I haven't heard you talk about the "Cleveland Model"

Dear Dr Wolff, I just read this article from the Smithsonian Magazine on the working poor/poverty in the US. It mentions the "Cleveland Model" that it says is being adopted in 8 other cities. It looks to be a way of starting and maintaining worker owned coops. I don't have a particular question except that I'd like to hear your thoughts on this particular development that seems to be right in line with your proposed solutions to our economic and social difficulties. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/photographic-chronicle-america-working-poor-180961147/ Thank you! Thomas Dickinson, Minneapolis, MN

Official response from submitted

The "Cleveland Model" is an important step toward building a worker coop enterprise sector of the US economy as a long overdue alternative to the capitalist, top-down hierarchical model of enterprise organization. The Cleveland Model builds worker coops around anchor institutions (e.g. universities, hospitals, etc.) that can be approached to sponsor such a sector (sometimes even with financial help) and, more crucially, to provide worker coops with a significant and secure demand for their outputs. In short, such anchor institutions can be a great help to inaugurating and sustaining worker coops within an economy - such as the US - in which capitalistically organized enterprises dominate and might otherwise block or undermine emerging worker coop competitors. I would only add that there are other, different ways to help and sustain worker coops that deserve attention and implementation alongside the Cleveland Model. I am especially concerned that government subsidies and support be sought and fought for politically so that the worker coop sector of modern economies gets the same systematic supports that capitalist businesses have for centuries sought and received from government.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-01-01 18:05:17 -0500
  • Thomas Dickinson
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-01-01 16:53:30 -0500