Capital Credit: A New Right of Citzenship

Most people live from paycheck to paycheck . . . or from hand to mouth. The answer to how citizens without adequate savings can acquire an income-producing property stake lies in the intelligent use of credit-specifically, productive credit.

Credit is a social creation. It can only exist in a society organized to protect contracts and property rights. A central premise of CESJ is that productive or capital credit is a “common good.” Equal access to this good is a fundamental human right and the social key for enabling have-nots to become haves.

One powerful ownership-expanding technique that is already in the law of the United States and other countries is known as the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). The ESOP provides widespread and systematic access to capital credit to each employee in a participating company. A “JBMSM ESOP” can be designed so that employees gain both a voice in corporate governance and a source of ownership financing which does not reduce their paychecks or savings.

Traditional sources of capital funding treat loans to ESOPs the same as other corporate loans. An ESOP loan is based on the company’s credit, with repayment expected wholly out of future profits of the company.

Beyond the ESOP are other credit-diffusing tools which would open up ownership and profit sharing opportunities for every man, woman and child — including consumers of public utilities, residents of new or redeveloped communities, teachers and other public servants, farm families, homemakers, the disabled, professionals, frustrated entrepreneurs, and citizens generally.

New Vehicles for Universalizing Access to Capital Credit and Ownership

These links describe ownership democratization vehicles for universalizing access to capital credit — the means for every worker and citizen to become a direct owner of income-producing capital and technology.

Capital Ownership Accounts (COAs) to create equal access to the means for every citizen to become a citizen-owner.

Citizens Land Development Cooperatives (CLDCs) for every resident in a specified community, city or region to gain an ownership stake in land development.

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) to turn every worker in a corporation into a worker-owner.

Homeowners Equity Corporations (HECs) to enable homeowners faced with foreclosure to save their homes through a lease-to-own arrangement.

Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs) to enable customers of utilities to acquire an ownership stake.

Ownership Unions to educate and organize all citizen-owners to exercise their full ownership rights, powers and responsibilities.