A little common sense would have told people that when you have more than half a million more people added to the unemployment rolls, with the prospect of their being joined by many more when the hike in the minimum wage begins to take effect, there is something fundamentally wrong with they way the economy is structured — and no amount of temporary (or even permanent) speculative gains on Wall Street in which most people have no stake is going to do a bit of good.
Be that as it may, we continue to advance the Just Third Way, as can be seen from the news items of this past week:
• The CESJ quarterly board meeting was held this past Saturday. The main topics of discussion were the restructuring of the website and the project in East St. Louis.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.
• We continue to receive favorable comments on the letter we posted on the new encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. Evidently, for all the positive reception of the document, people seem to feel that something more is needed, and that "something more" is a clearer presentation of the three principles of economic justice and the overall framework of the Just Third Way.
• The restructuring of the CESJ website continues. The latest addition is a small collection of selected articles by Judge Peter Stenger Grosscup, one of Teddy Roosevelt's "Trust Busters," who wrote an insightful series of articles on the dangers associated with the growing concentration of ownership of capital in the United States, and the benefits that individuals and society as a whole receive from widespread ownership of the means of production.
• On Tuesday, Norman Kurland had a conversation with a businessman in Canada who is representing some "social entrepreneurs" who have expressed interest in the East St. Louis project. The discussion focused on various creative ways in which financing for the project might be obtained in ways that would retain and strengthen the citizen ownership and participation features.
• On receiving the news that Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., has once again been terminated by Ave Maria University, we sent out e-mails to selected friends and members of CESJ to see if there was anyone who could put Norman Kurland and Father Fessio together for a discussion on how best to approach the Vatican for a meeting on the new encyclical and a discussion on the principles of economic justice and their application to the present economic crisis.
• Norman Kurland has arranged to fly out to East St. Louis next week to discuss strategy for implementing the "E-Macrosystem" project in East St. Louis and ten other communities in the area. The project as planned will not only provide non-polluting electrical power for an industrial and commercial rebirth of the area, but empower every resident economically (and thus politically) by vesting each person with a direct private property stake in the enterprise, making the "E" in "E-Macrosystem" stand for "Empowerment," "Energy," and, especially, "Equity."
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 25 different countries and 41 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Brazil, the UK, and the Philippines. People in Chile, the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, and Canada spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings continue to be those in the series on usury, or which only a few remain to go up, and the news reports.