Co-operatives and competition

Here’s an article from The Guardian promoting the virtues of  co-operatives as an alternative to the profit-motivated capitalist system of organizing economic activity.

I am not sure the ownership structure of a firm is relevant to how it behaves within the economy.  Whether it is state-owned, community owned, privately owned or cooperatively owned it still has to acquire the resources (capital) with which to start and operate the business.   It also has to arrange for management.  A lot depends upon the personality of managers.  There are many dominant people who are skilled at manipulating democracy and consensus decision-making.  The exception is that state-owned firms may have deep pockets and may make decisions for political rather than economic reasons.

I see co-ops as a reaction to excessive profits of private firms. Generally firms are able to make profits because governments pass legislation which restricts competition.  Probably the best way to deal with excess profits is to repeal the legislation that restricts competition.

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