''in proportion to their patronage''
what does that mean here?

@paulfree14 The is the mechanism by which a operates on a not-for-profit basis towards its members in the context of market pricing.

Say a made a 5% profit/surplus last year. If you spent $100 there and I spent $1000, I would get $50 back while you would get $5 in your Patronage Refund.

For , patronage is based on labor contributed, of which the simplest formula is hours worked, so if I worked 2x your hours, I'd get 2x your share of the surplus.

how is this then true?
'Wealth is eqally distributed among the many'
equally in the sense, everyone acording to the same rule? thought then the statement would be also kind of true for 'the corporation'

@paulfree14 Because in a corporation, profit/surplus is distributed on the basis of capital ownership, while in a co-op, it is distributed on the basis of use.

As such, while the profit of a corporation tends to go to augment the wealth of a small minority, the surplus of a co-op is distributed at the same rate to all patrons on the basis of their use, which is inherently a less wealth concentrating formula. Democratic 1 person 1 vote governance also helps set broad vs narrow priorities.

@paulfree14 One long-running strategic debate in the movement is around pricing & the .

Should conform their pricing to market rates, and benefit their members via larger patronage refunds? Or should they seek to minimize their surplus and move the larger market by paying above-market wages or charging below-market prices, thereby narrowing the margins of their capitalist competitors?

@paulfree14 I don't think there's a single correct answer to that question, but that it depends on strategic considerations like a co-op/co-op federation's market power. If you control a substantial portion of the market, it's a very different situation than if you are on the margins trying to survive...

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