The Just Third Way

A Blog of the Global Justice Movement

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, XII: Who Needs a Central Bank?


Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Homestead Act had opened up access to the landed capital of the “Great American Desert.” The frontier had, of course, existed before the Act, but it needed an aggressive program of expanded capital ownership in land before most people viewed the move west as a viable option.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, XI: Wilson’s Arrogance


Unfortunately for the leader of a country that was not only confronted with a turning point in its own history, but was poised to become a major player on the world scene, Woodrow Wilson combined elitist arrogance with an essentially weak and vacillating character. He seemed to feel that he was a natural leader because of his scholarly attainments[1] and his position, regardless what he might do (or not do) with either.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, X: Wilson’s Economic Genealogy


Not surprisingly, we find that Woodrow Wilson’s economic theories — such as they were — were consistent with his political philosophy.  That is, the élite runs everything because ordinary people are incapable of running their own lives without massive State oversight and direction.
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Monday, June 27, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, IX: Wilson’s Political Genealogy


We have already noted that, as was manifest from his doctoral thesis, Woodrow Wilson derived his political philosophy from that of Walter Bagehot. What many people may not sufficiently appreciate is the degree to which Bagehot’s philosophy, both political and economic, derived from that of the totalitarian political philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
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Friday, June 24, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 25


This week’s news notes . . . which we’ll amplify on later today (we hope):
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, VIII: Wilson’s Philosophy


Even commentators favorable to Woodrow Wilson are not able to put a positive spin on his style of leadership, although they speak of it (and of Wilson) in glowing terms, e.g., “genius,” “brilliant,” “incomparable.”[1]  This was probably the result of sycophants currying favor, and not out of conviction.  As Arthur Link noted in his book on the Wilson administration,
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, VII: Consumed By Ambition


There is such a thick patina of reverence coating the reputation and presidency of Woodrow Wilson that it is extraordinarily difficult to appreciate just how great a disaster his election was for the United States. Part of this was due to Wilson’s character. The rest was the result of his philosophy of government.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, VI: The Campaign and Victory


Yesterday we finished looking at the four (or, depending on how you’re counting, four-and-a-half) major candidates during the presidential campaign of 1912 — the first and (to date) the last time two third party candidates had a significant impact on the campaign.  The Republican candidate was William Taft, the Democratic candidate was Woodrow Wilson (and William Jennings Bryan), the Progressive Party candidate was Theodore Roosevelt, and the Socialist Party candidate was Eugene Debs.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, V: The Other Candidates of 1912


Last week we took a brief look at the Republican and Progressive candidates during the presidential campaign of 1912.  After all, when it was first formed the Progressive Party was simply an offshoot of the Republican Party, whatever it has become in the century since its founding.  Today we look at the Democrat and Socialist candidates . . . which also used to be somewhat more differentiated than they have become over the past century or so.
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Friday, June 17, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 24


Two of the reasons people tend to think the fourth part of the Great Depression we’re in is really recovery from a Great Recession are that 1) they confuse aggregate economic growth for individual economic benefits, and 2) they confuse speculative rises in stock prices with actual productive activity, a.k.a., economic growth.  Here’s what we’ve been doing to try and correct some of those delusions:
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, IV: The Republican Candidates of 1912


As we mentioned before, the presidential campaign of 1912 was — so far as we know — the only one in which there were two significant third parties (or should that be a third and a fourth party?), one of which, the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party came very close to gaining the White House.  Today we’ll look at the candidates to give us an understanding of how this happened:
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, III: The Responses


The question in the U.S. presidential campaign of 1912 was what to do about the increasing powerlessness of ordinary people, and the concentration of power in the private and public sector élites. Five primary responses developed. There were seemingly endless variations on these responses, but we think that the following is an adequate, if broad, summary:
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, II: The Campaign of 1912


The United States presidential campaign of 1912 was, all things considered, unique in American history.
It is common to say such things about one’s subject, of course, but in this case we believe it is warranted. It is, for example, the only campaign in which two third parties played a significant role. These were the Progressive Party, which ran Theodore Roosevelt as its candidate, and the Socialist Party, which ran Eugene Victor Debs (1855-1926).
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Wilson and the Fed, I: The Situation


There is no doubt that the United States — the world — was in deadly peril in the early years of the twentieth century. The last safety valve for the human race, the chance to own landed capital in America by taking advantage of the Homestead Act, had been shut off in the closing years of the nineteenth century.
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