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Electric Coops - a brief history

Reading considers co-ops to boost economy

Officials held a meeting last week to talk about worker cooperatives.

By Don Spatz
Reading Eagle
Some two dozen city officials and others met for three hours Friday to address one question: How can Reading foster creation of worker-owned cooperatives as part of an urgent effort to turn around the economy.

“This can be another approach in the toolbox as we try to invigorate the economy,” said Eron Lloyd, special assistant to Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer.

Lloyd spoke to an audience of business leaders, union representatives and consultants meeting at United Community Services on Hiesters Lane.

And the stakes are high, said Lawrence P. Murin, also a special assistant to the mayor.

“If we fail, the consequences are dire,” Murin said at the opening session before the group began private discussions on the possibilities.

New Yorkers consider worker cooperatives as part of long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy

Four months on, homes and business in many of New York City's outlying areas remain abandoned since Superstorm Sandy swept along the Eastern Seaboard. Thousands of people remain displaced. Residents of Far Rockaway, Queens, one of the neighborhoods struck hardest, are working not just to recover from the storm, but also from the long-running effects of poverty they say were prevalent before Sandy arrived. FSRN's Peter Rugh has more:

Young Adults: Win a Grant to Start a Sharing Project!

Are you interested in starting a sharing project, or know someone who is? Then you should apply for a seed grant from Shareable! This brand-new pilot program offers small grants and technical support to students and young leaders under 30 to help them catalyze a sharing project in their communities.

Financial Permaculture Summit - January 21-25, Miami

There are still spaces and some scholarships available. This will be a very hands on event, working to help develop and grow four food related businesses. For more information, please visit the Financial Permaculture Summit website.

The Progressive Struggle to Save Capitalism

Dollar macro

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:52 By Boone Shear and Stephen Healy, Truthout | Op-Ed

Regulation and reform might eventually manifest a kinder, gentler capitalism, but we've seen how hard it is to regulate the very people who have the most money and incentive to change the rules back in their favor. What if instead, we came together to build an economy entirely different from the one we know now?

In his most recent book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz incisively details the policies and practices underpinning the extreme levels of inequality in the United States today. In doing so, he provides a rationalist foothold for progressive politics. In Stiglitz's view, social and economic policies that might redistribute wealth through regulation, taxation and social welfare programs are not simply the right thing to do, they are good for the overall health of the economy. There is a great temptation amongst progressives interested in social and economic justice to leap on this cunning display of Nobel reasoning - to see in it a pragmatic argument that advances our moral commitments. While we can certainly learn from Stiglitz's masterful analysis of the problem, succumbing to this appealing logic of reform would be a misstep for those of us who are interested in broader visions of a just or sustainable economy.

Redistribution is Necessary

Euclides Mance,
What could you do to face this tragic situation of global income distribution on the world, represented in the figure below, extracted from a work document of UNICEF? What can we do together? Redistribution of opportunities is needed. Redistribution of economic value is needed. Redistribution of power is needed. Always more democracy, economic solidarity between all persons and peoples without exclusion, intercultural dialogue, respect both private and public freedoms exercised in ethic way are needed.

As Spain's Recession Darkens, Alternative Economies Rise

"This is part of the cooperatives, credit unions, community banks, organic farms and recovering factories — the alternate economy — that the Occupy movement is groping towards"

Solidarity Economy Declaration at Rio+20


This declaration was written by the Board of the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy (RIPESS), based on the discussions on Rio +20 of the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Solidarity Economy and fair trade and inputs from the delegates from the other continents.

After the declaration follow the signatures from more than 370 organizations and networks fom all over the world who expressed their support between June 16th and 25th.


The Economy we need

Declaration of the Social and Solidarity Economy movement at Rio +20

Click here to download the PDF version

The People’s Summit and the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development of Rio+20 are being held at a time of crisis of our civilisation that takes multiple forms: food, ecology, energy, financial, social and of political representation. And it is not the same mindset or social model that created this crisis that will or can solve it!

The so-called green economy as presented by governments and multinational corporations is merely the extension of this model, through the commodification of the Commons; it is a new form of expansion of capitalism in crisis. Solidarity economy however is a means to free society of these constraints. (for more, click title)

Solidarity Economy at the Rio+20 Summit

Excerpt from People’s Summit Plays Countervailing Role at Rio+20

Articulating people’s alternatives: the social and solidarity economy

Among the many ideas for more sustainable development paths articulated at the People’s Summit is the growing movement for a “social and solidarity economy” built on the values of cooperation, complementarity, sharing, mutual support, human rights and democratic control over economic decisions and resources. Many summit workshops gave examples of the myriad initiatives taking place on the ground – notably in Brazil – to promote these new forms of economic relations that can meet social and environmental goals. These include the establishment of community banks that issue their own complementary currencies to support local entrepreneurial activities in a manner that ensures that the wealth generated in the community stays within the local territory, is equitably shared, and creates “multiplier effects” through faster circulation of money and reinvestments in job creating projects.

Proponents argue that the strategy for the poor and excluded is not to begin with political demands on the State (for e.g. basic public services such access to housing, water or sanitation), but to build up first their autonomous economic base, which then places them in a stronger position to make demands on the authorities. One Brazilian community leader stated that local community banks, besides issuing complementary currencies to fuel social, economic and environmental initiatives, can also serve as a strong basis for the development of new social movements at the territorial level.