Friday, November 13, 2015

News from the Network, Vol. 8, No. 46

Has anyone noticed that every time the Federal Reserve says it might consider considering raising interest rates, the stock market goes down?  And then goes up whenever the Federal Reserve retracts its statement . . . causing Fed officials to make another announcement about the possibility of raising rates, resulting in another downturn . . . .

Wall Street, 1907: the Profitable Panic . . . for J.P. Morgan. . .
Of course, as we have explained on this blog, market volatility in and of itself is extremely profitable to hedge fund operators and short sellers, especially with the speed of electronic trading.  Limiting the central bank’s money-creating powers to providing interest-free liquidity for private sector productive investment in industry, agriculture, and commerce, and letting the market set interest rates would fix this problem . . . except that the powers-that-be don’t seem to realize that it is a problem.  They seem to view the stock market as a leading economic indicator, and an inflationary rise in second-hand debt and equity as “economic growth.”  Exactly how do you use a rise in secondary equity issues to make dinner, keep you warm, or shelter you?

There are, however, some signs of sanity, as well as its alternative:

Alpha Condé, President of Guinea
• Earlier this week we learned that Alpha Condé, who has expressed great interest in the Just Third Way as applied in an “Economic Democracy Act” (as “Capital Homestead Act” doesn’t have the same cultural heritage for people outside the United States), has been recognized as the reelected president of the Republic of Guinea.  CESJ offers President Condé its congratulations, and hopes in the near future to reopen talks on implementing the Just Third Way in his country.

• A short piece on the better use of aid money to developing countries was submitted to a U.K. Labor newspaper.  Dawn K. Brohawn, CESJ's Director of Communications, and Michael D. Greaney, CESJ's Director of Research, composed the article, with input from Dr. Norman G. Kurland, CESJ's president.  Dan Parker of the Global Justice Movement in Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada, opened up the opportunity.

• Also this week CESJ received a very gracious response from Father Denis Wilde, Associate Director of “Priests for Life.  We hope to further the discussions we had with Father Wilde at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia when we have the opportunity, especially on the Just Third Way as a “pro-life economic agenda.”

• Just Third Way stalwart Jean-Marie Bukuru of Burundi is back at CESJ headquarters.  He will be part of the team attending a five-day World Bank event on Law, Justice, and Development next week, November 16-20.

Jean-Marie Bukuru and Norman Kurland
• Jean-Marie and Norman Kurland attended an event sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation on Thursday.  A half-dozen speakers were there from Nigeria, Gabon, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, with approximately twenty other attendees.  All the speakers made presentations advocating economic and social reform in Africa, seeing Africa as the potential leader in the (relatively) new century.  The problem, from a Just Third Way perspective, is that everything that was said depends on existing money ("past savings") and the present leaders within the framework dictated by, e.g., U.N. under UNDP, the World Bank, other countries, and global leaders.  The speakers were intelligent, well-informed, and educated, but they lacked the Just Third Way framework for a solution.  Antonio Betancourt, who organized the event, asked Norm and Jean-Marie for information on Jean-Marie's impressive background, and invited Jean-Marie to speak.  Jean-Marie gave a talk on the importance of economic democracy as the main prop of political democracy, and the Just Third Way as a solution to establish and maintain economic democracy.  Norman Kurland followed with comments on avoiding further dependency on outside financing from sources outside the country, or on a rich élite, and switching to internal, future savings-based financing as proposed by Louis Kelso.  The event was very productive, and a number of participants indicated that they would be following up with CESJ.

Mortimer Adler
• It is becoming increasingly evident that academia is in serious trouble, and is more and more the victim of its own errors, especially in basic philosophy — just as Mortimer Adler explained in his book, Ten Philosophical Mistakes (1986), a book that like the pamphlet Introduction to Social Justice (1948) gives us new insights whenever we re-read it.  Given recent events at Yale, the University of Missouri, Vanderbilt, [Fill in the Blank], etc., etc., etc., it is clear that something like CESJ’s “Justice University” concept to teach fundamental principles of justice and the other moral virtues is essential if academia — or anything else — is to be restored and put on a sound philosophical and moral basis.

• Of course, being offended at everything is nothing new, even on college campuses . . . campi? . . . campy?  (We hear the dog howling at our Latin.)  The difference is that being offended at everything, rejecting it, and pursing those who disagree with you with unyielding malice and vindictiveness used to be the subject of high comedy and low (albeit hilarious) satire.  Remember when it was fictional college presidents and stuffy academics who were the ones offended by normal behavior and common sense and would brook no opposition, instead of the ones giving offense by acting normally?

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 55 different countries and 47 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, Australia, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Halloween Horror Special XIII: Mean Green Mother from Outer Space,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Three Key Books on Common Sense, XI: The Awful Apparition of Aristotle,” and “Three Key Books on Common Sense, IV: Chesterton Versus the Slavery of Past Savings.”

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.


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