Friday, April 11, 2014

News from the Network, Vol. 7, No. 15


Again, the Big News is today’s Rally at the Fed.  Other than that, most of the efforts this week have been directed at preparing for the rally and the CESJ celebration tomorrow.  Still, a few things have been happening:

Rally 'Round the Fed, Boys.
• Today is the tenth annual “Rally at the Fed.”  If you’re reading this early enough in the morning, the rally will begin at 11:00 am on the Mall side of Constitution Avenue, right across from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Building, and go until 1:30 pm.  We should have a full report on the rally and tomorrow’s 30th anniversary celebration (below) for CESJ next week.

• As noted, tomorrow is CESJ’s 30th anniversary . . . plus five days.  CESJ was founded during a meeting at American University on Saturday, April 7, 1984 to integrate, study, and promote the principles of what we now call “the Just Third Way.”  The principles are based on the social doctrine of Pope Pius XI as analyzed by CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, and the principles of economic justice developed by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler.  For a quick overview — or even an in-depth treatment — of the Just Third Way, [http://www.cesj.org/] visit the CESJ website.

Leo XIII: the "Social Justice Pope"
• There are increasing signs that Justice University may well be the wave of the future.  First, we recently received a newsletter issued by a religious group focused on economics.  Everything was directed toward how best to redistribute existing wealth, not assist people who are currently unproductive to become productive.  We sent a lengthy response, pointing out that any program to address the current global wealth and income gap had to take a “two-pronged” approach: 1) take care of people now (charity), and 2) restructure our economic institutions to empower people to be able to take care of their own needs through their own efforts (social justice).  Although CESJ is an interfaith group, we believe that of all the groups promoting programs that they call “social justice,” the principles of the Catholic Church are the soundest and most consistent.  Combined with the economic justice principles developed by Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler, these principles, both Catholic and catholic, represent the best hope of reestablishing the global economy on a sound and sustainable basis, so that it operates to the benefit of everyone, not just a few.

Starving for knowledge.
• Other signs that Justice University is critically needed are a little more mundane.  Commonweal magazine recently had an article on “Graduating with a Degree in Debt.”  Students are paying astronomical sums for an education that presumably prepares them for jobs and careers that do not exist.  Yesterday’s Washington Post drove this point home with an article, “A Choice Between Buying Books and Eating.”  College has gotten so expensive that a high percentage of students have a serious problem with being able to afford to buy adequate food.  Of course the article claimed that with students dropping out because of the high cost of education and food, they wouldn’t be able to get all those great jobs waiting for them once they graduate. . . .

Free access to capital: the key to personal and national prosperity.
• The Wall Street Journal had another article on the terrifying dangers of low inflation yesterday.  There does not seem to be any appreciation in the centers of financial power of the fact that during the latter half of the 19th century, at a time when the economy was experiencing incredible growth, prices were falling.  Part of this was due to the at-first official, and then unofficial policy of deflation followed by the U.S. government to restore parity of the paper currency with gold.  This, however, was achieved by 1879 and convertibility restored.  The real reason for the falling price level was the rapid expansion of agricultural, commercial, and industrial capacity and production, spurred by Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Homestead Act.  To duplicate the situation in the U.S. during that period and improve upon it, CESJ’s proposed “Capital Homestead Act” should be enacted.  It is, frankly, economic suicide to weaken the currency further and expand the national debt at a time when the currency should be strengthened by restoring an asset backing, and promoting productive activity to restore the tax base and pay down the debt.

• Amazon is still using CESJ Director of Research Michael D. Greaney’s book, So Much Generosity, a survey of the fiction of Cardinals Wiseman and Newman, and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, as a “loss leader.”  Today it’s down a few more dollars to $6.81.  While you might have missed the absolute best deal, that is still more than a 50% savings off the cover price. The book is published by Universal Values Media, Inc., which has a co-marketing arrangement with CESJ.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 64 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, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India. The most popular postings this past week were “The Problem with Social Credit, I: The Critique,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Economic Emancipation, III: Why NOT Capital Homesteading?” and “Why Did Nixon take the Dollar off the Gold Standard?”

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.

#30#

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