Though they end up as owners and decision-makers, workers in low-income communities often don't start off doing all the work of developing and growing a worker-owned cooperative themselves.

Mention the commons and most people conjure up the image of a bucolic English pasture. The commons were the fields and forests where medieval commoners farmed, raised sheep, gathered firewood, and in other ways met their everyday needs. That was before aristocrats and landed gentry evicted millions of people from their traditional lands and began the large-scale, industrialized abuse of nature.

A community without dollars is not a community without wealth – this basic insight lies at the heart of the community resilience movement. With income and wealth inequality still on the rise in our “post-recession” economy, communities are finding creative ways to meet their needs and maintain social ties through community-created forms of exchange, or complementary currencies.

PACA and NCBA are reopening the search for PACA's executive director role. The Executive Director will provide day-to-day leadership for PACA including strategic management and organizational leadership, financial supervision, grantwriting and fundraising, and promotion of PACA to internal and external audiences.

Co-hosts Matt Cropp and Eric Davis interview Jeremiah Ward of the Cooperative Development Institute about the trend of mobile home residents cooperatively purchasing their mobile home parks that has been growing since the 1980s, and discuss the experience of the creation the Milton Mobile Home Co-op with resident board members Val Sicard and Karen White.


Recently Zac Johnson, a Milwaukee community member and Michigan native who teaches fourth grade in the city, shared with me his views on the lack of attention cooperatives have received in the economic discourse of the gubernatorial race, particularly on the part of Democratic candidate for office Mary Burke. Zac himself is a member-owner and volunteer of several community cooperatives in his neighborhood of Riverwest.

Chris Dillow, a UK Economist/Journalist,  points out that workplace democracy (worker control) is a political issue. The Capitalist rule-book demands absolute control over the worker (labor) and so Capitalists enforce hierarchic control even at the cost of higher productivity.


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The blog, Mike Norman Economics points to a recent paper from Cornell which can be downloaded from this link. It is a study of democratic internet sites called Wikis where people can collaboratively and democratically contribute and improve content. It finds that as the number of contributors grows past some arbitrarily large number, a "oligopoly" (a hierarchy of power roles) is instituted. From this, conclusions are drawn (rightly or wrongly) about the limits of the size of democratic organizations.


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