A co-op is "a jointly owned enterprise.” Productivity increases by 9 to 19% in cooperative businesses. Co-ops are usually engaged in the production or distribution of goods or the supplying of services. A co-op may have social goals, using a portion of the proceeds to make an impact on society. Decisions are made democratically by a vote, one per member. The start-up capital can be raised by a small membership “buy in” rather than by going into debt.
Co-ops are everywhere.
How a co-op works.
Worker Owned Co-ops interrupt the American cycle of poverty that is cause by a flawed system that is a self-reinforcing cycle.
- No money.
- No education.
- No jobs.
- No money.
The characteristic of a flawed system is that it tolerates the flaws without fixing them.
Professor J. Palmer (Jim) Brown
Worker Owned Co-op
Health Care Co-op,
The capitalist model places the CEO at the top of a pyramid and the consumers are at the bottom. The majority of the money flows up the to the top. Customers are a means to an end and profits are the bottom line.
The co-op model turns the pyramid upside down with the consumers and workers at the top dividing the profits, and a general manager at the bottom, earning a reasonable salary.
Contrasting Goals: The capitalist model is required by law to maximize shareholder’s value. In contrast, the co-op by law exists to maximize the benefits and returns for the members of the co-op.
A worker-owned co-op is owned and operated by its members for their mutual benefit. Members are given ownership in exchange for work instead of capital. A worker-owned co-op is a complicated system for sharing ownership and laws vary from state to state. There are very few attorneys that know about worker-owned co-ops. There is also a general lack of awareness of the benefits of a worker-owned co-op. This may be the reason that so few co-ops are worker-owned. Instead they are consumer or producer owned.
Cooperative businesses are typically more resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with 80% of co-operatives surviving their first five years compared with 41% of other business ownership models. More than one billion people in 96 countries have joined at least one cooperative, and many have joined more than one. If member of co-ops were a country, they would be the seventh largest country in the world. It is a good solution to break the cycle of poverty and allow for ownership and prosperity within the poorest communities. It is a higher note in the triad of the economic chord.
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