Implementing Cooperative Economics

Implementing Cooperative Economics

by Think Tanq

Sept 19, 2018 / 6318 AFK

The cooperative sector of the economy is made of workers, consumers and businesses in which economic power is organized democratically. Instead of concentrating decision-making power in the hands of a minority of people, a cooperative benefits from the intelligence of the collective and the durability of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Descendants of enslaved Africans have organized ourselves cooperatively for about as long as we have been in North America. In this interview, economist and professor, Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard discusses her book about that history.

This cooperative arrangement describes a significant portion of economic activity in the United States. Research by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives estimates that the cooperative economy in the United States includes over 64,000 cooperatives that employ over 840,000 workers. In a separate publication, the Center for Cooperatives reports that the cooperative sector generates over $514 billion in annual revenue.

Accountants and finance professionals who are willing to learn will be uniquely positioned to manage unique accounting challenges faced by cooperative businesses. Members of the Ujamaa Works Accounting & Finance Network chose to educate and organize ourselves to work in the cooperative sector.

One purpose of Ujamaa Works is to advance economic democracy. Why should the value of democracy be limited to the public sector, when we can apply democracy to our work and in doing so, broaden economic empowerment? Let's grow and strengthen democracy.