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GUEST COLUMN: Cooperation, not competition


PHILIP HUNTE

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WE LIVE in a very precarious world. Every day heralds some new crisis. Multi-billion dollar corporations are faced with bankruptcy and having to downsize to remain solvent to meet the obligations of their stakeholders and to stay alive.There is vast economic fallout as the developed countries seek to consolidate their hold on the world’s wealth. The Pareto effect is in operation and there is the constant widening gap between rich and poor, with less aid being granted to the less developed countries. There is a grave imbalance between material and economic conditions.  The present economic system is incapable of lessening this inequality.  One of the basic causes of economic injustice is excessive and wasteful competition. Cooperation is the way to go. Resources must be used for the good of all. This can be done only if cooperation replaces competition as the basis of organised economic activity. Worker participation in enterprises with workers getting a share of the profits and workers and owners cooperating to eliminate conflicts of interest.There is still the need for private economic initiative. There should still be the differences in human needs and capacity, and some categories of service to society (for example, education and medicine) and the critical roles that these perform merit greater recompense than others. Certain differences in salaries should exist in order to enable society to encourage the efforts of those (such as doctors and farmers) whose services are essentially vital to the welfare of the community, with a cap placed on the upper limit in order that no one would suffer deprivation and that no one would accumulate excessive wealth. Some of these have elements in common with various existing systems, but are based on a just distribution of goods and services and which in its global scope has no known equivalent.

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