The Cooperative Solution: Toward a Just Economy

Overview

All over the world, poverty is gradually giving way to cooperative economic activity. At the same time, there are signs that standard competitive "free" markets are failing. Empirical evidence shows that cooperation works better than competition and that cooperatives succeed more often than standard corporations. Assumptions underlying the competitive system are that competition results in equity for all and that poverty can be eliminated through the market. These assumptions simply are not true. On the contrary,...

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Overview

All over the world, poverty is gradually giving way to cooperative economic activity. At the same time, there are signs that standard competitive "free" markets are failing. Empirical evidence shows that cooperation works better than competition and that cooperatives succeed more often than standard corporations. Assumptions underlying the competitive system are that competition results in equity for all and that poverty can be eliminated through the market. These assumptions simply are not true. On the contrary, the rich get richer; the poor, poorer. Cooperatives, where each member holds one share and one vote, are more democratic than hierarchical corporations. Poverty is actually eliminated through a combination of microfinance and cooperation. Examples include Muhammed Yunus' Grameen Bank, Indonesia's People's Bank, and the cooperative adventure of Mondragon in Spain. These examples provide a vision of true globalization from below, a vision of a just and sustainable world. The "how-to" is right here.

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Editorial Reviews

Elinor 'strom
Richard Williams discusses the potential benefits of cooperative behavior in a manner that shows the potential benefits individuals can gain in some settings by engaging cooperatively with others. It is important that we re-introduce a deep understanding of cooperation as one of the core foundations for achieving higher returns. An excellent book for all of us to read.
Howard Zinn
Richard Williams makes an important contribution with this book. It is a good time for us to think about cooperation, as we see clearly today the disasters brought about by the "market economy" and its cutthroat competition, its corruption, it emphasis on profit over people. This book is thoughtful and practical, and I hope it will be widely read.
Elinor Ostrom
Richard Williams discusses the potential benefits of cooperative behavior in a manner that shows the potential benefits individuals can gain in some settings by engaging cooperatively with others. It is important that we re-introduce a deep understanding of cooperation as one of the core foundations for achieving higher returns. An excellent book for all of us to read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761852841
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 11/4/2010
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard C. Williams, socio-economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, is currently on the faculty of The College for Professional Studies at Regis University in Denver. His publications include The Cooperative Movement, a widely-used textbook, and he lives with his wife, Gretchen, in Boulder, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xvii

Chapter 1 Why Cooperate? 1

Chapter 2 What Is a Cooperative 11

Chapter 3 Cooperatives around the World 23

Chapter 4 Care and Feeding of Cooperatives: A Tale of Two Co-ops 35

Chapter 5 The How-to of Cooperation 53

Appendix A Interview Protocol and Analysis 67

Appendix B Measuring Effect Size 77

Index 85

About the Author 91

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