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Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital: The Missing Link to Sustainable Economic Recovery and Growth


Robert Ashford


Syracuse University - College of Law

March 27, 2011


Abstract:     
This article presents a proposal to broaden the right to acquire capital with the earnings of capital as a means of promoting sustainable economic recovery and growth. It would open the markets for real and financial capital acquisition more fully and competitively to poor and working people (1) to distribute more broadly the earnings of capital and (2) to profitably employ more capital and labor.

Both the recession and the strategies advanced to promote economic recovery may be viewed as responses to the prospect of inadequate present and future earning capacity of both consumers and producers (1) to purchase what can physically be produced and (2) to repay existent and anticipated debt obligations.

To increase the prospects of sufficient, sustainable earning capacity, the approach advanced in this article is to extend to all people the same protections and benefits presently provided by government that facilitate capital acquisition with the earnings of capital primarily for people in proportion to their wealth.

Although in theory, all people in a market economy are able to acquire capital with the earnings of capital, reliable empirical data reveal that the major determinant of the ability of individuals to acquire capital with the earnings of capital is the existing distribution of capital ownership.

The theory of “binary” economic growth (on which the proposal advanced in this article is based) holds that the market return on capital depends not only on the wage rate, the scarcity of capital, its marginal productivity, and the interest rate, but also depends on the distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital. The prospect of a broader distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital carries with it the prospect of more broadly distributed earning capacity in future years, which in turn will provide the market incentives to profitably employ more capital and labor in earlier years. The idea that the broader distribution of capital acquisition with the earnings of capital will promote growth is not found in any of the widely accepted theories and models of economic growth such as those proposed by Schumpeter, Solow, Roemer, and Lucas.

By opening to all people the institutions of corporate finance, banking, insurance, government loans and guaranties, and monetary policy presently relied upon by the Federal Government to stimulate the economy) the practical ability to acquire capital with the earnings of capital can be more broadly extended to all people. with the result that greatly enhanced prospects for greater and more broadly distributed earning capacity and growth can be reasonably expected and realized by all.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 12

JEL Classification: E1, E4, E5, G1, G2, G3, H3, H5, H6, I3, K00, K2, L2, M14, N1, N2, O1, O3, O4, P1

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Date posted: February 15, 2009 ; Last revised: March 29, 2011

Suggested Citation

Ashford, Robert, Broadening the Right to Acquire Capital with the Earnings of Capital: The Missing Link to Sustainable Economic Recovery and Growth (March 27, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1342183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1342183

Contact Information

Robert Ashford (Contact Author)
Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )
Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States
315-677-4680 (Phone)
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