them in.
Have you never met a shift supervisor or a manager? — BitconnectCarlos
By necessity, the employer must delegate tasks but how these tasks are performed and judged, the authority and resources they have, are all things he decides. I'm not interested in democratising the power of a shift supervisor, the decisions they make don't interest me. What's your game here anyway Carlos? Why do you care so much about capitalism that you're willing to resort to these absurd tactics to defend it?