• Norman Kurland made a trip to East St. Louis on Monday of this week, returning late Tuesday. After a series of important meetings Norm visited some impressive facilities housed inside a geodesic dome and obtained photos that the primary author of this blog lacks the technical competence to display. After meeting with Mayor Alvin Parks, it was decided to focus efforts on getting a meeting with the area's Representative in Congress and his staff to gain the Congressman's support for the East St. Louis project.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.
• Dr. Max Weismann of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago gave a mutual letter of introduction to Norman Kurland and Winston Elliott III of the Center for the American Idea. Dr. Weismann commented, "Please examine each other's websites and I think all three of us should share links — we're on the same team."
• Michael D. Greaney sent a report of the efforts of CESJ and the Colonel John Fitzgerald Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians ("AOH") in Arlington, Virginia, to reach a common ground in promoting economic and social justice in Ireland and the United States to the National Hibernian Digest, the official journal of the AOH, for its important March/April issue. CESJ and the Colonel John Fitzgerald Division are exploring the possibility of collaborating on social justice projects (especially education) within the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.
• CESJ's two most recent publications, Michael D. Greaney's In Defense of Human Dignity and William Cobbett's The Emigrant's Guide, have now sold enough copies to cover the initial costs of publication. Wholesale orders in quantities of ten or more of either title can be obtained from CESJ, P. O. Box 40711, Washington, DC 20016 for $16.00 per copy plus $1.50 per copy shipping. Copies of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen can be included in the order, for $14.00 per copy and $1.50 per copy for shipping. You may combine different titles in a single order as long as the total number of books is 10 or more. Additional discounts may apply for orders of 25 or more copies shipped to a single address. Please include a street address for shipping, as UPS does not deliver to P. O. Boxes. Individual copies of any of these titles can be ordered on the internet from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, as well as by special order from many bookstores.
• Last week's shipment of copies of Capital Homesteading to a number of politicians in Ireland may have come at the right time. According to the Irish Independent, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, a recipient of one of the copies, is facing a crisis and calls for his resignation due to allegations that he mishandled the recent bank bailout. Immediate study of the Capital Homesteading proposal will not only give Mr. Lenihan a solution to the overall crisis, but provide a way to correct his missteps in the most effective and cost-efficient manner. The Minister's mistakes and damaging admissions may very well provide the necessary incentive to start promoting serious consideration of Capital Homesteading.
• We received word from Reverend William Christensen, S.M., Ph.D., a missionary in Bangladesh, that Dr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, an Islamic moderate, has prepared a book, Prison Notes from Bangladesh, detailing his experiences as a political prisoner for nearly two years under the former military-controlled government in that country. Due to the sensitive nature of the book, Dr. Alamgir is seeking a publisher in the United States. CESJ has agreed to take a look at the manuscript for possible publication under its "Economic Justice Media" imprint, if the book proves suitable.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 35 different countries and 46 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 148% increase in total readership, according to the statistics counter of "Google Analytics." Most visitors are from the United States, with Canada, the UK, Brazil, and Ireland rounding out our "top five" countries where we're read the most. The top spots for the average time spent on the blog, however, goes to Croatia at more than twice the average time of any other country, followed by Venezuela, Mexico, the Netherlands Antilles, and Jordan, in that order. (After Croatia, however, with nearly a quarter of an hour for the average visit, there are only a few seconds' difference between, e.g., the United States of Mexico and the United States of America.) Our most popular posting, with 25% more hits than the next most popular, is the first in the ongoing series explaining why Mr. Obama's stimulus package is a disaster. Of the remaining "top ten," 3 are "News from the Network" postings, 5 examine Keynesian economics, 2 are on the stimulus package, and 1 addresses the financial crisis in Ireland (obviously there is some overlap, e.g., the financial crisis in Ireland traces the problem to its Keynesian roots). The bottom line, of course, is that the slavish adherence to Keynes is wrecking the world's economies, and the sooner people begin to look at the situation in terms of Kelso and Adler's binary economics, the better off everyone will be.
Friday, February 13, 2009
News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 7
Much of the news this past week centered on the stimulus package, which (depending on your source) had a spread of $750 billion to $3 trillion, with the "final" price tag as of this morning being $790 billion. As is common in Keynesian programs, there doesn't appear to be any clear idea exactly how and to what extent the economy will be stimulated, and how the effect is to be sustained once the money is gone. Of course, this happened before, in the "mini-depression" of 1936-37, when the stimulus of the New Deal began petering out and the increased real demand due to the Second World War had not yet kick started the economy. Nevertheless, there are some non-vague events that have taken place this past week, suggesting that something more is possible than a fuzzy stimulus package with a very real — and colossal — price tag that doesn't seem directed at benefiting ordinary people.