The title is meant to be a play on words. As we move further into a changing and more robust economy that replaces the older monolithic approach with a more disperse economy (with greater access to equality of economic stability and contentment by an ever growing number of people), there is both a requirement for information to be shared and developed equally and cooperatively, as well there is a need to have access to information about cooperatives. This post seeks to be a little of both, with more posts in the future that will seek to fill the need for information about running a cooperative.
The economy is changing, and the way people think is changing. People are learning in new ways, sharing experiences and ‘takes’ and responses to those. The concise idea of having a sense of Personal Responsibility is beginning to have an addendum that includes ‘To the Awareness That Your Actions Have Consequences on Everyone and Everything Else. In the world.’ Twitter is full of people with varying levels of solidarity to one economic model or another, people who are pro or anti political movements, bandying about confusing labels that don’t mean anything, except they can drive people to turn their voting potential against their own interests. It doesn’t matter if you are a radical or a gradualist, change is happening. This is the sharing, the cooperation of information. It begins by accepting that you have something of value to share, as does everyone else.
The gap in wealth distribution in this world has grown to unbelievable extremes. And the key factor for this wealth distribution is based in large part on a control of information and resources. So great are the extremes that for a lot of people, it makes little measurable difference what you actually do for a living because you will pretty much make the same, with little bumps here and there when you shift jobs over time… maybe.
With that understanding it is easy to consider that maybe it is time to disconnect from a single boss who makes all the profit. (This will be a lot easier when Health Care stops being tied to your employer.) A large part of the new economy will rely more strongly on ideas of cooperation. The following posts hope to share some of the frame work for starting and running a cooperative business. There might even be some cautions offered about what to expect in a cooperative business. The way to avoid these is foremost for all to understand, a cooperative is not a way to earn money as a business owner in a traditional sense. It is a lifestyle and process of growth, sharing, and mutual respect. Done correctly all can make money. Keep in mind a cooperative has many bosses. Not one. How does that work?
It starts by sharing everything you have. All your information. All the things that make you special. You don’t lose those. No. The things that make you special are how you share to build value for you and your coworkers. You have to give it away. That’s how a lot of capitalism works.
You could give your time and thoughts away to someone else, who uses that to make all the money. Or you could give yourself away to a number of like-minded people who will earn the same as you. This is the primary rule of a functional cooperative. Everyone gets paid the same.
Everyone must make the same amount of money – maybe on an hourly rate, or some returns from investments, etc. But there can never be manager’s bonus. Never give a Board of Directors a supplemental pay. Each is rewarded for sharing her or his best in support of the group. And the group gains more the more everyone gives. Its a different way of doing basic community and business. It starts by cooperating with information and intentions.