As the new administration rolls out its massive stimulus plan, it is an opportunity to consider alternatives that could multiply the effectiveness of the project. Whether the seemingly flawless free market philosophy that has reigned in America’s economy has lost credibility during the current crisis or not, it is obvious that people are open now, in an unprecedented way, perhaps, to models of doing business that are humanizing and empowering as well as economically fruitful.
Cooperatives have proven themselves as not only a viable business model but also one that enhances the ownership, control and benefits to those who patronize it. Implementing the massive public works programs that Obama and his teams have been speaking about using cooperatives could ensure that more people benefit more directly from the stimulus package. The benefits of that package would also reduce inequalities as cooperatives naturally nurture just and profitable economic outcomes.
Furthermore, implementing the stimulus through cooperatives would also give the American people a greater stake, more ownership, and therefore a higher level of commitment to the national effort to not only save America from the economic crisis but to see it emmerge as an even stroner nation.