I noticed an article in the Huffington Post this morning from a visiting professor at Princeton University, Steven Strauss, who wrote that there are essentially two kinds of jobs: wage slaves and micro entrepreneurs. The former is the traditional job in which you are employed by some business owner while the later is where you are an independent contractor. Strauss points out that being a wage slave is bad enough, but it’s worse for independent contractors or micro entrepreneurs. True enough! Independent contractors have no benefits of any kind. Want to take a vacation? No problem but don’t expect to get paid time off. Get sick? Fine, don’t work. Don’t get paid either. He concludes that maybe being a wage slave isn’t so bad after all.
I don’t know about you, but I personally am fed up with my only choices being “bad” and “worse.” There is a third approach as regular readers of my blog know very well. It is cooperatism. With cooperatives these wage slaves or independent contractors or unemployed people can band together and form a cooperative enterprise. In such an enterprise they are both employees and employers. They keep all the profits for themselves, make up the rules, maintain the books, and manage the place. They become real entrepreneurs. Furthermore, they can reduce their expenses by sharing it with all members. And, by doing the work themselves, they have no separate expense for labor.
People in cooperatives make more money than those simply on their own and it costs far less to start a cooperative than a business where you are the sole proprietor. So if you love your job but hate working for peanuts while you help someone else to grow rich, then band together and create your own business–a cooperative enterprise.