As predicted (by us), the latest round of "fixes" both abroad and domestically have proven to be nothing to write home about. With the fall in the stock market, the long sellers were probably able to drive up the market a little today, but everything is too uncertain for them to make anything more than a few billions to inflate GDP artificially. Government leaders still remain convinced that you can either continue spending or cut spending as the only solution to the problem, evidently not realizing that, without production, you can print as little or as much money as you like and it won't mean a thing. Further, if ownership of capital is not widespread, you can produce anything you like, but no one without capital ownership will be able to buy anything. As labor statesman Walter Reuther said in response to someone who twitted him that he'd have a hard time collecting union dues from machines in an automated car factory, "You'll have an even harder time selling them automobiles." To try and bring some sanity into the discussion, here's what we've been doing for the past week:
• The CESJ monthly Executive Committee meeting was held this past Wednesday. This was the 332nd consecutive monthly meeting since CESJ's founding in 1984.
• CESJ members have set up a Twitter network. There is not too much action going on right now, but it should pick up as people become more familiar with the technology.
• Norman Kurland received an e-mail from a Polish journalist who had interviewed Norm a while back for an article in a Warsaw newspaper on Blessed John Paul II and CESJ's interaction with the pontiff. The journalist stated that the head of Poland's central bank, the Polish National Bank, who died in the tragic plane crash, had been interested in the Just Third Way monetary reforms. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal reported that Poland, of all the countries in Europe, had avoided an economic downturn, keeping the national debt to 55% of GDP, focusing on financing private sector development, and was concentrating on further reductions in the public debt.
• On Wednesday we received an e-mail message from a professor of economics in Buenos Aires asking for cites for some of our claims about Keynesian economics. We were able to provide him with material demonstrating the Keynes's hostility to broadened ownership dated from at least 1919, not 1936, as he had supposed.
• In preparation for the upcoming release of CESJ's edition of William Thomas Thornton's A Plea for Peasant Proprietors, we joined a number of Irish-themed LinkedIn groups. Not surprisingly, both the Irish and Irish-born and descended people are very concerned about the economy. One group is even running a contest to inspire people to come up with innovative ideas. We'll be submitting something on the Just Third Way, of course, but all members of the Just Third Way movement are encouraged to keep their eyes open for similar opportunities. Even if you don't win, it helps just to get the word out, as well as to clarify your own thinking to be able to summarize the Just Third Way on a contest entry form.
• A number of potentially effective CESJ projects are "languishing" for lack of adequate funding. As a case in point, the Thornton book was only made possible due to the fact that one CESJ member took it on as a personal project and others were able to devote many hours of unpaid time to the effort. CESJ will, of course, accept "retro" funding for the Thornton book or any other project, but we need to find donors/grant makers for a number of other critical projects. Keep your eyes open for an individual or foundation willing to grant or contribute $5,000 or more a year for two to three years to CESJ to fund one of the many "small" publishing projects we have waiting in the queue. (Smaller — and larger — donations to the general fund are, of course, always acceptable.) Donors will be noted by name in an acknowledgements section in the publication, unless anonymity is requested, and provided with an accounting of how the money is spent — and, of course, have the right to purchase copies in quantity at or below wholesale.
• One project that is not small is the funding of an econometric model for binary economics. Unlike most CESJ projects, we do not have the capacity to handle this "in-house," and will have to rely on another institution.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 57 different countries and 53 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Bulgaria. People in Australia, India, Germany, Singapore, and Austria spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Aristotle on Private Property," "How Joe Lunchbucket Could Get Money for Capital Homesteading," "It's the Academics v. the Politicians . . . v. Economic Reality, Part I: Accounting," and "The Keynesian Multiplier."
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.