Trades Cooperative

So yesterday I watched a video of a startup webinar from the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. What the presenter is talking about seems a lot bigger than what I’m thinking of, but in the Q&A portion, he did say that 3-7 members to start off was a good size, so maybe not.

I’m thinking of a trades cooperative, with an administrator (me, since that’s my skill), an electrician, a plumber, and a carpenter. Maybe one other, since I like an odd number for voting purposes. A brick-and-tile specialist?

I’ve noticed that a lot of independent tradespeople lack the organization to do things like follow up on estimates or reschedule appointments, adjust schedules, that sort of thing. That’s got to be costing them a lot of business.

And while they keep all the proceeds when freelancing, they have to fool with all the stuff that’s outside their skillset. Banding together in a cooperative sounds like a way better alternative than taking employment at a typical business. The pay would be better and profit is shared. And they don’t answer the phone or manage the calendar or send the invoices.

Could I start by freelancing the administration? And then after doing a good job for a while, sell them on the security of a coop, with the benefits of things like health insurance.

What Am I Studying Now?

And is it Six Subjects?

Probably not.

I have an ongoing and slow moving study going involving Introducing the New Testament, 2nd Edition. I’m only just wrapping up Chapter 2 and I’ve been at it for weeks.

I’m also working on my 9th Step.

I’ve already written about my battle against Malassezia yeast. There’s a huge learning curve with that.

Ongoing study of racial equity. Recently read How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged by Kimberly Jones. Currently reading Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have several more titles in my list but next up is White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson.

Growing up, I learned to hate communism but never actually learned what it was. So I’m working on that now. It’s really hard. A lot of the foundational texts are written in lofty language that has become hard for me to follow and explainer videos are either just as obtuse or sneeringly dismissive. I did get Manifesto of the Communist Party by Karl Marx, A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics by Hadas Thier, and Workers’ Councils by Anton Pannekoek.

Related, but not exactly the same, I’m learning about cooperative business models. Last night I rented Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work, a documentary about cooperative businesses in Spain (not in Marinaleda, which you may have already heard of) and in the US. There is a huge amount of additional information at the website of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Also looking at several resources about mutual aid.

Still training the dogs on talking buttons, but that’s a bit more about supplying data for research than consuming research.

This all is, of course, not counting the constant YouTubing for information about things I have to do. Like replacing a ceiling fan, snaking drains, and sanding floors.

On hold: I’ve got a huge stack of US history books that I want to get to soon.