City Governments and Cooperatives

Prof. Wolff, I came across an article on titledo "How Urban Governments are Promoting Worker Co-ops." In the article, it discusses the way in which city Governments are supporting the creation of cooperative enterprises and the article mentioned that Cleveland is one of the cities leading the way in promoting co-ops. As someone who lives and works in Cleveland, it was exciting to find that out. As a layman of economics, however, I didn't fully understand the methods cities were taking to promote cooperatives and was hoping you could discuss that further. Thank you.

Official response from submitted

We will shortly post a list of initiatives city, regional, state and federal governments can take to initiate, facilitate, support worker coops on our website, so do keep an eye out for that list. Yes Cleveland is a kind of model of worker coops based on "anchor" institutions (universities, hospitals, etc.) whose size enables them to provide the demand/customer base that can allow a worker coop to form and produce because its members know that an anchor institution will buy what it produces because it supports the concept of worker coops. Of course, if and when anchor institutions do not exist or will not support worker coops, it would be up to the worker coops themselves with their political supporters - perhaps organized into a political party committed to worker coops in a way parallel to how Republicans and Democrats are committed to capitalist enterprises - to build the customer base whose purchases of worker coop products would keep them alive and growing.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2016-11-07 16:11:03 -0500
  • Mason Bruner
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-11-06 10:58:08 -0500