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Responding to Poverty: Communitarian Solutions through Cooperative Facilitation of Primary Associations


  • Davis, Peter


The core idea presented in this paper is a model of the economic system that seeks a larger role for the domestic economy vis-a-vis the money economy. It is argued that labor applied in the domestic economy can add value in ways that can have a significant impact on the standards and quality of life for the poor. Cooperative self-help principles applied to families and friendship groups are the mechanism for mobilizing the domestic economy's forces of production with the mainstream cooperatives directing their existing member relations and member education facilities to act as promoters and facilitators of the idea. The strategy is presented as an alternative to the employment creation-oriented anti-poverty policies favored in the West. The author claims that the re-establishing of well-being and autonomy within the domestic economy will reduce pressure for jobs in the labor market particularly for marginal employment. This reduction in pressure for jobs will feed through to improve the relative balance of market power towards labor and at the same time take pressure off the national exchequers struggling with subsidizing the low wage-benefit supported labor market of the 1990s. The whole paper is presented as a speculation that is worth further consideration and research in the absence of viable alternatives to the present failed anti-poverty programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Peter, 1998. "Responding to Poverty: Communitarian Solutions through Cooperative Facilitation of Primary Associations," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 26.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlorco:62058

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    Agribusiness; Food Security and Poverty;


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