The bishop who loved giving presents to children, known as Santa Claus in the English speaking world. On the 31st day of our march we reached the outskirts of the Cuban town named after him. Now, San Nicolas does not discriminate. He gives to all children, rich and poor, black and white, Christian and Muslim.
Kelso did not discriminate either. Capital Homesteading is for every citizen, including the rich. But there is one crucial difference. Kelso did not give. All stocks and shares made available to the people via Kelsonian instruments have to be bought and paid for in full. And the purchase price has to be worked for.
In the real world there is no free lunch, as even Cuba now also realizes (the government is in the process of scrapping its free lunch for workers program). The only thing Kelso is ‘giving away’ is credit, i.e. the stocks and shares made available via his financial instruments may be bought on credit and then paid for with the dividends generated by these stocks and shares themselves. The workers or other beneficiaries of the Kelsonian instruments don’t have to use their personal hard-earned savings from labor (if they have any!) to pay up. But every last penny has to be paid. And the workers will have to work hard to make sure the company will generate enough dividends to pay up, for only thereafter will dividends start flowing directly to them.
By the sweat of thy brow ...
Now, this system has been fine-tuned a bit, so that dividends can start flowing partially to the workers even before full payment has been effected. This is done in accordance with a gliding scale. For instance, when 20% has been paid up, 20% of dividends start flowing to the workers etc. But the main point here
is that in the Kelsonian system, nothing is for free. All capital estates that will be built into the people, have to be paid for and worked for.
Work - it is inescapable -, remains the ultimate engine, also in Kelsonomics. Solidarism cannot and does not make toil disappear. What can be done, however, as the Kelsonian measures take effect, is to reduce the amount of toil by making full use of technology, as will be explained in our next article. But Solidarism, too, is based on work. And this has an added value. For, without work, as Voltaire stressed, people turn to vice and crime. And who wants that?
Some critics of Kelsonomics have pointed out that the Kelsonian instruments will dilute the value of the capital estates of existing capital owners. They point out that it’s all very nice that they are not excluded, but when the workers buy shares in ESOP-companies, for instance, and new shares are issued to them, the existing owners’ shareholdings will dilute (i.e. diminish in relative size). This is true. Application of the Kelsonian instruments will gradually dilute the shareholdings of existing capital owners. But this does not mean they will be duped, i.e. not if considered in relation to what they receive in return.
First of all, a smaller percentage in a bigger company does not necessarily mean less value. To own 100% in a company worth US$ 100,000.- is less than 20% in a company worth US$ 1,000,000.-.
Secondly, the existing owners will share in a more just, more peaceful and less envious society. They don’t have to spend large amounts of money on security, police and the military to defend their capital estates against masses of poor people, who often don’t have any other alternative but to steal. In Cuba they steal from the State for the same reason. Now, stealing is wrong and we don’t propagate it. We just state an obvious truth.
Thirdly, Solidarism does not want to pick a fight with the rich. That’s been tried before and failed. But, more importantly, we promote peace. We suggest a way forward for Cuba (and the world) that moves away from continued tension between rich and poor. That’s why the Kelsonian instruments are so important and why they have to be applied without any discrimination against the rich.
And guess what happens when the masses obtain their own capital estate and start receiving dividends? They will want to pay lower taxes! And when the majority wants this, it will happen. This again will benefit the rich, even more so than the poor. So, on aggregate, Solidarism is not a bad deal for the rich either.
And there is one more point. Most rich people, the present real capitalists, are just as unaware of the iniquities inherent in capitalism as the poor readers of these pages. Once the rich understand, most will not resist a transition to Solidarism. After all, they are people too. They want people to be happy too. In Cuba just as much as anywhere else.