COMPARING THE SOCIAL ECONOMY TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTORS IN CANADA Jack Quarter “Chapter 1 Defining the Social Economy ” from Canada’s Social

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COMPARING THE SOCIAL ECONOMY TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTORS IN CANADA Jack Quarter “Chapter 1 Defining the Social Economy ” from Canada’s Social Powered By Docstoc

  Jack Quarter, “Chapter 1: Defining the Social Economy,” from Canada’s Social
                                Economy (1992)

    Social Economy                    Government                    Private Sector
                                      Social Objectives
Primary purpose is to serve     Crown corporations             Control associated with
a defined membership or         established by government      property rights, property
the public in a manner          to provide a service           represents investment of
whereby the organization        (essential services, health,   owners or shareholders, risk
can develop.                    education, defense, roads,     for personal return on
                                etc.), because gov’t wants     investments. Profit driven.
Financially self-reliant =      influence in policy, private
“social enterprises,” at risk   sector won’t get involved      Risk of capital =
in marketplace to external      because no profit.             competition and
sources of funding, etc.                                       marketplace.
                                Risk of capital = votes and
Risk of capital = social        tax revenues, world
objectives                      economy.

Loyalties to a community =
“community enterprises”

                               Independence from Gov’t
Socialize economy via         Traditional                      Privatize the means of
working with the state, give socialist/communist desire        production, reduce the
control of means of           = Social economy and             incursion of the state
production, distribution, and means of production via the
consumption to local          state
stakeholder groups, users of
services, workers, etc.

Community leads social          State leads social ownership No social ownership,
ownership                                                    private ownership instead

JQ’s question: Can S.E.
have independence from
gov’t if rely on gov’t
615,000 full time jobs =        Some (i.e., at election time), Volunteer wants something
amount of volunteering          but almost all paid work.      from private sector (i.e.,
Cdns do per year                                               internships to get a job in

                                                           the future).
Informal economy related
to this.                                                   Business can get free labour
                                                           from this (more
Are volunteer financial                                    exploitation?)
donations equal to value of
physical volunteering of
                          Profit and Loss / Surplus and Deficit
No shares (non-profits)        No shares. Tax revenues.    Number of shares own
                               Voters decide how           determines earnings at end
Shares (cooperatives, but      governments manage          of year.
retain a constant value).      budgets.
Shares for coops are like a                                Owners keep profits.
membership fee, really a       Corruption
loan to coop until member      possibilities/temptations?
leaves (i.e., Mondragon
workers’ coop strategy)

Surplus earnings paid via
patronage dividend
(consumed so much in
coop, or worked so much,

Coops = surpluses go back
to coop, some dividends
may be paid out to

                                    Ownership Rights
Community owns. Mutual          The citizenry at large     Investors and shareholders
aid tends to dictate.           “owns” government.         own. Workers may own but
Inclusion is a leading ideal.                              usually a smaller percentage
                                Taxpayers “own”…           than financial owners.
Charities and non-profits =
collective ownership by
community of interest

Cooperatives = may or may
not be non-profit.

Coops and non-profits =
assets owned by no one,
passed on generationally as
a “social dividend”

These “social dividends”
part of social economy

Ownership not based on         Not really a concept of      Ownership based on
property rights, a broader     ownership but of a           property rights.
definition of ownership        patriarchal state, really.
More direct types of           Indirect, representational   No democracy, really. Yes,
democracy.                     democracy electing           shareholders elect boards
                               “representatives”.           and boards may fire
Democratic control by                                       managers, etc., but based on
members is a fundamental                                    amount of money invested=
characteristic = a “social                                  vote. Not inclusive. And
democracy”                                                  workers, as wage labour,
                                                            have no say in management
                                                            really because of the
                                                            capital-labour contract.

Voting rights = one            Voting rights based on age   Voting rights based on
member/one vote                and time.                    “property holdings”

Provide service to a public
that has the opportunity to
democratically elect its

Board of directors ……..        … Parliament or Leg.   Management often based on
                                                            technical competence, often
Senior managers………..           ……like Deputy Minsters       not, based on other values

Open, voluntary                Membership relegated to a    Membership based on
menbership in coops. But,      select, privileged few of    money and connections, or
“Open membership has           society, on the whole.       specific skill sets
always been tempred by         Politicking.
pragmatic conerns about
suitability and availability
of space”. Membership has
some limits, based on
interest and need.


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