Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland's new prime minister, is ostensibly taking quick action on the financial crisis, although at this point she appears to have fallen into the trap that engulfs virtually every other leader in the world, of locking the barn after the horse has been stolen. She is demanding the resignation of the heads of the three largest banks in Iceland — who appear to be guilty only of following today's standard Keynesian economic assumptions during the economic boom of the recent past.
What Ms. Sigurðardóttir needs to do is not figure out how to implement bad policies better, but to study and implement better policies. She needs to lead the way in guiding the Althing — Iceland's legislature (reputedly the oldest in Europe) — toward an idea even older than they are: that each and every man, woman, and child should have the opportunity to be economically free and independent through democratic access to the means of acquiring and possessing the means of production.
Such a program is Capital Homesteading — and the reason why, earlier today, we took the trouble to send every member of the Althing, including Ms. Sigurðardóttir, a letter explaining Capital Homesteading briefly. We also sent a press release to the Icelandic media for which we could locate e-mail addresses. (If you're a member of the press in Iceland and did not receive a copy of the release, or have an interest in news relating to Iceland, send us a request for the press release at thirdway [at] cesj [dot] org.)
We believe that Scandinavia's democratic traditions, often sidetracked into socialism, would provide fertile ground for a concept such as Capital Homesteading. Immigrants from Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Norway, were prominent among those taking advantage of Abraham Lincoln's 1862 land Homestead Act. It's now time for Iceland to lead the way toward a new future for everyone by being the first to enact a Capital Homestead Act.