by Mark Friedman

PROUT (The Progressive Utilization Theory) advocates a three-tiered economy, including a privately-owned small business sector, a sector of cooperatives where most production and commerce will take place, and a sector of large government owned and operated firms. Let us look into the rationale for each sector.

Size Matters: Small Business

Under a PROUT system only small firms can be owned by individuals or small partnerships. There are several reasons to restrict private ownership to small firms, involving both economic efficiency and economic justice.  But some private ownership helps create a lively and varied economy.

The Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) is an alternative to capitalism and Marxism.  Trond Overland shows how PROUT would provide security to all people by building on the premise that "every citizen has a fundamental value, an existential value, that supercedes the output value of individual participants."

During the twentieth century the battle for political democracy dominated world events, perhaps the 21st century will be marked by a struggle to establish economic democracy. Ravi Logan gives an outline of what economic democracy would look like.

D.H. Wright reports on a conference in Atlanta, where labor and environmental leaders joined forces in an attempt to show how collaboration and equality can bring economic prosperity.

2012 has been designated the year of cooperative by the UN, and Rene Wadlow looks at the significance of this event.