On the national front, people seem obsessed with the fact that the stock market seems to be recovering, evidently little realizing that the stock market has not acted as a genuine barometer of economic health since before World War I. It has little, if any direct link to the productive sector. The proceeds of shares sold on Wall Street or any of the other exchanges throughout the world do not benefit the issuing companies, but the brokers and investment bankers that purchased the shares from the companies, as well as subsequent owners of the shares.
Be that as it may, the main events of the week are:
• As noted above, there were several telephone conferences on the East St. Louis project, with the major conference taking place on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Several action items were reviewed and future assignments suggested.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.
• A letter was sent on Thursday to the Irish Independent, Ireland's largest daily newspaper, in response to an op-ed piece on the need for people to get organized in order to find a solution to the economic crisis. The letter suggested that people investigate the Just Third Way, especially Capital Homesteading, as a viable alternative to failed government programs based on discredited Keynesian economics. We hope to post the letter next week. The op-ed piece in the Independent was sent to us by Mr. Christopher O'Connor, Treasurer and Financial Secretary of the Colonel John Fitzgerald Division, Arlington, Virginia, Ancient Order of Hibernians in America as one of the Division's social action initiatives. Division contact information is on the website.
• A letter was also sent to the Wall Street Journal in response to a proposal detailed in an editorial that a binding legal limit be placed on government spending and taxes be raised on labor incomes in order to balance the budget. We proposed a somewhat easier, more just, and certainly more financially feasible alternative in the form of the tax proposals contained in the Doctor's Plan for Universal Health Care. This letter, too, should be posted some time next week.
• We have not received any feedback from Michael Novak for our response to his comments.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 26 different countries and 42 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 Argentina. People in Venezuela, Argentina, the United States, Canada, and India spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings continue to be those in the series on usury, but the news reports are catching up. Yesterday's posting on "What Caused the Economic Crisis" received more hits in one day than any posting since the piece on President Obama's inauguration speech. With respect to the amount of time spent reading, the postings on "Can We Spend Out Way Out of the Recession" and the Cobbett series appear to be the most popular.