Ownership Transfer Corporations

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= a proposal by Shann Turnbullas a system for the elite to allow their wealth to be endowed to the next generation while in their life time earning what they are accustomed to.


Pat Conaty:

"Jeff Gates in his book the Ownership Solution in the 1990s makes this same argument as did the Swedish designer of the welfare state, Rudolf Meidner. Indeed Schumacher in the last chapter of Small is Beautiful outlines a process like Shann's OTC. Each argument is somewhat different but the evolutiionary economic process of creating democratic economic systems is pushing in the same direction.

This article actually puts figures on the process of Ownership Transfer in relation to a modern vehicle for Garden Cities, the Co-operative Land Bank. The example is a shopping centre, but just extend this and you get the point fully. The CLB is the keynote section by Shann in the Commons Sense report Ed Mayo launched last month in London.

As an OTC, as this short paper shows, the CLB allows developers and indeed banks to invest in garden cities for Birmingham here or Quito where you are, but not to make surplus profits and to secure windfall profits or other 'free lunches'. Capitalists have to be kept honest and to just make normal commercial returns while gradually releasing the underlying property rights to citizens. Gandhi envisioned this as Trusteeship companies in 1931 as Mike and I show in our book (see chapters 10 and 11 for the detail). As we show in the book, the John Lewis Partnership here in the UK is a good example of how a corporation can do this and is still going strong. Evolutionary Guild socialism in action.

The CLB is for garden cities, but the same principle can work for large corporations as OTCs. John Spedan Lewis did the transfer of his big firm in the Great Depression. In Aussie style, Shann calls this systematic changeover, boomerang ownership. Like the CLB, democratic ownership is organically created and comes circling back to the People through creative approaches to the tax and investment laws and principles. The corruption is that these principles are trampled on by plutocrats and their political boot polishers

OTCs are like Mondragon in their social ecology beauty. People are empowered in evolutionary economic ways and we secure co-operative commonwealth over a generation or two."

More Information

  • Turnbull, S. 2000, 'Stakeholder Governance: A cybernetic and property rights analysis', in Corporate Governance: The history of management thought, R.I. Tricker, ed. pp. 401–13 Ashgate Publishing, London http://cog.kent.edu/lib/turnbull6/turnbull6.html