Back in 1966 Dr. Norman G. Kurland, now president of the all-volunteer, interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) in Arlington, Virginia was in New York City. He was meeting with Stokely Carmichael and Ivanhoe Donaldson and explaining to them the ideas of lawyer-economist Louis O. Kelso, best known as the inventor of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) regarding achieving broad-based capital ownership without redistributing existing wealth.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
We’ve been having a sporadic series of postings addressing President Trump’s proposed tariffs, starting with “The Two-Part Tariff Question” and continuing with “Is There an Alternative to Tariffs?” At the end of the latter we concluded, “[T]here is clearly an alternative to tariffs . . . but only if you agree that the sole purpose of taxation is to fund government. If you’re worried about other goals, however, is there a way to achieve them in a less harmful (or even beneficial) way?” and promised to look into that in the next posting in the series.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
“I Want It Now” seems to be the modern mantra, whether for individuals or social reformers. The problem is that instant gratification seldom satisfies on a fundamental level, and almost never gets at the root of the problem causing what ends up being an inordinate desire. As a result, gratifying every whim leads only to increasing demands on the part of recipients, and a diminished ability to meet those demands on the part of those charged with bestowing them.
Monday, March 19, 2018
It must be getting close to the opening of baseball season, for we have a triple header this week! On deck first we have Dr. Norman G. Kurland's second appearance on Dr. Deal Hudson's "Church and Culture" show on the Ave Maria Radio Network (an affiliate of EWTN) that was just broadcast this past weekend. Deal and Norm talk about tax reform this time around.
Friday, March 16, 2018
One of the most interesting developments in the Just Third Way in 2018 is the number of media outlets that seem to be opening up. Paradoxically, some of these have resulted from the success of a new book, Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know, in which the Just Third Way is only a minor “sub-theme” of the book. People reading or hearing about the book, however, often get interested in the reason a Certified Public Accountant would write a history book, and start looking into the Just Third Way. Plus, there are a number of initiatives going on throughout the world that might start some positive things happening:
Thursday, March 15, 2018
In yesterday’s posting, “The Two-Part Tariff Question,” we took a look at the question of whether President Trump actually has the power to impose a tariff. A tariff, after all, is a tax, and under the U.S. Constitution the taxing power is reserved to the people through their representatives in Congress. Obviously, we are not experts in Constitutional law, but it seems to us the issue ought to be raised.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
In last week’s news items we looked at President Trump’s tariff proposals from a constitutional point of view. Not that we’re experts in constitutional law, but we ran our understanding past someone who was a student of William Winslow Crosskey (1894-1968), and he (the student, not necessarily Crosskey) agreed with us.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Last week we looked at the “wrong” way to go about “doing” social justice. That is, you do not organize with other people and work with each other to fix the broken institutions of the common good. Instead, you bull on through, trying to go it alone, and ending up accomplishing nothing because you tried to “attack a social evil with only individual means,” as CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. put it.
Monday, March 12, 2018
We have a "double header" this week. On deck first we have Dr. Norman G. Kurland's appearance on Dr. Deal Hudson's "Church and Culture" show on the Ave Maria Radio Network (an affiliate of EWTN) that was just broadcast this past weekend. Deal and Norm talk about the sort of reforms needed to our financial system to get the country — and the world — back on track. And do we have to say how much more interesting it is to listen to people who actually know what they are talking about?
Friday, March 9, 2018
At the top of the Just Third Way news this week is Dr. Norman Kurland’s interview with Dr. Deal Hudson on the “Church and Culture” radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network, an affiliate of EWTN. Even if you’re not Catholic or other Christian you will find the interview both entertaining and instructive. In other news, we take a “legal layman’s” view of President Trump’s tariff proposal:
Thursday, March 8, 2018
In yesterday’s posting we might have given the impression of a vision of social justice not connected with actual people. That is, we might have given that impression if the posting wasn’t read in context as part of a series on the “laws and characteristics of social justice” as analyzed by CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. In particular it is essential to keep in mind the fourth “law” of social justice, that every individual is directly responsible not only for his or her own personal welfare, but for the common good as a whole, i.e., to acquire the "virtue" or habit of being just in his or her interactions with other persons but also to acquire the social virtue of how to address injustices effectively in his or her institutions or "social habits or tools" when they fail to perform more justly for the benefit of every one of their members, i.e., the "common good".
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
So far in our discussions on social justice in this brief series we’ve looked at the “laws” of social justice, at least those CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. discerned in his work and described in his pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice (1948). Of course, the laws of social justice are not human statutes, like the speed limit or how to file your taxes. Such things can be changed as expedient to fit human needs, and even abolished completely if enough people were to demand it.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
We come today to the seventh and final “law” of social justice: “All vital interests should be organized.” This “law” is another application of the principle that seems first to have been articulated by Aristotle that man is by nature a “political animal,” that is, existing and subsisting within organized groups he called the pólis, hence, “political.”
Monday, March 5, 2018
Friday, March 2, 2018
This has been a busy week for the Just Third Way. A number of glitches popped up but were dealt with, but more important, we have made some significant contacts and engaged in some very effective outreach. It shows what can be done with a modicum of effort if members of the network take the time to reach out to those in their own networks:
Thursday, March 1, 2018
As we saw yesterday, there is a virtually unlimited commercial and industrial frontier that can replace the land frontier and give every child, woman, and man the opportunity to become an owner of productive assets and achieve a level of capital self-sufficiency. The only question is how to do it . . . and it wouldn’t be through government handouts or programs like the New Deal.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
We noted yesterday that for ordinary people to have the opportunity to be capital owners and participate in society as full members a capital stake sufficient to generate an adequate and secure income is a virtual necessity. The problem is that this almost mandates a frontier, but what is to be done when “free” land runs out?
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
The State is not the only entity overburdened as a result of the State's expansion into inappropriate areas and the suppression of private and religious initiatives. Another consequence is a heavier burden on the taxpayer through increased assessments to finance redistribution and entitlements.
Monday, February 26, 2018
On the latest podcast Host Dave Hamill interviews CESJ's Director of Research Michael D. Greaney and talks about "tough Capital Homesteading questions." (And we think we have the problem that was plaguing us fixed!)
Friday, February 23, 2018
We’ve been taking a little flak from an academic economist or two who have become offended by the recent debunking of the Keynesian money multiplier posted on this blog. Unfortunately, their declarations consist exclusively of unproved assertion (we’re wrong because they’re right) and the appeal to authority (they’re right because they are credentialed academics with decades of experience denigrating students and anyone else who dares to disagree with them). Alas — it is impossible to respond to someone who refuses to say what your alleged mistake might be, and who confines him- or herself to declaring that we are wrong without proof. So here is this week’s News from the Network, not giving any proofs, just reporting the news:
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Taking a break in our series of postings on the laws and characteristics of social justice, we thought we’d look at what many people presume to be the task of social justice: creating a perfect society here on earth, instead of one that is just for as many people as possible.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Recently we were “accused” by someone who was evidently a great adherent of the economics of John Maynard Keynes of not understanding the Keynesian money multiplier. A few years back we had made the statement in a posting that the Keynesian money multiplier is based on a fallacy and relies on counting the same money multiple times — what in accounting is called “double counting.”
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
The three great natural rights are life, liberty, and private property — and the “laws” of social justice take this into account. Social justice is the virtue directed to the common good, and the common good is the “medium of life,” that vast network of institutions within which people subsist socially, what Aristotle called the politikos bios, the life of the citizen in the State. “Life” in social justice is not merely being alive, but living “politically,” i.e., institutionally while at the same time retaining your individuality.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Host Dave Hamill continues to turn out the high-quality productions you've come to expect from CESJ . . . and with the "best in guests," too. We have a new link, which gets you to the two latest podcasts, Nos. 11 and 12. Number 11 looks at monetary reforms needed for Capital Homesteading, and Number 12 reviews Federal Reserve policy in response to the volatility in the stock market . . . which isn't really helping matters. . . .