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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Honest Hope

August 5, 2010
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Folks, you all know things are dire for working people.  I thought I had a grip on how bad things are until I read a recent column by Paul Krugman.  Here's the opening line:

"I'm starting to have a sick feeling--the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn't care--that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal."

He is solid liberal, not in any way radical. 

And later:

"Here's what I consider all too likely: Two years from now unemployment will still be extremely high, quite possibly higher than it is now. But instead of taking responsibility for fixing the situation, politicians and Fed officials alike will declare that high unemployment is structural, beyond their control."

Yet, our governing elite are telling us that we need to extend Bushes tax-cuts for the rich!

Krugman ends with this whimper:

I?d like to imagine that public outrage will prevent this outcome. But while Americans are indeed angry, their anger is unfocused. And so I worry that our governing elite, which just isn't all that into the unemployed, will allow the jobs slump to go on and on and on.

Here's my point: we are coming to our national worker co-op conference sounding the theme that worker co-ops are the solution.  In theory, I buy this to the point of claiming it could be a major piece of a successful strategy.  My worry, however, is that we don't grasp the yawning gap between what Krugman is getting sick about and the difference we could be making today.  

That gap is monstrous, like the mother of all gaps. 

This needn't be a downer, nor should we not feel it in our bones.  Deeply aware of it--and aware that it will take generations for us to be something like "the solution"--can help us get a grip on what we need to be doing now inour urgent, joybul work.  That is, getting very real about what it will take just to lay a realistic foundation for expanding our movement in very big ways.  




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