Economic Justice

Editor's note:  Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel prize in Economics for her work on "common pool resources," was born on August 7, 1933.  In order to mark the occassion, and to celebrate the life and accomplishments of this great woman, we present four videos of Elinor explaining the fundamentals and implications of her research.  Though we lost Elinor in 2012, her work and he

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Editor's note: This excellent documentary by Ric Sternberg details the "re-cooperativisation" of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in central Texas as well as the steps towards environmental sustainability that some other electric co-ops are taking.  You can find more from Ric on his Youtube channel,  and be sure to check out his latest project:

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There is a problem with corporate governance at traditional capitalist firms that often goes unmentioned in discussions of our current social and economic ills. It's a problem that I have reason to believe also effects some of our largest co-ops. It is a perverse dynamic that has lead to extremes of income and wealth inequality, and it is all the more pernicious for being largely invisible. (I'm going to have to dive into the weeds a little bit to get to where I'm going, but stay with me and I promise you, this will come back around to co-ops.)

Editor's note: Today we present the testimony of more worker-owners, delivered this past February at a hearing convened by the New York City Council Community Development committee.  Read more hearing testimony from co-op practicioners here.  Read about the end results of the hearing here.  Complete written testimony from the hearing is embedded below this article.

 

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Editor's introduction: Today we present testimony from four worker-owners, delivered at the the New York City Council Committee on Community Development hearing this past February.  the hearing was to consider a proposal for a city budget line devoted to cooperative development.  Given that we don't often get to hear directly from worker-owners, we've rescued this important documentation from the bowels of the NYC Council websit

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In the early-to-mid-20th Century the Distributists—led by English authors G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc—took a dim view of both socialism and corporate capitalism. As conservatives they did, however, believe in private property—so much they thought it should be “distributed” as widely as possible among the whole population. 

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Editor's note: Embedded below is a paper that Aaron Shaw and Benjamin Mako Hill recently uploaded to arXiv.org.  It addresses an issue we here at GEO are greatly concerned with: how to increase the size of the cooperative movement and the solidarity economy without losing our cooperative values.  Carl Ratner's recent article, The Corrupting Role of Corporate Co-ops, details some of the unwholsome effects that result

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[Editor's Note: this is the second of a two part series by Ajowa Ifateyo on the history of the USFWC.  You can read part one here.]

2008 CONFERENCE GOES TO HELP OUT IN NEW ORLEANS

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"One cheer for democratic culture; another for democratic structure; three cheers when they join together in collaboration."

~Anonymous

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Before the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperative’s 10th anniversary conference in Chicago, GEO asked some co-op veterans to talk about what they thought the USFWC had achieved in its first 10 years.

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[Editor's note: GEO recently published a transcript of Duncan Kennedy's presentation at Unbound's "This Land is Your Land: Remaking Property after Neoliberalism" conference.  David Bollier also spoke at the conference; these are his reflections.]

cross-posted from David Bollier's blog

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I approached the New Economy Coalition’s CommonBound conference  fully expecting the majority of plenaries and workshops to be platforms for Coalition members to herald their own projects, or to preach to the converted about the necessity of cooperatives and democratic governance.

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Duncan Kennedy had some interesting things to say about our conceptions, and misconceptions, of property during the Spring 2014 Conference put on by Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left.  The title of the conference was "This Land is Your Land: Remaking Property After Neoliberalism."  Kennedy's comments run until 47:30.

 

 

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Cross-posted from Truth Out

A quiet revolution is rumbling through New York's municipal offices as they retool to support the creation of worker cooperatives as a way to fight poverty.

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The Austin Cooperative Summit brought together more than 100 people interested in cooperative businesses to help move the Central Texas economy toward shared abundance and prosperity. The summit is a program of the Austin Cooperative Business Association and NCBA CLUSA.

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