Talk:Ownership society

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This page is sorely missing an "implementation" section. It needs a list of executive or legislative branch actions or attempted actions which tried to create the "ownership society". Two things that come to mind are the zero-down payment initiative and the President's unsuccessful attempts to privatize social security. I'm curious at how much of lack of regulation of the housing market had roots in policy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dimmer (talkcontribs) 11:17, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Unintended Consequences[edit]

Perhaps included within this section could be some info on how Bush's vision of the "Ownership Society" resulted in millions of people getting sham home loans to buy houses they could not afford, and how our current economic collapse directly resulted from these very policies. You don't hear Bush talking much about this Ownership Society anymore, now that it's clear that his policies resulted in a DECREASE of home ownership. I think this is a relevant and important concept that should be added to this article. MisplacedFate1313 (talk) 18:33, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Copyvio and suggested modification[edit]

Please note that the article may be currently in copyright violation. The phrase defining the ownership society appears, without attribution directly from the cato institute.

I find it too cold. In my opinion, CATO institute is really the think tank that defined that notion, and the further you are from the content of that, the less accurate your definition is gonna be. I tried to follow all comments about it, and the CATO's one was most useful. Incidentally, if you want an explicit agreement that their ideas - even sentences - can be used, you can have it. ;-) I guess it's not your real problem with the text! --Lumidek 13:09, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"if you want an explicit agreement that their ideas - even sentences you can have it". Did you obtain said agreement? Nothing in the Cato Institute webpage that I saw mentioned that you could do so without attribution. And regardless of what Cato Institute policy is, such text in WP should always be accompanied by attribution. Also it's a disservice to readers to include almost a direct quote without a source.
"I guess it's not your real problem with the text!" Oh really? What do you mean exactly? I've already mentioned to you on your talk page that the article was arguably not neutral. Do you think WP is an appropriate medium to publicize ideas from a source with an avowed political purpose without mentioning the source? Do you mean something else by this remark?
The article as you originally wrote it was quite careless with its terminology. For instance in what sense did you mean "ownership society" is a model of society. Did you mean it in the sense of model? Now please understand I'm not trying to critize you for what may be your belief in Bush's proposals; although you are right, I don't agree with them. I am criticizing you for writing something which had little possibility of constructive expansion. The article was edited, in the last few hours, but the article was reworked considerably, not expanded. You should see that you have something to lose by that. Even believers in the ownership society can gain from critics, who will undoubtedly contribute negative information, but from which you will learn something. Is constructive dialogue something you really want to avoid?

CSTAR 15:59, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I propose the following modification

Ownership society is a term apparently first used by George W. Bush in early 2003 and now widely used by members of his administration and supporters of his privatization programs. According to Bush's acceptance speech in the 2004 Republican National Convention,

"In an ownership society, more people will own their health care plans and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement."

The term appears to have been used originally by President Bush (for example in a speech February 20, 2003 in Kennesaw, Georgia) as a phrase to rally support for his tax-cut proposals (Pittsburgh Post - Gazette, Bush OKs Funding Bill for Fiscal '03, Feb 21, 2003 Scott Lindlaw). Since early 2004 Bush and his supporters describe the ownership society in much broader and more ambitious terms. The term is also used more generally to include specific policy proposals concerning education and retirement savings. According to the Cato Institute [1]

"An ownership society values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children's education, and workers control their retirement savings.


"...if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of our country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality there is in America, and the more people have a vital stake in the future of this country." - President George W. Bush, June 17, 2004

"We Conservatives have always passed our values from generation to generation. I believe that personal prosperity should follow the same course. I want to see wealth cascading down the generations. We do not see each generation starting out anew, with the past cut off and the future ignored. - John Major conference speech 1991." What does this have to do with the article? - Jerryseinfeld 21:09, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The article should place the term in some historical perspective. Even though the sequence of characters "ownership society" may not have been uttered in a political context before, the concept is not new. For instance, one of the proponents of the idea within the Cato Institute of Bush's is José Piñero.
I see no reason to remove the quote, it is clearly historically relevant and unless you provide more cogent argument for removal will put it back in.
What does the John Major saying have to do with the article? - Jerryseinfeld 22:49, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
For instance, look at the Cato Institute's pages on the ownership society. [2]. For instance the following quote:
Most importantly, that fund would become his property, not the government's -- meaning he could leave it to his children upon his death. Such a system would enable the working poor to accumulate assets from generation to generation.
This is a legitimate idea that forms part of Bush's initiative. The fact that some of us may not agree with it does not mean that it is in anybody's interest to paint a caricature of the proposal and I don't think insertion of the quote is innapropriate. This kind of generational wealth accumulation is an essential part of "ownership society"!
There is a lot of supporting evidence for the historical origins of Bush's proposal both in Thactherism and in Augusto Pinochet's privatization programs in Chile
Scotland on Sunday. Dec 19, 2004. Bush's big idea is Thatcherism, Fraser Nelson.
"George Bush, in an audacious bid to secure his place in history, is to reinvent Margaret Thatcher's policies for present-day America."
"In a move that will dismay his close ally Tony Blair, the US President is resurrecting the policies of Baroness Thatcher as the ideological agenda for his second and final term in the White House
Okay. - Jerryseinfeld 23:10, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

External links[edit]


"The sale at affordable prices of public housing to tenants". Can you sell a price? - Jerryseinfeld 21:13, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Excuse me, how does this sentence even suggest the sale of a price? CSTAR 22:18, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"and workers take full responsibility for their retirement savings and associated financial risk." You don't like that do you. It's not going to be "full" responsibility in out lifetime, and that's not near the presidents suggestion. "Associated financial risk", it's dangeours to save? Come on now. - Jerryseinfeld 21:19, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The comment clearly does not say it is dangerous to save.CSTAR 22:18, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Have control [of decisions on]", parents control [have power over their children's], workers control [have some responsibility for the investment of] their retirement savings. What's with the brackets? Is this a quote from soneone? They don't add anything to thr meaning of the text, you don't have to explain what "control" means, and it certainly doesn't mean what's in those brackets. Parental "control" is "power", pehaps it is, does that have to be there, why is that there? To "control" the retirement savings doesnt mean "responsibility for the investment of", it simply mean that the worker have to save money. - Jerryseinfeld 23:36, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


"Large corporations found this direct ownership of small parcels of shares to be a significant administrative overhead." First of all, EVERY public company has a lot of shareholders, if you don't like it, then that's fine, it has nothing to do with this article. Secondly, the conversation is really wandering from the subject here. - Jerryseinfeld 21:16, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Complaints from British Gas were well-publicised. It is clear enough that (in the UK context) the large corporations had some reservations about 'share-owning democracy', as it came out of the privatisations.

Secondly, I wonder why you feel a WP article should feel so constrained as to what is mentioned.

Charles Matthews 21:48, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The article is not really about privatization is it? - Jerryseinfeld 21:51, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have now looked in detail at your edits. They seem to be entirely slanted, and not a reasonable reflection of the concept (rather than the narrow election slogan).

I suggest that your edits are heavy-handed, and remove context.

Charles Matthews 21:53, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


This guy just reverted 9 edits. - Jerryseinfeld 22:47, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


The orignial positive uplifting article ([3]) was in a few seconds turned into a vague, negative, disordered, unfocused article. Good job. - Jerryseinfeld 22:59, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

For example, the quotations, two of them look like "text" - author, and the last one is now, after the 9 edits revertion, again just "text" author, with no line. Disorder and its result, failure, have attacked our village of order, success, and positivity. - Jerryseinfeld 23:02, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, WP doesn't do uplift. Try The Little Book of Political Panaceas.

And could you try to spell, to use the edit summaries, and to refrain from personal comments? No one says it is easy to write on politics here.

Charles Matthews 23:05, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Why is this negativism? Why are you referring to an effort to be accurate and historically informative, as being vague or negative? Moreover, the function of an encyclopedia article isn't necessarilly to be uplifiting. It is to be informative. Come on, you seem to be creating a hostility out of disagreement. We aren't going to agree probably, but let's try to be amicable about it.
Thanks! CSTAR 23:09, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
For example "a phrase to rally support for his tax-cut proposals", oh, really? Is THAT what it is? And then put a John Major quote above the Bush quote because it has some link to and ownership society, that's just strange. - Jerryseinfeld 23:18, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"a phrase to rally support for his tax-cut proposals", oh, really?
Look, that's the historical context. I didn't make up the history. I took the trouble of using the public library resources (in this case proquest) to try to find out where this term came from. It is just natural curiosity. In addition to which, the original article ("uplifting" though it may have been) didn't give a clue as to who formulated the concept in these precise terms. Don't you think that's useful information, regardless of whether you're for the idea or against it?.
Why is this kind of activity even appropriate for a vitality curve analysis? If anything, I would think figuring out background and historical material is appropriate for an A team, no? CSTAR 23:32, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Why does years have to be links, like 2004, when a person see a year, do they want to go there and read about everything else that happened that year? What's the purpose of it? - Jerryseinfeld 23:38, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Maybe it is unbelievably stupid but isn't that a WP custom? I have no feelings either way, but every article I have read has the year links and articles I've edited without the year links have had the links subsequently put in. Though questioning tradition is a useful activity, in this case I'm perfectly happy to go along with tradition. CSTAR
For the record: The phrase unbelievably stupid was in Jerryseinfeld's original post [4] and my previous comment was in direct reponse to his. Apparently that user saw fit to remove it.
OK let's call a truce. You can have the discussion page, the main article page and as far as I'm concerned you can do whatever you want with both of them provided that isn't an attack on somebody's person. We have to live in this world together and if you want this space it's fine with me. OK? CSTAR 00:40, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Okay, but I kind of got tired of the article by now. - Jerryseinfeld 00:52, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Private ownership[edit]

Both the headline "history" and "analysis" are really unnecessary in my opinion. Private ownership has ALWAYS existed. Does it have to mention people that have talked about it in the past? And analyze what "control" and "ownership" means? - Jerryseinfeld 00:18, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

About the analysis, "desiderata", "informed consent", "political stake-holding", "extrapolation", "property rights in money". I must say I don't get the point of it. But it sounds like someone have thought long and hard about it. - Jerryseinfeld 00:23, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

To User:Jerryseinfeld[edit]

Two points.

Firstly, inclusion of a large section of the White House press release of August 9 2004 goes against the Wikipedia policy of not including original sources. It also is no help in making this page conform to NPOV.

Secondly, I am having difficulty with your failure to comprehend what this encyclopedia is and does. This article of course should link in some way to the page on ownership, and in such a way at least to make clear what the relationship with the usage on this page is. Where a word like control is used three ways in one sentence, it is also in my view quite reasonable to analyse it, and make the connection control to ownership.

Charles Matthews 06:24, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Can I also point out that, despite my plea for edit summaries, you have made 27 successive edits to this page without a single proper editorial comment? This makes it hugely time-consuming to understand in what way you feel the page should develop. Charles Matthews 06:34, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Here is the policy page on primary sources: Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources. It could be clearer, but it does make the point about not including primary documents, such as the press release or the Cato Institute quote, unless they are being analysed paragraph by paragraph.

I would say that this supports the line that has been taken by a couple of us on this talk page.

Charles Matthews 07:25, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Discussion page deletion[edit]

I also notice that parts of the original discussion record got deleted (some the deletions were probably inadvertent, since there was quite a lot of conflicting edit activity on this page). One of the deletions was to the headings (I believ rant was the term used). I will reinsert the following portion in for the record. In any case, its authenticity can be verified using the page history data:


Fact sheet[edit]

Could you please provide the source of the fact sheet in the article? For instance, the ownership society proposals as detailed in blah? As it stands, it has no background whatsoever.CSTAR 23:52, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Okay. - Jerryseinfeld 00:08, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
At least we know it's direct from the White House. Does Bush really need WP to publicize his programs? CSTAR 00:12, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It may be a base for you to do that clever analysis you're so good at. - Jerryseinfeld 00:26, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)



Let me say that I am impressed how well this page already looks now - thanks to Jerryseinfeld, although many of the arguments with CSTAR and Charles above actually seem pretty constructive after all. --Lumidek 15:06, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

N.B. Lumidek placed these remarks within the above area of text demarcated between the delimiters BEGIN END. I have yanked them out and replaced them here. I understand that Lumidek's insertion in this area was probably inadvertent and in good faith. CSTAR 17:36, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)


What a bunch of losers you are. I'll pray for you when your entitlement program expires. - Jerryseinfeld 19:13, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ownership society: the rich control society and therefore own the poor. See wage slavery

Weasel words[edit]

Wow, can we get any more weasel words into one article (some say, it is criticized because, etc.)? How about we focus on the idea as put forth by GWB and not extrapolate it to "proponents of this would favor..." and crap like that? Disclosure: anti-"Ownership society" libertarian. Paul 00:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Other uses[edit]

I think in the 1980s Reagan used the concept of the "Ownership Society" in reference to homeowners. Socialists have for decades talked about common-ownership societies vs. private-ownership societies. Mrdthree 05:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Ownership of means of production[edit]

The article mentions direct shareholding control of schools. Would this society also have workers directly own shares of workplaces? It seems unlikely but I can't find anything that says otherwise — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:50, 7 October 2019 (UTC)