Friday, November 2, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 44

The "Jobs Report" is out, and (depending on what side you're taking in the current political contest, i.e., "wrong" or "wronger") it goes both ways. Yes, "lots" of jobs have been "created." (The image of a bearded deity wearing a bed sheet waving a magic wand and booming, "Let there be JOBS" keeps popping into the brainpan for some reason.) The question is whether they are "good jobs" or "bad jobs." (Another image: Glinda the Good Witch of the North, with another magic wand, asking Dorothy if going after the ruby slippers is a "good job" or a "bad job.")

The assumption is that "jobs" are "good." How else is someone supposed to make a living? Well, there's welfare. That's where the government takes money from people with "jobs" and gives it to people without "jobs."

Then there's gambling. That's where people with "jobs" take some of their money and play games in a casino or stock market to see who ends up with it . . . usually people without "jobs" who have figured out a way to move money from the pockets of people with "jobs" to their pockets.

That's about it.

Oh, sorry. There's also "ownership" of "capital." The problem with "owning capital," however, especially capital with which you produce a marketable good or service, is that it disrupts the whole economic equation. As every good Keynesian knows, the purpose of production is not consumption (feh), but reinvestment in new capital to create jobs. If ordinary people owned capital, most of them wouldn't do the sensible thing with their profits (i.e., give it to the government to spend creating jobs or invest in new capital to create jobs), but waste the money on food, clothing and shelter, and maybe a steak dinner, a vacation, or a college education.

Small investors are such a pain. As Keynes said, he looked forward to the "euthanasia" of everybody who spends capital income on consumption rather than reinvestment or taxes.

Perhaps that explains why there's been so little going on this week in the Just Third Way — nobody is anxious to become a small capital owner and have the Keynesians liquidate them. Or it could be the Wonder Storm Sandy and the Biggest Election in the History of the World.

Nah. It's the Keynesians.

• Speaking of Keynesians, this news report makes perfect sense . . . once we realize that (as Harold Moulton pointed out more than three-quarters of a century ago in The Formation of Capital) economic growth is best financed not out of existing accumulations of savings, but by monetizing the present value of future increases in production. The incredible complexities of the tax system are (if you read the report properly) utterly useless.  Unfortunately, none of this occurs to anyone on either side of the debate.

• Outreach efforts continue in an effort to connect with potential door openers and gatekeepers who might get us to prime movers. "Buzz words" and key concepts to look for: private property, liberty, natural law, ownership, justice, and so on.

• This past week we obtained two more rare books for the CESJ research library, both by "Banking Principle" writer James Wilson Gilbart: An Inquiry into the Causes of the Pressure On the Money Market During the Year 1839, and The Logic of Banking. We hope soon to be surfacing (good) copies of the works of Thomas Tooke and Henry Dunning Macleod. Note: these books are much better than their titles make out, although still not exactly "lite" reading.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 61 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, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Philippines. People in Slovenia, France, Estonia, the United States and the United Kingdom 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," "The Theory of Quantitative Easing," "What Really Happens in Quantitative Easing," and "The Strange Case of the Ignored Encyclical."

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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