Is the stock market still plunging? Or is it rising? Is this the beginning of the end? Or is it the end of the beginning? Are you pro or antihistamine? Is it colder in New York than it is in the summer? What’s the difference between a duck?
If you are baffled by any of these questions, you are not alone. As is becoming increasingly evident with each passing day, most of those who pass as leaders in the world haven’t got a clue as to what is going on.
Other, genuine leaders, are surrounded by entrenched centers of power, fed incomplete information, are shielded from anything outside the bureaucratic paradigm, and are almost always misrepresented by the media. Can you say “Pope Francis”?
Be that as it may, here are this week’s news items:
• Sales of CESJ’s latest “Paradigm Paper,” The Political Animal: Economic Justice and the Sovereignty of the Human Person, are off to a good start. The Political Animal, like all CESJ publications, is available in bulk at substantial savings. With the 20% discount applicable to bulk sales (i.e., ten or more copies of a single title), a full case of 50 is $400, plus shipping. Enquire at “publications [at] cesj [dot] org” for details and cost of shipping bulk/wholesale orders. Individual copies are available now on Amazon, and on Barnes and Noble. Please note: CESJ does not sell retail.
• A meeting with American University student Davis S. went well yesterday. Davis handled the audio visual function at CESJ’s presentation there last week, and became interested in the subject.
• People are starting to catch on that something might be wrong. In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger in “A Year of Living on the Brink” (10/16/14, A17) pointed out a few obvious facts about the global situation, especially over the past year. It’s nothing that we haven’t been saying, but Henninger gets his stuff into the Wall Street Journal. . . . He makes one slip, however, in looking to the next American president to set things right. The fact is, the act of social justice gives each of us the power to start changing things now — as long as we know what we want, such as the Just Third Way.
• CESJ had a very good telephone conversation last Friday with Dr. Derry Connolly, a founder and president of John Paul the Great Catholic University in California, and Dr. John Kincaid. Both Connolly and Kincaid sounded very interested in CESJ’s natural law-based approach to economics — and would be very interested in talking to someone with a Ph.D. in economics who is familiar with the Just Third Way. JPGCU offers undergraduate degrees in Business and in Communications, an MBA with a concentration in Film Producing, and an MA in Biblical Theology.
• Also in the Wall Street Journal, this time from Wednesday, William A. Galston had an insightful article on the effects of advancing technology on the jobs “market.” As astute commentators such as Charles Babbage and Jean-Baptiste Say have been pointing out for around two centuries or so, advancing technology displaces labor from the production process. Galston didn’t really suggest a solution, but he could have, had he read the 1964 interview of Louis Kelso in Life magazine: “If the machine wants our job, let’s buy it.” If you own the machine, you have the right to the income the machine generates, and you can use your labor in becoming more fully human.
• Deacon Joseph Gorini, CEO of Evangelization Enterprises, Inc., sent us an article on Thursday of this week about a course being offered in “Economics for Ecclesiastics.” We thought that the concept is a good one, and we believe that more people, especially religious leaders, need a more solid understanding of economics. The problem is that the course as described was pure Keynesianism, the direct antithesis of the Just Third Way. This tells us, of course, that we need to make more and faster progress with Justice University to counter the pervasiveness of some very bad ideas.
• We are making great progress with an article on business cycles requested by the editor of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. It may even be ready by the (extended) deadline at the end of this month. . . .
• Astrid Uytterhaegen, CESJ’s Fellow, has returned to Belgium to continue her studies for her Masters in economics. Plans are already being discussed for another “site visit” either after the New Year, or in the Summer so she can continue her Just Third Way research.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 63 different countries and 49 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, Canada, the Philippines, and Australia. The most popular postings this past week were “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Fulton Sheen Suspended . . . Again?, III: Faith v. Reason . . . Again?” “Response to Professor Shakespeare, I: CESJ’s Position,” and “The Purpose of Production.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those 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, so we’ll see it before it goes up.