Bio - Norm Kurland

Norman. G. Kurland. J.D. is President of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, based in Arlington VA. Norman is a lawyer-economist, pioneer of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and a leading global advocate for “the Just Third Way,” a post-scarcity development model that transcends both capitalism and socialism by combining free markets with the democratization of economic power and capital ownership. He co-founded CESJ with Fr. William Ferree and other economic and social justice advocates in 1984. Mr. Kurland also founded and heads Equity Expansion International, Inc., an “investment banking firm for the 99%,” which implements “Just Third Way” strategies around the world to turn non-owners into owners. He is a co-founder of Global Justice (based in Canada) and the Unite America Party(USA) launched in April 2005. He has taught binary economics and binary policy reforms in privatization seminars at the International Law Institute in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, President Reagan appointed Mr. Kurland as deputy chairman of the bipartisan Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice, to promote economic democratization through ESOP reforms in Central America and the Caribbean. In 1987, Mr. Kurland headed the delegation to the Vatican that presented the PEJ Task Force report to Pope John Paul II, following the presentation of the report to President Reagan in a White House ceremony.

He was a close colleague for eleven years of Louis O. Kelso, author of binary economics and inventor of the ESOP. With Kelso, Kurland co-founded the Institute for the Study of Economic Systems. He later became Washington Counsel for Kelso’s investment banking firm. Collaborating with Kelso, Kurland authored and lobbied the first and subsequent ESOP legislative initiatives in the U.S. Congress. He is the principal architect of several model ESOPs and legal systems for expanding ownership, as well as: the first ESOP and worker shareholders association in the developing world at the Alexandria Tire Company in Egypt; the “Capital Homestead Act” (a comprehensive package of national monetary and tax reforms); the “Citizens Land Bank” or “CLB” (formerly called the for-profit “Community Investment Corporation” or “Citizens Land Bank”), a vehicle enabling community residents to share land ownership and profits); and “Justice-Based Management” (a system for applying principles of economic justice and building participatory ownership cultures within business corporations).

Kurland was the recipient of CESJ’s first Kelso-Ferree Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor he shares with Senator Russell Long, the legendary champion of ESOP on Capitol Hill. He has authored numerous articles on the Just Third Way, binary economics, capital homesteading and related concepts for universalizing access to capital ownership. He was a contributing author to the 1994 compendium Curing World Poverty: The New Role of Property (John H. Miller, ed., Social Justice Review), and was the principal author of CESJ’s comprehensive economic reform agenda, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen: A Just Free Market Solution for Saving Social Security (Economic Justice Media, 2004).

Before joining Kelso, Kurland was director of planning of the Citizens Crusade Against Poverty, a national coalition headed by the labor statesman Walter Reuther. Earlier, as a Federal government lawyer, Kurland became deeply involved as a civil rights investigator in the Mississippi “one-person, one-vote” movement and later with the core group shaping economic empowerment initiatives in President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” He came to Washington in December 1959 after receiving a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Chicago, where he studied law and economics, following five years as an officer on flying status in the U.S. Air Force.