The Cooperative Solution
How the United States can tame recessions, reduce inequality, and protect the environment
by E. G. Nadeau
This book illustrates the potential for cooperatives — organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by the people they serve — to infuse the US economy with the basic value of democracy and to provide citizens with a means to effectively address the shortcomings of the market-driven economy.
The book makes the case that cooperatives are the solution to many of the major economic, social, and environmental problems in the United States today. The basic tenet of the essay is that co-ops are democratically controlled and are motivated primarily by the goal of providing services to their members, not by generating profits for their owners and investors.
As a result of this democratic, services-first design, co-ops are much more likely to avoid the negative consequences of economic institutions primarily driven by the quest for ever-increasing profits. This latter model of economic development has led to over 200 years of economic instability, inequality, and environmental degradation in the United States. In the coming decades, co-ops can lead the way to undoing these fundamental flaws in our economic system.