This book illustrates the potential for cooperatives -- organizations that are owned and democratically controlled by the people they serve -- to infuse the US ecomy with the basic value of democracy and to provide citizens with a means to effectively address the shortcomings of the market-driven ecomy. The book makes the case that cooperatives are the solution to many of the major ecomic, social, and environmental problems in the United States today. The basic tenet of the essay is that co-ops are democratically controlled and are motivated primarily by the goal of providing services to their members, t by generating profits for their owners and investors. As a result of this democratic, services-first design, co-ops are much more likely to avoid the negative consequences of ecomic institutions primarily driven by the quest for ever-increasing profits. This latter model of ecomic development has led to over 200 years of ecomic instability, inequality, and environmental degradation in the United States. In the coming decades, co-ops can lead the way to undoing these fundamental flaws in our ecomic system.
E.G. Nadeau has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been researching, developing, teaching, and writing about cooperatives for 40 years. Among other publications, Nadeau co-authored Cooperation Works! with David Thompson. In addition to his domestic and international co-op consulting work, Nadeau is on the faculty of the Master in Management-Cooperatives and Credit Unions program at St. Mary's University in Halifax, N.S. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.