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The Cooperative Alternative

431920059_c705874aa5_tThe economic downtown and the loss of jobs has created a souring opinion of work, leaders and corporate America. The sudden loss of a job emphasizes how little control individuals have over their employment status.

If it is important for people to have more control over their work, then the cooperative model should be considered. The model has been around for centuries.

The cooperative principals are as follows:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Co-operation among Co-operatives
  • Concern for Community

Cooperatives provide direct control by the workers of the business. In some cases, each person has a vote. The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives gives more detail of the principals at their website

Cooperatives have not been a mainstream business model in the United States, but maybe it is time for them to become a major player in the recovery of our economy.

Flickr photo by BNNS.de

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