AGENDA OF THE JUST THIRD WAY MOVEMENT
by Gary Reber
January 19, 2013, Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ)
Please take some time to comment on the proposed “Agenda for the Just Third Way” for a comprehensive set of ideas and systemic reforms that can unite concerned world citizens to promote Peace, Prosperity and Freedom for all members of society in the United States and throughout the world. Here it is:
AGENDA OF THE JUST THIRD WAY MOVEMENT*∗
January 19, 2013
OUR PHILOSOPHICAL ROOTS AND GLOBAL VISION
As global society enters the new millennium, we are reaching out to all who are searching for and willing to lead a positive and peaceful Second American Revolution.
Our agenda is fully consistent with the spirit of the original American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Movement bases its agenda and fundamental principles on the largely forgotten Ninth Amendment of the American Constitution. This Amendment subordinates the coercive powers of government to the God-given sovereignty, freedom, dignity and “inalienable rights” of each human person. America’s founders devoted their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to defend this principle. By reviving popular understanding and support for America’s founding principles our Movement will bring about a new unity among now divided Americans on the politically suppressed issue of who should own and control the future wealth of our nation.
The central feature in the platform of the Just Third Way Movement is its proposed Capital Homestead Act. This act calls for a comprehensive restructuring of America’s economic policies to grow the economy in ways that create a nation of capital owners, citizens who are independent of big government, big business, and big labor for their economic well-being. This Act is based on the Movement’s Just Third Way philosophy. This philosophy embodies a morality, respect for life and human dignity, and sense of the common good that is more just than socialism (which institutionalizes envy) and capitalism (which institutionalizes greed). Because it is based on changing the system for financing future growth to equalize ownership opportunity, Capital Homesteading will lift poor and middle-income Americans, without redistributing existing wealth from today’s tiny ownership elite.
The fundamental right of every person to become an owner is reflected in Article 17 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which reads:
• (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
• (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Through the systemic transfer of economic and money power from government to the citizens under a Capital Homestead Act, the Just Third Way Movement will seek out leaders who are willing to dedicate their lives to serving, teaching, and empowering others. The Just Third Way Movement will recreate from the ground-up the political order envisioned by America’s revolutionary founders of “one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all” or, in Lincoln’s terms, “the last best hope of mankind.”
As a movement respectful of civilization’s most humanizing traditions, the Just Third Way Movement can help overcome the so-called “clash of civilizations” by bringing out the best of all civilizations in their common understanding of justice as a necessary moral framework for peace, freedom, and democracy. America, by launching for itself a peaceful Second American Revolution based on these values, will serve as a model and beacon of hope for every democratic nation seeking a free, just, and life-enhancing future for its citizens.
II. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
We, in the spirit of America’s revolutionary founders, all of whom recognized that concentrated power is inherently corrupting, will promote economic democracy as a key to effective political democracy and freedom through the following:
• Promote Economic and Social Justice through the Just Third Way
Consistent with traditional principles of social and economic justice, the agenda of the American Revolutionary Party will build a just market-based model of economic democracy, resting on four policy pillars of the Just Third Way:
1. Democratize Capital Credit and Ownership of Productive Assets, in order to promote full and sustainable production, a life-enhancing environment, affordable shelter, democratic and transparent corporate governance, and rising property incomes for all. The moral omission of every economy on the globe is the indifference of political leaders to exclusionary barriers faced by ordinary citizens and the poor in gaining effective access to capital ownership and capital credit.
2. Limit the Economic Power of the State, in order to end special privileges and monopolies, especially discriminatory access by already wealthy people to the money-creation and credit powers of the Federal Reserve System.
3. Restore Private Property Rights, especially in corporate equity shares, by reversing laws and court decisions that deny capital owners: (a) full voting powers in corporate governance; (b) full transparency over management decisions; and (c) access to full profit distributions. Discriminatory double- and triple-taxation of corporate profits should be ended by full dividend payouts, so that capital incomes will be taxed at the same rates as labor incomes and new capital will be financed by the issuance of new shares to workers and other new owners.
4. Restore Free Markets and Just Trade as the most democratic means to determine just prices, just wages, and just profits. This would eliminate monopolistic, bureaucratic, or other coercive or unjust attempts to substitute centralized control over economic choices for the more democratic, more objective and more efficient laws of supply and demand.
• End Wage and Welfare Slavery through Justice-Based Incomes for All
We will reform American income distribution policy to shift from its present reliance on inflationary wages, job-destroying employer benefits, and incomes dependent on redistributing incomes earned by taxpayers. Instead, we will promote income independence for every citizen by accelerating investment in new productive assets in ways that widely broaden individual capital accumulations and property incomes.
• Expand Capital Ownership through Capital Homesteading
We will enable every man, woman and child from birth to set up a personal Capital Homestead Account at a local bank and receive at least $7,000 of Fed-created, interest-free, and insured capital credit every year throughout their lives. Citizens could invest their Capital Homestead credit in newly issued growth stock of an expanding American private sector, with such credit repayable entirely with future profits derived from the added productiveness of capital assets.
We will reduce Social Security, Medicare and welfare benefits to the extent property incomes from accumulated assets in a citizen’s Capital Homestead Account replace that citizen’s dependency on incomes redistributed from other taxpaying workers and capital owners. This would radically reduce the present value of estimated future deficits for Medicare and Social Security, a mounting burden on future generations now projected at $70 trillion, or a hidden debt of almost $250,000 on each man, woman, and child in America.
• Lift Barriers to Universal Access to Money Power and Broad-
Based Ownership of Newly-Created Capital Assets
We will reactivate Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 to supply asset-backed currency through the discount windows of each of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks in order to: (a) promote sustainable, non-inflationary regional growth of industry, commerce, and agriculture through Capital Homestead Accounts and (b) de-monopolize the power of money, productive credit and ownership and decentralize that power to every citizen through a local bank as a new right of citizenship. Make each of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks owned and governed by its regional citizens.
• Create a Radically More Simple and Just Tax System
We will control government spending through a tax system designed to: (a) encourage accelerated rates of investment, sustainable green growth in urban and rural communities, productive jobs, and widespread ownership opportunities; (b) eliminate the double tax on corporate profits and job-destroying Social Security, Medicare, and other payroll taxes; (c) eliminate all taxes below a livable income exemption of $30,000 per adult and $20,000 per dependent; and (d) balance the budget and gradually repay old debt through a single individual income tax rate on all incomes above this line.
We will enable all citizens to report their incomes from all sources on a postal card, while allowing corporations, as with subchapter S corporations, partnerships, and cooperatives, to avoid business income taxes by treating full dividend payouts and other profit-based distributions as business deductions taxable when received at the personal level.
We will provide citizens whose incomes, including from private charity, are below the poverty line, with a monthly voucher check to meet their basic subsistence needs until their Capital Homesteading dividends and labor incomes rise above the poverty level.
• Avoid Concentrations in Wealth Transfers from One Generation to the Next
We will change inheritance and gift taxes to encourage the top 5% of wealth-holders to distribute broadly their capital accumulations from one generation to the next through Capital Homestead Accounts of individual members of their families, workers, teachers, the poor and disabled, and other propertyless citizens. CHA accumulations of recipients over $1 million would be taxed to encourage rich donors to spread out their wealth.
III. GLOBAL AFFAIRS, NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
• Offer More Creative and Just Approaches to Global Conflict Resolution
We will promote the Abraham Federation for creating a democratic nation of capital owners as the ultimate check on concentrated power, as a force to marginalize extremists, and as an economic foundation for justice, stability and political democracy in Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank/Gaza/Israel, and other world trouble spots.
• Lead the World in Restoring A Fixed and More Just Global Standard for Foreign Currency Exchange Rates to Avoid Wage Arbitrage
We will convene a Second Bretton Woods Conference to promote global monetary policies consistent with principles of the Just Third Way, including adoption of a fixed global monetary standard (beyond the gold standard to the cost of a kilowatt-hour) for adjusting foreign currency exchanges so that they reflect the lowest market labor rates in each country. This will create a level playing field in tradable goods and services and stem the exploitative outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries and remove pressures for protectionist trade policies that hurt all consumers.
• Expand Global Markets for Commercial Uses of Advanced U.S. Technologies
We will promote open global markets to enable America to sell to developing countries high technology and high-tech services that enhance civilized life for all, particularly in sustainable food production; environmentally friendly Hydrogen-Age fuel cell and solar technologies developed by NASA and other government agencies; advanced information and health technologies; and consulting on Capital Homesteading financing strategies and Justice-Based Management and Governance systems.
• Help Accelerate Third World Development and Debt Relief
We will export the social technologies of the Second American Revolution and Capital Homesteading to all nations to democratize and accelerate economic growth in developing economies, neutralize and marginalize the preachers and teachers of global terrorism, systematize greater transparency to reduce public corruption, and build sustainable Just Third Way economies from the bottom-up.
We will cancel old debt to developing countries that resulted from non-productive projects or that enriched corrupt political leaders and their cronies at the expense of the people.
• Address Global Warming and Stewardship of the Global Environment
We will create a ten-year equivalent of the Marshall Plan or the “Race to the Moon” to conduct research, development, and financing of advanced sustainable energy technologies (many of which have already been developed by NASA and other Federal agencies but have not yet been commercialized) that reduce the levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from continued use of fossil fuels.
We will rapidly reduce America’s dependency on oil and fossil fuels, so that existing reserves will not be depleted before a “safety cushion” is left in the ground to handle future emergencies within an increasingly more fragile and technologically dependent world.
• Transform the United Nations and Global Politics to Spread Economic Democracy as a Pre-Condition for Spreading Political Democracy Globally
We will use America’s superpower status by bringing together a coalition of free and democratic countries supporting the Just Third Way to transform or replace the United Nations as an instrument of global peace through global economic, social and political justice.
• Improve National Security by Winning the War on Global Terrorism
We will strengthen and transform the national security policy of America and its coalition partners by launching, unilaterally or preemptively if necessary, a Just Third Way offensive as the leading edge in the war of ideas, followed by more effective bottom-up assistance from U.S. and international development agencies in delivering a higher level of economic and social justice for poor and underdeveloped countries to eliminate breeding grounds for recruiting extremist religious and other terrorists.
We will limit American military intervention as a last resort in winning the War on Global Terrorism. Instead America should use its superpower military and economic status to lead other nations in advancing world citizen-based global governance bodies and Just Third Way initiatives within all developing countries. We should also supply, unilaterally and preemptively if necessary, all forms of assistance to revolutionary Just Third Way groups struggling to overcome genocidal dictatorships that harbor terroristic threats to global peace.
IV. DOMESTIC AND HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
We, American Revolutionaries of the 21st Century, stand for the preservation of the following social guidelines:
• Discourage Judicial Activism that Threatens a Just Constitutional Order
We will encourage the judiciary to return to the original intent of the founders in interpreting and ruling on the U.S. Constitution and discourage judges from making laws that should be left to elected legislators or to the people by referenda.
We will seek rulings from the Supreme Court that restore the original meaning to the Ninth Amendment and reinstate the rights and powers of the people under natural law principles understood by the founders and pre-existing English common law, including that of universal access to “the means of acquiring and possessing property,” as acknowledged in the Virginia and Massachusetts Declarations of Rights.
• Promote Harmony in the Relationships Between the Moral, Religious and Political Institutions
We will recognize and preserve the historic role of religion in teaching universal moral virtues, deeply rooted in the founding of America as a revolutionary nation. America’s unity, we also reaffirm, was based on the freedom of every person to pursue his own religious and spiritual life within a religiously pluralistic society, with no religious authority put in a position where it could use the coercive powers of the state to infringe on the freedom or spiritual lives of individuals, whether or not they belong to any organized religion.
• Enhance Lifetime Learning Opportunities for all Citizens
Since political democracy assumes and requires educated, informed, and independent thinking citizens, we will create a cultural environment that enhances quality learning opportunities for all citizens at all stages of their lives.
• Fund and Encourage Educational Choice and Responsibility of Parents
We will offer educational vouchers to all families based on the (measured) educational needs of each child, so that the primary responsibility and adequate resources for exercising choice of schooling resides with parents, not with any monopoly of educational services. Teachers, school administrators and teachers’ unions would thus play a supportive and more empowering role in closing the educational opportunity gap in the American educational system.
• Support Private Universal Health Insurance and Reduce Costs of Funding New Medical Advances
We will encourage the private sector to offer universal catastrophic health care insurance, reinforced with health care vouchers for health care insurance for those who cannot afford it, and provide Capital Homesteading capital credit to health plan subscribers and health plan providers – the only two groups with a direct stake in quality health care. With access to low-cost capital credit and direct ownership opportunities, these stakeholders would acquire control and would become co-owners of comprehensive and competitive health care delivery systems. A restoration of power to stakeholders would help restore the sacred relationship between patients and their health providers that has been lost in many of today’s HMOs.
We will condition all taxpayer-supported medical research financing support on royalty-free licensing of all patentable inventions in order to stimulate competition among suppliers and reduce the costs of producing pharmaceuticals and other life-enhancing health technologies.
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