I'm glad to see you covering the growing movement of worker-owner businesses in our area. This is a much needed alternative to what is seen as the “norm”, which is, working for the business owner who actually is focused on the stockholders of the business. That focus is on the bottom line, if that bottom line doesn't continue to improve, then the stockholder / investor moves on with his capital.
To help improve that bottom line, jobs have been sent overseas, businesses have consolidated, leading to displaced wage earners. Over the past several decades, the “worker bees” have watched their salaries stagnate as their workloads increased to accommodate the layoffs of fellow employees. More and more of the earnings of labor is not going to the laborer, but to those who oversee the businesses in inflated salaries and obscene bonuses.
Catholic Social Teachings have offered an alternative path which Father Arizmendi studied and taught to his students in Mondragon, Spain. His students founded the first factory in the mid-'40s making small cook stoves. Since then the cooperative movement has grown to include other factories, banks, schools, housing, markets, hospitals, a whole community, based on the worker-owner concept.
The Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy is another community that has been recognized as an example of a successful cooperative economy. The region has developed over time and now one third of the region's GDP is derived from co-operative enterprises.
I encourage your readers to support this movement and see it as a clear alternative to what has been seen as the only source of employment. The future generations deserve better than what Wall St. has to offer.
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