Co-ops, Democracy & the Economic Environment

coopsFor many businesses, profit is the bottom line. Resources are extracted from the earth and profit is funneled into the hands of a few. We can easily see the impact this has on the well being of our
environment, our economy and our communities. The climate is changing, our water, air and land are becoming more polluted, jobs are outsourced and the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider. Oxfam recently released a report titled “Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More”, which found:

… as of 2014, the 80 richest individuals in the world are wealthier than the bottom 50 percent of the world’s population. This bears repeating: The 80 wealthiest people, a group that could fit on a bus, control more wealth than 3.5 billion people. The wealthy are not only accumulating more wealth, but they are getting it faster. Between 2009 and 2014, Oxfam reports, the wealth of those 80 richest people in the world doubled. This, while the rest of the world was mired in the Great Recession, with rampant unemployment and people’s life savings wiped out. If current trends continue, Oxfam notes, by 2016 the richest 1 percent of the world’s population will control more wealth than the bottom 99 percent.1

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