Can I use my personal savings to make investments?

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No. A key difference is that in a Participatory Economy the decision over how much of the economic pie should go towards investment, i.e creating new capital, such as new machines, technology, etc, happens via a democratic process for society as a whole. Investment is not made by individuals from personal savings, as is the case today.

The decision is made via representatives of worker and consumer national federations in consultation with support units and the wishes of lower level councils. The decision precedes the annual planning

Because capital in a Participatory Economy is socially owned by everyone in society, it is not possible, either for individuals or consumer councils, to use saving to invest in different types of financial securities such as shares, bonds, options, convertibles, derivatives, and the plethora of other financial instruments that today’s financial sector offers.

Individuals may of course choose to save, if for example they plan to buy a very expensive item or want to take an extended break from work to go travelling. However, on the whole, the level of personal saving or borrowing is likely to add up to much less than in today’s capitalist societies for two reasons:

(1) Individual consumers in a participatory economy do not have to worry about saving to pay for their children’s education or their living expenses for when they are sick or retired as many in today’s capitalist societies are forced to do, and

(2) there is no or only a moderate and predictable rate of interest paid on savings and therefore savings cannot be used as a speculative or rent-seeking vehicle to accrue more income.

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