The problem in Keynesian economics, of course, is that by taxing the wealthy you dry up the alleged source of financing for capital replacement and new capital formation, shrinking the corporate as well as individual tax bases and diminishing the number of jobs in the economy to make up the losses. The only way out of the corner that Mr. Obama and his advisors are busily painting themselves into is to print money (i.e., sell massive quantities of government debt to the Federal Reserve), then impose wage and price controls to try and keep the lid on the inflation that necessarily follows, a move that increases the power of the State even more.
Despite all of the apparent economic insanity of the new administration, however, there are a few candles that are managing to stay alight in Mr. Obama's winds of change that point the way to the Just Third Way:
• Reverend William Christensen, S.M., Ph.D., CESJ Counselor and head of the Institute for Integrated Rural Development in Bangladesh, has been asked to write the foreword for Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir's memoir, Notes From a Prison: Bangladesh, which is under consideration for publication by Economic Justice Media, an imprint of the Center for Economic and Social Justice. Dr. Alamgir, the former Minister of Planning for Bangladesh, was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of corruption and tax evasion, the reading of which brings Franz Kafka's surreal classic Der Process ("The Trial") to mind. Review copies of the unedited manuscript are available on request in "Word" format from CESJ.Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.
• Sales of Economic Justice Media's annotated edition of The Emigrant's Guide by William Cobbett (1763-1835) are catching up to those of Michael D. Greaney's In Defense of Human Dignity, although both books have a long way to go before generating as many sales as Curing World Poverty (1994) or Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen (2004). As befits the "Apostle of Distributism," Cobbett describes life in early 19th century America in terms that complement the work of Alexis de Tocqueville, in that astute commentator's monumental Democracy in America (1835). Combined with Orestes Brownson's The American Republic (1865), the works present an unequalled picture of a way of life that many people still consider an ideal, and which in its essence embodies the principles of the Just Third Way: 1) A limited economic role for the State, 2) Free and open markets as the best means of determining just prices, just wages, and just profits, 3) Restoration of the rights of private property, and 4) Widespread direct ownership of the means of production. The common thread tying together all three authors is respect for the dignity of the human person at the most basic level.
• Earlier this week, the CESJ core group had a teleconference with members of the "American Auto Employee Ownership Committee," a group that (consistent with the principle of free association found in de Tocqueville's work) is organizing an effort to assist autoworkers purchase the troubled American automobile industry. The Committee objects to the waste, inefficiency, loss of jobs and, of course, the transfer of concentrated power from a small private elite to State bureaucrats. As an alternative, the Committee proposes breaking up the current massive concentrations of economic power by vesting each worker with an equitable ownership stake in the company for which he or she works. This can be accomplished under current law most easily by using the Justice-Based ESOP model developed by Equity Expansion International, Inc., www.eei-consultants.com, although other approaches are also being studied.
• We received an acknowledgement of the receipt of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen from the Hon. Brian Lenihan, Finance Minister of the Republic of Ireland. The letter indicated that the minister would turn over the book and other materials to his staff for study.
• As a reminder, all Economic Justice Media titles are available in bulk (i.e., 10 or more books in a single order) for 20% off the cover price plus $1.50 per copy shipping. The same terms apply to all titles issued by Universal Values Media, Inc., a for-profit publisher that has implemented a "Justice-Based Management" system. UVM titles can be found at www.benson-unabridged.com. For more information, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. When used for fundraising, the discount is increased to 25% off the cover price — something to keep in mind for your school, church, or civic organization.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 44 different countries and 49 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Over the same period we have experienced over 80% increase in total readership, according to the statistics counter of "Google Analytics." Most visitors are from the United States, with Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Poland rounding out our "top five" countries where we're read the most. The top spots for the average time spent on the blog, however, go to Venezuela, Croatia, Poland, Mexico, and Brazil, in that order. Our most popular posting continues to be the first in the ongoing series explaining why Mr. Obama's stimulus package is a disaster. Of the remaining "top ten," 1 is a "News from the Network" posting, 8 examine Keynesian economics, 3 are from the stimulus series, 1 addresses the financial crisis in Ireland, and 1 is on Abraham Lincoln and the 1862 Homestead Act (obviously there is some overlap, e.g., the financial crisis in Ireland traces the problem to its Keynesian roots). Most readers are using keyword searches indicating they want to learn about the serious flaws in Keynesian economics.