Friday, September 28, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 39

It was news that shook the world. The terrible threat of a bacon shortage due to drought and diversion of feed grains to manufacture ethanol for automobile fuel (can't use hydrogen, no sir, not after the Hindenburg explosion killed millions of people, stick with safe oil and coal that have never taken any lives) spread terror among cholesterol-lovers everywhere.

Fortunately, however, the world is saved. It was a false alarm, evidently spread by the National Pig Association of the United Kingdom. No doubt the Empress of Blandings, thrice silver medal winner in the Shropshire Agricultural Show fat pig contest (even though she's a gigantic Berkshire hog), can breathe — or grunt — easier. And she's purtier 'n "Hogzilla" or his competition.

The rest of us . . . well, we're still stuck. "Quantitative Easing III: This Time It's Personal" is restricting virtually all new discretionary money creation to political instead of productive purposes, i.e., the purchase of massive amounts of "toxic" mortgage-backed securities so that the taxpayers can prop up the investments of the speculators who gambled on the bubble. There is still no credit available for non-owning people to purchase capital and repay with the profits of the capital. No, all new money creation must go to finance "social needs" . . . which means whatever the government decides it means.

The irony is that at nowhere near the cost of QE III (to say nothing of I and II) we could have gotten Capital Homesteading — and solved a multitude of other problems at the same time. All is not lost, however. We're still making progress toward a Capital Homestead Act that can be put into place as soon as the politicians realize that what they're doing has never worked and can never work:

• On Wednesday, September 26, Tomasz Pompowski, a journalist who covered the fall of the Soviet Union interviewed Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, on "The Polish Hour" radio show for later broadcast. Transcriptions of the show will be available in English and Polish.

• Also on Wednesday, members of the CESJ core group met with the president of a group concentrating on promoting a better understanding of Catholic social teaching and applying it to solving social problems. A valuable outcome from the meeting was to highlight the need for supporters of the Just Third Way to communicate some very difficult concepts better.

• Over the past week we obtained two relatively rare (if obscure — and thus extremely inexpensive) 19th century books from the perspective of the "Banking School" that is the "direct ancestor" of binary economics. A quick initial review of the books suggests that two of the reasons the "Currency School" triumphed were, one, the inability of Banking School supporters to pull together and present a unified political front or strategy to oppose Sir Robert Peel's initiative with the Bank Charter Act of 1844, and, two, confusion over the basic principles of the Banking School. As a result, the world's monetary systems have been run on what are essentially the wrong principles ever since.

• CESJ is currently working on preparing a "Master Bibliography" of works relating to the Just Third Way. While the project is designed as a "perpetual work in progress," we expect to have a computer file ready for distribution by the end of October. When the CESJ website upgrade is completed, we will be posting the bibliography on the website, with periodic revisions. Like many CESJ materials, we expect the bibliography will be freely available at no cost, although "free will offerings" that will go to the support of the CESJ publishing program are encouraged at any time.

• Friday, September 28, 2012, members of the CESJ core group had a telephone conference with a community leader in Cleveland who has expressed interest in hearing more about the potential of the Just Third Way to revive distressed urban areas. The meeting was arranged through the intensive efforts of Monica W.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 51 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 United Kingdom, India, South Africa, and Australia. People in Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Zambia, and Spain spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Aristotle on Private Property," "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Distributist Classics — and More!," "News from the Network," and "Raw Judicial Power: Dodge v. Ford Motor Company."

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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