THE BLOG

My Journey to "Capital Homesteading"

10/26/2012 11:26 am ET | Updated Dec 26, 2012

The Internet is bringing great ideas to the forefront, paving the way for progress. More than ever, each individual has access to information that can help bring enlightenment and change. My personal epiphany came when I discovered an economic reform proposal called Capital Homesteading.

I had a successful business that was vulnerable to economic "boom-and-bust" cycles, the worst of which was 2008. Resulting reduced business activity gave me time to study and think about what, if anything, I could do to help try reduce this trend. I began to realize that most of our problems can't be blamed on liberals or conservatives, but more often on corruption. In my research I found validation for the axiom that says when investigating an impropriety, "follow the money." I now believe that generally, the entire world's system of money, currency and banking is one big exploitative scam.

Central Banks, including our Federal Reserve, are set up to benefit their owners first, then large corporations and the self-serving politicians who pass laws to keep the system in place, and the citizens last. The now infamous bailouts are proof and have caused more people to realize something is wrong.

YouTube videos like those from the Zeitgeist Movement and Bill Still outline the problem very well. But the solutions they propose seem to fall short. Zeitgeist/Venus Project would eliminate money and has interesting futuristic proposals, but move too drastically from our principles of individual liberty, property rights and freedom of religion. Bill Still's greenback philosophy was very interesting to me, as was Ron Paul's metal standard with elimination of the Fed. But I could not "knee jerk" react to the complex problem without thorough research of unintended consequences. (For example, metals can be hoarded by the financial class. Bureaucrat-empowering greenback quantities would need to be limited to avoid inflation and devaluation, which puts a cap on growth.) So I began to read books, which have revealed more problems with all well-known proposals. They fall short of important requirements: Complete breakup of the effective plutocracy, preservation of individual liberty and property rights, rapid empowerment of all citizens including the poor (without redistribution), ending the fractional reserve debt-based boom-and-bust scam... And even eliminating inflation but providing unlimited growth while we're at it! Oh, and it should be bipartisan implementable and already have an organized movement. (Whew!)

Can such a miracle reform plan exist? I say yes, and this is not a Halloween prank. But you should try to disprove this claim yourself. Perhaps in doing so you will read one of the books I labored through. It was a massive boring volume about the Fed called The Secrets of the Temple by William Greider. He briefly mentioned the monetary and economic theories of a successful lawyer/economist named Louis Kelso, who started the employee ownership movement. That grabbed my attention. Several businesses I know have ESOPs, and excel with happier career-oriented employees.

I searched the Internet and found that although Kelso is no longer with us, his former Washington lawyer Dr. Norman Kurland is, and heads a thought-provoking non-profit called the Center for Economic and Social Justice (www.cesj.org). I emailed them with a few excited questions, and to my surprise Norm himself called me. Everything he said made sense to me; it was like the monetary planets and economic stars all aligned. I learned that their main proposal to correct our flawed banking and monetary system is called "Capital Homesteading." Instead of low-to-no-interest fractional loans to multiple layers of banks putting currency into our economy, citizens would receive a scientifically calculated (increase in new capital formation divided by population) equal credit to invest in dividend-paying corporations every year.

That is an over-simplified explanation, and there are many more facets to our plan, including a proven method of making the exact quantity of money available to the economy through something called "the banking principle." But finding out more is the fun part, and I helped create a website to make that process easier: www.capitalhomestead.org, where we are growing a coalition.

Bottom line, everyone seems to know that wealth disparity is a big problem. The statistics agree:

Year Ratio of People at Poverty to Wealthy Level:

1820 - 3 to 1

1913 - 11 to 1

1950 - 35 to 1

2005 - 67 to 1

What other proposal not only focuses on correcting this, but also offers conservatives something to support: Smaller government? Yes, that is what I said. And I know many progressives don't want to hear that. Why did it once make us think JFK, but now it's LOL? Actually, although a majority of Capital Homesteading supporters seem to be from the liberal/progressive camp, I must confess I am not. But I do have a family heritage of Southern Democrats, like my uncle who was a well-respected lawyer and judge. He taught me much about justice, and that should be what unites us. So I hope you can acknowledge one principle that has potential to do just that: Power tends to concentrate, so steps need to be taken to compensate. You may quickly agree; money power has concentrated in the Wal-Marts, big oils, hedge funds and the aforementioned banks of today's world. But what if, in addition to capital, government power also tends to concentrate? As you contemplate that, consider a scenario where everyone has a solid private retirement nest egg as a right of citizenship, receiving dividend income throughout their lives. Wouldn't that be an improvement? Then could phasing out inefficient government programs like social security work for you? This is how solidarity against concentrated power can finally free us from the gridlock demons that haunt us.

OWN OR BE OWNED!