Category Archives: economics

Methods to promote cooperatives

On this site we have proposed several methods which the government could use to stimulate the creation of a cooperative economy.

First of all, the government should give preferential treatment to worker cooperatives when procuring goods and services from the private sector. This will give cooperatives an advantage and hence create an inducement to start a cooperative and to maintain them.

Also the government could set up a finance company which will help people with funding a cooperative through either finance or operating lease. This way the start-up costs and hence risks for new cooperatives will be reduced. By reducing the costs of setting up a cooperative, their formation will become more attractive.

Further the government should create a level playing field between wage labor and self-employment. This requires, for instance, the abolition of minimum wage laws and its replacement with some kind of basic income guarantee. A basic income will reduce the risk people face when they run their own businesses.

Another idea is when people who have lost their job apply for unemployment benefits, to inform them of the possibility to set up a cooperative with other people who lost their jobs. This should be combined with a retraining program, to ensure people will have the necessary skills to operate a worker cooperative.

Worker cooperative articles

Here some interesting articles on worker cooperatives:

The Case for Worker Cooperatives – by Nancy Folbre, New York Times

Worker Cooperatives: A Bipartisan Solution to America’s Growing Income Inequality – by Benjamin Gillies, Kennedy School Review

10 Lessons from Kenya’s Remarkable Cooperatives – Nathan Schneider, Shareable

Mondragón Cooperative: A Bussiness with a Commitment to a Common Good – by Georgia Kelly and Shaula Massena, Yes! Magazine

State and Worker Capitalism

Regular readers will know that we are in favor of self-employment and worker cooperatives. And consequently we are in favor of government policies to stimulate the formation of worker cooperatives. Our ideal economy would be a version of worker capitalism, i.e. a system where there is no distinction between workers and capitalists (those who own the means of production). Continue reading State and Worker Capitalism

Public procurement

In modern societies the government accounts for between thirty and sixty percent of GDP, hence public spending is an important factor in how the economy is organized. Though the government funds many activities, e.g. road construction, often such jobs are contracted out to private businesses. Purchasing goods and services from the private sector by the state is known as public procurement. Continue reading Public procurement