Why is Shared Capitalism Needed?


The trouble with capitalism," author and attorney Jeff Gates told 300 participants at the 1999 Ohio Employee Ownership Conference, "is that it doesn’t create enough capitalists."

The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, resulting in what Gates calls a "disconnected capitalism" that has already created a virtual two-tier society. In his address to the Conference, Gates used statistics and political cartoons to bolster his contention that "current trends in economic inequality, both domestically and abroad, pose dangers to human dignity, democracy, political stability, fiscal sustainability, social justice, freedom, civil society, physical/mental health and environmental sustainability."

Although space prohibits the recitation of all the statistics Gates presented, the following will give the reader a pretty good flavor for the points he was making:

Despite the boom of the 1990s, inequality in the United States has continued to grow







86 percent of the stock market gains went to the top 10 percent of households of which 42 percent of that went to the most well-to-do one percent.

Globally the situation , of course, is even worse




The statistics presented by Gates were enlightening while at the same time startling and rather depressing. It is quite clear that there are a great many serious problems that need to be dealt with in something other than the conventional way they have been approached up to this point.

It behooves the policymakers of the world to seriously consider Gates’ message to more fully embrace the concept and practice of widespread employee ownership. In Gates’ view, that is the only way to restore the middle class and eliminate the massive inequities in the distribution of wealth that exist in today’s society.





Jeff Gates has been deeply involved in what he terms "ownership engineering" since 1973 and is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century (Addison-Wesley, 1998).

The Ownership Solution goes beyond an analysis of why broadening ownership is necessary to accomplish this end. It’s available from your local bookstore for $27.50 hard back and $16.00 in paperback.

Gates is President of the Shared Capitalism Institute. According to its website, (www.sharedcapitalism.org), the Institute’s mission is "to explore and explain the impact of ownership patterns and to press for changes that will result in a more inclusive and sustainable free enterprise system both in the United States and abroad."