The news from the financial front is that the stock market is still soaring, but people still seem to be poor. At the same time, the “gold bugs” are claiming that a return to “the gold standard” is the silver bullet (sorry) needed to cure our economic ills and balance the budget.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
The whole issue of Social Security that we’ve been looking at and the “unbooked” liability that, combined with projected Medicare and the prescription drug liabilities, is upwards of $129 trillion (yes, trillion, or nearly ten times total U.S. annual GDP) per the “National Debt Clock” would be a non-issue if the U.S. would adopt a Capital Homestead Act along the lines recommended in Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen: A Just Free Market Approach for Saving Social Security (2004).
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
While we appreciate the sentiments expressed by the Lady in Montana given in the previous posting, and agree that, under the influence of Keynesian economics, politicians have been bleeding the productive private sector dry in favor of unproductive government spending and private sector speculation and gambling, the simple fact is that we do not own the money that we have paid into “our” Social Security accounts. Social Security was designed as a redistribution program in which those paying the tax (and note that it is a tax, not a contribution) support those receiving benefits.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
A little while back we got a forwarded e-mail from a correspondent who occasionally sends us . . . provocative materials. This piece, with the subject line, “Do You Think She’s Pissed?” contains language that really doesn’t have a place in a learned forum such as this, but it would detract from the overall impression to delete it. We don’t even know if this thing is real, but that’s not the point: it expresses what many people believe Social Security to be, i.e., a bank account with our money in it, earning interest for our retirement.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Every so often (like every couple of hours or so) we get a response or a comment from someone who seems to have seen a word or two he or she disagrees with in something we said or wrote, and shoots off a comment before checking to see if his or her brain is loaded. Usually the comment has nothing to do with what we actually said, but everything to do with what the commentator thinks we said, based on unquestioned assumptions of the commentator.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Stock market soar like eagle . . . by suckering in turkeys. Frankly, the wild swings in the stock market really ought to make people a lot more nervous than it does. The same sort of thing was happening about this time in 1929.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
On May 12, 2014, the Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed piece that was truly opposed to what the newspaper claims to stand for. (Contrary to popular opinion, “op-ed” doesn’t mean “opinion-editorial,” but “opposite the editorial page.” An op-ed piece presumably reflects the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily the official stance of the newspaper. Look it up.)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Today we close our short series consisting of the full text of Judge Peter S. Grosscup’s “long lost” talk on anti-trust legislation from October of 1907 — right after financier J. Pierpont Morgan caused the “Panic of 1907” by taking advantage of the financial mismanagement and shenanigans by the management of an important bank. As Grosscup concluded,
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
|Cohan as Wallingford|
Monday, May 19, 2014
This portion of Judge Grosscup’s talk brings in an assumption with which we disagree: that the process of capital formation in an advanced economy necessarily means that enterprises must be big, bigger, and biggest just to survive. On the contrary, given the use of future savings to finance new capital formation and the operation of a truly free market, enterprises should be the optimal size for efficiency, not big or small to fit preconceived ideas. This does not, however, invalidate the point Grosscup was making. As he continued,
Friday, May 16, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
With all the discussion, acrimonious and otherwise, stirred up by Pope Francis’s tweet about inequality being the root of all social evil, it’s interesting to see that Judge Grosscup was saying pretty much the same thing more than a century ago. As His Honor continued,
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Here is the second part of Judge Grosscup’s talk on Anti-Trust Laws given in Chicago in October 1907, and lost until rediscovered recently by CESJ researchers. Judge Grosscup continued,
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The following talk is taken from Proceedings on the National Conference on Trusts and Combinations Under the Auspices of the National Civic Federation, October 22-25, 1907, New York: The McConnell Printing Company, 1908, pp. 11, 221-231. . . . which title probably explains why this insightful talk was “long lost.” It wouldn’t be at the top of too many reading lists being included in a book with a title like that.
Monday, May 12, 2014
It seems singularly appropriate to begin this series at this time, as the annual ESOP Association Conference was held in Washington, DC. The awards ceremony was last Wednesday night, as a matter of fact, and EEI’s biggest for-profit client, Mid South Building Supply, won some prestigious awards.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Most of the CESJ core group was busy this week with “outside” activities. Nevertheless, a number of projects saw significant advances, although not in ways that make for good news items. Events that do make good stories are:
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Replacing reason with faith, as the solidarist political scientist and jurist Heinrich Rommen pointed out in his book on the natural law, is the inevitable consequence of putting your private interpretation of the Will (opinion/faith) over Intellect (knowledge/reason), and leads (as Adler concurred) to pure moral relativism, even nihilism, and is the basis of totalitarian government. Everything ends up being opinion. Knowledge itself becomes fit only for ridicule. Might makes right.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Many atheists mistake materialism for science. It is true that you cannot prove the existence of God by deduction. You cannot put God in a test tube or under a microscope and subject Him to various experiments. You cannot prove the existence of an immaterial being by material means.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Someone made an interesting suggestion about the crisis in Ukraine. The current push for sanctions that doesn’t seem to be having any effect may not be the best way to go. The country is in a state of disunity. Making things worse doesn’t make things any better.
Monday, May 5, 2014
The habit of some religious believers of espousing a type of “muscular Christianity” (or Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or anything else) and attempting to bully people into believing their way has probably spawned more atheism than anything else. Nobody likes a bully, and religious people can come across as (and sometimes are) bullies attempting to force others to do their will — or God’s Will, as they imagine it to be. An atheist (or anyone else) is fully justified in thinking that any god that needs that kind of help can’t be much of a supreme being.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Some very interesting things have been happening this week . . . some of the best of which we can’t tell you anything about because they’re still in the formative stages. We do have enough, however, to show that we’re starting to make some significant progress:
Thursday, May 1, 2014
We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posting to bring you an important news bulletin. On Monday, April 28, 2014, Pope Francis did it again. He completely baffled both “liberals” and “conservatives.” He “tweeted” a short message (as if there can be extended discussion in a tweet): “Inequality is the root of all social evil.”