COOPERATIVES

The Latin America Solidarity Economy: Argentina’s Crisis

Elizabeth Bowman and Robert Stone
Feb- March 2006

Chilavert Cooperative Printers of Buenos Aires pose for a photo outside their shop with Canadian and US visitors. To the right of co-author Bob Stone (top right) is Candido Gonzalez, the elected president of the cooperative running this workplace; in the center front row kneeling is Graciela Monteagudo, director of Argentina Autonomista Project, organizer of the North American delegation to Argentina.
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Can Grameen Bank-style Microcredit Eliminate Poverty?

Elizabeth Bowman and Robert Stone
March 2007

What is microcredit?  A Kenyan fisherwoman, backed by a modest loan from Kenya’s Yehu Bank, starts a business buying and marketing fish, hiring her husband and daughter, and then repaying the loan with interest from her increased income.  That is the basic model.  And here is the major claim for it made by Muhammad Yunus, “godfather of microcredit” and inspirer of the movement:  “If we can come up with a system which allows everybody access to credit while ensuring excellent repayment, I can give you a guarantee that poverty will not last long.” Is this an amazing realization of Ayn Rand’s capitalism or advice from one of Dickens’ meaner characters?
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A Brief Introduction to their Types, History & Social Change Prospect

Elizabeth Bowman and Robert Stone
March 2007

A cooperative (also co-operative and co-op) is an autonomous, non-governmental association voluntarily formed to meet its members’ economic, social, and/or cultural needs through a jointly-owned, democratically-controlled enterprise.
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Cooperativization on the Mondragón Model As Alternative to Globalizing Capitalism

Elizabeth Bowman and Robert Stone
March 2007

scholar-activists and co-founders of the Center for Global Justice

Our goal is more than simple options for individual improvement. It is more. If the co-operative enterprise does not serve for more, the world of work has the right to spit in our faces.
– José María Arizmendiarrieta (Quoted by MacLeod 1997)
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THE LATIN AMERICA SOLIDARITY ECONOMY:
Venezuela & Argentina

Elizabeth Bowman and Robert Stone
Feb-March 2006

Latin America is looking for alternatives to corporate globalization, and with good reason. The Center for Economic Policy Research recently summed up results of the neo-liberal experiment that has been imposed on the region since the mid-1970s. Between 1970 and 2000: tariffs on imported goods were halved, most controls on investment inflows and outflows were lifted or drastically reduced, and state-owned enterprises were privatized on a massive scale. (In the 1990s alone they amounted to 20 times the value of Russian privatizations after collapse of the Soviet Union.) The International Monetary Fund had predicted that per capita income and economic growth would take off. In fact: “Income per capita for the region grew by more than 80% from 1960-1979, but only about 11% from 1980-2000…the region has suffered its worst 25-year economic performance in modern Latin American history, even including the years of the Great Depression.

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