Economic Justice

The following communication was sent Sept. 9, 2011 by the American Monetary Institute regarding Kucinich's Sept 7, speech in which he introduced the National Employment & Economic Defense (NEED) Act.

 

African Americans and the working class in general has always have always had a tough time under capitalism, which operates off our backs.  But the economic exploitation reached a new level when the predominantly white middle class, which tended to benefit from this oppressive arrangement, also started to get knocked off their feet. Award winning producer of Capitalism:  A Love Story Michael Moore lays out a very interesting history and encourages people to take action.

by Michael Moore

Co-Soap Hopes Its Unique Business Model Will Spark Economic Growth and Justice.
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John Duda, of Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and operated business in Baltimore, writes in the spring issue of Indypendent Reader about the process of building a just and sustainable economy by examining a local worker dog-walking cooperative called Just Walk, Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives, and the Sojourner-Douglass College plan to rebuild a neglected part of Baltimore called Oldtown with a community wealth strategy that will include cooperatives. 

a key thinker and writer about the commons
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a Bay Area template that works in the US
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Watch the two minute trailer
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New England summit highlights Crowell and others


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Where will our movement be in another 30 years? In 2040, I will be 76 years old. Chances are, if I am still alive, I will be hopefully still be blogging (or whatever the kids will be doing in those days) but I will likely not be fully involved in the movement or physically working a 40-50 hour work week. Almost all of our current leadership will be in the same position. The current crop of  Toxic Soil Busters will be pushing 50 (like I am now). What should our movement look like in that age?
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Dear Jesse,

Here is a chart that will help keep hope alive. On the top line it tells what the actual wealth distribution in the US is. The middle line shows how wrong a cross-section of Americans is in how they think the wealth distribution plays out.

And the third line is a grand-slam...

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Most new small businesses fail. That's a fact, whether they are in the Basque Country or in the U.S. Or anywhere else. Yet the Mondragon Coops, which all started as small worker-owned businesses, have hardly ever failed. Why? The key is in Father Jose Maria Arizmendi's original founding conception of cooperatives as the interlocking of school, factory and credit union.
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Our topic this morning is the wider range of the cooperative movement, both in the Basque Country and Spain. Mondragon is a part of the Basque Cooperative Confederation. There are currently 755 cooperatives in the Basque Country, and only 80 of them are the worker-owned MCC coops. There are a total of 537,000 members of all the coops, but only 54,919 are worker members, and 37,860 of these are the MCC worker-owners. 

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In the recent series on his blog, The Workers' Paradise ,McNamara is very strong on the possibility of the cooperative movement being able to move to scale.  But he wisely directs our attention to the big problems this is going to bring, problems that are already burdening cooperatives.  The primary one he refers to is “the agency problem” (which is pretty much what I mean by “top/down problem”).

...As we left, many in our group were debating the pros and cons of global economic justice. I shared their concerns, but I also saw something else. Here was the beginnings of some of the most advanced productive forces in the world, the means of both economies of abundance and the means of clean and safe renewable energies and far lighter ecological footprints.
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I'm with a group of 25 social activists on a study tour organized by the Praxis Peace Project. Our focus is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, a 50-year-old network of nearly 120 factories and agencies, involving nearly 100,000 workers in one way or another, and centered in the Basque Country but now spanning the globe. We're here to study the history of these unique worker-owned factories, how they work, why they have been successful, and how they might be expanded in various ways as instruments of social change.
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Thank you, John McNamara for advancing the conversation about the opportunities, issues, and problems of taking the cooperative advantage to scale.
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At the conclusion of the seminar, Mondragon's Director of Cooperative Dissemination, Mikel Lezamiz, and I signed a letter of intent and endorsement to pave the way for initiating conversations with stakeholders in Richmond and beyond.  I want to share with you what I learned and also hear your ideas.
To this end I would like to invite all who are interested to a presentation and discussion on Mondragon and the potential for worker cooperatives in Richmond.  The same presentation will be given on two dates...
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Below is a report from Steve Rice (volunteer with the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives  [NoBAWC]), Poonam Whabi (Design Action Collective), and Rick Simon (Just Alternatives for a Sustainable Economy) on the Worker Co-operative component of the Congress.  This component calls on local government to...

 

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San Francisco Community Congress: background and update

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A very interesting grassroots development happening in SanFrancisco: The San Francisco Community Congress.The goal is to devise practical, locally actionable proposals to shape and direct future policy affecting the local economy and the provision of critical human services.”  Their mantra, “another San Francisco is possible.”  If the devil is in the details, then this appears to be the beginning of a premier Solidarity Economy project.

GEO is...
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