cj#978, rn-> Dialog w/Jeff Gates re: Ownership Solution


Richard Moore

Dear friends,

In cj#973 I published some comments from Jeff Gates about his book, "The
Ownership Solution", along with my own critique of 'broadening capitalist
ownership', as a strategy for societal transformation.  I stand by the
substance of my critique, but I do apologize to Jeff for its unecessarily
dismissive style.

Jeff sent in an understandably angry response, along with an interesting
article.  I'll give you the article first, followed a response, and then
present Jeff's comments dialog style, with my own comments interspersed -
as one might reply to an email.  I'll edit out some of the angry bits, and
redundant bits, but do my best to preserve the integrity of what Jeff has
to say.

all the best,

From June/July 1999 issue of Inner Edge

Ownership Patterns -- Steps Toward a Conscious Capitalism

by Jeff Gates

There was a time when economic decisions were informed by conscience and
made with sensitivity to a community's values.  That was most obviously the
case when elders were honored and when close-knit communities were the rule
rather than the rarity.  That richly textured, multiple-agenda
decision-making has since given way to a detached, numbers-driven
efficiency that grants deference, even dominance, to a narrow bandwidth of
finance-denominated values.

Today's finance-myopic free enterprise operates on the basis of what I call
"money on automatic."  With some $17 trillion ($17,000,000,000,000) in the
hands of U.S. money managers - mutual fund managers, pension fiduciaries,
insurance companies, banks, foundations and the like, financial values have
become a proxy for a broad range of human values.

This highly institutionalized, dramatically de-peoplized form of free
enterprise means that economic decision-making is now cut off from the
foresight, the concern and even the simple common sense that reside
uniquely with individuals and within their communities.  Adam Smith, the
father of free enterprise, would be appalled.  That famous Scot envisioned
a "self-designed" system informed by a complex range of overlapping values
reflecting the purpose, aspiration and motivation that make humans so
uniquely human.  He recognized that the moral foundation of markets, like
that of democracies, is grounded in the notion that they are systems of
widely distributed control -- thus the deference granted consumers in the
case of markets and constituents in the case of democracies, which are
routinely seen as a marketplace of ideas.

Smith envisioned not financial markets but an engaged and concerned
humanity as the animating force through which the pursuit of private gain
becomes public virtue. While financial calculation is a part of who we are,
it is only a part.  Yet reliance on financial values as a surrogate for
other values - economic, social, environmental - finds vigorous support in
today's allegiance to an abstract and detached economic model that views
financial returns and a steadily rising GDP as separate and apart from the
larger concerns of communities and of nature.

While it's certainly true that global capital markets display an uncanny
capacity to seek out financially denominated returns worldwide, that search
has left in its wake grotesque social inequities and fast mounting
environmental tragedies.  For instance, the UN Development Program reported
in 1998 that the assets of the world's richest 225 individuals equal the
combined income of the world's 2.5 billion poorest people.  The three
richest individuals have wealth greater than the combined GDP of the 48
poorest countries.  Last year, the richest fifth of humankind had
eighty-two times the combined income of the poorest fifth.  That's up from
sixty-one times just two years earlier.  In the United States, the net
worth of the richest one percent is now 2.4 times the combined net worth of
the poorest 80 percent.

The sad truth is that present-day capitalism - both domestically and abroad
-- does a remarkable job of creating new physical capital but a lousy job
of creating new capitalists. Yet that is what it must do if ever we hope to
inhabit a free enterprise fully informed by the concerns of those whose
lives it impacts.  As I show in my book, The Ownership Solution (1998), we
can address concerns across these three inescapably interdependent domains
-- economic, social, environmental -- by evoking ownership patterns that
are consciously people-ized, localized and human-sized -- thereby
empowering capitalism itself to become more community-wise.  To do so
requires that companies include as owners their employees, customers, local
residents and others with a stake in the performance both of the enterprise
and of the community in which it is located.

The encouragement of such "up-close capitalism" can enhance both motivation
and mindfulness while better aligning self interest with the common
interest.  Indeed, much of today's violence - physical, psychic and
ecological - stems from a pervasive sense of feeling apart from rather than
a part of the free enterprise system and its impact on society and nature.

Happily, today's detached and concentrated ownership patterns are not some
immutable trait inscribed in the DNA of free enterprise.  Quite the
contrary.  Capitalism can be designed either for inclusion or, as now, for
exclusion.  It's an historic irony with potentially grave implications that
the "self" is the element now most missing in this self-designed system.
Over time, we've allowed free enterprise to become disconnected, detached,
unconscious, unconcerned and uncaring.  Yet with a policy environment that
looks to ownership as a means for restoring human connectedness, economic
policy can be redesigned to create a sense of community, to advance a
feeling of civil cohesion and to evoke better collective foresight.

The very character of democratic free enterprise requires that it include
notions of solidarity, mutuality and reciprocity.  By turning to
broad-based personal ownership as a means for deepening and enriching the
relationship that people have with private enterprise, we can do much to
ensure that decisions affecting peoples' lives and the environment are no
longer resigned to the abstract realm of capital markets or left solely in
the hands of a distant and detached financial and managerial elite.
Neither left, right nor centrist, this strategy suggests instead the public
encouragement of private property patterns that are decentralized, devolved
and personalized.

Property is a "property" of free enterprise, much like wet is a property of
water.  Property patterns are an underutilized tool, a meta-tool if you
will, that could be used to evoke a more conscious capitalism, one where a
sense of interdependence is immediate, palpable and real.  That sense of
connectedness, along with newly peoplized feedback loops, could have
remarkable implications not only for enterprise performance but also for
rebuilding social capital while advancing environmental sustainability.

A modest step in that direction has been taken with the federal
encouragement of employee stock ownership plans ("ESOPs"), now in place in
more than 11,000 U.S. firms and covering some 10 percent of the workforce.
Incentives for related enterprise stock ownership plans ("RESOPs") could
expand on that popular notion, providing a way for those working for a
firm's suppliers or distributors to gain a stake in a larger enterprise.
Similarly, customer stock ownership plans ("CSOPs") could provide a way for
local residents to gain both a stake and a voice in investor-owned
utilities.  Things look far different for a company's stockholders when
it's their family, not just their financial return that's at risk.

CSOP -- Imagine living in a utility district for 50 years where every month
you have built into your bill a financial return for an absentee investor
who may live in an entirely different country. Why do that? Over time, that
cash flow could be used to grow capital for you instead. That's a CSOP.
RESOP -- Jamaica Broilers, a chicken processing company, has a broad range
of owners. Some of them are traditional investors plus the managers. But
they also used the company's buyback of a foreign investor's shares to
create ownership not only for their direct employees (that's an ESOP) but
also for those working for related enterprises, including those
microenterprise employees who grow the chickens and those employed by
trucking firms who transport the chickens to market. That's a RESOP.

GSOC -- Trinidad recently discovered what could be as much as 75 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas. Who are the natural owners of that natural gas?
That resource could be developed so that everyone on the island became a
mini-capitalist, ensuring that everyone participates at least a little and
none too much. That's a General Stock Ownership Corporation (GSOC).

In many disciplines outside the hard sciences it is said that we live
within "fields" of thought and perception - nonmaterial, invisible forces
that structure both space and behavior within it.  The challenge facing
free enterprise lies in creating an organizational field that engages the
human conscience.  It is in that context that ownership patterns, an
invisible field, work their influence for good or ill.

Jeff Gates, President of the Atlanta- and Cambridge-based Shared Capitalism
Institute, is a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
(1980-87).  He is author of The Ownership Solution (Perseus, 1998).
Contact: •••@••.•••   See www.sharedcapitalism.org.

=============<end of article>=================

rkm response:

I haven't read Jeff's book, but I'm hoping the above article gives a fair
summary of his ideas.  Those ideas have a very strong appeal, it seems to
me, because they aim to shift our economic system without frontally
challenging it.  Instead of confronting capitalism, he proposes to _extend
capitalism - downward & outward - and thus link it to human and community
needs.  The promised results are appealing, and the proposed strategy is
apparently non-threatening to the establishment - the idea seems to have
all the earmarks of a strategic 'winner'.  They embody the powerful 'aikido
principle', in which you harmonize with and then neutralize an opponent's
energy, rather than countering with your own energy.  Such a strategy is
especially important when your opponent is more powerful than you are.

I think Jeff is pursuing some very useful lines of thought.  His RESOP's
and GSOC's have much to be said for them... and if awareness of ownership
issues can be widely popularized, that could be beneficial in several ways.
It could help awaken people to the more general issue of centralized
capitalist control of our economies and societies, and it might move people
toward more active involvement in changing the economic circumstances of
their workplaces and communities.  Once aroused, 'economic activism' would
not be limited to any single formula (eg, Jeff's), but could be expected to
blossom in creative and unpredictable directions.  Almost any kind of
widespread activism is a step toward democratization, and is certainly
better than apathy and powerlessness.


Nonetheless I have several problems with 'extending ownership', especially
if it is viewed as a universal panacea, and if it serves to limit the scope
of our thinking.

My first problem is one of terminology.  I think it is fair to say, at
least in the above article, that Jeff intentionally equates 'capitalism'
with 'free enterprise' - the two are used interchangeably throughout.  I
realize this is very helpful in selling the ideas to large audiences, and I
also acknowledge that most readers would tend to agree that the terms are
synomyms.  After all, part of our daily propaganda diet is an intentional
blurring of 'democracy', 'freedom', 'free enterprise', and 'capitalism'.

If Jeff is using words in the way they are commonly used, I can hardly
criticize him for that, nor fault his book.  But if we want to analyze his
ideas, and to understand where they would likely lead in practice, then it
is necessary to make distinctions between terms which are not at all

Free enterprise and market exchange have existed since before recorded
history began.  Shopkeepers, market days, market towns, private property,
trading caravans, trading fleets, production for trade... these kinds of
things can be found in many parts of the world going back millenia.
Capitalism, on the other hand, is generally recognized as a comparitively
recent phenomenon, something that grew up in only the past few centuries.

At its core, capitalism is about change, development, and growth - as means
of wealth accumulation.  It is no accident that capitalism grew to maturity
in tandem with the industrial revolution and with nationalist imperialism.
Industrialization and imperialism offered boundless opportunties for
change, development, and growth - and as these opportunities were exploited
in the era of European Expansionism, capitalism became the dominant
societal force in the West.

Free enterprise describes an _aspect of society, one which may have a
lesser or greater role from one society to another.  Capitalism, on the
other hand, describes a society which has become _dominated by the doctrine
of economic growth and development.  This is not a trivial distinction, of
interest only to academics.  George Orwell eloquently explained how
confusion of language can be used for political purposes.  This has never
been more clearly demonstrated than in our current propaganda regime, where
centralized political machines are called 'democracies' and mass bombing is
described as 'humanitarian'.

When I say we need to 'end capitalism', I mean that we need to break free
from the doctrine of growth for growth's sake... otherwise the world and
humanity cannot survive in any form that we would find acceptable.  I'm not
proposing that we 'end free enterprise'.


I see two evolutionary threads coming out of Jeff's proposals.  That is, if
his agenda were to be adopted, ownership could be expected to play itself
out along two different paths.

The first thread, the one that Jeff and I would both agree is desirable,
would lead to enterprises based on values other than wealth accumulation -
where the enterprise is run for the overall benefit of its participants and
of society.  Whether or not the 'market value' of the enterprise increases
isn't the main point, instead one looks to such values as providing stable
employment, creating beneficial products, encouraging employee or community
participation in decision making, maintaining productive relationships with
customers and vendors, etc.

The second thread leads to growth-oriented enterprises which simply happen
to have a broader investor base.  As Jeff points out, there are apparent
benefits in this thread as well... certainly some spreading-of-the-wealth
occurs, and there may be some increase in 'social awareness' in company
decisions.  But as I see it, these benefits are illusory.  As long as the
rationale behind an enterprise is wealth-accumulation, then other
considerations are eventually left behind in the struggle to prosper in a
competitive environment.  Or else some capitalist comes along and offers
you a quick profit on your stock, and the next day your friendly local
business becomes a cog in a corporate empire.

The _first thread could be transformative, and represents what I would call
a 'counter-capitalist' force.  The main consequence of the _second thread
is to recruit more supporters to the side of growth-capitalism, which
ultimately serves to maintain capitalist-banker hegemony and exploitive

In a strategic sense, I see Jeff's proposals as being in conflict with one
another.  First there is a confusing of capitalism with free enterprise,
and from that follows a confusion of objectives: 'spreading the wealth' vs.
'transforming the rationale of the enterprise'.  One objective undermines
capitalism while the other strengthens it.  This only becomes clear when
proper distinctions are made, which is why terminology is more than an
academic exercise, and why Orwell so strongly emphasized the political
importance of language.

You might say Jeff is sowing both green seeds and black seeds, with perhaps
the hope that more of the green seeds germinate.  Perhaps Jeff can even
make the case that the result would be predominantly green, but that would
be difficult from a perspective in which free enterprise and capitalism are
seen as the same thing.  A sound analysis would require finer distinctions.


Another problem I have with the article above is its rejection of more
conventional forms of social ownership.  I'm certainly not a socialist, but
there are cases where a non-corporatized, society-owned operation is the
most suitable.  This is particularly true of infrastructures such as
railroads, highways, and utility systems.  I know the trend is toward
privatization, but that doesn't make it desirable.  An infrastructure is
something the rest of the society depends on to operate... reliability,
good service, and sound management are the principles it should run by.
Introducing a profit-growth motive into the scenario conflicts with the
main mission... it encourages underpaying workers, cutting back on
maintenance, focusing service on the most profitable sectors, and taking
advantage of monopoly to charge excessive prices.

One of the Big Lies of today's propaganda is that 'socialism failed'.
Nothing could be further from the truth.  After a long, expensive, and
violent siege by the West, socialist nations were compelled to yield
control over their economies and national policies to outside interests.
We saw a triumph of might, not a failure of socialism.  It's taken decades
of embargo by the world's most powerful nation to keep Cuba down and
pressure it into 'market liberalization'... hardly a failure of socialism.


From: jeff gates <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#973,rn-> re-2: movement strategy
Cc: Thomas Kocherry <•••@••.•••>

JG: the book is about reconnecting capitalism to people -- peoplizing,
localizing, human-sizing and community-wise-ing.  There's a reason why the
corporate entity is the most prevalent institution, surpassing even the
nation state.  Transforming relationships with the entity seems to me far
more realistic than some vague notion of paradigm shifting with no
indication what we're shifting to or how to do so.  Or what happens to the
corporate entity in the process.  Disconnected corporations respond solely
to financial values.  Peoplized corporations may respond to a broader range
of values.  That's the hypothesis.  It's a transformative notion.  Yours,
apparently, is an "eliminative" notion?

        rkm: See above.

>Third, a great deal of stock ownership is already technically in the hands
>of little people, in the form of pension funds.  And through various
>mechanisms, control over those funds ends up in the hands of professional
>investment firms, who park them in long-term stocks so as to stabilize the
>market and permit the corporate machine to continue its ruinous agenda.
>Patching capitalism is like fighting kudzu.

JG: great misconception - spread by Peter Drucker among others.  I wrote
federal pension law for seven years (as counsel to Senate Finance Cmte).
Those funds are totally disconnected from the concerns of those in whose
name they're held...

        rkm: I think we're saying the same thing here.

>Fourth, the idea of shifting ownership from a minority to a majority is
>wholly contrary to where things are actually heading.  The tidal wave is
>toward further concentration of ownership, and lots of little paddles
>aren't going to turn back the market-forces tide.  This is an age of the
>big fish eating the little fish, and so ad infinitum.  In particular, the
>TNC's are taking over everything (including patents on life itself) and are
>fighting it out amongst themselves to see which handful of logos will
>remain to manage 'Earth Inc'.  It is no surprise that capitalist apologists
>endorse 'The Ownership Solution', because they understand these issues, and
>their profession is misleading the public.

JG:  Again, you might want to read the book.  Yes, the trend is toward
further concentration (and it's now much more concentrated than when the
book was published 18 months ago). 

        rkm: OK then, does a bottom-up ownership movement have a prayer
        of success against trillions of dollars of concentrated wealth?
        Have you 'done the numbers' in any systematic way?  If whole
        nations fall to the chain-saw of the IMF, I don't see the
        prospects as being that favorable.

Might I suggest that you resist the
temptation to edit the list of endorsements to those who you consider
apologists -- as you know (if you read the list),  I'm certain others on
the list would find it surprising indeed to find that they're now
characterized as apologists, including Bill Greider, John Kenneth
Galbraith, Coretta Scott King, Paul Hawken, Bob Swann (Pres of Schumacher
Society), Ram Dass.  Any reason why you deleted THEM from your curiously
edited list of endorsements?  I append, again, the list -- with a note of
caution to other readers about that very, very selective editing and what
that may suggest re the credibility of these postings....  By the way,
readers will find that the book has a dominantly green theme.

        rkm: I think the list was published in a previous posting,
        at least it was on the rn list.  I tried to include some
        representatives of the different categories in the small
        selection I included.  Yes there are many 'good guys'
        in the endorsements... I didn't consider that surprising,
        because your ideas _do sound appealing.  I considered the
        'establishment' endorsers to be more interesting and
        significant... they lend an air of practicality to the
        proposals.  That's why I commented on them... I didn't
        mean to imply all the endorsers were from one camp.

By the way, the book is available now in paperback through all the usual
Internet bookstores.  I'm now polishing a sequel.

Endorsements re The Ownership Solution

"Jeff Gates is that most unusual of individuals, the practical visionary."
--  Edward W. Kelley, Jr., Governor, U.S. Federal Reserve

"A wonderfully different and original line of thought."
--  John Kenneth Galbraith, Harvard University

"Jeff Gates outlines a creative, yet credible strategy for empowering
working people with a more vital interest in private enterprise.  If
capitalism can indeed have a human face, the reforms proposed in this
provocative book merit careful consideration."
--  Coretta Scott King, founder, The King Center

"This book focuses on the central issues that have to be addressed if the
21st century is to transcend the simplistic dilemma of capitalism versus
socialism and create a new, sustainable civilization."
--  Mikhail Gorbachev

"In the book The Ownership Solution I found an original and promising
proposal for the implementation of an appropriate ethic for capitalism in
the next millennium."
--  Oscar Arias, 1987 Nobel Peace Laureate; former President of Costa Rica

"Long-term, sustainable development requires a balancing of economic,
social, fiscal and environmental goals.  In The Ownership Solution, Jeff
Gates provides a thoughtful and thought-provoking approach to understanding
these goals and how broad-based capital ownership can help to achieve them."
--  Bill Bradley (U.S.  Senator, 1979-1997)

"Jeff Gates... has written the best book on economics for a generation in
The Ownership Solution."
--  Labour MP Denis MacShane (U.K.)

"Expansion of ownership and greater access to capital will both strengthen
and spread democracy and market economies throughout the world.  This is a
compelling account of how to help bring it about."
--  Jack Kemp, former Republican vice presidential candidate

"The Ownership Solution succeeds brilliantly in showing how broad based
personal ownership can strengthen communities and make global sustainable
development possible."
--  Dick Gephardt, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives

"An ingenious and compelling look at the power inherent in widespread
personal ownership.  Engrossing, insightful and persuasive."
        --  Gerald Greenwald, Chairman and CEO, United Airlines

"How do we close a growing gap between successful owners and investors and
an increasingly anxious underclass?  One way that would help - more
participants in ownership!  No one knows more about how that should be done
than Jeff Gates and he offers his spectacular insight in this cornucopia of
philosophical and practical ideas."
        --  Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York  (1983-1995)

"An important proposal from which all those concerned with helping the poor
will want to learn."
        --  Michael J. Novak, American Enterprise Institute

"One of the most important books of this decade.  The Ownership Solution is
really a solution --  one of the most significant contributions to
restoring a civil society."
--  Warren Bennis, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of
Business         Administration, University of Southern California; author,
On Becoming a Leader

"A book full of original and stimulating ideas to which those who want to
keep up with the times should expose themselves."
--  Prof. Franco Modigliani, 1985 Recipient of Nobel Memorial Prize in
Economic Science

"An important subject, excellent thinker, good writer, thoughtfully done.
Read it!"
--  Dee Hock, Founder, President and CEO Emeritus, Visa International

"Jeff Gates has provided a sweeping review of capitalism at its best and at
its worst, and has skillfully shown us how a fundamentally different and
better  future could be shaped by weaving the thread of  widespread
individual responsibility through ownership into the fabric of society. "
--  Ray C. Anderson, Chairman & CEO, Interface, Inc.; Co-Chair,
President's Council on Sustainable Development.

"A truly important and outstanding contribution."
--  Prof. George C. Lodge, Harvard Business School; author, The New
American Ideology

"A very innovative, progressive idea.  Sure to stimulate much good dialogue."
-- Prof. Amitai Etzioni, George Washington University, author, The Spirit
of Community

"Elegantly researched.  A masterful statement by a creative author -- a
remarkable book."
        --  David McLaughlin, President-Emeritus, The Aspen Institute

"A brilliant and innovative exploration of new ways to spread wealth
ownership and foster wealth creation.  The Ownership Solution is a
blueprint for the new age of capitalism."
--  Dr. Madsen Pirie, President, The Adam Smith Institute (U.K.)

"Why does capitalism create so few capitalists?  Jeff Gates asks and
answers the central economic question, the source of our deepest social and
political conflicts.  He provides a humane and convincing blueprint for
reforming capitalism, bringing clarity and humanity to the taboo subject of
concentrated wealth."
--  William Greider, author, One World, Ready or Not; Who Will Tell the
People;   Secrets of the Temple.  National Editor, Rolling Stone.

"The most incisive and fascinating analysis yet of how broader capital
ownership can help drive faster U.S. growth -- and in the bargain repair
the moral basis of American capitalism."
--  Robert J. Shapiro, Vice President, Progressive Policy Institute

"With this book, a long-time explorer and discoverer, Jeff Gates, hands
over his carefully constructed maps to direct policy-makers, business and
workers to a common destination of greater economic vitality and power."
--  U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV

"Jeff Gates's new book, The Ownership Solution,  presents a thoughtful and
creative approach to a little understood problem.  That problem is how to
involve people most personally, productively, and with a minimum loss of
their individuality, in the rapidly forming world economy.  Gates envisions
an expansive and dynamic capitalism which is both market-oriented and
people-oriented.  His book can open horizons for both policy makers and
--  Jim Wright, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1987-89)

"The twenty first will be the 'Century of the Corporations.'  Jeff Gates
gives an exciting and well written preview of this New World and the
'owners' whose informed involvement will be essential for the continued
welfare of the planet."
--   Robert A.G. Monks, author, Power and Accountability and Corporate

"Jeff Gates has produced a view of sustainable growth that at last puts
more faith in humans than governments.  Splendid!"
--  Malcolm Wallop (U.S. Senator, 1977-1995); Chairman, Frontiers of
Freedom Institute

"Jeff Gates has literally written the book on how to reverse centuries of
capital concentration and economic polarization.  If we are to have any
chance of creating just and stable societies, the answer will hew closely
to the pragmatism, intelligence and creativity offered here."
-   Paul Hawken, author, The Ecology of Commerce

"Jeff Gates has devoted years to discussing new patterns of distributed
ownership.  In this thoughtful and well researched book, Gates argues that
the increasing disparity of wealth within and among nations, the
difficulties of abetting development, and the recent success of
micro-financing all suggest a major role for new ownership patterns to
drive local and global economic growth and stabilization of democracy.
Gates may not have the whole solution. It is enough that he may well have
an essential piece of it."
--  Stuart A Kauffman, founding general partner, Bios Group, LP; Professor,
Santa Fe Institute; author, The Origins of Order, At Home in the Universe.

"The great value of Jeff Gates' book is that it offers proven and practical
ways to untangle some of the most intractable knots in the world today: how
to restore a sense of pride and ownership to industry, and how to marry
capitalism to ethical values.  It couldn't be more timely."
--  Geoff Mulgan, Director, DEMOS (U.K.), author, Connexity

"Jeff Gates' affirmation of employee ownership as a means of achieving a
significant measure of human empowerment, social justice and economic
success in the midst of social and technological upheaval demands our
--  Lynn R. Williams, President, United Steelworkers of America (retired)

"Ownership is the great neglected issue of contemporary left-wing
politics.  Jeff Gates has brought us the most serious effort to date to
address that gap; his book will be enormously influential."
--  Ian Hargreaves, editor, New Statesman (UK)

"This is a unique, unusual and untried proposal to solve a vexing problem
in national and international economic development.  It is worth some
serious consideration."
--   Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

"In The Ownership Solution, Jeff Gates does more than point the way to
broadening the base of ownership in society.  He may have put his finger on
the possibility of a historical convergence.  If capitalism can be
prevented from concentrating ownership and wealth, social democrats will
avoid the danger which they are pledged to fight as they pursue the
imperative of social equity.  Equally, if social equity can be achieved
without frustrating entrepreneurship and undermining market forces, the
conservatives will be assured of the preservation of those sources of
economic energy which they are pledged to guard.  Let's both get on with it!"
        --  Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica (1972-80; 1988-92)

"The Ownership Solution offers a road map to ownership engineering which
has the potential of transforming capitalism as we know it by broadening
and reinforcing the concept of stakeholder society in many innovative ways."
--  Dr. L.M. Singhvi, Indian High Commissioner to the Court of St. James

"A compelling account of how widespread capital ownership is the 'missing
piece' needed to strengthen both democracies and private property economies
--  Senator Russell B. Long (U.S. Senator, 1949-87)

"In the dynamic age of globalization, Mr. Gates stretches the envelope of
conventional thinking on the critical issues of ownership and equity."
--  James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Program

"Ownership is a sine qua non of sustainable development.... an interesting
intellectual contribution to the evolving debate."
--  James D. Wolfensohn, President, The World Bank

"While the nation's economists tell us we need higher rates of saving, Jeff
Gates says more 'owners' will improve society.  Hopefully our policy
makers, when they read this thoughtful book, will see the obvious connection."
        --  Edward V. Regan, Comptroller of the State of New York (1979-93)

"The community we all long for can't be realized with only 6% of the
population having any share in ownership.  We have a long way to go to
change this and Jeff Gates is leading the way."
--  Bob Swann, President, E.F. Schumacher Society

"The world has turned its back on the state ownership of the means of
production.  The free enterprise system is the best we have for generating
wealth.  But there is a risk that if economic disparities widen - and there
is some evidence that is happening - it may also give rise to discontent.
Jeffrey Gates has given much thought to how this could be avoided and
capitalism given a broader base of stakeholders and beneficiaries.  He sets
out his ideas in this stimulating and timely book."
--  Sir Shridath Ramphal, Secretary-General of the British Commonwealth

"Development will be truly sustainable only when Jeff Gates' ideas are put
into practice."
--   Dr. Norman A. Bailey, Senior Director of National Security Planning,
National Security Council (Reagan Administration)

"In countries like my own, Nicaragua, the rich and political elites should
read Jeff Gates' The Ownership Solution for inspiration on how to stop the
impending social conflagration which we have been stirring for generations."
--   Arturo J. Cruz, Senior, former Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.

"Fantastic!  Jeff Gates has achieved the impossible.  The Ownership
Solution is eminently readable yet produces in cogent form why broad based
ownership is the sine qua non of private enterprise.  This is a genuine
watershed in policy making, destined to be a classic."
--  Rodger J. Pannone, President of the Law Society, 1995-96 (UK)

"Around the world, the chasm between the haves and have-nots is growing.
Can that threaten capitalism, peace and prosperity?  Jeff Gates' solution
for broadening ownership is the cutting edge, free market way to avoid that
threat and improve lives."            
--   Mary K. Bush, former Alternative Executive Director, IMF

"The Ownership Solution explains how the expansion of ownership solutions
can serve not only local economies, but can also create just, moral and
stable societies worldwide.  The Ownership Solution will prove to be a very
valuable and respected literary work to everyone it reaches."
--  Sam Ayoub, Chief Financial Officer, Coca-Cola Company, Inc. (retired)

"A delightfully refreshing strategic overview for utilizing the vehicle of
capitalism to bring us, as a people, back into compassionate community."

--  Ram Dass, author, lecturer

"An unparallelled effort by a unique individual with the mind of a chief
financial officer and the heart and soul of a prophet."
--   John Feldmann, Director, Center for Ethics, Capital Markets and
Political Economy

"[The Ownership Solution] might be the only solution for the confusion of
formerly centrally planned economies after the collapse of communism."
--   Kiichi Mochizuki, President, The Pacific Institute

Shared Capitalism Institute
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