There are growing indications that the system of mass consumption that blossomed in the United States and other countries during the decades following World War II is now eroding due to demographic ageing, increasing income inequality, political paralysis, and resource scarcity. At the same time, steady jobs that compensate employees on a salaried or hourly basis are being replaced by freelancing and contingent work. Such circumstances are making perpetuation of
consumerist lifestyles difficult. The rise of the so-called sharing economy, the growth of do-it-yourself production, and the spreading popularity of economic localization are evidence that people are
striving to find new ways to ensure livelihoods for themselves and their families in the face of profound change. Historical experience points to the importance of mutual assistance during periods of transformational upheaval and this book describes the role that worker-consumer cooperatives could play during a period when government-sponsored initiatives are unlikely to be forthcoming.