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The Cooperative, the Member and the Question of Ownership

The Cooperative, the Member and the Question of Ownership

This short paper attempts to explain that the members of a cooperative and the co-operative itself are one and the same. A co-operative is established by its members and its property belongs proportionally to each individual member. According to the author, the concept of two bodies of property – one belonging to the members, the other belonging to the cooperative – is a contradiction in terms of logic. If the cooperative property does not belong to the members, who does it belong to?

Using examples from Israeli cooperatives, the author illustrates his view of the reality of share capital and how it should be calculated. He explains how to compute the value of a share in membership for a new member and one method of calculating the value of members’ shares after a number of years, taking depreciation into account.

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