Just Third Way

Concentration of Property = Concentration of Power

The global justice movement has often been accused of protesting current conditions, without offering any viable alternatives. The Just Third Way offered here includes: a bedrock analysis of the relationship between personal empowerment and the ownership of productive property; a professional detailed analysis of how to enact needed fundamental monetary and economic reforms; a justice-based management system which incorporates proven leading edge organizational design; an enhanced negative income tax to eliminate poverty; and the indisputable concept of supplementing the GDP so that such things as car accidents and ecological damage are no longer counted as new wealth, as they are under the current system.

In a letter to the editor published by the Washington Post, GJM member Norman Kurland challenged the Post's assertion that "there is in fact no third way to prosperity". While dismissing the Clinton-Blair version as a welfare-state amalgam of capitalism and socialism, Kurland posed the logical case for a real third way:

On the one hand there is capitalism, an economic system governed by market forces but where economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few who own or control productive capital. On the other hand, socialism, in its many forms, is an economic system governed centrally by a political elite, with even more highly concentrated ownership and economic power. Logically, a third way would be a free-market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through direct and effective ownership of the means of production — the best check against the potential for corruption and abuse.
A Quick Comparison
Of Capitalism, Socialism and Global Justice
Global Justice
/ Political power accessible to all; economic power concentrated in a wealthy elite / Economic and political power concentrated in a governing elite / Both economic and political power are accessible to all
/ Capital ownership concentrated in a wealthy elite / Capital ownership concentrated in a collective controlled by a bureaucratic elite / Capital ownership is systematically deconcentrated and made directly accessible to every person
/ Capital incomes beyond consumption capacity for a wealthy elite / Adequate and secure incomes from capital for a governing elite / Adequate and secure capital incomes directly accessible to every person
/ Individualistic, atomistic system (ignores or trivializes common good) / Collectivist system (denies economic freedom and independence of individual) / System based on sovereignty of every person within institutions embodying principles of social justice
/ Institutionalizes greed / Institutionalizes envy / Institutionalizes justice
/ Materialistic ideology and system which ignores the growing income insecurity of non-owning workers facing displacement by technology or lower-paid workers / Materialistic ideology and system based on and fostering the absolute dependency of all citizens on the state for their income security and well-being / Moral philosophy and economic system based on the inherent dignity and sovereignty of each person; which fosters the inalienable right of every person to be a worker and a direct owner within a society where spiritual values and respect for all creation transcend material values
/ Labor-centric, classical laissez-faire economic system (ultimately recognizes that only one factor--labor--produces wealth and creates economic value) / Labor-centric Marxist and Keynesian systems (only one factor--labor--produces wealth and creates economic value) / Kelsonian binary economic system [two interdependent and distinct factors -- human ("labor") and non-human ("capital") -- directly produce wealth and create economic value]
/ Win-lose, zero-sum, scarcity, "dog-eat-dog" orientation / Lose-lose, zero-sum, scarcity, forced-leveling orientation / Win-win, synergistic, post-scarcity (improving systems and technology to do more with less) orientation
/ Sacrifices justice for efficiency / Sacrifices efficiency for collectivist "justice" / Justice and efficiency go hand-in-hand
/ Wage system (jobs for the many, capital ownership for the few) / Wage system (jobs for all, capital ownership for none) / Ownership system (every worker/person a direct capital owner)
/ Equality of opportunity to work; inequality of opportunity to own / Forced duty to work and forced equality of results as determined by governing elite / Equality of opportunity to work; equality of opportunity to own
/ Protects private property rights of the few who own productive wealth, and monopolizes access to future ownership opportunities / Truncates or eliminates rights of private property, putting control over means of production in hands of political elite / Universalizes right to private productive property and protects rights of private property (to extent others are not harmed)
/ "Hands-off" role of the state regarding monopolization of ownership and control; state ends up redistributing wealth and incomes / Economic power is totally centralized in or regulated by the state; state redistributes incomes / Economic power of the state is limited (e.g., preventing abuses and monopolies, and dismantling barriers to universal participation in direct capital ownership)
/ Prices and wages protected from global competition; promotes mercantilism / Prices and wages controlled by government / Prices, wages and profits set by free and open markets with profits spread among many owners
/ Capital credit available to a few; consumer credit available to the many / All credit controlled by state / Direct access to capital credit universalized and allocated by local financial institutions
/ Past savings used to finance future ownership by few / Past savings used to finance future ownership by state / Pure credit, future savings and capital credit insurance used to finance growth linked to future direct ownership opportunities for all
/ Technology controlled by a private sector elite, subject to government oversight / Technology controlled by a non-accountable governing elite / Technology owned and controlled by private sector entities that are directly accountable to many shareholders and stakeholders
/ "Social safety net" for poor: Trickle-down incomes and social entitlements provided through government transfers of income, institutional charity and personal charity / "Social safety net" for poor: Trickle-down incomes and social entitlements provided through state monopolies, forced redistribution of wealth and income by government / "Social safety net" for poor: Directly connects poor individuals and families to growth dividends, supplemented by personal charity, institutional charity, and government transfers
/ Indifferent to environmental degradation; economically powerless become victims of development and environmental hazards; the well-being of future generations is sacrificed for short-term profits / Economic inefficiencies lead to inability to finance the most advanced and environmentally sustainable technology; economically powerless become victims of development and environmental hazards / Anticipatory approach to sustainable growth and development; aims to
internalize externalities, assigning environmental costs to polluters
and passing costs on to consumers; offers means of financing most
advanced "green" technologies while economically empowering people
directly through private property to protect themselves against environmental hazards; plans for future generations
/ Purpose of education is to train people to get jobs / Purpose of education is to train people to get jobs / Purpose of education is to teach people how to become life-long learners and virtuous human beings, with the capacity to adapt to change, to become masters of technology and builders of civilization through their "leisure work", and to pursue the highest spiritual values.