Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Just, Third Way: Capital Homesteading, Part III

Yesterday we promised to start looking at some of the policy objectives of a “Capital Homestead Act.”  Since there are more than a few, we decided to do some today, and the rest on Monday — with the caveat that a division of any kind might give the wrong impression that parts of the program can be separated and implemented piecemeal.  No, the proposal is an integrated approach, and must be implemented as a unified approach, or there is a very good chance it won’t work.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Just, Third Way: Capital Homesteading, Part II

One thing we’ve noticed about a number of proposed reform packages is that all too frequently the desired goal is stated as the means instead of the end.  This tends to get almost simple minded at times.  If you want something, just do it.  How to do it is an unimportant detail.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Just, Third Way: Capital Homesteading, Part I

Last Thursday we looked at how cutting consumption to accumulate savings, far from being the only way to finance new capital formation, actually throws the entire financial and economic system into a cocked hat and causes a failure of Say’s Law of Markets to operate . . . although why the hat has to be cocked instead of a gun remains a mystery.  Either does the damage.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Is Greed Good?

Last Thursday we noted that the ability to accumulate — “save” — while an aspect of money, is only peripheral to the principal function of money, which is to be spent, i.e., “consumed.”  Money, which is anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt, derives from the functioning of Say’s Law of Markets.

Friday, April 21, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 16

One of the things the news media have made clear this week — whether or not they meant to — was to underscore the fact that so many of what seem to be insoluble problems actually have some fairly simple solutions . . . if you bother to look for them:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Distributism and Say’s Law

We’ve been getting into some interesting discussions on FaceBook about the similarities between the rather vague system that G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc called “distributism,” and the more specific proposal we call “Capital Homesteading” within the context of the Just Third Way.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Own or Be Owned

It is all very well to say that social justice is better than socialism.  We could even come up with a “Top Ten List” of reasons why, and try to make something appallingly serious — the infiltration of socialist principles and the concept of society into virtually every aspect of life — a trifle less ghastly.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

“Three Acres and a Cow”

As a slogan, “Three acres and a cow” has been around a lot longer than most people who think about it think . . . if, of course, they think about it.  There’s even a bit of history that goes with it, and it could also apply today — properly understood.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Socialism v. Social Justice

To many people, the term “social justice” is another way of saying “socialism.”  And if we use the term as it was used prior to Pope Pius XI, they are correct.  It was Pius XI, following up on Pope Leo XIII’s efforts to counter the “new things” of religious and scientific socialism, who took the previously vague term and turned it into something meaningful and useful.

Friday, April 14, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 15

This week has been filled with a number of activities, few of which have anything to do with the Just Third Way, at least directly.  There have been a few items of note, however:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Good as Gold, XI: The Old Story of the New Deal

In the previous posting in this series, we ended by asking the question, What was wrong with the New Deal?  Didn’t it save the country?
Not exactly.  In fact, a good case could be made that the New Deal ruined the United States, especially monetarily.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

3. “Walter Russell Mead’s Awful Idea”

It seems a little obvious.  If you expect to save for retirement, you need something out of which to save.  In the current state of society, that means you need a wage system job . . . and those are disappearing in competition with advancing technology or cheaper labor elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2. “Walter Russell Mead’s Awful Idea”

Yesterday we looked at how Academician Walter Russell Mead managed to equate capital ownership with home ownership, and then with having a guaranteed job . . . and then wonder why the system wasn’t working at all the way he thought it should.  Today we’re going to looked at Dr. Mead’s proposed solution to the problem of today’s disappearing guaranteed jobs and its effect on retirement savings.

Monday, April 10, 2017

1. “Walter Russell Mead’s Awful Idea”

Be careful what you wish for.  You might get it.
A number of times we’ve commented on this blog that we like to receive comments and questions from the floor.  Responding to them is an easy way to write a daily blog.
It’s also an easy way to give up in despair about the future of the world. . . .

Friday, April 7, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 14

As spring approaches and temperatures rise, so does the level of activity in the Just Third Way movement.  That’s a poetic way of saying things are starting to happen:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Good as Gold, X: Hijacking the Federal Reserve

When the United States began gearing up for entry into the First World War, one of the first things the politicians did was decide how to finance the war effort.  Politicians being what they are, of course, they chose to finance the war using debt as much as possible instead of raising taxes . . . which might harm their chances of reelection.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Good as Gold, IX: Debt or Taxes?

 Last Thursday we noted that the Federal Reserve, far from being “the Creature from Jekyll Island” intended to enslave the human race to the Gnomes of Zürich, was actually designed — and intended — to break the virtual monopoly enjoyed by the money moguls of Wall Street.  How did it happen?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Why Is Socialism Condemned?

We’ve been working on a study of the origins of religious (as opposed to scientific) socialism.  Part of the problem of trying to figure out just how much modern “social thought” is actually a version of socialism is handicapped by the fact that the distinction between religious socialism and scientific socialism is often not very clear.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Some Basic Thoughts on Income

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the idea that everyone is entitled to a basic income just for existing.  Even the Wall Street Journal recently reviewed a book, Basic Income, by Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght, making it sound as if such redistribution was the solution to the growing wealth and income gap.

Friday, March 31, 2017

News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 13

Another week of extremely important advances that do not make for particularly exciting news reporting.  That, however, is one of the problems with reporting about what a think tank does . . . which is, primarily, thinking.  And there just aren’t too many ways to say people did a lot of thinking (and talking about thinking).  So what else has been going on?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good as Gold, VIII: Toward Monetary Reform

The mistakes England made with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 managed to get themselves duplicated in the United States with the National Banking Act of 1863 (amended 1864).  In both cases the legal tender reserve currency was backed by government debt, convertible into gold, and inelastic, i.e., fixed in amount, to try and avoid inflation.  This lack of understanding about money and credit caused or contributed to a series of financial panics and currency crises in both countries.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Good as Gold, VII: Battling the Banks

In the previous posting in this series — cut short on the Ides of March — we saw how the tenets of the British Currency School became predominant.  We also saw how one branch of it, that which held that government debt is an asset of the issuing government, quickly became public policy . . . if only because it allowed politicians to spend as much money as they could until the public lost confidence in them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

4. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?

As we conclude this brief series examining “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” it becomes evident why Chesterton was so adamant that, while the principles of science, politics, and religion must be compatible with each other and consistent with reality, they cannot be combined or mixed without disaster.

Monday, March 27, 2017

3. Is Distributism a Parody of Christianity?

Last Thursday we continued our examination of “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” which the author of an article in Regina Magazine claimed was realized in the “distributism” of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.  Going through the letters G through M we found more discrepancies between Chesterton’s and Belloc’s concept of distributism and what the author of the article claimed was their system, and what the Catholic Church actually teaches as opposed to what the author claimed the Catholic Church teaches.