Cooperatives… The next generations must have them.

Link to video here.

Richard Wolff is on fire here. He is explaining the cooperative model and why it will save the US. I have never seen a better video on the subject. This video should be required listening for all economists. The ideas presented should be reflected upon and understood.

When I was studying social work in the 1980’s, I learned of the Mondragon Cooperative Spain. They had job security. They had protection for their families. They had financing for the community. They had programs to train young students in business and to send them on research trips. They had a vibrant business that was the community.

In social work, I worked with prisoners in a medium security prison. Many came from communities that had no social network to  move them into positions of productivity. They were part of the marginalized society.

Over the years I have kept an interest in cooperative movements. There are challenges against them, from within and from without. From within, they require a higher level of maturity for group decision making. From without, there are finance limitations from investors.

But once a cooperative takes hold, and it develops the internal institutions for mature decision making, you have a powerful business where people make more money and have more job security.

Two years ago I developed a new cooperative structure for entrepreneurs. As it turned out, France had done something similar in the 90’s. I was working with an organization that finances cooperatives. They had presented my structure at a conference in Washington, DC, and it was well-received.

Then the organization itself lost its biggest financial backer, and the project stopped. So, I went to the Hawaii State government and they liked the idea. They wanted to use my cooperative structure to help immigrants set up businesses. But they lost funding and the project stopped again.

The United States needs cooperatives, and Richard Wolff gives the main reasons in the video.