Own or be Owned ... Every Citizen an Owner!
"Yeah well you know, we'd all love to change the world"
opening lines from Revolution, 1968, flip side of Hey Jude, and later on The White Album ~ by the Beatles of course, who had 4 records on the Rolling Stones Top 10 Greatest Albums ~ but this essay is not about music: its about something else near and dear to our hearts: freedom, peace, and prosperity: the grounds and fruits of civilization.
A Slice of History: The Viet Nam war was raging with offensives, counteroffensives, and the terrible Siege of Khe Sanh which lasted 77 days, an entire battle lasting 5 months ~ can you imagine such protracted combat? ~ The TET Offensive; attack on our embassies and assassination of an American Ambassador in Costa Rica; North Korea seized The Pueblo; Congress took the dollar off the gold standard; Dr. Martin Luther King was killed; Bobby Kennedy was killed; The Olympics were eternally memorialized showcased by black Americans protesting institutional racism with fists raised on the medals podium; The Special Olympics started; the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia with 750,000 troops and 6500 tanks; 2001 A Space Odyssey premiered, as did 60 Minutes, Laugh In, Hawaii 50, and the new Madison Square Garden; students occupied Columbia University Administration Buildings and shut down the college; Boeing launched the 747, USA was launching the Saturn V monster rocket, the Russians did a lunar flyby; and Led Zepellin hit the charts. Somehow the Tigers beat the Cardinals; and the S+P topped 100 for the first time! The Gun Control Act of 1968 was written into law; Yale opened to women; women protested The Miss America Contest; and there were more wars, earthquakes and revolutions than we can list. To say it was exciting is the understatement of all time.
"Don't you know its gonna be all right".
"But if you're gonna carry pictures of Chairman Mao, you're not gonna make it with anyone anyhow". Wise words from John Lennon: Chairman Mao mandated the "reeducation" of college students by sending them to work on farms. Socialism!
Abraham Lincoln was well aware of the class warfare advocated by socialism, having read The Communist Manifesto, and saw it as a theory opposite that left to us by our Founders under the U.S. Constitution, when he wrote. “Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprises… Let not him who is house-less pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently to build one for himself, this by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence… I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.”
On this day, also, the battle of Gettysburg started, which ended with over 51,000 dead or wounded: 1/3 of all combatants. And that whole war, ostensibly over whether to preserve the Union, was really about whether one person can own another. Dare we each compare our convictions to theirs.
But all this is prelude to my main point: the fires of liberty are burning bright!
The American Revolution was about freedom, liberty, self determination, limited taxation and respect: the person, the law, property, and respect of human rights. But let's be very clear: it was also about wealth, who is gonna create it and who is gonna keep it.
So here we are: 50 years after 1968, and what's changed? Much. We've experienced great progress; but not enough. By my lights, freedom is impossible without peace and prosperity, each needing the others. And if you think freedom is under assault in the world, you're right, and now as always All That is Necessary for Evil to Win in the World is for Enough Good People to do Nothing.
If I was King, I would Make Every Citizen An Owner, and grant shares of dividend paying stock as a birthright: a trust fund, if you will, increasing every year, with dividends paid in cash. As every investor knows, a dollar is worth more today than it is tomorrow, and dividends are every investors dream: that's cash money, baby. That's free cash flow and solves many problems: freedom from the tyranny of savings; better housing, health care, food, clothing, education, transportation, business formation, capital formation, national savings, retirements, imports, exports, manufacturing, in short, a national explosion of economic growth unparalleled in human history*, estimated to be in excess of 15% average annual national economic growth.
Alas, I am not king. One may have doubts about capitalism, but there can be no doubts about socialism. Time for The Just Third Way: the best of both ideals without any of the flaws of "the system".
It will also recruit people into informed participation in government and corporate management, as they become owners they most certainly want to protect their interests: and freedom cannot be only about nuthin' left to lose.
*well, not quite: President Lincoln signed The Homestead Act in 1962. It opened the great plains to settlement and stimulated continental expansion, and national economic growth exceeding, by some estimates, 15% annual. Likewise, The Capital Homestead Act, supported by President Reagan as The Industrial Homestead Act, will stimulate build out of our technological frontier, national infrastructure, and in my humble opinion, do more to increase freedom, peace and prosperity than any politician, political movement or party.
It is, I believe, the next wave of human rights: economic rights!
Read more about it here: http://capitalhomestead.org/
So you say you want a Revolution?