Friday, July 20, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 29

The fluctuations in the stock market continue to get wider and wider. At the same time, there are bad signals coming from Greece and Spain. Ireland, fortunately, seems to have the right approach: get busy and get to work producing marketable goods and services. Unfortunately, the economic, financial and political mavens aren't paying too much attention to the Emerald Isle — though they should be. With a few Just Third Way financing and broad-based ownership tweaks, the "can do" attitude that belies all the negative stereotypes could very easily help the Irish save civilization — again. (Truth in Propaganda: This writer is only 62 1/2% Irish and an American citizen, so it's okay to give free plugs and not have any interested motive at all.)

Despite the good attitude and actions we see coming out of Ireland, they're still operating within the flawed "Past Savings Paradigm," which slows things down. Still, there are others who might want to keep an eye on things there to see how they develop. We list a few of them here:

• Today's Wall Street Journal ("Lenders of First Resort," 07/20/12, A10) bemoans the fact that central banks are creating money in response to government stimulus packages, virtually forcing commercial banks to make unsound loans just to use up the money. The solution, of course, is obvious. First, create money only by discounting and rediscounting "real bills," that is, bills of exchange based on creditworthy projects that are reasonably expected to produce marketable goods and services within a reasonable period of time. This will create a private sector asset-backed currency. Second, stop monetizing government deficits by purchasing government securities on the "open market." This will eliminate the government debt-backed currency. Finally, make certain that all newly formed capital is broadly owned by people who will use the dividends first to pay for the capital, then for consumption. This will generate the mass purchasing power needed to make the new capital financially feasible.

• Monica and Jackie in Cleveland are moving forward with working to implement Just Third Way ideas in Cleveland. Thursday night of this week we had an hour and a half "education session" to discuss various aspects of the Citizens Land Bank proposed for the Cleveland area.

• The CESJ quarterly Board Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 21, 2012. Due to the heat wave and the usual "Summer Slowdown," the meeting is expected to be brief, and only the required business will be covered.

• CESJ expects to release a new publication on the restoration of property within the next 60 days. This will be in our "Paradigm Papers" series, and will probably be priced around $10-12. We'll keep you posted about advance publication sales in bulk as well as the availability of review copies in .pdf.

• We are preparing a commentary on a recent document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection. Our position is that it could have said more about the need to open up universal access to the means of acquiring and possessing private property in capital. Not emphasizing this point usually results in people trapped in the Short Attention Span Mode (SASM) forgetting about the constant iteration of the importance of widespread direct ownership of capital in the social encyclicals.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 55 different countries and 50 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 Philippines, Canada, the UK, and India. People in Germany, Poland, Iran, the United States and Australia spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, VIII: Abandonment of the Natural Law," "Lies, Damned Lies, and Definitions, IX: The Road to Nihilism — Scotus," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," and "Book Value v. Fair Market Value."

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.

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