This week on Economic Update, Professor Richard D. Wolff delivers updates on corporate tax savings not being used for bonuses or wage increases to employees, why U.S. tariffs will fail to rescue jobs, how UK and US universities are reacting to global and U.S. economic change, why Trump's solar panel tariffs are no more than political theater, and the importance of the late Ursula LeGuin's critique of capitalism.
The second half of the show features an interview with Mary Douglas, Executive Director of Democratize the Enterprise. To watch the second half, please visit patreon.com/economicupdate
Showing 7 comments
As you can see in the history, this Coop has been in operation for 40 years, and just finished a major expansion to a new location. I have shopped at Whole Foods and I can honestly say that they do not hold a candle to the Kootenay Coop on any level. Perhaps Whole Food is cheaper, but money is not why people choose to be members of the Coop. They choose it because the Coop prioritizes real values such as supporting local producers of everything from kombucha to produce to meats. And this is in a rather remote region of the country, with a relatively small population. Take a look at their page and maybe get some ideas about how to run a very successful coop. If it can work in a remote area of Canada I am sure it can work anywhere. And I do realize it is part of a long tradition, not only because it has been around for 40 years, but because I have been a member of various coops for my entire life. We have grocery store coops all across western Canada which do very well and also include gas stations, we used to have a soda pop coop which did all the recycling and bottling on site, and we also have housing cooperatives. They might be somewhat low key in this era of supreme neoliberal capitalism, but right about now every single working person in major cities on the West Coast is sure wishing they lived in a housing cooperative.
Grrrrrrr. I would invite your guest to do some historical reading; I would invite Prof Wolfe not to let such comments slip by without correction. There is a long, international history of precisely the sort of solutions this guest advocates, and some periods of history have been comparatively successful in living this ideology. Start here perhaps: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_cooperative_movement . And then check out this modern reality: https://community.coop/twinpines/
I wish I could say cooperative unions of food purchasing or anything else were alive and well today. It is undeniably a system under fire and younger generations especially seem comparatively complacent about letting their political power leach from them by “libertarian” herding. But these coops do still exist all around. Whole Foods almost took em all out — when they took over the iconic “Mrs Gooches” (not a coop it has to be said but a pioneer in making “whole foods” profitable) and displayed with pride a photo gallery of small coops around the country that they had opened up next door to and put out of business … that was a low point, but Whole Foods is pretty much down now and Coops are still hanging on. They’re out there, stores where workers and shoppers are all co-owners. Check them out, learn about this ideology, apply it by all means to mitigating the vicious destruction of labor via the “gig” economy — but don’t imagine that this is pioneering work. You fit squarely within a long, venerable tradition. And it’s worth learning that history so as not to sadly, destructively, non-productively repeat it. There are plenty of lessons to be learned there!
Here in the Ventura CA area, there is a move to get a food coop off the ground which is taking years in the making. The cost of a membership is several hundred dollars which to many it seems like a great deal, to others not so much. What they are up against is: Lassens, health food store, been in the area for decades,; Sprouts natural food market, just open about 8 months ago,; Whole Foods market been in business for several years; and a employeed owned store called WinCO which has been in business for serveral years now.
The Ventura coop has been experiencing growing pains but now they have a new board and are trying monthly fund raisers so they hope to meet their goal by the end of 2018.
Just wanted to let you know about what is happening locally and in E. Lansing MI.