Robert Samuelson's conclusion in today's (16 July 2008) column ("A Baffling Global Economy," Washington Post, 07/16/08) is absolutely correct: "Countries try to maximize their advantages rather than make the system work for everyone". His analysis, however, is skewed in favor of the type of thinking that got the United States and the rest of the world into its current mess. Samuelson's prescription thereby comes across as a recommendation to cross your fingers, close your eyes, and hope for the best after burying your head in the sand.
Almost nightly on the news we are treated to the sight of confused and bewildered politicians shrugging their shoulders and claiming that if anybody has a solution, they're listening. I do not believe that they are listening very hard. The solution has been right in front of them for half a century. Ironically, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of a book that showed us the way out of the current situation: The Capitalist Manifesto by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler.
The Just Third Way
Principles detailed in the Capitalist Manifesto (see our Caribbean Knowledge Center, direct Code: 332, via the Kelso Institute) are embodied in a comprehensive blueprint for economic restructuring called "Capital Homesteading". Designed to make proper use of the Federal Reserve (this is the US Central Bank) and empower every citizen with the means to acquire and possess a meaningful ownership stake of income-generating assets, Capital Homesteading leaves the currently wealthy with their accumulations intact and secure from confiscation and redistribution through the tax system.
Properly implemented, Capital Homesteading would also restore an asset backing to the currency, restructure the tax system to encourage growth, and provide financing for growth without relying on infusions of foreign capital.
If Samuelson or anyone else is interested in making the system work for everyone, he should seriously investigate the Capital Homesteading concept and proposal.
This letter was sent on 16 July 2008 to the Washington Post by Michael D. Greaney, CPA, MBA, Director of Research, Center for Economic and Social Justice
The relevance for the Caribbean may not be readily seen by all who read this, but it must be borne in mind that the above proposal fits within an economic theory, known as ‘binary economics'. This theory is relevant, of course, for the Caribbean and the whole world.