The Citizen Ownership Solution


by Ward Bond

How can the credit of the nation be redeemed from the plundering  that has taken place the last eighty years and, at the same time, increase the individual wealth of each American citizen?

The operative principle is that money borrowed for investment in productive enterprise does not consume cash and wealth, but produces them.  This is the foundation of American prosperity.

The premise is that the national credit arises from the  cumulative worth of the individual contributions to the common weal of the country.  There are two sources of this credit: fiscal, based on economic productivity, and what could be called civic, that which accrues from each individual’s unpaid contributions to the common weal.

What might be called the fiscal credit of the nation comes from the economic strength created by individuals, businesses and industry.  It is based on productive enterprise.  It is the result of the productivity of individual and corporate effort, innovation, management and fiscal responsibility.  It is based on the produced wealth of millions of enterprises from the babysitter to Microsoft.

But the fiscal credit of the nation does not account for an increment of credit that accrues to the national credit  from civic economic substance of America—from the unpaid contributions Americans make to the common weal.  This credit is separate and distinct from the fiscal credit.  It springs from the economic value that is created by the harmonious joining of individual citizens in units such as the family and the hundreds of other voluntary communal institutions that make up American life.  Its strength comes from the web of relationships that Americans have built with one another that bridge differences, from those between husband and wife to those between generations, races and people of different  economic status.  

This additional increment of  credit is currently applied by the President and Congress to borrow money to spend on whatever catches their fancy—often for purely political gains.  

Our national credit does not belong to the denizens of D. C.  It belongs to the people who created it.  Citizens’ credit/capital ownership is a way of rectifying this hijacking of the credit owned by the individual citizens of America.  It is a financial system that recognizes, and makes available to its citizen owners, the credit produced by individual citizens.  It is a system that directly connects the citizen to a part of the credit of the nation that every law abiding citizen, by nature of his or her participating in civic life, creates.

The result of recognizing citizen credit and harnessing it to create individual estates that are divisible, transferable and heritable will be the production of individual and national wealth and the reversal of the profligate  waste that has led us to brink of insolvency and economic collapse.

How can this citizen owned credit be used by the citizen in a prudent way to build his or her individual wealth and, through doing so, build the wealth of the nation? These are the elements.  For details refer to “The New Capitalist” by Louis Kelso and  Mortimer Adler, Random House.

  • Make dollars available from the Federal Reserve at 0% interest to the banks for making loans to individual citizens.  A bank fee of less than one percent should  cover expenses and profit.
  • Direct the banks to make Citizen Capital Ownership loans to any individual citizen for investment in equity funds that are managed under the “prudent man” rule.  Investments will be in primary and secondary offerings of American companies.  
  • Define the Citizen Capital Ownership investments as divisible, transferable and heritable.  Establish vesting rules based to some degree on the age of the citizen. 
  • Earnings on Citizen Capital Ownership investments will accrue without dividend or capital gains tax.  No estate tax will be levied on CCO  accounts.