We are getting an interesting perspective on things during these few days away from the world inside the Washington Beltway. What the newspapers and other media are saying about what is going on, especially in the economy, and what is really going on in places like Lancaster, Pennsylvania, make for quite a sense of unreality when it comes to things like "economic recovery." Businesses and factories have been closing all over the county, and nothing is coming in to take the place of the lost productive enterprises . . . except for some new banks that are being built. The problem is that the new banks are not any different from the old banks, and continue to finance anything in ways that concentrates the ownership of capital, both existing and future. Clearly something along the lines of the Capital Homestead Act is needed, but the powers-that-be continue their peculiar deafness to viable and just solutions. For example --
* Former Comptroller General of the United States, David Walker, is predicting disaster unless the debt ceiling is raised in the short term . . . and even greater disaster if something isn't done to reduce the deficit and pay down some of the gargantuan public debt that has been built up. In the short run, Mr. Walker sees five immediate consequences. One, $4 billion per day will be lost to the economy. Two, there will be temporary layoffs of government workers and civilian military workers. Three, Social Security payments will be delayed. Four, there will be serious negative effects on the stock and bond markets. Five, interest rates will rise. Of these, the delay in Social Security payments is probably of most concern to ordinary people. It is, after all, difficult to feel sorry for rich investors in stocks and bonds, and there is, frankly, no reason under the Banking Principle why changes in the interest rates should have any effect at all on pure credit loans for new productive capital, the ownership of which can be spread out to generate a broad base of increased consumer demand. We agree with Mr. Walker's conclusion that the debt ceiling must be raised in the short term, and that the deficit and outstanding debt must be reduced, but simply cutting expenses isn't going to do anything except make matters worse. Norman Kurland met with Mr. Walker and presented Capital Homesteading to him. All Mr. Walker had to say was for Norm to return when he had more "traction." Why not a viable solution in lieu of "traction"?
* The obvious solution to the current dilemma is to raise the debt ceiling in the short run, and make Capital Homesteading the quid pro quo in the mid- to long term. We haven't heard anything better.
* Jimmy Griffen has scored again, and arranged a meeting this past Wednesday with an important mover-and-shaker. Since we're on vacation and haven't heard how the meeting came out, we'll withhold any analysis until next week.
* CESJ and UVM publications are now available in Australia.
* There has been a sudden spike in sales of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, possibly due to people searching for some real answers to the economic mess we're in (also known as "the recovery" . . . from what we've recovered is unclear).
That is all the news we have for this week. As you might expect, it's harder to get news when you're away from the center of things and out in the real world.