Hortense Hears 3 Whos


Hortense the mule gets the message.

Politicians, think tanks and experts are proposing big plans for building new infrastructure, new green industries and new technologies that will produce the goods and services we buy.

When we hear these proposals, we should always ask three questions:

Who will PAY for it?  
Who will CONTROL it? 
Who will OWN it?

The one who has the money (or controls the money) to invest in things that produce wealth and income, will be the one who owns, controls, and enjoys the fruits of those things.

If new infrastructure, for example, is paid for using the past savings of the wealthy, Wall Street investments, government tax dollars or government debt, that’s who will own and control the new infrastructure, new green industries or new technologies.

The vast majority of citizens will own no part of the new economic growth. In this way the past will control the future.

How can we change the future?

There is one alternative that none of the politicians, big think tanks or experts have talked about. That is, we can pay for those big projects, new infrastructure and green energy — and enable every person to become an owner of the new productive things — by applying sound business and banking principles.

This starts with a business seeking to add some new productive things (“capital”) in order to produce and sell more of its goods and services to more customers. If it wants to get a loan or equity investment, the business has to convince a lender or investor that the capital investment is “feasible.”

That means the new capital the business is adding must be able to generate (in a reasonable amount of time) enough future profits (“future savings”) to repay the loan or investment used to buy the capital.


Louis Kelso, a successful corporate finance lawyer and “binary economist,” invented something called the “Employee Stock Ownership Plan” as a way for workers in corporations to become owners of the companies they worked for. With access to self-repaying capital loans through an ESOP, employees have been able to buy up to 100% of their company, without using their personal savings or taking a pay cut.

Kelso further pointed out that a similar approach could be used to turn EVERY citizen (from the youngest to the oldest), into an empowered owner of new productive wealth added to the economy.

America, or any other nation, could grow its economic pie (without inflation or ballooning government debt) while simultaneously creating new owners of new growth — without taking away the wealth of existing owners. This process is called “economic democratization.”

When more and more nations grow their economies equitably and sustainably through economic democratization, we as members of a global community can address such systemic problems as poverty, illegal immigration, racism, war and global environmental destruction.

How can we do this?

JPG of Kelso Who for web



Start financing annual economic growth in the private sector with insured capital credit (loans) and asset-backed money made equally accessible to every citizen.

Taking the total dollar amount of productive capital to be added to the economy over the coming year, and dividing that number by the total number of citizens (adult and child), we can determine roughly how much new money and credit could be made available to each citizen to invest. (The exact amount would depend on the amount of feasible capital projects that would be financed in this new way.)

This means that rather than financing their new capital in the same old ways that make only a few people richer, the businesses would agree to sell new dividend-payout, voting shares to get the cash they need to buy their new capital. (Those businesses would escape corporate income taxes by doing so. They would also be creating more customers with dividend incomes to buy their products.)

How Commercial Banks and the Fed Could Democratize the Economy

New money and credit to be issued through local commercial banks would be created by the central bank using the existing “discount” power of the twelve regional Federal Reserve banks. Interest-free, insured capital loans would be made available to your and every citizen’s tax-sheltered Capital Ownership Account. (The COA would be set up like an Individual Retirement Account at your bank).

(Remember, this new money and credit would only be created for financing new, citizen-owned capital — things that make money, such as land, infrastructure, buildings and technologies like robots and artificial intelligence — added to the economy annually. The money would NOT be created to finance government debt or Wall Street speculation.)

Within a transparent system of checks-and-balances, oversight, information sharing, accountability and investment guidance, every citizen every year would have equal access to the new money and credit to become an investor in the green technology frontier.

So what’s the plan?

It’s called the “Economic Democracy Act.” This Act offers a set of monetary and tax reforms that build upon powers that already exist in US federal law. These changes will grow a just, anti-monopolistic free market economy, restore the private property rights of all owners, and limit the economic power of government.

But instead of only benefiting a tiny percentage of people, these changes will spread economic power through equal capital ownership opportunities to every citizen, throughout their lifetime.

Equal access to new asset-backed money and interest-free credit to buy productive capital would be the equivalent in economics of what the ballot is in politics. With access to money power and the right kind of credit, every person — every year from the time of birth to the end of their life — could build up an independent source of income, increasing their personal liberty and well-being.

The Heart of America Project

A ground-breaking project is taking root in Missouri, starting in some of the poorest areas in the city of St. Louis. The “Heart of America” Project is a strategic partnership between CESJ and Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice (DAS4ESJ.org); and is based on state legislation signed into law by the governor of Missouri in 2022.

This project will introduce a proof-of-concept for democratizing capital ownership to every citizen (adult and child) and will serve as a major step toward a national Economic Democracy Act. To learn more and find out how you can help this initiative, go to https://www.cesj.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/HeartOfAmericaToEDA_Roadmap.pdf

Where can I get more information about the Economic Democracy Act (EDA)?

Here are some links to help you can learn more about the EDA:

>  What the Economic Democracy Act is all about

>  What the main features of the EDA would be

>  How the EDA would benefit every citizen financially through equal capital ownership opportunities

>  How asset-backed money and zero-interest, insured credit would be created under the Economic Democracy Act

Contact CESJ to learn more about the Economic Democracy Act and how you can help us spread this big idea around (especially to politicians).