Friday, April 3, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 14


Not as many jobs were “created” in March as anticipated . . . so (at least as of this writing) the stock market is going up.  Had there been more jobs “created” than anticipated, of course, the stock market would be . . . going up.  People buying in to this insanity (i.e., pouring their money into the stock market at this time) are evidently hoping to buy high and sell low, or think that stock market prices are somehow a leading economic indicator.

"Step right up, getcher stocks and job creation."
Want to know something?  Given the complete disconnect between the productive sector and the secondary market for debt and equity (“the stock market”), stock market prices aren’t a leading or lagging economic indicator.  They’re not an indicator of anything except how many people think stocks are themselves a commodity.  They’re the same sort who “invest” in Bitcoins.

By the way, exactly how do you “create jobs”?  If labor is required for a task, a job is created, isn’t it?  So the only way to “create jobs” is to encourage production, and the only way to encourage production is to make it possible for people to produce.  Since capital is rapidly replacing labor in production, wouldn’t making more people into capital owners “create jobs” automatically?  Why tax people or inflate the currency by issuing more government debt to “create jobs” when both are disincentives to production?  Isn’t that getting things backwards?

Yes — and if “they” (those in charge of the system) want to put things right they might want to consider:

White House, rear view, 1840s.
• Do you want to be a force for good and reform of the system?  A bunch of us are rallying at the White House (okay, across the street from the White House) to draw attention to the serious need for ownership, monetary, and tax reforms as a sound solution to a number of growing problems, e.g., the growing wealth and income gap, unemployment, the “jobless recovery,” the over-emphasis on stock market gambling instead of true investment and production, and a host of other ills.  These days, if you’re not an owner of capital, you’re sooner or later (probably sooner) going to be owned by someone who owns capital.  When: April 17, 2015.  Where: across the street from the White House.  A little bird told us there might be some “man in the street” interviews . . . not in the street, of course, but on the sidewalk, so come prepared to state your views (and sign a release).

Owners work harder for themselves.
• Yet again it has come out that worker-owned companies tend to out-perform otherwise comparable firms.  An article posted on the “Benefitspro” section of the “Employee Benefits Network, ” “ESOPs Crush S&P 500 Index Returns,” claims that, according to an Ernst and Young study covering the period 2002-2012, worker-owned companies had a 62% higher return than the stock market.  Of course, the article doesn’t take into account the fact that companies that are 100% owned by their workers through an ESOP are required by law to have a qualified independent appraisal for the value of their shares, while stock market values fluctuate pretty much according to whim and panic of the speculators.  The valuation of ESOP shares is thus more likely to reflect the actual value of the company, while publicly traded shares reflect what someone can be induced to pay for them.  Like the Bitcoin, there might not actually be anything of value backing publicly traded shares — which explains the increasingly wild swings in the market as what appears to be a pre-crash frenzy continues to build.

"Five for the Family? I'm 'four' it for my five!"
• We’re getting closer to launching the “Five for the Family” effort, the initial phase of the Campaign for Economic Justice.  A draft video script has been prepared, and we’re trying to locate easily accessible (and affordable) studio facilities in the Northern Virginia/DC Metro area so we can begin filming.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 66 different countries and 48 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, Poland, Keyna and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “The Purpose of Production,” “You Asked, Kelso Answered,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” and  “What is a Central Bank Supposed to Do?”

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.

#30#

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