Published Date

September 1, 1944

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

From GI Roundtable 23: Why Co-ops? What Are They? How Do They Work? (1944)

Cooperative business in the United States claims a good many achievements. It claims to have increased the income of millions of individuals by giving efficient service at cost. It claims that it has helped farmers to increase their net returns and to have stimulated the production of farm products of better quality. The advocates of cooperation say that it has improved the efficiency of farmers by making available to them seed, fertilizer, feed, petroleum, and similar supplies of good quality. It has also helped, they say, to stabilize farm prices through controlling the movement of supplies to market, and has developed marketing methods suited to the needs of farmers.

Other claims of cooperative business are that it has kept competition alive in many markets, that it has strengthened the bargaining power of individuals through large-scale organization, that it has eliminated or reduced many selling abuses and encouraged better trade practices, and that it has performed many desirable services which commercial business could not profitably supply.

These and other claims need to be considered alongside the weaknesses of cooperative business in sizing up its place in American life.

Next section: How Efficient Is Cooperative Business?