Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Outreach Made "Easy"

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Nothing is ever easy. So you can self-edit or perform a little mental reservation and say, "easier." The point is that we need outreach in order to open doors to, er, door openers. We also . . . okay, our points are the one we just said, and that people in education in the principles of Binary Economics — especially the bit about the proposal to free economic growth from the slavery of savings. And Capital Homesteading by 2012. And pie for dessert. (Shades of Monty Python's Inquisition sketch.)

Anyway (whether you expected it or not), we've developed a sort of template for you to use in reaching out to economists who adhere to "Austrian School" economics. First, of course, try to find something good to say about something the individual to whom you are writing wrote or said. For example, "A fortnight ago I came across your terrific-a-mundo article, "How Past Savings Freed Humanity from the Scourge of Capital Credit" in the Journal of Semi-Economics." You then continue,

On reading the article and some others you have posted, as well as looking over your faculty page on the Tenure University website, I thought you might find it useful to be in touch with Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the Center for Economic and Social Justice ("CESJ") in Arlington, Virginia. A short time ago Dr. Kurland attended a presentation by a group of Austrian economists. (Of course, we all know that an Austrian economist isn't necessarily really from Austria, any more than past savings really are used to finance most new capital formation, or all Keynesians are from the Peoples Republic of Keynesia.) (Note: it's better if you know that Norm did, in fact, attend such a presentation. Read the weekly News from the Network every Friday on this station.)

One of the subjects discussed at the presentation were the similarities and differences between the Austrian school of economics, and the Binary Economics of Louis Kelso, especially as applied in CESJ's "Capital Homesteading" proposal. From our research, it appears that the chief difference between the Austrian school and Binary Economics is that the thought of von Mises and von Hayek is explicitly based on the "British Currency School" of finance, while that of Kelso uses the principles of the "British Banking School of finance."

Thus, Austrian economics takes for granted that the only way to finance new capital formation is to cut consumption, accumulate money savings, then invest; a "bank" is a financial institution that takes deposits and makes loans. As embodied in the British Bank Charter Act of 1844 and the United States National Bank Act of 1863/64, this construes money and credit more as a commodity than as the medium of exchange, redefining "interest" as the price of money and the cost of capital, rather than in the classical sense as the earnings of capital.

Binary Economics, building on the work of Dr. Harold G. Moulton, especially his 1935 contra-New Deal treatise, The Formation of Capital, accepts the legal definition of money: anything that can be used in settlement of a debt, thereby conforming to Say's Law of Markets as applied in the real bills doctrine, as well as the thought of Adam Smith; a "bank" is a financial institution that takes deposits, makes loans, and issues promissory notes in the discounting and rediscounting of bills of exchange. We believe that Binary Economics thereby conforms more closely to the natural moral law than other schools of economics, especially with respect to liberty (freedom of association/contract) and private property (right of control/disposal), and thus with Catholic social teaching based on the natural moral law.

As presented to His Holiness Pope John Paul II (and which received his encouragement), the Just Third Way, that we believe is, in Capital Homesteading, an application of the principles of economic personalism, is directed at reestablishing the "four pillars" of an economically just society:

• A limited economic role for the State,

• Free and open markets within a strict juridical order as the best means of determining just wages, just prices, and just profits,

• The restoration of the rights of private property, especially in corporate equity, and (the fatal omission from mainstream schools of economics)

• Widespread direct ownership of the means of production, a condition largely precluded by reliance on existing accumulations of savings to finance new capital formation.
As I said, after reading your articles and profile, I believe that a discussion between you and Dr. Kurland might prove fruitful, especially since we are currently in the process of building a network of natural law supporters among people of all faiths and philosophies with the ultimate goal of restructuring the social order, particularly with respect to our economic and financial institutions. Dr. Kurland can be reached via contact information on the CESJ website.

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