Friday, September 14, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 37

Conventional wisdom says that September and October are very bad months for the stock market. Sudden downturns and crashes have historically taken place in these months. Thus, the announcement this week by the Federal Reserve that it will engage in "QEIII" may not be quite the stimulus to the economy that is anticipated.

People seem to forget that one of the causes of the Crash itself, that is, the sudden drop in share values in late October of 1929 was the massive money creation for the purchase of shares on the secondary market. This created the illusion of wealth creation, although the rise in prices had nothing to do with the country's capacity to produce or consume. When people realized that there was nothing behind the high values but promises that the companies couldn't keep, values plunged, and kept on going.

Then there's the Euro Crisis, or, How Not to Remedy a Financial Crisis With More Debt.

What we have, in effect, is a "perfect storm" brewing. Governments in Europe are ruining their credit by printing vast amounts of money in an increasingly desperate effort to stay above water, while the U.S. is printing vast amounts of money to float the private sector and fund increasingly expensive government programs of the sort that have bankrupted Europe. As Harold G. Moulton observed seventy years ago, "Unable or unwilling to perceive basic inconsistencies, or to choose between clear-cut alternatives, we drift toward the deep financial waters from which there is no return other than repudiation in one form or another." (The New Philosophy of Public Debt, 1943, 89.)

Something has to give way soon, "and it's that time of year again."

So what are we doing to try and get safely into port before the storm hits?

• Dave Hamill has been reaching out to radio talk show hosts, letting them know about CESJ latest publication, The Restoration of Property, and that people at CESJ are willing to talk about either the book or (more importantly) the concepts behind the book. Barnes and Noble already has the cover image up, although Amazon is lagging a little bit behind.

• The Justice University project is being reexamined for possible implementation. A draft business plan has been written, and some rough financial projections are being developed.

• Highlighting the need for Justice University, recent research by CESJ indicates that misunderstanding of justice is much more widespread and has much deeper roots than previously suspected. It appears that the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873 marked a watershed for the United States in the understanding of what it means to be a person, that is, someone with rights. Prior to the Slaughterhouse Cases rights were viewed as inherent in human beings — even slaves, although slaves could not exercise their rights (a flabby and flawed equivocation, but it satisfied most of the slave-owning Founding Fathers). After Slaughterhouse, rights were viewed as coming from the State — extending the bad legal decision in the Dred Scott case that applied to slaves to everyone, where the clear intent of the 14th Amendment was to overturn the Dred Scott decision.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 49 different countries and 47 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 United Kingdom, India, Canada, and Australia. People in Spain, Hungary, Romania, the United States, and the United Kingdom spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Distributist Classics — and More!," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "News from the Network," and "Is Private Property in Capital 'Catholic'?"

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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