All over the world, poverty is gradually giving way to cooperative economic activity. At the same time, there are signs that standard competitive "free" markets are failing. Empirical evidence shows that cooperation works better than competition and that cooperatives succeed more often than standard corporations. Assumptions underlying the competitive system are that competition results in equity for all and that poverty can be eliminated through the market. These assumptions simply are not true. On the contrary, the rich get richer; the poor, poorer. Cooperatives, where each member holds one share and one vote, are more democratic than hierarchical corporations. Poverty is actually eliminated through a combination of microfinance and cooperation. Examples include Muhammed Yunus' Grameen Bank, Indonesia's People's Bank, and the cooperative adventure of Mondragon in Spain. These examples provide a vision of true globalization from below, a vision of a just and sustainable world. The "how-to" is right here.
Richard C. Williams, socio-economist with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, is currently on the faculty of The College for Professional Studies at Regis University in Denver. His publications include The Cooperative Movement, a widely-used textbook, and he lives with his wife, Gretchen, in Boulder, Colorado.
Chapter 1 Foreword Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Acknowledgements Chapter 4 Chapter 1 Why Cooperate? Chapter 5 Chapter 2 What Is a Cooperative Chapter 6 Chapter 3 Cooperatives around the World Chapter 7 Chapter 4 Care and Feeding of Cooperatives: A Tale of Two Co-ops Chapter 8 Chapter 5 The How-to of Cooperation Chapter 9 Appendix A Interview Protocol and Analysis Chapter 10 Appendix B Measuring Effect Size Chapter 11 Index Chapter 12 About the Author