Thursday, April 12, 2018
One new book worth picking up is David Webber's The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor's Last Best Weapon. When I heard this book was coming out, I jumped to order it immediately. David Webber is a uniquely talented writer. In the book, he takes the stories of ordinary workers and labor activists and uses them to help explain sophisticated corporate governance concepts. Along the way, he keeps his objectivity intact and resists the urge to mythologize the gritty labor activists that help him present key concepts. For example, he writes that one: "was no saint. He was highly confrontational and abrasive, with a tendency to overplay his hand. I don't write about him to hold him up as a paragon. I write about him because he . . . punched [his] way to a new set of tactics that must be refined and widely adopted if labor is going to reassert itself in the twenty-first century."
The balance he brings in his portrayal of labor leaders continues with his discussion of key legal concepts. You'll find yourself appreciating how much a nuanced understanding of ERISA can improve options. Although it's nearly impossible to make ERISA engaging, Webber's writing holds your interest. He presents his view plainly and explains why he thinks it offers the best approach. Still, the book is not another one-sided polemic. It also explains and addresses the other side of the debate to leave readers with informed opinions about the issues. It's a thoughtful book that conveys important ideas and concepts with clarity. It should open many readers' eyes to the true power available to labor's capital and the need to make better use of it.