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The Dominance of Public Ownership in the Chinese Socialist Market Economy

There are many that seem to believe that China today is a capitalist country, and that ever since 1978, China took the capitalist road. The relative decline of state owned enterprises (SOEs) in China in comparison to the private sector is used as damning evidence in favor of this view.
I will take this article for example:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/why-chinas-state-owned-companies-still-have-a-key-role-to-play/
China’s private sector - which has been revving up since the global financial crisis - is now serving as the main driver of China’s economic growth. The combination of numbers 60/70/80/90 are frequently used to describe the private sector's contribution to the Chinese economy: they contribute 60% of China’s GDP, and are responsible for 70% of innovation, 80% of urban employment and provide 90% of new jobs. Private wealth is also responsible for 70% of investment and 90% of exports.
All of this is seemingly supported by official Chinese data AT FIRST GLANCE.
Taking a closer look, there may be problems in this combination of numbers. While China’s ownership structure has changed dramatically since reform began, claims that the private sector now dominates the economy may be exaggerated.
This comes from a misunderstanding of the use of the terms "state" and "nonstate" in Chinese official statistics.
https://www.heritage.org/testimony/chinese-state-owned-enterprises-and-us-china-economic-relations
The discussion of SOEs has been undermined by a fundamental error: the conflation of restructured, share-holding firms with the truly private sector. Share-holding SOEs are manifestly not private actors and assessments of the corporate sector that assume so are fatally flawed from the outset. The origin of this mistake is historical. As quasi-state entities emerged and proliferated, it was clear some sort of separate treatment was necessary and the concept of “non-state” was created. This was never intended to indicate “private”—quite the opposite: it was meant to signify that the creation of corporate forms quite different from SOEs could occur without privatization and its ideological pitfalls.
The meaning of “non-state” is very well understood by the Chinese government. The (sometimes willful) misunderstanding outside China rests on two shaky pillars. The first is a mis-rendering of “non-state”—where the PRC sees the opposite of state as non-state, many foreign observers see the opposite of state as “private” and simply re-label accordingly. The second is more sophisticated and based on the share-holding change.
Neither specification of share-holders nor sale of stock by itself does anything to alter state control. The large majority of firms listed on domestic stock markets are specifically designated as state-owned. The sale of small minority stakes on foreign exchanges could be construed as recasting mainstays such as CNPC (through its list vehicle PetroChina), China Mobile, and Chinalco as non-state entities of some form. However, they are still centrally directed SOEs, as explicitly indicated by the Chinese government.
Derek Scissors’s claim (the author of the article I am quoting) also has the support of empirical evidence as well.
https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-chinese-stocks-are-a-state-controlled-facade-2010-6
Even after the enactment of the non-tradable share reform in 2005, the free- float ratio of China A shares remains the lowest in Asia (Exhibit 27).
The State-owned Asset and Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is the government entity charged with holding and administering the large state-owned positions. These shares were classified as non-tradable until 2005, when the non-tradable share reform gave share dividends to free-float shareholders in exchange for making the government-held shares tradable (but with certain constraints). Over time, we believe that the SASAC will continue to sell down these holdings on the margin, while keeping the bulk of the shares.
Thus the control and ownership that U.S. share ownership represents is completely different than what Chinese share ownership represents. Simply put, Chinese shares don't translate into effective ownership of their underlying companies.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Capitalism_with_Chinese_Characteristics.html?id=YBpih2Q1X9kC&source=kp_book_description
The OECD economists assign the entire output by legal-person shareholding firms to the private sector. Is this a reasonable approach? Getting this question right is critical. In 1998, legal-person shareholding firms accountedfor 40 percent (11.3/28.9) of the purported private sector. Excluding these firms would reduce the share of the private sector in industrial value-addedfrom 28.9 percent in 1998 to only 17.6 percent (i.e., 28.9 percent minus 11.3 percent). For 2005, the private sector exclusive of legal-person shareholding firms would be 39.8 percent rather than 71.2 percent (i.e., 71.2 percent minus 31.4 percent). This is another illustration of a common refrain in this book – getting the details right matters.
Legal-person shareholding refers to cross-shareholding by firms. Probably because of the connotations of this term, the OECD economists might have assumed that legal-person shareholding implies that China has a keiretsu arrangement similar to that in Japan where firms own each others’ stocks. The difference with Japan, however, is that in China much of the legal-person share capital originates in the state sector, via SOEs establishing or holding significant equity stakes in other firms. These firms then become affiliates or subsidiaries of the SOEs. The subsidiaries of the SOEs, on account of their final ownership, are still SOEs.

Another well-known SOE on the list classified by the OECD study as private is SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor). In the NBS dataset, the state share of SAIC Motor’s share capital structure is 0 percent; it is 70 percent legal-person shareholding and 30 percent individual shareholding. So this firm qualifies as a private firm in the OECD definition. But SAIC Motor is not even remotely a private firm. SAIC Motor was established in 1997; its predecessor was Shanghai Gear Factory. In 1997, 30 percent of the share capital was issued on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the rest of the share capital was held by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which is 100 percent owned by the Shanghai government. Because the Shanghai government owns SAIC Motor via SAIC – a legal-person shareholder – the state share capital is reduced to zero; however, from a control perspective, there is little question about who controls this firm.
The example of SAIC Motor also illustrates the nature of the SOE reforms in the 1990s. Much of the reform effort had nothing to do with actually changing the owners of the firms but rather it was directed at securitizing the full but previously implicit equity holdings of the state in the SOEs. Although these reform measures copy the superficial forms of a capitalistic market economy, none of them has anything to do with its essence – transferring corporate control from government to private investors.
The high concentration of the ownership structure of the legal-person shareholding firms is another sign that these firms are not private at all. In the NBS dataset, SAIC Motor has the most dispersed shareholding structure among the legal-person shareholding firms because 30 percent of its shares are held by individual shareholders. (This is because the firm is listed.) In contrast, of 16,871 legal-person shareholding firms in the NBS dataset for 1998, 75 percent have zero individual share capital. The average individual share capital is only 3.7 percent. This is entirely expected given the heavily accounting nature of the SOE reforms. As evidence, 7,612 of these so-called legal-person shareholding firms are actually factories – they are simply production subsidiaries of other SOEs. This explains the extraordinary concentration of ownership and control of these firms.

A view focusing on the control-right problems of the SOEs ought to have led to the next logical step of contract reforms – management buyouts of the SOEs. But, in the early 1990s, the Chinese leaders reversed the policy on the grounds that the contract reforms did not work. Instead, they embraced an industrial policy approach that actually augmented the control rights of those SOEs that the government had decided to retain. In the 1980s, collective TVEs, such as Kelon, had state revenue rights but private control rights. In the 1990s, in the case of the large SOEs, the situation was completely reversed. Most of the large SOEs, which were listed on China’s two stock exchanges, had partial private revenue rights but complete state control rights.
Between 1990 and 2003, only 6.97 percent of the initial public offerings on the two Chinese stock exchanges were from private-sector companies. The rest were SOEs that issued minority shares but in which managerial control remained very clearly in state hands.27 Put differently, because many shareholding firms in China have private revenue rights but their control rights still rest with the government, they should be considered as state-controlled. According to a detailed study of more than 600 firms on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SHSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) in 1995, the three main groups of shareholders – state, legal persons, and individual shareholders – each controlled about 30 percent of the outstanding shares (Xu and Wang 1997). This stock split has remained more or less constant since then, although the government has plans to reduce the state shares. The control rights of these firms were overwhelmingly state. According to the same study, although individual shareholding constituted 30 percent of the outstanding shares, on average individual shareholders occupied less than 0.3 percent of the seats on the boards of 154 companies, whereas on average the state was over-represented on the boards. On average, the state retained 50 percent of the seats even though its equity shares amounted to 30 percent. There were no proxy voting procedures, thereby putting the individual shareholders in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis the institutional investors such as the government agencies. This usurpation of rightful shareholder power is direct evidence that the state harbors no intention of relinquishing its control rights even over those firms that have explicitly private revenue rights.
What does this mean? The mixed ownership corporate enterprises that emerged in China in recent decades are still to a large extent controlled by the state and should be considered to be a part of the public sector. This has considerable implications for what is being discussed at hand. In Chinese statistics, the nonstate sector includes these mixed ownership firms. Thus by making the huge mistake of conflating "nonstate" with "private," analysts mistakenly place mixed ownership firms into the private sector. However, this can be corrected and we come up with the following conclusion instead.
https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/05/17/chinas-soe-sector-is-bigger-than-some-would-have-us-think/
The results of forcing such a choice are illustrative. With non-wholly state-funded LLCs included, the public share of fixed investment in the first quarter of 2016 is near 60 per cent. Data from 2013 show the public sector still accounting for only 30 per cent of total firms but roughly 55 per cent of assets, 45 per cent of revenue and 40 per cent of profits.

Those who claim private leadership can say that non-wholly state-funded LLCs are not the same as SOEs. The stronger point is that even some pure SOEs are qualitatively different than they were 20 years ago. But it is a large and mistaken jump from these correct observations to treating mixed or ‘non-state’ as equivalent to private, which Xinhua and many other observers frequently do. The non-traditional-SOE sector may account for 60 per cent of GDP; the private sector does not.
These numbers show that the public sector still maintains its dominance in its contribution GDP and investment.
However, the question still lingers whether contributions to GDP, investment, revenue, etc are accurate in making deductions about the ownership structures in an economy. Chinese economists propose that assets are the most important indicator to evaluate the status of any form of ownership, especially public ownership, in the national economy.
There is strong theoretical reasoning to prove this as well.
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-13-6895-0
Actually, to rely on assets to evaluate the dominant status of public ownership does not only meet the requirement of government policies, but is also deeply rooted in economic theories as well. Classical Marxian economists usually referred to the concept of “property right” when talking about ownership, i.e., the ownership of material production. For example, Marx, when making discussions on the basic features of the new, future society, spoke of the society as “collectively-owned, based on common ownership of the means of production”. Such a concept of ownership of the means of material production had been long in use, which was associated with the social background before the 1950s when various non-material means of production (such as various intangible assets, trademarks, marketing network, computer software and science and technologies) had not been common or important in social production. With technological advances and changes in the means of capitalist production, the various non-material modes became more and more important in the establishment of the capitalist relation of production. Therefore, the denotation and connotations of ownership became richer and richer. For example, some international enterprises originating in developed countries now make use of their advantages in product brands and supply chains to organize international production with little or no reliance on the share of capital investment in their hands; nor do they have to build any facility physically for material production. As a matter of fact, Marx seemed to have foreseen this as he sometimes talked about ownership with vague denotation and used such poorly-defined terms as “external conditions of labor”: “Any way to distribute consumer materials is just the distribution of the productive condition itself… Since the factors of production have to be distributed this way, the distribution of consumer materials has to go this way, too.” Here he did not mention the concept of means of production, but “productive condition” and “factors of production” that had an even wider range of connotations.
Using assets to evaluate the position of public ownership in the Chinese economy, we come to the conclusion that public ownership maintains its dominance.
Public ownership as the dominant form is supported by data. By the end of 2012, the total amount of the operating assets of China’s thrice industries was 487.53 trillion yuan (including the assets of individually-owned businesses), among which 53%, or 258.39 trillion yuan, was owned by the public sector. These data showed that, even with the strictest measurement, public ownership was still the dominant form of the national economy in China, and from the perspective of the ownership structure, the socialist nature of the Chinese society did not change; nor did the reforms change the color of the society. As a matter of fact, the socialist nature of our country also decides that the size of the nonoperating assets of the public sector is also considerable. When the nonoperating assets were included, the total amount of the assets of the Chinese society would be 518.13 trillion yuan (excluding the noncultivated undeveloped resource assets), among which the public owned 288.99 trillion yuan, or 55.78%. The national asset and its size are the externalized cost for efficiency improvement in the operational fields, in which the efficiency of enterprises relies heavily on such social support. Therefore, inspection on the ownership structure of the economy cannot ignore the nonoperating assets.
Now the question is, does this conclusion about the year 2012 apply currently to the year 2020? The answer is a yes.
In terms of the long-term trend, the dominant status of China’s public ownership is guaranteed. First, starting from 2009, the reforms on the ownership structure in China took a turn from rapid changes to fine adjustments. In the first phase (2004–2008), the proportion of public ownership, measured by asset, in the secondary and tertiary industries decreased from 62.73 to 55.48%, while the proportion of the nonpublic ownership increased from 37.27 to 44.52%. In the second phase (2009–2012), however, the proportion of public ownership decreased from 54.32 to 50.44%, and that of the nonpublic, from 45.68 to 49.56%. The numbers showed that the reforms on the ownership structure in China had progressed from wide-range and large-scale changes to a stable phase of fine adjustments. The assets of the public and nonpublic sectors have drawn to stabilization, which suggests that the dominating status of the public sector, measured by asset, will not change in the long-term trend, and the economic system that is based on the dominance of public ownership has been stabilized. Second, the strategic reorganization of SOEs and the public investment used in the state macro-adjustments will continue to accumulate new assets for the publicly-owned economy, which ensures the growth in quantity of both the publicly- and the non-publicly-owned economies. With public ownership as the dominant form, as long as the publicly-owned assets do not increase at a much slower speed than the non-publicly-owned, there is no question for public ownership to remain dominant.
If one needs more quantitative evidence to prove that ownership structure has been stable recently, one need not look further than the Chinese statistical yearbooks, which provide us continuous data on publicly owned assets (but note that this data only is on the industrial sector and leaves out the primary and tertiary sectors).
I made a spreadsheet here which has data from the Chinese statistical yearbooks on the ratio of state owned assets to total assets over time (from 2004 to 2018).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eUUMr_sUJxo8ZCRwodsXAQVtjVgv4Vity2ACpe01cCA/edit?usp=sharing
The data obviously shows that, just as the authors of the book predicted, the ownership adjustments in the Chinese economy have been very small and have largely stabilized with no further retreat of the public sector occuring. Thus we can still conclude that the public sector still maintains its dominance in China.
The Chinese statistical yearbooks can be found here:
http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/Statisticaldata/AnnualData/
What I find interesting however is that the authors in the book I quoted from earlier come to the conclusion that the public sector makes up only 35% of output and 25% of employment in the secondary and tertiary industries, which may run counter to Derek Scissors’s claims about the larger contribution of the public sector in GDP, investment, etc. Whatever the case, the point still stands that by using assets as the main indicator, the Chinese public sector still maintains its dominance in the Chinese economy.
How does the position of the Chinese public sector compare to the capitalist countries?
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
First, the publicly-owned assets in China have a higher share. In the secondary and tertiary industries only in 2012, the publicly-owned economic assets reached 226 trillion yuan in China and, according to the study on China’s sovereign assets and liabilities by Li Yang, et al.,10 the non-operating assets (excluding state land resources) reached 30.7 trillion yuan in 2010. The two together accounted for 53.62% of the total assets of the secondary and tertiary industries. In contrast, in the national balance sheet of the U.K., the share of the public sectors is as low as negligible: before the global financial crisis, the net assets of the U.K.’s public departments accounted for 6% of its total assets while in 2010, the percentage was 0 (Appendix Table 24). Similarly, the U.S. owned a total of 2.7 trillion dollar assets according to the national balance sheet of 2011 published by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Appendix Table 25) while the total assets owned by the U.S. residents and non-profit organizations reached 71 trillion dollars at the same times, giving the government assets a share of only 3.7% (Appendix Table 26). Canada has the same story in that its public sectors owned 2.4% of the total assets of its national economy in 2008 (Appendix Table 27). Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, was once considered to have one of the largest shares of SOEs, but the total assets of its state departments plunged in share, from 1.9% in 2007 to 0.1% in 2011 (Appendix Table 28), and all of its SOEs had a collective amount of assets that did not exceed 100 billion euro.11 Even when we took a round number of 100 billion, the total stateowned assets in Germany was still less than 1.3 trillion euro. The story is somewhat different for the catching-up countries such as Japan and South Korea in that they have relatively higher shares of publicly-owned assets. In Japan, for example, the total assets of public departments had a rapid decrease in share from 8.6% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2011 after the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, South Korea has always managed a high share of publicly-owned assets, which was 18.6% in 2011 (Appendix Table 29). Evidently, we have a much higher share of publicly-owned assets in China compared to capitalist countries, especially when compared to the public departments of the developed capitalist countries.
Even compared to the supposedly "mixed" or "state capitalist" economies of East Asia, publicly owned assets in China are a much larger share of the total than are present in Japan or South Korea, thus affirming the socialist (rather than “state capitalist”) nature of the Chinese economy.
One final question remains however: where is the Chinese economy headed in the next few decades?
The answer can be found in mixed ownership reform. Today, Chinese firms are reorganizing into mixed ownership firms where public sector and private sector firms are intermeshed and the divisions between them are blurred. One thing to note however is that the state will still maintain its dominance in these mixed ownership firms. This can be seen in the asset composition of mixed ownership firms.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02529203.2014.999905
In the absence of precise data on the different ownership components of corporate enterprises, we can only disaggregate their public and non-public components internally. The data from Yang Xinming and Yang Xuechun’s measurement of the total assets of the mixed ownership economy in 2008 indicate that the public and the private component account for 65 and 35 percent of the total respectively. After calculating the paid-in capital structure from the 2004 census data, we find that the public and private components accounted for 63 and 37 percent of the total respectively, as shown in Table 8. We therefore estimate the proportion of public assets in the total mixed ownership economy to have been 63 percent in 2004-2007 and 65 percent in 2008 and beyond.

Secondly, as indicated in Table 7, the assets of the mixed ownership economy represented by corporate enterprises have been growing extremely fast and are the largest in terms of scale. In 2012, this sector’s assets accounted for 51.8 percent of total productive assets in secondary and tertiary industry, ahead of all other types of enterprises; moreover, the sector is one in which the state-owned economic component is dominant. These data and this analysis offer an empirical basis for the arrangements for deepening reform set out in the Decision of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CCCPC, which notes that the mixed economy is an important means of realizing the basic economic system and is conducive to amplifying the role of state-owned capital and strengthening the dynamism, control and influence of the state-owned economy.
What the Chinese leadership seeks now is the mutual development of both the public and private sectors in mixed ownership enterprises instead of one sector developing at the expense of the other.
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
Public ownership that dominates the asset structure is very tolerant of the non-publicly-owned economy. The dominating status of the publicly-owned assets provides material support for and is fundamental to China’s socialist ownership, underlies realization of common prosperity, offers a carrier for social functions to operate and, at the same time, strongly propels the development of the non-publicly-owned economy. In fact, the dominating status of the non-publicly-owned economy in output, employment, and taxation is the premise of its existence and development. According to our estimation, among the secondary and tertiary industries in China in 2012, the proportions of added value of the non-publicly- and publicly-owned economies were 67.59 and 32.41%, respectively, and new employment, 75.20 and 24.80%, respectively. Meanwhile, the businesses in the primary industry, such as agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, are mostly comprised of family-based ones. Such development of both publicly- and non-publicly-owned economies with their respective status in asset size not matching their corresponding contributions is determined by their distinctive distributions across economic areas, and it also meets the demand of efficiency by the dominating market and by the external economics. Therefore, the domination in asset size by the publicly-owned economy together with the dominating contributions to output and employment made by the non-publicly-owned economy must stand side by side and march forward together. This is the foundation in practice for the “two unswervinglies” policy
In addition:
In addition, with further adjustments of the ownership structure, the dislocation of the domination in asset size of the public sector and the domination in economic contributions of the nonpublic sector will only be furthered. Actually, only with its rapid development can the nonpublic sector fulfill its role as an indispensable part to the socialist market economy, which will further drive SOEs to improve their efficiency so that mutual development will be achieved; and only with complete fusion of the two sectors brought by further improvement of the production efficiency and socialization of them can the primary stage of socialism has a chance to march to a higher stage.
In other words, the current mixed ownership reforms are setting up a huge building block for socialist China to step into a higher stage of socialism, bringing it closer to communism. So when you see articles like these from CGTN, please do not worry! Opening the “commanding heights” of the economy to private/foreign investment and competition is only a measure to further mixed ownership reforms and will not challenge the dominance of public ownership in the Chinese economy.
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-18/China-unveils-guideline-on-improving-the-socialist-market-economy-QB6Vn3GVbO/index.html
There is a lot more Marxist theoretical backing for mixed ownership reform, but considering the size of this post, the theory behind the mixed ownership reforms will probably have to be something to write for another post.
Anyway, I’ll still leave behind some readings that will be useful to understand the combination of the public sector and market and the intermeshment of the public and private sectors in the Chinese economy to those who are curious.
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/chapter-4-chinas-socialist-market-economy-pre-publication.pdf
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/not-some-other-ism-06-pre-publication.pdf
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811327261 (chapter 1)
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943 (start at page 183)
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-10-2018-011/full/html
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-04-2019-0006/full/html
https://philpapers.org/rec/BOEISA-2
I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading the articles in the following two journals (using scihub to get past the paywalls):
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rssc20
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rict20
submitted by fortniteBot3000 to Sino [link] [comments]

The Dominance of Public Ownership in the Chinese Socialist Market Economy

There are many that seem to believe that China today is a capitalist country, and that ever since 1978, China took the capitalist road. The relative decline of state owned enterprises (SOEs) in China in comparison to the private sector is used as damning evidence in favor of this view.
I will take this article for example:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/why-chinas-state-owned-companies-still-have-a-key-role-to-play/
China’s private sector - which has been revving up since the global financial crisis - is now serving as the main driver of China’s economic growth. The combination of numbers 60/70/80/90 are frequently used to describe the private sector's contribution to the Chinese economy: they contribute 60% of China’s GDP, and are responsible for 70% of innovation, 80% of urban employment and provide 90% of new jobs. Private wealth is also responsible for 70% of investment and 90% of exports.
All of this is seemingly supported by official Chinese data AT FIRST GLANCE.
Taking a closer look, there may be problems in this combination of numbers. While China’s ownership structure has changed dramatically since reform began, claims that the private sector now dominates the economy may be exaggerated.
This comes from a misunderstanding of the use of the terms "state" and "nonstate" in Chinese official statistics.
https://www.heritage.org/testimony/chinese-state-owned-enterprises-and-us-china-economic-relations
The discussion of SOEs has been undermined by a fundamental error: the conflation of restructured, share-holding firms with the truly private sector. Share-holding SOEs are manifestly not private actors and assessments of the corporate sector that assume so are fatally flawed from the outset. The origin of this mistake is historical. As quasi-state entities emerged and proliferated, it was clear some sort of separate treatment was necessary and the concept of “non-state” was created. This was never intended to indicate “private”—quite the opposite: it was meant to signify that the creation of corporate forms quite different from SOEs could occur without privatization and its ideological pitfalls.
The meaning of “non-state” is very well understood by the Chinese government. The (sometimes willful) misunderstanding outside China rests on two shaky pillars. The first is a mis-rendering of “non-state”—where the PRC sees the opposite of state as non-state, many foreign observers see the opposite of state as “private” and simply re-label accordingly. The second is more sophisticated and based on the share-holding change.
Neither specification of share-holders nor sale of stock by itself does anything to alter state control. The large majority of firms listed on domestic stock markets are specifically designated as state-owned. The sale of small minority stakes on foreign exchanges could be construed as recasting mainstays such as CNPC (through its list vehicle PetroChina), China Mobile, and Chinalco as non-state entities of some form. However, they are still centrally directed SOEs, as explicitly indicated by the Chinese government.
Derek Scissors’s claim (the author of the article I am quoting) also has the support of empirical evidence as well.
https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-chinese-stocks-are-a-state-controlled-facade-2010-6
Even after the enactment of the non-tradable share reform in 2005, the free- float ratio of China A shares remains the lowest in Asia (Exhibit 27).
The State-owned Asset and Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is the government entity charged with holding and administering the large state-owned positions. These shares were classified as non-tradable until 2005, when the non-tradable share reform gave share dividends to free-float shareholders in exchange for making the government-held shares tradable (but with certain constraints). Over time, we believe that the SASAC will continue to sell down these holdings on the margin, while keeping the bulk of the shares.
Thus the control and ownership that U.S. share ownership represents is completely different than what Chinese share ownership represents. Simply put, Chinese shares don't translate into effective ownership of their underlying companies.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Capitalism_with_Chinese_Characteristics.html?id=YBpih2Q1X9kC&source=kp_book_description
The OECD economists assign the entire output by legal-person shareholding firms to the private sector. Is this a reasonable approach? Getting this question right is critical. In 1998, legal-person shareholding firms accountedfor 40 percent (11.3/28.9) of the purported private sector. Excluding these firms would reduce the share of the private sector in industrial value-addedfrom 28.9 percent in 1998 to only 17.6 percent (i.e., 28.9 percent minus 11.3 percent). For 2005, the private sector exclusive of legal-person shareholding firms would be 39.8 percent rather than 71.2 percent (i.e., 71.2 percent minus 31.4 percent). This is another illustration of a common refrain in this book – getting the details right matters.
Legal-person shareholding refers to cross-shareholding by firms. Probably because of the connotations of this term, the OECD economists might have assumed that legal-person shareholding implies that China has a keiretsu arrangement similar to that in Japan where firms own each others’ stocks. The difference with Japan, however, is that in China much of the legal-person share capital originates in the state sector, via SOEs establishing or holding significant equity stakes in other firms. These firms then become affiliates or subsidiaries of the SOEs. The subsidiaries of the SOEs, on account of their final ownership, are still SOEs.

Another well-known SOE on the list classified by the OECD study as private is SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor). In the NBS dataset, the state share of SAIC Motor’s share capital structure is 0 percent; it is 70 percent legal-person shareholding and 30 percent individual shareholding. So this firm qualifies as a private firm in the OECD definition. But SAIC Motor is not even remotely a private firm. SAIC Motor was established in 1997; its predecessor was Shanghai Gear Factory. In 1997, 30 percent of the share capital was issued on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the rest of the share capital was held by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which is 100 percent owned by the Shanghai government. Because the Shanghai government owns SAIC Motor via SAIC – a legal-person shareholder – the state share capital is reduced to zero; however, from a control perspective, there is little question about who controls this firm.
The example of SAIC Motor also illustrates the nature of the SOE reforms in the 1990s. Much of the reform effort had nothing to do with actually changing the owners of the firms but rather it was directed at securitizing the full but previously implicit equity holdings of the state in the SOEs. Although these reform measures copy the superficial forms of a capitalistic market economy, none of them has anything to do with its essence – transferring corporate control from government to private investors.
The high concentration of the ownership structure of the legal-person shareholding firms is another sign that these firms are not private at all. In the NBS dataset, SAIC Motor has the most dispersed shareholding structure among the legal-person shareholding firms because 30 percent of its shares are held by individual shareholders. (This is because the firm is listed.) In contrast, of 16,871 legal-person shareholding firms in the NBS dataset for 1998, 75 percent have zero individual share capital. The average individual share capital is only 3.7 percent. This is entirely expected given the heavily accounting nature of the SOE reforms. As evidence, 7,612 of these so-called legal-person shareholding firms are actually factories – they are simply production subsidiaries of other SOEs. This explains the extraordinary concentration of ownership and control of these firms.

A view focusing on the control-right problems of the SOEs ought to have led to the next logical step of contract reforms – management buyouts of the SOEs. But, in the early 1990s, the Chinese leaders reversed the policy on the grounds that the contract reforms did not work. Instead, they embraced an industrial policy approach that actually augmented the control rights of those SOEs that the government had decided to retain. In the 1980s, collective TVEs, such as Kelon, had state revenue rights but private control rights. In the 1990s, in the case of the large SOEs, the situation was completely reversed. Most of the large SOEs, which were listed on China’s two stock exchanges, had partial private revenue rights but complete state control rights.
Between 1990 and 2003, only 6.97 percent of the initial public offerings on the two Chinese stock exchanges were from private-sector companies. The rest were SOEs that issued minority shares but in which managerial control remained very clearly in state hands.27 Put differently, because many shareholding firms in China have private revenue rights but their control rights still rest with the government, they should be considered as state-controlled. According to a detailed study of more than 600 firms on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SHSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) in 1995, the three main groups of shareholders – state, legal persons, and individual shareholders – each controlled about 30 percent of the outstanding shares (Xu and Wang 1997). This stock split has remained more or less constant since then, although the government has plans to reduce the state shares. The control rights of these firms were overwhelmingly state. According to the same study, although individual shareholding constituted 30 percent of the outstanding shares, on average individual shareholders occupied less than 0.3 percent of the seats on the boards of 154 companies, whereas on average the state was over-represented on the boards. On average, the state retained 50 percent of the seats even though its equity shares amounted to 30 percent. There were no proxy voting procedures, thereby putting the individual shareholders in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis the institutional investors such as the government agencies. This usurpation of rightful shareholder power is direct evidence that the state harbors no intention of relinquishing its control rights even over those firms that have explicitly private revenue rights.
What does this mean? The mixed ownership corporate enterprises that emerged in China in recent decades are still to a large extent controlled by the state and should be considered to be a part of the public sector. This has considerable implications for what is being discussed at hand. In Chinese statistics, the nonstate sector includes these mixed ownership firms. Thus by making the huge mistake of conflating "nonstate" with "private," analysts mistakenly place mixed ownership firms into the private sector. However, this can be corrected and we come up with the following conclusion instead.
https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/05/17/chinas-soe-sector-is-bigger-than-some-would-have-us-think/
The results of forcing such a choice are illustrative. With non-wholly state-funded LLCs included, the public share of fixed investment in the first quarter of 2016 is near 60 per cent. Data from 2013 show the public sector still accounting for only 30 per cent of total firms but roughly 55 per cent of assets, 45 per cent of revenue and 40 per cent of profits.

Those who claim private leadership can say that non-wholly state-funded LLCs are not the same as SOEs. The stronger point is that even some pure SOEs are qualitatively different than they were 20 years ago. But it is a large and mistaken jump from these correct observations to treating mixed or ‘non-state’ as equivalent to private, which Xinhua and many other observers frequently do. The non-traditional-SOE sector may account for 60 per cent of GDP; the private sector does not.
These numbers show that the public sector still maintains its dominance in its contribution GDP and investment.
However, the question still lingers whether contributions to GDP, investment, revenue, etc are accurate in making deductions about the ownership structures in an economy. Chinese economists propose that assets are the most important indicator to evaluate the status of any form of ownership, especially public ownership, in the national economy.
There is strong theoretical reasoning to prove this as well.
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-13-6895-0
Actually, to rely on assets to evaluate the dominant status of public ownership does not only meet the requirement of government policies, but is also deeply rooted in economic theories as well. Classical Marxian economists usually referred to the concept of “property right” when talking about ownership, i.e., the ownership of material production. For example, Marx, when making discussions on the basic features of the new, future society, spoke of the society as “collectively-owned, based on common ownership of the means of production”. Such a concept of ownership of the means of material production had been long in use, which was associated with the social background before the 1950s when various non-material means of production (such as various intangible assets, trademarks, marketing network, computer software and science and technologies) had not been common or important in social production. With technological advances and changes in the means of capitalist production, the various non-material modes became more and more important in the establishment of the capitalist relation of production. Therefore, the denotation and connotations of ownership became richer and richer. For example, some international enterprises originating in developed countries now make use of their advantages in product brands and supply chains to organize international production with little or no reliance on the share of capital investment in their hands; nor do they have to build any facility physically for material production. As a matter of fact, Marx seemed to have foreseen this as he sometimes talked about ownership with vague denotation and used such poorly-defined terms as “external conditions of labor”: “Any way to distribute consumer materials is just the distribution of the productive condition itself… Since the factors of production have to be distributed this way, the distribution of consumer materials has to go this way, too.” Here he did not mention the concept of means of production, but “productive condition” and “factors of production” that had an even wider range of connotations.
Using assets to evaluate the position of public ownership in the Chinese economy, we come to the conclusion that public ownership maintains its dominance.
Public ownership as the dominant form is supported by data. By the end of 2012, the total amount of the operating assets of China’s thrice industries was 487.53 trillion yuan (including the assets of individually-owned businesses), among which 53%, or 258.39 trillion yuan, was owned by the public sector. These data showed that, even with the strictest measurement, public ownership was still the dominant form of the national economy in China, and from the perspective of the ownership structure, the socialist nature of the Chinese society did not change; nor did the reforms change the color of the society. As a matter of fact, the socialist nature of our country also decides that the size of the nonoperating assets of the public sector is also considerable. When the nonoperating assets were included, the total amount of the assets of the Chinese society would be 518.13 trillion yuan (excluding the noncultivated undeveloped resource assets), among which the public owned 288.99 trillion yuan, or 55.78%. The national asset and its size are the externalized cost for efficiency improvement in the operational fields, in which the efficiency of enterprises relies heavily on such social support. Therefore, inspection on the ownership structure of the economy cannot ignore the nonoperating assets.
Now the question is, does this conclusion about the year 2012 apply currently to the year 2020? The answer is a yes.
In terms of the long-term trend, the dominant status of China’s public ownership is guaranteed. First, starting from 2009, the reforms on the ownership structure in China took a turn from rapid changes to fine adjustments. In the first phase (2004–2008), the proportion of public ownership, measured by asset, in the secondary and tertiary industries decreased from 62.73 to 55.48%, while the proportion of the nonpublic ownership increased from 37.27 to 44.52%. In the second phase (2009–2012), however, the proportion of public ownership decreased from 54.32 to 50.44%, and that of the nonpublic, from 45.68 to 49.56%. The numbers showed that the reforms on the ownership structure in China had progressed from wide-range and large-scale changes to a stable phase of fine adjustments. The assets of the public and nonpublic sectors have drawn to stabilization, which suggests that the dominating status of the public sector, measured by asset, will not change in the long-term trend, and the economic system that is based on the dominance of public ownership has been stabilized. Second, the strategic reorganization of SOEs and the public investment used in the state macro-adjustments will continue to accumulate new assets for the publicly-owned economy, which ensures the growth in quantity of both the publicly- and the non-publicly-owned economies. With public ownership as the dominant form, as long as the publicly-owned assets do not increase at a much slower speed than the non-publicly-owned, there is no question for public ownership to remain dominant.
If one needs more quantitative evidence to prove that ownership structure has been stable recently, one need not look further than the Chinese statistical yearbooks, which provide us continuous data on publicly owned assets (but note that this data only is on the industrial sector and leaves out the primary and tertiary sectors).
I made a spreadsheet here which has data from the Chinese statistical yearbooks on the ratio of state owned assets to total assets over time (from 2004 to 2018).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eUUMr_sUJxo8ZCRwodsXAQVtjVgv4Vity2ACpe01cCA/edit?usp=sharing
The data obviously shows that, just as the authors of the book predicted, the ownership adjustments in the Chinese economy have been very small and have largely stabilized with no further retreat of the public sector occuring. Thus we can still conclude that the public sector still maintains its dominance in China.
The Chinese statistical yearbooks can be found here:
http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/Statisticaldata/AnnualData/
What I find interesting however is that the authors in the book I quoted from earlier come to the conclusion that the public sector makes up only 35% of output and 25% of employment in the secondary and tertiary industries, which may run counter to Derek Scissors’s claims about the larger contribution of the public sector in GDP, investment, etc. Whatever the case, the point still stands that by using assets as the main indicator, the Chinese public sector still maintains its dominance in the Chinese economy.
How does the position of the Chinese public sector compare to the capitalist countries?
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
First, the publicly-owned assets in China have a higher share. In the secondary and tertiary industries only in 2012, the publicly-owned economic assets reached 226 trillion yuan in China and, according to the study on China’s sovereign assets and liabilities by Li Yang, et al.,10 the non-operating assets (excluding state land resources) reached 30.7 trillion yuan in 2010. The two together accounted for 53.62% of the total assets of the secondary and tertiary industries. In contrast, in the national balance sheet of the U.K., the share of the public sectors is as low as negligible: before the global financial crisis, the net assets of the U.K.’s public departments accounted for 6% of its total assets while in 2010, the percentage was 0 (Appendix Table 24). Similarly, the U.S. owned a total of 2.7 trillion dollar assets according to the national balance sheet of 2011 published by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Appendix Table 25) while the total assets owned by the U.S. residents and non-profit organizations reached 71 trillion dollars at the same times, giving the government assets a share of only 3.7% (Appendix Table 26). Canada has the same story in that its public sectors owned 2.4% of the total assets of its national economy in 2008 (Appendix Table 27). Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, was once considered to have one of the largest shares of SOEs, but the total assets of its state departments plunged in share, from 1.9% in 2007 to 0.1% in 2011 (Appendix Table 28), and all of its SOEs had a collective amount of assets that did not exceed 100 billion euro.11 Even when we took a round number of 100 billion, the total stateowned assets in Germany was still less than 1.3 trillion euro. The story is somewhat different for the catching-up countries such as Japan and South Korea in that they have relatively higher shares of publicly-owned assets. In Japan, for example, the total assets of public departments had a rapid decrease in share from 8.6% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2011 after the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, South Korea has always managed a high share of publicly-owned assets, which was 18.6% in 2011 (Appendix Table 29). Evidently, we have a much higher share of publicly-owned assets in China compared to capitalist countries, especially when compared to the public departments of the developed capitalist countries.
Even compared to the supposedly "mixed" or "state capitalist" economies of East Asia, publicly owned assets in China are a much larger share of the total than are present in Japan or South Korea, thus affirming the socialist (rather than “state capitalist”) nature of the Chinese economy.
One final question remains however: where is the Chinese economy headed in the next few decades?
The answer can be found in mixed ownership reform. Today, Chinese firms are reorganizing into mixed ownership firms where public sector and private sector firms are intermeshed and the divisions between them are blurred. One thing to note however is that the state will still maintain its dominance in these mixed ownership firms. This can be seen in the asset composition of mixed ownership firms.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02529203.2014.999905
In the absence of precise data on the different ownership components of corporate enterprises, we can only disaggregate their public and non-public components internally. The data from Yang Xinming and Yang Xuechun’s measurement of the total assets of the mixed ownership economy in 2008 indicate that the public and the private component account for 65 and 35 percent of the total respectively. After calculating the paid-in capital structure from the 2004 census data, we find that the public and private components accounted for 63 and 37 percent of the total respectively, as shown in Table 8. We therefore estimate the proportion of public assets in the total mixed ownership economy to have been 63 percent in 2004-2007 and 65 percent in 2008 and beyond.

Secondly, as indicated in Table 7, the assets of the mixed ownership economy represented by corporate enterprises have been growing extremely fast and are the largest in terms of scale. In 2012, this sector’s assets accounted for 51.8 percent of total productive assets in secondary and tertiary industry, ahead of all other types of enterprises; moreover, the sector is one in which the state-owned economic component is dominant. These data and this analysis offer an empirical basis for the arrangements for deepening reform set out in the Decision of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CCCPC, which notes that the mixed economy is an important means of realizing the basic economic system and is conducive to amplifying the role of state-owned capital and strengthening the dynamism, control and influence of the state-owned economy.
What the Chinese leadership seeks now is the mutual development of both the public and private sectors in mixed ownership enterprises instead of one sector developing at the expense of the other.
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
Public ownership that dominates the asset structure is very tolerant of the non-publicly-owned economy. The dominating status of the publicly-owned assets provides material support for and is fundamental to China’s socialist ownership, underlies realization of common prosperity, offers a carrier for social functions to operate and, at the same time, strongly propels the development of the non-publicly-owned economy. In fact, the dominating status of the non-publicly-owned economy in output, employment, and taxation is the premise of its existence and development. According to our estimation, among the secondary and tertiary industries in China in 2012, the proportions of added value of the non-publicly- and publicly-owned economies were 67.59 and 32.41%, respectively, and new employment, 75.20 and 24.80%, respectively. Meanwhile, the businesses in the primary industry, such as agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, are mostly comprised of family-based ones. Such development of both publicly- and non-publicly-owned economies with their respective status in asset size not matching their corresponding contributions is determined by their distinctive distributions across economic areas, and it also meets the demand of efficiency by the dominating market and by the external economics. Therefore, the domination in asset size by the publicly-owned economy together with the dominating contributions to output and employment made by the non-publicly-owned economy must stand side by side and march forward together. This is the foundation in practice for the “two unswervinglies” policy
In addition:
In addition, with further adjustments of the ownership structure, the dislocation of the domination in asset size of the public sector and the domination in economic contributions of the nonpublic sector will only be furthered. Actually, only with its rapid development can the nonpublic sector fulfill its role as an indispensable part to the socialist market economy, which will further drive SOEs to improve their efficiency so that mutual development will be achieved; and only with complete fusion of the two sectors brought by further improvement of the production efficiency and socialization of them can the primary stage of socialism has a chance to march to a higher stage.
In other words, the current mixed ownership reforms are setting up a huge building block for socialist China to step into a higher stage of socialism, bringing it closer to communism. So when you see articles like these from CGTN, please do not worry! Opening the “commanding heights” of the economy to private/foreign investment and competition is only a measure to further mixed ownership reforms and will not challenge the dominance of public ownership in the Chinese economy.
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-18/China-unveils-guideline-on-improving-the-socialist-market-economy-QB6Vn3GVbO/index.html
There is a lot more Marxist theoretical backing for mixed ownership reform, but considering the size of this post, the theory behind the mixed ownership reforms will probably have to be something to write for another post.
Anyway, I’ll still leave behind some readings that will be useful to understand the combination of the public sector and market and the intermeshment of the public and private sectors in the Chinese economy to those who are curious.
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/chapter-4-chinas-socialist-market-economy-pre-publication.pdf
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/not-some-other-ism-06-pre-publication.pdf
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811327261 (chapter 1)
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943 (start at page 183)
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-10-2018-011/full/html
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-04-2019-0006/full/html
https://philpapers.org/rec/BOEISA-2
I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading the articles in the following two journals (using scihub to get past the paywalls):
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rssc20
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rict20
submitted by fortniteBot3000 to communism [link] [comments]

What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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The Dominance of Public Ownership in the Chinese Socialist Market Economy

There are many that seem to believe that China today is a capitalist country, and that ever since 1978, China took the capitalist road. The relative decline of state owned enterprises (SOEs) in China in comparison to the private sector is used as damning evidence in favor of this view.
I will take this article for example:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/why-chinas-state-owned-companies-still-have-a-key-role-to-play/
China’s private sector - which has been revving up since the global financial crisis - is now serving as the main driver of China’s economic growth. The combination of numbers 60/70/80/90 are frequently used to describe the private sector's contribution to the Chinese economy: they contribute 60% of China’s GDP, and are responsible for 70% of innovation, 80% of urban employment and provide 90% of new jobs. Private wealth is also responsible for 70% of investment and 90% of exports.
All of this is seemingly supported by official Chinese data AT FIRST GLANCE.
Taking a closer look, there may be problems in this combination of numbers. While China’s ownership structure has changed dramatically since reform began, claims that the private sector now dominates the economy may be exaggerated.
This comes from a misunderstanding of the use of the terms "state" and "nonstate" in Chinese official statistics.
https://www.heritage.org/testimony/chinese-state-owned-enterprises-and-us-china-economic-relations
The discussion of SOEs has been undermined by a fundamental error: the conflation of restructured, share-holding firms with the truly private sector. Share-holding SOEs are manifestly not private actors and assessments of the corporate sector that assume so are fatally flawed from the outset. The origin of this mistake is historical. As quasi-state entities emerged and proliferated, it was clear some sort of separate treatment was necessary and the concept of “non-state” was created. This was never intended to indicate “private”—quite the opposite: it was meant to signify that the creation of corporate forms quite different from SOEs could occur without privatization and its ideological pitfalls.
The meaning of “non-state” is very well understood by the Chinese government. The (sometimes willful) misunderstanding outside China rests on two shaky pillars. The first is a mis-rendering of “non-state”—where the PRC sees the opposite of state as non-state, many foreign observers see the opposite of state as “private” and simply re-label accordingly. The second is more sophisticated and based on the share-holding change.
Neither specification of share-holders nor sale of stock by itself does anything to alter state control. The large majority of firms listed on domestic stock markets are specifically designated as state-owned. The sale of small minority stakes on foreign exchanges could be construed as recasting mainstays such as CNPC (through its list vehicle PetroChina), China Mobile, and Chinalco as non-state entities of some form. However, they are still centrally directed SOEs, as explicitly indicated by the Chinese government.
Derek Scissors’s claim (the author of the article I am quoting) also has the support of empirical evidence as well.
https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-why-chinese-stocks-are-a-state-controlled-facade-2010-6
Even after the enactment of the non-tradable share reform in 2005, the free- float ratio of China A shares remains the lowest in Asia (Exhibit 27).
The State-owned Asset and Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) is the government entity charged with holding and administering the large state-owned positions. These shares were classified as non-tradable until 2005, when the non-tradable share reform gave share dividends to free-float shareholders in exchange for making the government-held shares tradable (but with certain constraints). Over time, we believe that the SASAC will continue to sell down these holdings on the margin, while keeping the bulk of the shares.
Thus the control and ownership that U.S. share ownership represents is completely different than what Chinese share ownership represents. Simply put, Chinese shares don't translate into effective ownership of their underlying companies.
https://books.google.com/books/about/Capitalism_with_Chinese_Characteristics.html?id=YBpih2Q1X9kC&source=kp_book_description
The OECD economists assign the entire output by legal-person shareholding firms to the private sector. Is this a reasonable approach? Getting this question right is critical. In 1998, legal-person shareholding firms accountedfor 40 percent (11.3/28.9) of the purported private sector. Excluding these firms would reduce the share of the private sector in industrial value-addedfrom 28.9 percent in 1998 to only 17.6 percent (i.e., 28.9 percent minus 11.3 percent). For 2005, the private sector exclusive of legal-person shareholding firms would be 39.8 percent rather than 71.2 percent (i.e., 71.2 percent minus 31.4 percent). This is another illustration of a common refrain in this book – getting the details right matters.
Legal-person shareholding refers to cross-shareholding by firms. Probably because of the connotations of this term, the OECD economists might have assumed that legal-person shareholding implies that China has a keiretsu arrangement similar to that in Japan where firms own each others’ stocks. The difference with Japan, however, is that in China much of the legal-person share capital originates in the state sector, via SOEs establishing or holding significant equity stakes in other firms. These firms then become affiliates or subsidiaries of the SOEs. The subsidiaries of the SOEs, on account of their final ownership, are still SOEs.

Another well-known SOE on the list classified by the OECD study as private is SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor). In the NBS dataset, the state share of SAIC Motor’s share capital structure is 0 percent; it is 70 percent legal-person shareholding and 30 percent individual shareholding. So this firm qualifies as a private firm in the OECD definition. But SAIC Motor is not even remotely a private firm. SAIC Motor was established in 1997; its predecessor was Shanghai Gear Factory. In 1997, 30 percent of the share capital was issued on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the rest of the share capital was held by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which is 100 percent owned by the Shanghai government. Because the Shanghai government owns SAIC Motor via SAIC – a legal-person shareholder – the state share capital is reduced to zero; however, from a control perspective, there is little question about who controls this firm.
The example of SAIC Motor also illustrates the nature of the SOE reforms in the 1990s. Much of the reform effort had nothing to do with actually changing the owners of the firms but rather it was directed at securitizing the full but previously implicit equity holdings of the state in the SOEs. Although these reform measures copy the superficial forms of a capitalistic market economy, none of them has anything to do with its essence – transferring corporate control from government to private investors.
The high concentration of the ownership structure of the legal-person shareholding firms is another sign that these firms are not private at all. In the NBS dataset, SAIC Motor has the most dispersed shareholding structure among the legal-person shareholding firms because 30 percent of its shares are held by individual shareholders. (This is because the firm is listed.) In contrast, of 16,871 legal-person shareholding firms in the NBS dataset for 1998, 75 percent have zero individual share capital. The average individual share capital is only 3.7 percent. This is entirely expected given the heavily accounting nature of the SOE reforms. As evidence, 7,612 of these so-called legal-person shareholding firms are actually factories – they are simply production subsidiaries of other SOEs. This explains the extraordinary concentration of ownership and control of these firms.

A view focusing on the control-right problems of the SOEs ought to have led to the next logical step of contract reforms – management buyouts of the SOEs. But, in the early 1990s, the Chinese leaders reversed the policy on the grounds that the contract reforms did not work. Instead, they embraced an industrial policy approach that actually augmented the control rights of those SOEs that the government had decided to retain. In the 1980s, collective TVEs, such as Kelon, had state revenue rights but private control rights. In the 1990s, in the case of the large SOEs, the situation was completely reversed. Most of the large SOEs, which were listed on China’s two stock exchanges, had partial private revenue rights but complete state control rights.
Between 1990 and 2003, only 6.97 percent of the initial public offerings on the two Chinese stock exchanges were from private-sector companies. The rest were SOEs that issued minority shares but in which managerial control remained very clearly in state hands.27 Put differently, because many shareholding firms in China have private revenue rights but their control rights still rest with the government, they should be considered as state-controlled. According to a detailed study of more than 600 firms on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SHSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) in 1995, the three main groups of shareholders – state, legal persons, and individual shareholders – each controlled about 30 percent of the outstanding shares (Xu and Wang 1997). This stock split has remained more or less constant since then, although the government has plans to reduce the state shares. The control rights of these firms were overwhelmingly state. According to the same study, although individual shareholding constituted 30 percent of the outstanding shares, on average individual shareholders occupied less than 0.3 percent of the seats on the boards of 154 companies, whereas on average the state was over-represented on the boards. On average, the state retained 50 percent of the seats even though its equity shares amounted to 30 percent. There were no proxy voting procedures, thereby putting the individual shareholders in a disadvantageous position vis-a-vis the institu- ` tional investors such as the government agencies. This usurpation of rightful shareholder power is direct evidence that the state harbors no intention of relinquishing its control rights even over those firms that have explicitly private revenue rights.
What does this mean? The mixed ownership corporate enterprises that emerged in China in recent decades are still to a large extent controlled by the state and should be considered to be a part of the public sector. This has considerable implications for what is being discussed at hand. In Chinese statistics, the nonstate sector includes these mixed ownership firms. Thus by making the huge mistake of conflating "nonstate" with "private," analysts mistakenly place mixed ownership firms into the private sector. However, this can be corrected and we come up with the following conclusion instead.
https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/05/17/chinas-soe-sector-is-bigger-than-some-would-have-us-think/
The results of forcing such a choice are illustrative. With non-wholly state-funded LLCs included, the public share of fixed investment in the first quarter of 2016 is near 60 per cent. Data from 2013 show the public sector still accounting for only 30 per cent of total firms but roughly 55 per cent of assets, 45 per cent of revenue and 40 per cent of profits.

Those who claim private leadership can say that non-wholly state-funded LLCs are not the same as SOEs. The stronger point is that even some pure SOEs are qualitatively different than they were 20 years ago. But it is a large and mistaken jump from these correct observations to treating mixed or ‘non-state’ as equivalent to private, which Xinhua and many other observers frequently do. The non-traditional-SOE sector may account for 60 per cent of GDP; the private sector does not.
These numbers show that the public sector still maintains its dominance in its contribution GDP and investment.
However, the question still lingers whether contributions to GDP, investment, revenue, etc are accurate in making deductions about the ownership structures in an economy. Chinese economists propose that assets are the most important indicator to evaluate the status of any form of ownership, especially public ownership, in the national economy.
There is strong theoretical reasoning to prove this as well.
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-13-6895-0
Actually, to rely on assets to evaluate the dominant status of public ownership does not only meet the requirement of government policies, but is also deeply rooted in economic theories as well. Classical Marxian economists usually referred to the concept of “property right” when talking about ownership, i.e., the ownership of material production. For example, Marx, when making discussions on the basic features of the new, future society, spoke of the society as “collectively-owned, based on common ownership of the means of production”. Such a concept of ownership of the means of material production had been long in use, which was associated with the social background before the 1950s when various non-material means of production (such as various intangible assets, trademarks, marketing network, computer software and science and technologies) had not been common or important in social production. With technological advances and changes in the means of capitalist production, the various non-material modes became more and more important in the establishment of the capitalist relation of production. Therefore, the denotation and connotations of ownership became richer and richer. For example, some international enterprises originating in developed countries now make use of their advantages in product brands and supply chains to organize international production with little or no reliance on the share of capital investment in their hands; nor do they have to build any facility physically for material production. As a matter of fact, Marx seemed to have foreseen this as he sometimes talked about ownership with vague denotation and used such poorly-defined terms as “external conditions of labor”: “Any way to distribute consumer materials is just the distribution of the productive condition itself… Since the factors of production have to be distributed this way, the distribution of consumer materials has to go this way, too.” Here he did not mention the concept of means of production, but “productive condition” and “factors of production” that had an even wider range of connotations.
Using assets to evaluate the position of public ownership in the Chinese economy, we come to the conclusion that public ownership maintains its dominance.
Public ownership as the dominant form is supported by data. By the end of 2012, the total amount of the operating assets of China’s thrice industries was 487.53 trillion yuan (including the assets of individually-owned businesses), among which 53%, or 258.39 trillion yuan, was owned by the public sector. These data showed that, even with the strictest measurement, public ownership was still the dominant form of the national economy in China, and from the perspective of the ownership structure, the socialist nature of the Chinese society did not change; nor did the reforms change the color of the society. As a matter of fact, the socialist nature of our country also decides that the size of the nonoperating assets of the public sector is also considerable. When the nonoperating assets were included, the total amount of the assets of the Chinese society would be 518.13 trillion yuan (excluding the noncultivated undeveloped resource assets), among which the public owned 288.99 trillion yuan, or 55.78%. The national asset and its size are the externalized cost for efficiency improvement in the operational fields, in which the efficiency of enterprises relies heavily on such social support. Therefore, inspection on the ownership structure of the economy cannot ignore the nonoperating assets.
Now the question is, does this conclusion about the year 2012 apply currently to the year 2020? The answer is a yes.
In terms of the long-term trend, the dominant status of China’s public ownership is guaranteed. First, starting from 2009, the reforms on the ownership structure in China took a turn from rapid changes to fine adjustments. In the first phase (2004–2008), the proportion of public ownership, measured by asset, in the secondary and tertiary industries decreased from 62.73 to 55.48%, while the proportion of the nonpublic ownership increased from 37.27 to 44.52%. In the second phase (2009–2012), however, the proportion of public ownership decreased from 54.32 to 50.44%, and that of the nonpublic, from 45.68 to 49.56%. The numbers showed that the reforms on the ownership structure in China had progressed from wide-range and large-scale changes to a stable phase of fine adjustments. The assets of the public and nonpublic sectors have drawn to stabilization, which suggests that the dominating status of the public sector, measured by asset, will not change in the long-term trend, and the economic system that is based on the dominance of public ownership has been stabilized. Second, the strategic reorganization of SOEs and the public investment used in the state macro-adjustments will continue to accumulate new assets for the publicly-owned economy, which ensures the growth in quantity of both the publicly- and the non-publicly-owned economies. With public ownership as the dominant form, as long as the publicly-owned assets do not increase at a much slower speed than the non-publicly-owned, there is no question for public ownership to remain dominant.
If one needs more quantitative evidence to prove that ownership structure has been stable recently, one need not look further than the Chinese statistical yearbooks, which provide us continuous data on publicly owned assets (but note that this data only is on the industrial sector and leaves out the primary and tertiary sectors).
I made a spreadsheet here which has data from the Chinese statistical yearbooks on the ratio of state owned assets to total assets over time (from 2004 to 2018).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eUUMr_sUJxo8ZCRwodsXAQVtjVgv4Vity2ACpe01cCA/edit?usp=sharing
The data obviously shows that, just as the authors of the book predicted, the ownership adjustments in the Chinese economy have been very small and have largely stabilized with no further retreat of the public sector occuring. Thus we can still conclude that the public sector still maintains its dominance in China.
The Chinese statistical yearbooks can be found here:
http://www.stats.gov.cn/english/Statisticaldata/AnnualData/
What I find interesting however is that the authors in the book I quoted from earlier come to the conclusion that the public sector makes up only 35% of output and 25% of employment in the secondary and tertiary industries, which may run counter to Derek Scissors’s claims about the larger contribution of the public sector in GDP, investment, etc. Whatever the case, the point still stands that by using assets as the main indicator, the Chinese public sector still maintains its dominance in the Chinese economy.
How does the position of the Chinese public sector compare to the capitalist countries?
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
First, the publicly-owned assets in China have a higher share. In the secondary and tertiary industries only in 2012, the publicly-owned economic assets reached 226 trillion yuan in China and, according to the study on China’s sovereign assets and liabilities by Li Yang, et al.,10 the non-operating assets (excluding state land resources) reached 30.7 trillion yuan in 2010. The two together accounted for 53.62% of the total assets of the secondary and tertiary industries. In contrast, in the national balance sheet of the U.K., the share of the public sectors is as low as negligible: before the global financial crisis, the net assets of the U.K.’s public departments accounted for 6% of its total assets while in 2010, the percentage was 0 (Appendix Table 24). Similarly, the U.S. owned a total of 2.7 trillion dollar assets according to the national balance sheet of 2011 published by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Appendix Table 25) while the total assets owned by the U.S. residents and non-profit organizations reached 71 trillion dollars at the same times, giving the government assets a share of only 3.7% (Appendix Table 26). Canada has the same story in that its public sectors owned 2.4% of the total assets of its national economy in 2008 (Appendix Table 27). Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, was once considered to have one of the largest shares of SOEs, but the total assets of its state departments plunged in share, from 1.9% in 2007 to 0.1% in 2011 (Appendix Table 28), and all of its SOEs had a collective amount of assets that did not exceed 100 billion euro.11 Even when we took a round number of 100 billion, the total stateowned assets in Germany was still less than 1.3 trillion euro. The story is somewhat different for the catching-up countries such as Japan and South Korea in that they have relatively higher shares of publicly-owned assets. In Japan, for example, the total assets of public departments had a rapid decrease in share from 8.6% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2011 after the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, South Korea has always managed a high share of publicly-owned assets, which was 18.6% in 2011 (Appendix Table 29). Evidently, we have a much higher share of publicly-owned assets in China compared to capitalist countries, especially when compared to the public departments of the developed capitalist countries.
Even compared to the supposedly "mixed" or "state capitalist" economies of East Asia, publicly owned assets in China are a much larger share of the total than are present in Japan or South Korea, thus affirming the socialist (rather than “state capitalist”) nature of the Chinese economy.
One final question remains however: where is the Chinese economy headed in the next few decades?
The answer can be found in mixed ownership reform. Today, Chinese firms are reorganizing into mixed ownership firms where public sector and private sector firms are intermeshed and the divisions between them are blurred. One thing to note however is that the state will still maintain its dominance in these mixed ownership firms. This can be seen in the asset composition of mixed ownership firms.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02529203.2014.999905
In the absence of precise data on the different ownership components of corporate enterprises, we can only disaggregate their public and non-public components internally. The data from Yang Xinming and Yang Xuechun’s measurement of the total assets of the mixed ownership economy in 2008 indicate that the public and the private component account for 65 and 35 percent of the total respectively. After calculating the paid-in capital structure from the 2004 census data, we find that the public and private components accounted for 63 and 37 percent of the total respectively, as shown in Table 8. We therefore estimate the proportion of public assets in the total mixed ownership economy to have been 63 percent in 2004-2007 and 65 percent in 2008 and beyond.

Secondly, as indicated in Table 7, the assets of the mixed ownership economy represented by corporate enterprises have been growing extremely fast and are the largest in terms of scale. In 2012, this sector’s assets accounted for 51.8 percent of total productive assets in secondary and tertiary industry, ahead of all other types of enterprises; moreover, the sector is one in which the state-owned economic component is dominant. These data and this analysis offer an empirical basis for the arrangements for deepening reform set out in the Decision of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CCCPC, which notes that the mixed economy is an important means of realizing the basic economic system and is conducive to amplifying the role of state-owned capital and strengthening the dynamism, control and influence of the state-owned economy.
What the Chinese leadership seeks now is the mutual development of both the public and private sectors in mixed ownership enterprises instead of one sector developing at the expense of the other.
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943
Public ownership that dominates the asset structure is very tolerant of the non-publicly-owned economy. The dominating status of the publicly-owned assets provides material support for and is fundamental to China’s socialist ownership, underlies realization of common prosperity, offers a carrier for social functions to operate and, at the same time, strongly propels the development of the non-publicly-owned economy. In fact, the dominating status of the non-publicly-owned economy in output, employment, and taxation is the premise of its existence and development. According to our estimation, among the secondary and tertiary industries in China in 2012, the proportions of added value of the non-publicly- and publicly-owned economies were 67.59 and 32.41%, respectively, and new employment, 75.20 and 24.80%, respectively. Meanwhile, the businesses in the primary industry, such as agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, are mostly comprised of family-based ones. Such development of both publicly- and non-publicly-owned economies with their respective status in asset size not matching their corresponding contributions is determined by their distinctive distributions across economic areas, and it also meets the demand of efficiency by the dominating market and by the external economics. Therefore, the domination in asset size by the publicly-owned economy together with the dominating contributions to output and employment made by the non-publicly-owned economy must stand side by side and march forward together. This is the foundation in practice for the “two unswervinglies” policy
In addition:
In addition, with further adjustments of the ownership structure, the dislocation of the domination in asset size of the public sector and the domination in economic contributions of the nonpublic sector will only be furthered. Actually, only with its rapid development can the nonpublic sector fulfill its role as an indispensable part to the socialist market economy, which will further drive SOEs to improve their efficiency so that mutual development will be achieved; and only with complete fusion of the two sectors brought by further improvement of the production efficiency and socialization of them can the primary stage of socialism has a chance to march to a higher stage.
In other words, the current mixed ownership reforms are setting up a huge building block for socialist China to step into a higher stage of socialism, bringing it closer to communism. So when you see articles like these from CGTN, please do not worry! Opening the “commanding heights” of the economy to private/foreign investment and competition is only a measure to further mixed ownership reforms and will not challenge the dominance of public ownership in the Chinese economy.
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-18/China-unveils-guideline-on-improving-the-socialist-market-economy-QB6Vn3GVbO/index.html
There is a lot more Marxist theoretical backing for mixed ownership reform, but considering the size of this post, the theory behind the mixed ownership reforms will probably have to be something to write for another post.
Anyway, I’ll still leave behind some readings that will be useful to understand the combination of the public sector and market and the intermeshment of the public and private sectors in the Chinese economy to those who are curious.
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/chapter-4-chinas-socialist-market-economy-pre-publication.pdf
https://stalinsmoustache.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/not-some-other-ism-06-pre-publication.pdf
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811327261 (chapter 1)
https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9789811368943 (start at page 183)
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-10-2018-011/full/html
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/CPE-04-2019-0006/full/html
https://philpapers.org/rec/BOEISA-2
I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading the articles in the following two journals (using scihub to get past the paywalls):
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rssc20
https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rict20
submitted by fortniteBot3000 to InformedTankie [link] [comments]

Arbitrary list of popular lights - Summer Solstice 2020 edition

Happy Solstice!
In honor of Summer Solstice for the northern hemisphere, I've made an updated list of popular lights. Today is a couple days after (sorry!) the day you're least likely to need a flashlight north of the equator, but it increases every day after so it's a good time to buy a flashlight.
Because a definitive buyer's guide is too hard, I've made an arbitrary list of popular lights you should consider if you're shopping for a light. There is no best flashlight, so this is not the last word in what's good, but a list of lights that are often bought or recommended here with a touch of my own opinion thrown in. Exclusion from this list doesn't mean a light isn't good. To search more lights by their attributes, try http://flashlights.parametrek.com/index.html
Where possible, official manufacturer URLs are linked here. Sometimes the manufacturer offers good deals through direct orders, sometimes vendors have the best prices. There are coupon codes available that apply to many of the lights listed. I'm hosting a version of this list on my own site with affiliate links because a few people have asked for a way to give me a kickback.
Shipping/availability may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, items shipped from China are often taking 2 months to arrive. Supply chains and warehouse stock also appear to be disrupted as well, so you may have to be more patient than usual if you want certain flashlights, chargers, and batteries.

For those in a hurry

If you don't want to learn much, just get one of these.

All of the lights in this section come with a rechargeable battery and have a charger built in to the light. The battery will be a standard size you can buy online from third parties, and the charger will use USB as its power source, though some options do use a special cable. Aside from the Catapult, all have very good color quality compared to the average LED flashlight, improving your ability to see details.
These are at the top of the list not because they're the best in some objective sense, but because they're easy to own and use, and easy to buy. They score well on most measure flashlight nerds care about while also being suitable for non-enthusiasts.

About specs and considerations

Moved to the wiki due to character limit

Mainstream lights

Everyday Carry Lights

These are selected for pocketability first and performance second, but most of the larger options are perfectly adequate for house/cacamping/etc... uses. This section excludes right-angle designs that double as headlamps, but many people do use those for pocket carry, so see that section as well.

Keychain

AAA battery

AA battery

CR123A/16340 battery

18350 battery

18650 battery

This category is so popular it gets subcategories. If you're looking for a lot of power and runtime that's still possible to carry in most pants pockets, this is your battery.

Dual-switch lights

A tailswitch controls power, a sideswitch changes brightness. The ease of explaning the UI makes these perfect to hand out to others.

E-switch lights

Electronic switches enable shortcuts from off to useful modes - usually lowest, highest, and last-used.

Other by use case

Right-angle lights and headlamps

If I could have only one portable light, it would be a right-angle light that functions as both an everyday carry light and a headlamp. Some lights in this form factor also offer a magnetic tailcap, allowing them to act as mountable area lights.

Small

Medium

All of these use one 18650 battery.

Large

Duty lights

These are suitable for first responders and possibly members of the military in combat roles. The focus is on simple operation, reliability and a good way to make sure the light starts on high.

High-performance lights

Most lights on the list are easy to carry, with performance constrained by size and thermal mass as a result. After all, the best light is the one you have. Here are lights to bring when you know you'll be using them.

Flooders

Turn night into day, but not necessarily very far away

Throwers

What's that over there? WAY over there? The hotspots of these lights tend to be too focused for comfortable use up close, though using a diffuser is an option. These tend to be most useful for search and rescue, boating, and the like.
FL1 throw is the distance at which large objects can be detected in clear air. At half that distance, there's usually enough illumination to see clearly, though with more extreme throwers, the distances may be so great as to require binoculars to see clearly even during the day. Throwers have visible backscatter from the atmosphere even in clear air, which may obstruct the user's view of the target. Warmer color temperatures tend to have less.

Hybrids

Some throw, some flood... probably a lot

Other lights

Stuff that doesn't fit somewhere else goes here.

Enthusiast lights

Enthusiast lights can be subject to a bit of a flavor of the month phenomenon, and this section isn't necessarily going to try to include them all. What you'll find here are enthusiast lights with some staying power. There will probably be an Emisar D4 of some description this time next year, but not necessarily the latest new FW variant or whatever's currently trendy from Nightwatch.

Everyday carry

Jacket pocket, maybe

Big

* BLF GT90 - the GT with a Luminus SBT-90.2 for over 7000 lumens and 2700m throw claimed, but that's going to be limited by heat and power. For sustainable performance, the original may have the advantage. For short bursts, this will be most impressive. 360, but look for discounts

Edit 20200624: added Tool AA, NU25, KR4, KR1
submitted by Zak to flashlight [link] [comments]

Affiliate Marketing Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies ("affiliates") who market the company's products for a commission Definition of Affiliate. For all purposes under this Agreement, “Affiliate” shall mean, with respect to any Person, all Persons directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by or under common control with such Person, where control may be by either management authority, contract or equity interest.As used in this definition, “control” and correlative terms have the meanings ascribed Definition: Affiliate marketing is when you get paid a commission for promoting products / services for other companies. Here’s an analogy to explain it better: A few decades ago there were salesmen that went “door to door.” They’d have a product and go around neighborhoods selling their goods. Affiliate Agreement: terms between a merchant and an affiliate that govern the relationship. This includes the terms on which the affiliate will be rewarded for the traffic sent to the merchant's web site. Whether you are at an affiliate marketing conference, or talking with a prospective affiliate or affiliate managers, it isn’t unusual to hear them operate in/with such terms as “TOS”, “EPC”, “SID” or “AOV.” From generic ones (like the aforementioned four) to more specific ones (like those designating specific affiliate networks, for example), affiliate marketers often use

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