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Authors

Brendan Shine

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Cooperative economics are explored in this article through the lens of Mahatma Gandhi’s economic thought. Cooperatives seven main principles (voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education/training, cooperation among cooperatives, and finally concern for community)are shown to align with Gandhi’s core economic tenets of Sarvodaya by comparing their goals. Proceeding from this, the article uses qualitative interviews to compare the lives of workers and managers of cooperative business models, nonprofit business models, and traditional business models primarily in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see how the cooperative principles work in practice in regard to the workers. The final section then makes the case that the homecare industry will grow immensely in the years to come, so the Near Westside Partners (a local community investment group) should invest in the creation of a homecare cooperative business to provide a needed service, better the community, and enhance the lives of the workers in the co-op as well.

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