Economy needs People’s Power
American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson failed as the author of the Declaration of Independence to address or mention two major injustices, including in economy, at the birth of America as the new global model for all nations in the Eighteenth Century:
(1) the systemic deprivation of inclusionary Justice, Freedom and equality of opportunity for every child, woman and man as fundamental and universal human rights, and
(2) inequality of systemic monetary access to all persons to equal ownership opportunities over new and transferred productive, property rights and the democratization of future economic power, without taking away ownership of existing property rights from current owners.
The most appropriate members of American society for promoting the “Own or Be Owned” slogan and the Just Third Way agenda and legal reforms that would promote sustainable growth and equality of ownership opportunities for all Americans and winning the 21st Century war of ideas against global extremists and terrorism are, in my opinion, THE DESCENDENTS OF AMERICAN SLAVES (DAS), together with leaders of other groups like Muslims and Native Americans who have been targeted by American hate-mongers.
These injustices today can best be addressed by DAS surfacing new leaders committed to creating a new consensus of at least 90% of all citizens from across the political spectrum on principles that will restore America’s role as the global model for economic democracy, political democracy, and prosperity for all.
Global economy requires Just Third Way reform
As Walter Reuther, President of Auto Worker observed during to his last testimony to Congress:
Profit sharing in the form of stock distributions to workers would help to democratize the ownership of America’s vast corporate wealth which is today appallingly undemocratic and unhealthy. The Federal Reserve Board recently published data from which it is possible to estimate the degree of concentration in the ownership of publicly traded stock held by individuals and families as of December 1962. Preliminary analysis of these data indicates that, despite all the talk of a “people’s capitalism” in the United States, little more than one percent of all consumer units owned approximately 70 percent of all such stock.
Fewer than 8 percent of all consumer units owned approximately 97 percent—which means, conversely, that the total direct ownership interest of more than 92 percent of America’s consumer units in the corporation-operated productive wealth of this country was approximately 3 percent. Profit sharing in a form that would help to correct this shocking maldistribution would be highly desirable for that reason alone.… If workers had definite assurance of equitable shares in the profits of the corporations that employ them, they would see less need to seek an equitable balance between their gains and soaring profits through augmented increases in basic wage rates. This would be a desirable result from the standpoint of stabilization policy because profit sharing does not increase costs. Since profits are a residual, after all costs have been met, and since their size is not determinable until after customers have paid the prices charged for the firm’s products, profit sharing as such cannot be said to have any inflationary impact upon costs and prices.
This situation of dramatic inequality that leads to economic imbalance and excessive budget deficits is also reality of Australia and other peoples of the world. It cannot be addressed by the traditional strategy of cuts and savings, which usually affects the poorest.
Global economy needs reforms, which will affect only the future wealth. This is very important and unique element of the Just Third Way economic reform. It is not redistribution of currently existing wealth of anyone. At the foundation of Just Third Way lies respect for private property which is indispensable condition for free market. Indeed Just Third Way is based on free market, economic freedom which at this moment of history is not available for every citizen. Economic freedom requires ownership for all of citizens – every man, woman and child, otherwise is just an empty slogan. Citizens should have equal opportunity to acquire productive capital for a loan paid from future income on shares. This simple mechanism, presently accessible only for certain investors, has potential to revolutionise economic growth, level inequalities and modernise thinking about the economy as such. Understanding of this solution requires change in paradigm of economic growth. Economic growth does not depend on current savings but also on future savings.
People’s power is needed
At first everyone should learn and understand Just Third Way to build people’s power that will be able persuade the leaders of the Fed and other Central Banks as well as the nation’s political leaders to adopt reforms aimed at democratizing money power and financing environmentally sustainable economic growth and more equal ownership opportunities. These reforms, from day one, will provide equal future opportunities to every child, woman and man, from the poorest to the richest, to earn growing ownership incomes and develop to his or her fullest creative potential. And the new financial system will no longer depend on the existing accumulations of existing owners.
Once accepted, our monetary reforms will set an example for the central bank of every other nation and the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements to adopt similar reforms aimed at the democratization of money power, ownership power, and economic sovereignty for every world citizen as essential for supporting fundamental human rights. Our proposed economic reforms will create a nation of owners, end class warfare, and produce genuine economic and social justice for all. For the first time in modern history, political democracy will be based on true economic democracy, unable to be undermined by any tiny elite who today control power over money and, through their money power, control the laws and coercive powers of government.
This text has been compiled from correspondence of Dr. Kurland.
Norman Kurland, lawyer and economist. Founder and President of private think-thank Centre for Economic and Social Justice. He is co-author of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen.