Community Articles from 2017

The Cooperative Commonwealth: An Alternative To Corporate Capitalism and State Socialism

[Community]
The Cooperative Commonwealth: An Alternative To Corporate Capitalism and State Socialism
by Frank Lindenfeld
Posted January 22, 2017

cooperatives are an alternative to capitalism and socialismThe cooperative commonwealth is a desirable and feasible alternative to corporate capitalism and state socialism. The cooperative networks mentioned above, Mondragon, Seikatsu, and Co-op Atlantic, point the way. We need to emulate such examples in the U.S., though I don not have any blueprint for how that will happen. To accomplish the goal of building a cooperative economy will require economic initiatives as well as a political movement.’ On the economic side, the challenge will be to build numerous regionally based clusters of worker co0-ops and second order cooperative institutions.

This means supporting the development of schools and colleges that spread cooperative ideas and practices, and offer cooperative education and training for prospective co-op managers. It will include the gradual conversion of existing companies to employee ownership, as well as the startup of new cooperative enterprises. And it will involve the strengthening of existing community development financial institutions and the formation of new ones to provide venture and loan capital to worker cooperatives. More…

Solving the Student-Debt Crisis

[Community]
Solving the Student-Debt Crisis
By Malcolm Harris
Posted January 9, 2017

studebnt debt burdenThe American student-debt system is so big and complex that there’s almost no aspect of it that the experts can agree on. Some commentators see a bubble overdue to burst: a trillion and a half (or so) dollars that could vanish at any moment; a housing crisis 2.0 ready to happen. Others see a well-oiled machine that is successfully expanding college access and increasing affordability — a machine that has the most stable economic foundation possible. Even when there are numbers, there is disagreement over which ones to use and what they mean. There is evidence to support both of the above positions, and we might not understand the true character of student debt for decades. After all, these are long loans.

Still, we can work with the best evidence we have. Forty-two percent of all American adults under 30 have student debt, according to a study from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, and 79 percent agree that debt is a problem, whether they have it or not. More…

Vote with your wallet: be part of the solution, not the problem

[Community] 
Vote with your wallet: be part of the solution, not the problem
By Dimitrios Tsivrikos
Posted January 1, 2017

you have great power with your spendingMaking consumers align their beliefs with their purchasing decisions is essential if we are to preserve the health of our planet and protect workers’ rights. Consumers are not only purchasing an end product but they are also supporting the processes involved with it.

While at first buying a daily Starbucks coffee may seem harmful to little other than your wallet, every disposable paper cup is in fact contributing to the destruction of trees and therefore having a negative impact on the environment. However, deforestation and the resulting loss of habitat for many animals and climate change are unlikely to be on the top of the consumer’s mind when deciding whether to opt for a Frappuccino or a Latte. More…

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trees are poetry of life

Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky. We fell them down and turn them into paper that we may record our emptiness.

Khalil Gibran

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