Posted 1 year ago on July 1, 2012, 2:04 p.m. EST by francismjenkins
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I think many of us here support the idea of worker cooperatives, and studies have shown that employee companies (and cooperatives) tend to be more productive, survive longer, provide better benefits, etc. (compared to their conventional counterparts) However, a common (and I would opine valid) critique of this idea is that there's no mechanism inducing innovation. In other words, without a profit incentive, why would we seek to innovate? We might say competition between cooperatives could have this effect, but would competition in itself be a sufficient mechanism for inducing innovation. Won't the individual inventor lose the incentive to innovate, and while we might think that scientific progress doesn't require this sort of incentive (since breakthrough science tends to happen in places like university laboratories), it's the every day inventions that also add to our quality of life, and make life more interesting and enjoyable. It's the guy who has an idea for a new head shaver, and as mundane as it may sound, it has improved the lives of thousands of men in at least a tiny way (not me personally, but thousands of my peers love the thing, and of course this is merely one of millions of examples of things and gadgets that wouldn't exist but for some inventor motivated by money).
So maybe the "creative sector" should be viewed distinctly from the productive & service sectors. If the creative sector were still very competitive and profit driven, everything else could be a cooperative (or similar structure), and we get the best of both worlds?