I commend the paper for a front-page article on Dec. 21 about Kennebec Technologies president Charles “Wick” Johnson selling the company to the employees. This high-tech company provides precise machining of airplane parts. Selling to the employees is both wise and smart. The owner gets a great return on his investment and the legacy of all those years of work continues.

Of the future profits, distributed among many local owners, an estimated 45 percent will be circulated and multiplied locally, building community wealth. The employee/owners learn to practice democracy and then use those skills in their families and communities.

Contrast this with our experience in the Waterville/Winslow area. A machining company is sold to an out-of-state corporation, then sold again, then employees are fired to help pay off the inflated purchase price and make the plant more attractive to potential buyers. The employees work in an undemocratic environment with an uncertain future. Wages are only as high as the market dictates because of the corporate drive for maximum profits. Only 14 percent of profits from companies that are not locally owned will be circulated locally.

There is only one presidential candidate that sincerely supports building community wealth through employee ownership and cooperatives — Sen. Bernie Sanders. He has proven through his initiatives in the Burlington, Vermont, area that his deeds match his words. He brought local government and community leaders together to create unparalleled accomplishments. Trade groups were created so local businesses could thrive. Thousands of renters became home owners. The downtown became an exciting place. Nationally, Sen. Sanders has introduced two bills in Congress to promote and support employee ownership.

So what do you want in a president? One who truly cares about everyone or someone that bows to big corporations? Bernie can’t be bought.

Brad Sherwood

Waterville


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