“In the shadow of the old order, a small, spirited group of Americans campaigned audaciously to construct a new order — the U.S. economy reorganized around Louis Kelso’s revolutionary principle of universal capital ownership. The revolution, these ambitious activists decided, ought to begin right in the nation’s capital — Washington, D.C. — a city mired in financial insolvency, with accelerating social and economic deterioration, with extremes of wealth and poverty as stark as any found in America. Under congressional oversight, the District of Columbia could become the laboratory, they thought, the place where Kelso’s ideas were actually applied. If the concept worked for D.C., every city and region in America would want to emulate it….
The power of Louis Kelso’s vision… has attracted an odd assortment of converts-idealists from right and left and from across the usual racial and religious divides, people who believed Kelso’s thinking held the key for renewing American society. Some of them joined with [Norman] Kurland in his Center for Economic and Social Justice to promote a daring experiment: Congress should designate the District of Columbia a “super empowerment zone” that would launch new enterprises and industries (and privatize some governmental functions) through Kelso’s mechanism of citizen and worker ownership trusts. new economic development would be attracted to D.C., not by tax subsidies or relaxed laws, but because low-interest capital credit would be available to the community trusts — cheap credit provided through the Federal Reserve’s discount lending.
William Greider, One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism, Chapter 18, pp. 432-433.
“‘We may have come over here in different ships but we’re in the same boat now!’ That was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message to America in the decade of the sixties; it is his message to us today in the midst of our present crisis. Were he alive today, I think he would be advocating the establishment of CAPITAL HOMESTEADING as the economic paradigm for the 21st Century. We can do it, if we put our minds to it. We can make the economic empowerment of the American people a “WIN-WIN” situation and not just a ZERO SUM GAME.”
The Honorable Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, former D.C. Representative to the U.S. Congress and Chairman of the House Banking Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy (3/96)
“I believe that our country must pursue financial policies which assist average Americans to build the wealth they need to become economically secure. Given the uncertainty about the economic future for most Americans, a good argument can be made that present monetary (and fiscal) policies have not truly addressed the public’s primary concern: that is, creating stable incomes for all of our citizens who are willing and able to participate in production through their capital, their labor, or both….[I]t seems to me that along with revitalizing the Federal Reserve’s discount mechanism to ensure an adequate, asset backed, supply of credit, government should encourage financing mechanisms which tend to broaden, rather than further concentrate, the ownership of productive assets.”
Congr. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Mississippi) in letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (3/24/95)
“Our very intelligent and energetic young people are leaving universities, colleges, vocational training schools and high schools to become unemployed–and wasted. Given the substantial reserve of natural resources in our country, and given the substantial demand to consume that is suppressed through extensive poverty, who will do something to remove this contradiction of poverty in a land of plenty? Will somebody see this untapped market as a business opportunity and apply the “Capital Homestead Act” for the benefit and prosperity of all in a real market economy?”
Lt. Col. Joseph L. Simbakalia, Managing Director of the National Development Corporation of Tanzania (11/14/96)
“I appreciate your efforts educating to empower the family economically. Your work inspires, encourages, and builds up the whole community, the nation, the world…. Please send me the packet on the [Capital] Homestead Act. I will assist you in every way that I can.”
Robert G. Marshall, Delegate to the 13th District, Commonwealth of Virginia, 9/19/94
“[CESJ’s] ‘Capital Homestead Act’ is a comprehensive strategy for enabling every American Family to acquire an industrial-age counterpart of the 160 acre stake in the future growth of the U.S. private sector frontier. I believe the program provides the proper incentives for companies and its employees resulting in significant long-term economic advantages for the American economy. In short, if this does not save the American economy, nothing will.”
ESOP Attorney Stephen J. Lowney, Foster, Swift Collins & Smith, Lansing, Michigan) (Letter to Ross Perot, 5/12/92)