Social Aspects of Industry: A Survey of Labor Problems and Causes of Industrial Unrest

By S. Howard Patterson | Go to book overview

Only one in every thirty persons in the United States now belongs to the legion of capitalists! Investigations have shown that some individuals own as many as 500 different stocks.1

13. Summary. -- The cooperative movement proposes the complete elimination of the enterpriser and substitutes collective action for individual initiative. Unlike state socialism, it is not a national but rather a group movement. Moreover, it is economic rather than political, and evolutionary rather than revolutionary.The cooperative movement presents three phases; consumers' cooperation, producers' cooperation, and cooperative banking and credit. The cooperative movement among farmers is especially significant in all three of these fields. Distributors' cooperation is represented by improved marketing organizations for the elimination of waste. It may or may not be strictly cooperative in character.The Rochdale Cooperative Store was the pioneer experiment in consumers' cooperation. It was eminently successful and spread from retail associations to wholesale associations and from England to other countries. Although it has developed to enormous proportions in Great Britain, consumers' cooperation has not made much headway in the United States.Producers' cooperation, as represented by groups of workers engaged in manufacturing enterprises, has not been very successful. The enterpriser is eliminated, for the workers both direct and own the enterprise. The lack of capital, the scarcity of managerial ability, and the constant tendency to exclude new workers limits the success and extension of producers' cooperation.There are numerous types of cooperative credit associations. Prominent among them are the loan associations of Germany and the building and loan associations of the United States. Cooperative banking institutions are represented by mutual savings banks. Insurance has felt the impetus of the cooperative movement, for many insurance companies have mutualized. Organized labor, feeling the need of improved credit facilities, has become interested in a number of cooperative banking ventures. Land banks are cooperative organizations for the extension of credit facilities to the farmer. In spite of these various cooperative credit associations, however, it is doubtful if the per capita real savings of the workers have increased.
Collateral Reading
ADAMS T. S. and SUMNER H. L., "Labor Problems", chap. 10.
ATKINS W. E. and LASSWELL H. D., "Labor Attitudes and Problems", chap. 20.
BLOOMFIELD D., "Modern Industrial Movements", pp. 3-35.
____________________
1
Quoted by EPSTEIN A., "Darker Phases of American Prosperity", The New Republic, pp. 315-316, Feb. 6, 1929.

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