Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1624386
 


 



Fifty Years of Utopia: A Half-Century after Louis Kelso’s The Capitalist Manifesto, a Look Back at the Weird History of the ESOP


Andrew Stumpff Morrison


University of Michigan Law School; University of Alabama Law School

June 1, 2008

Tax Lawyer, Vol. 62, No. 2, p. 419, 2009
U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 204

Abstract:     
This article summarizes the bizarre historical background of the employee stock ownership plan, or "ESOP." This specialized type of retirement plan, in which participants' retirement savings are invested in the stock of their employer, is the product of the economic theorizing and vigorous lobbying of a single eccentric individual, Louis Kelso. During the 1970s Kelso personally persuaded a powerful U.S. Senator, Russell Long of Louisiana, that employee ownership was a good idea and should be promoted through the use of the retirement system. Despite the fact that ESOPs rely for their justification on economic arguments rejected by mainstream economists, the tax subsidies promoted by Kelso and Long have left ESOPs a prominent feature, to this day, of the American retirement and tax system.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: ESOP, employee stock ownership plan, Louis Kelso, Russell Long

JEL Classification: J26, K34

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Date posted: June 13, 2010 ; Last revised: July 1, 2010

Suggested Citation

Morrison, Andrew Stumpff, Fifty Years of Utopia: A Half-Century after Louis Kelso’s The Capitalist Manifesto, a Look Back at the Weird History of the ESOP (June 1, 2008). Tax Lawyer, Vol. 62, No. 2, p. 419, 2009; U of Michigan Public Law Working Paper No. 204. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1624386

Contact Information

Andrew Stumpff Morrison (Contact Author)
University of Michigan Law School ( email )
625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
University of Alabama Law School
101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Box 870382
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States
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