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No More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative 2nd Edition Paperback – December 1, 2004
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Co-Production is in fact a moral imperative:
1. Assets became: no more throw-away people
2. Redefining work became: no more free rides for the market economy through discrimination and exploitation.
3. Reciprocity became: Stop creating dependencies while profiting from their troubles.
4. Social capital became: no more dis-investing in families, neighborhoods, and communities.
To some extent, this book is the history of the first twenty years of Time Dollars. But it is more than that - much more. People don't like feeling useless; we all need to feel valued - this is one way in which the market economy is so obviously failing a large proportion of the world's population, even in the so-called civilised world. Co-Production recognises parity between the parties in any transaction and values the consumer as well as the producer, the receiver as well as the giver. It recognises the need for participation; not for the passive consumer. Co-Production values both the giver and receiver; it values people and their contribution to society and it bridges class and racial divides. It's about getting people to take responsibility and get involved. It's about building self-esteem. Cahn likens the non-market economy to a computer operating system describing present attempts to 'fix' it with 'programs' from the market economy and demonstrates how this is so clearly failing. He examines the strengths and weaknesses of both the market and the non-market economies. Conventional money has a number of downsides for society as a whole, each of which Time Dollars is able to counter. Money rewards our competitive, acquisitive side; Time Dollars rewards our co-operative, altruistic side. Co-Production is about valuing people as they are not how the market economy would like them to be. Cahn argues for a redefinition of work to include non-market activities such as child rearing, community building, care for the elderly.
This book is a must for anyone who is serious about exploring practical, workable alternatives to the market economy. It is a clever combination of economic and political theory and practical examples of how Time Dollars is working to improve the lot of many thousand of people - the elderly, school children, immigrants that the system has previously treated as "throw-away" people. A political lecture? Perhaps. A crusade? Yes, probably. A must for anyone concerned with social justice? Certainly!