Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ownership for Workers (and Everybody Else) Now!


 As you know, we attended the annual ESOP Association Conference last week.  It was not too long after President Obama addressed the students at Ohio State University, urging them to become more active politically.

We have a sneaking hunch that what he meant was that they should vote Democratic to ensure that they get the jobs that don't exist because they're disappearing as Republicans replace human labor with advancing technology.

As if Republicans were the only rich people, and Democrats the only ones with jobs.  We think the situation is a bit more complicated than that — but much more easily solved:

Letters
The Washington Post

Dear Sir(s):

In his address at Ohio State, President Obama urged graduates to become more active politically.  As Daniel Webster observed back in 1820, however, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.”  Americans can only become politically active if they have economic power to support it — and that means dividend-paying capital ownership, not jobs that disappear as technology advances.

On Thursday and Friday of this week the ESOP Association has its annual conference in DC.  More than 11 million workers in more than 10 thousand U.S. companies own shares through ESOPs without risking one cent in savings or taking reductions in pay or benefits.  If Mr. Obama is serious about getting political power to people, he should encourage ESOPs.

Better yet, Mr. Obama should emulate Ronald Reagan when governor of California and champion a new Homestead Act to open up democratic ownership of the virtually unlimited industrial and commercial frontier: a “Capital Homestead Act.”

Yours, blah, blah.

#30#

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