To: The Brookings Institute, Subject: Eliminating Poverty, Racism, & War

Social IssuesCulture

  • Author Rick Osbourne
  • Published March 7, 2022
  • Word count 655

CC: Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Economic Policy Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Aspen Institute, Center for American Progress, RAND Corporation, as well as any and all other DC based Economic Think Tanks who are interested in this subject

Dear Brookings Institute,

I’m a Board Member of an Arlington, VA based not for profit group called the Center for Economic and Social Justice (WWW.CESJ.ORG). The main purpose of CESJ is to advocate on behalf of an ownership based, free market orientation to the economy known either as the Economic Democracy Act (EDA) or Universal Basic Ownership (UBO).

The members of our group contend that the USA could solve a myriad of problems, starting with poverty and structural racism, by making every American (regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or political persuasion) an owner of wealth producing capital assets. Furthermore, we contend that these goals could be achieved without creating a dime of governmental or consumer debt. Implementing the EDA strategy would actually allow us to start paying down our exponentially growing (now over $30 trillion-dollar) national debt.

The Conventional Scenario…

More specifically, the Federal Reserve makes an annual assessment of how much money will be required to fund the following year’s economic growth. For example, in 2018 they estimated that our economic growth would require approximately $4 trillion dollars-worth of funding in 2019.

So, where does all that money come from? Conventionally it comes from the wealthy class – those who can afford to buy the stocks, bonds, and technologies that represent this annual growth. 2019 was no exception. Most of that projected growth was funded (purchased, owned, and controlled) by fewer than 10% of Americans. Thus wealth/ power became increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few (10%) at the expense of the many (90%).

Now Let’s Reshuffle the Cards

With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at this scenario through a different lens. If you divide $4 trillion dollars by 330 million (people in the US), you’ll find that about $12,000 per individual was going to be required to fund America’s economic growth of 2019. Now what if the Federal Reserve (as authorized by the Federal Reserve Act, section 13, paragraph 2), through local banks, had made an ANNUAL $10,000 (round numbers are easier to work with) line of credit at 0% interest, accessible to every citizen, regardless of age, gender, race, or political persuasion?

Furthermore, what if these lines of credit COULD ONLY BE USED to buy stocks in qualified business ventures (meaning the odds of these investments paying off the annual loans with pre-tax dividends – FUTURE EARNINGS not past savings - in 3 to 7 years are excellent)? And what if, as these annual, self-liquidating loans continue to PAY THEMSELVES OFF, the dividends continue to flow and they become investment income for their new capital owners?

Instantly Collateralized

As you can see, all these transactions would be collateralized the moment a purchase was made. They’d also be 100% capital credit insured. In other words, nobody – not the government or the individual investor is on the hook - even if a supposedly sound investment failed to live up to expectations. A proverbial win/win for everyone concerned. And since in this strategy production always precedes consumption, inflation is systematically abolished.

The Democratizing Potential…

The democratizing potential inherent in making every American citizen an owner of wealth producing capital assets is what allows CESJ members to contend that we can eliminate the economic roots of poverty, structural racism, and war without creating any debt, while simultaneously paying down the national debt in the process.

That said, if you see flaws in our logic, we’d appreciate you pointing them out so we can make the appropriate adjustments. On the other hand, if you see no flaws, we like to suggest a meeting in order to explore how to best go about implementing the EDA/UBO strategy ASAP!


Rick Osbourne

Board Member

Center for Social and Economic Justice (CESJ.ORG)


Rick Osbourne is a former public school teacher who has spent the past 20 years of his life writing for a living. His primary interests include politics (he's an independent), psychology (in particular Dr. Erich Fromm), economics (a Center for Economic and Social Justice/CESJ.ORG board member), and childhood obesity prevention ( He's married and resides in Naperville, IL with his wife of almost 48 years, Pamela. He can be reached via email at

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