On October 17, 2014, Greg Robb writes on Market Watch:
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday that she was “greatly” concerned by the extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States.
“It is no secret that the past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority,” Yellen said in a speech to a conference on inequality sponsored by the Boston Fed.
“I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity,” she added.
Yellen said that some degree on inequality of income and wealth contributes to economic growth because it rewards hard work and risk taking. But the concern is that “inequality of outcomes can exacerbate inequality of opportunity, thereby perpetuating a trend of increasing inequality.”
Income inequality — as measured by what’s called the Gini index — is up 4.9% since 1993, the earliest year available for measurement, according to Census Bureau data.
In her speech, Yellen did not attempt to answer what she called the “difficult questions of how best to fairly and justly promote equal opportunity.”
Instead, she laid out a “factual basis” for further discussion using the Fed’s recentSurvey of Consumer Finances, a survey of the income, wealth and debt for 6,000 U.S. households conducted in 2013. See slideshow of Yellen’s facts on income inequality.
Two building blocks to greater income — college and owning a business — were now uncertain, she said. College costs are making it hard for young people to obtain a degree, and it is harder now to start a business, she said.
She noted that economic mobility in the U.S. is lower than in most other advanced countries.
Yellen said she was concerned the large and growing burden of paying for college may make it harder for many young people to take advantage of the opportunity of higher education.
It is also harder for less wealthy Americans to start a new business, she noted.
Chairman Janet Yellen needs to publicly advocate for the reform of the Federal Reserve focussed on financing our FUTURE using financial mechanisms (which the wealthy use) that would empower EVERY citizen to acquire ownership in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-producing capital assets. A key financial mechanism would be to provide equal access by EVERY citizen to insured, interest-free capital credit loans repayable with the FUTURE dividend earnings of the investment, without having to pledge past savings or equity or reduce one’s standard of living.
Because for the vast majority of Europeans and Americans a JOB is their ONLY source of income, millions of families are one layoff or family emergency away from going into bankruptcy, and then what? Start over with nothing and extremely poor JOB prospects.
In the United States, the American Dream is fast disappearing as people experience fewer opportunities to earn an income, and as a consequence cannot act as “customers with money” necessary to support a vibrant economy. The result is a permanent national recession at the brink of a second Great Depression.
Unfortunately directors of the Federal Reserve, our political leaders, academia, and the national media offer up ONLY the same old conventional won’t-work suggestions for the government to take the lead and arrange the marriage of private and public capital to regenerate real growth without the realization and requirement that the ownership of FUTURE wealth-creating, income-producing productive capital must be broad. No longer can we be able to achieve growth the old-fashioned way, by investing in projects that enrich our productive capacity in the name of JOB CREATION, which is expected to have a multiplier effect, when in actual reality such investment continues to further CONCENTRATE OWNERSHIP of America’s future productive capital assets.
The ONLY viable solution to the economic decline of America is for our leaders, academia and the national media to recognize that all individuals to be adequately productive cannot do so when a tiny minority (capital owners) produce a major share and the vast majority (labor workers), a minor share of total output of the economy’s products and services. The system must be reformed to create a world in which the most productive factor of the FUTURE—-physical capital—-now owned by a handful of people––is owned by a majority—and ultimately 100 percent—of the consumers, while respecting all the constitutional rights of present capital owners.
This goal requires investment in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-producing productive capital assets while simultaneously broadening private, individual ownership of the resulting expansion of existing large corporations and future corporations. Not only is employee ownership the norm to be sought wherever there are workers but beyond employee ownership the norm should be to create an OWNERSHIP CULTURE whereby EVERY American can benefit financially by owning a SUPER IRA-TYPE Capital Homestead Account (CHA) portfolio of income-producing, full-voting, full-dividend payout securities in America’s expanding corporations and those newly created to produce the future products and services needed and wanted by society.
Those who read this and are in a position of influence should reach out to Janet Yellen, President Obama and the leadership of his Organizing for Action as well as to other political leaders, and call for them to convene a national discussion using the national media and social media, and our educational institutions, to open up a discussion on EVERY CITIZEN AN OWNER opportunity. We need fresh and inspired leaders who can educate on this issue at this time because academia, the media, and our so-called leaders are not addressing how people make money and the significance of OWNING income-producing productive capital assets. We need to get people to understand that as with today, in the FUTURE we will continue to experience tectonic shifts in the technologies of production, which will destroy and devalue the worth of jobs. This is a crucial understanding because at present for the 99 percent of the nation a JOB is the ONLY source of income to support themselves and their families. We need political leaders who will commit to a government policy focus on OWNERSHIP CREATION, not JOB CREATION, which will result and naturally follow as the economy revs up to double-digit GDP growth and fully applies technological innovation and invention to shift from unnecessary labor toil to human-intelligent machines, super-automation, robotics, and digital computerized operations.
Janet Yellen, other Federal Reserve Board members, influential economists and business leaders, as well as political leaders, should read Harold Moulton’s The Formation Of Capital, in which he argues that it makes no sense to finance new productive capital out of past savings. Instead, economic growth should be financed out of future earnings (savings), and provide that every citizen become an owner. The Federal Reserve, which has been largely responsible for the powerlessness of most American citizens, should set an example for all the central banks in the world. Chairman Yellen and other members of the Federal Reserve need to wake-up and implement Section 13 paragraph 2, which directs the Federal Reserve to create credit for local banks to make loans where there isn’t enough savings in the system to finance economic growth. We should not destroy the Federal Reserve or make it a political extension of the Treasury Department, but instead reform it so that the American citizens in each of the 12 Federal Reserve Regions become the owners. The result will be that money power will flow from the bottom up, not from the top down––not for consumer credit, not for credit that doesn’t pay for itself or non-productive uses of credit, but for credit for productive uses to expand the economy’s rate of growth.
The Federal Reserve needs to stop monetizing unproductive debt, and begin creating an asset-backed currency that could enable every child, woman and man to establish a Capital Homestead Account or “CHA” at their local bank to acquire a growing dividend-bearing stock portfolio to supplement their incomes from work and all other sources of income. Steadily over time this will create a robust economy with millions of “customers with money” to purchase the products and services that are needed and wanted.
Our leaders need to put on the table for national discussion this SUPER-IRA idea and the necessary reform of our tax policies that would incentivize corporations to pay out fully their earnings in the form of dividend income and issue and sell new stock to grow. The CHA would process an equal allocation of productive credit to every citizen exclusively for purchasing full-dividend payout shares in companies needing funds for growing the economy and private sector jobs for local, national and global markets,
The shares would be purchased on credit wholly backed by projected “future savings” in the form of new productive capital assets with future marketable products and services produced by the newly added technology, renewable energy systems, plant, rentable space and infrastructure added to the economy.
Risk of default on each stock acquisition loan would be covered by private sector capital credit risk insurance and reinsurance (ala the Federal Housing Administration concept), but would not require citizens to reduce their funds for consumption to purchase shares.
Essentially, the pressing need is for everyone in a position of influence to encourage President Obama to raise the consciousness of the American people by making his NUMBER ONE focus the introduction of a National Right To Capital Ownership Bill that restores the American dream of property ownership as a primary source of personal wealth.
This is the solution to America’s economic decline in wealth and income inequality, which will result in double-digit economic growth and simultaneously broaden private, individual ownership so that EVERY American’s income significantly grows, providing the means to support themselves and their families with an affluent lifestyle. The Just Third Way Master Plan for America’s future is published at http://foreconomicjustice.org/?p=5797.
The Capital Homestead Act (http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-a-plan-for-getting-ownership-income-and-power-to-every-citizen/ and http://www.cesj.org/learn/capital-homesteading/capital-homestead-act-summary/) would grow the U.S. economy faster in a non-inflationary way, create new private sector jobs, finance new productive capital and provide capital incomes for all Americans from the bottom-up by enabling them to own trillions annually in new capital formation and transfers in current assets . . . without taking private property rights away from billionaires and multi-millionaires over their existing assets.