Here is the second part of the annual year-end news roundup, covering July through December 2016. The first part, covering January through June, was posted Friday of last week. From the volume of news from the second half of the year, perhaps we should have done a 75-25 split instead of 50-50:
Friday, December 30, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Yesterday we looked at how, under Say’s Law of Markets — everything else being equal — every producer is a consumer, and every consumer is a producer. Thus, as Say’s Law is often (if somewhat inaccurately) summarized, “supply (production) generates its own demand (consumption), and demand its own supply.”
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Yesterday we looked at how supply and demand should always be in balance. That is, as long as we hold everything else in the equation equal, and consider only supply and demand, no other factors — no ifs, ands, or buts. Everything else being equal, supply and demand will always be in balance, with everyone producing as much as he or she consumes, and consuming as much as he or she produces.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Okay, last week we had a couple of postings on the first principle of economics, viz., that consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production. This fits in perfectly (in our opinion, of course) with basic principles of the natural law as found in (for example) Catholic social teaching. That’s because Catholic social teaching is based on the dignity of the person and sovereignty of the individual under God — as is the Just Third Way.
Monday, December 26, 2016
It is either a baffling paradox or a supreme irony that many people in the United States who call themselves solidarists often have neither a real understanding of solidarism, nor any practical experience in implementing the solidarist approach.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Okay, we actually answered this question — very briefly — in yesterday’s posting. As we noted, according to Adam Smith and a bunch of other people (such as a couple whose first name happens to be “Pope”), the purpose of production is consumption. This does make a little bit of sense, after all. If something is not going to be used (consumed), why bother to produce it?
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A little over four years ago (on December 13, 2012, to be exact), we whipped out a quickie posting on the purpose of production in real life, versus the purpose of production in the economics of John Maynard Keynes. As the introduction to the link to the posting on FaceBook was just a trifle long but substantive, and the posting has proved one of the most popular on the blog, we decided to repost it with a few additions. After all, one reader, J.C. (not that one), recently commented on this particular posting,
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Yesterday we looked at what Keynes really meant when he advocated “the euthanasia of the rentier.” Today we want to look at why he would say something so obviously heartless and insensitive.
Monday, December 19, 2016
In his book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936), John Maynard Keynes made the somewhat startling (and rather heartless) statement that he was advocating that rentiers — small investors who live off the income from their investments — should be euthanized. Specifically,
Friday, December 16, 2016
One year he forgot, and Lucy reminded him, giving the poor guy a double whammy. Fortunately, the Just Third Way is for every day in the year, so we don’t have to worry about missing a specific anniversary . . . although we would welcome the opportunity to become so used to Capital Homesteading as a way of life that we are tempted to take it for granted. We won’t, of course, but we would certainly like the opportunity to be tempted. . . .
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Yesterday we looked at the strange case of people who insist on arguing with others by forcing their definitions and principles on others, and then berating those others as stupid, vindictive, or malicious if they stick to their own principles and definitions.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Yesterday we looked at the strange case of the man who wouldn’t take yes for an answer, and who kept insisting we didn’t know the difference between speculation and investment because many people today confuse speculation and investment. Today we go one step further and look at a second case in the examples of the dishonest way to argue.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
In his little book on the Scholastic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, the English essayist G.K. Chesterton remarked that one of the problems of the modern age is that few people take the time to argue. That is, few people take the time to argue fairly. All too many people find more than enough time to argue unfairly — mostly by sneering at anyone who disagrees with them.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Last Thursday we promised (sort of) that today we would talk about how to restructure the financial system to encourage real investment so that people like Sister Lioba Zahn, O.S.B. of the Mariendonk Abbey won’t have to deal in speculation just to keep their heads above water. This is not as cosmic as it might otherwise appear. It’s one of the paradoxes of the modern world that the way the financial system is running today is not the way it’s designed or intended to run.
Friday, December 9, 2016
The stock market continues to soar. This is because . . . we have no idea. Let’s just say the stock market, in a continuing burst of (what was it Alan Greenspan called it?) “irrational exuberance”? Whatever. The stock market just keeps going up for some reason, and economic (and thus political) insecurity continues to spread. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we continue working to spread word that there is a viable solution out there. All we need to do is get it to people who can get it to world leaders. Maybe the fact that this is Fulton Sheen Day might wake some people up:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
On Monday of this week we opined that, while Sister Lioba Zahn, O.S.B. of the Mariendonk Abbey in Germany seemed to be doing good by doing well as a day trader in the stock market, things are not as they seem, especially in the rather schizophrenic global financial system. While her activities are directed at generating essential funds for the Abbey (not all of them are able to provide the stuff of hit musicals), the end does not justify the means.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
|If we ignored your private crusade...good.|
December is a really bad month in which to blog if you’re trying to focus on things like the Just Third Way. Today is a very historic anniversary, and we could tie it in to the Just Third Way, but it would be a pretty big stretch, and we’d spend more time justifying it than we would on the subject at hand, which is a bit more immediate. We get enough flak from people whose personal crusades we’ve forgotten to mention just because they have nothing to do with what we’re talking about.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
|St. Nick opening the can of whup-ass on Arius|
If this were a religious blog, today we’d be gushing about how the original Saint Nick got a rep as a real bad-ass dude by slapping down Bishop Arius for asserting that the Son was similar, but not the same as the Father (the original lump of coal in the stocking for bad boys and girls was a fat lip for spouting what Bishop Nicholas of Myra thought was drivel), and how the tradition of gift-giving got associated with him (and maybe even how he became the patron saint of pawnbrokers).
Monday, December 5, 2016
Last week the Wall Street Journal carried one of its more or less cute human interest stories. You know, the ones that appear on the front page and tell you more than you really want to know about turtle ranching in Tasmania, the world’s champion string collector, or the most prolific novelist in history — “Corin Tellado,” pen name of Maria del Socorro Tellado Lopez (1927-2009), with more than 4,000 (not a typo) novels, and total sales of over 400 million. Most prolific living novelist? Japanese-Brazilian Ryoki Inoue, with more than 1,100 novels to his credit, having turned out as many as three in one day.
Friday, December 2, 2016
|All done with smoke, mirrors, and ice.|
Breaking news: the latest conspiracy theory is that the Titanic didn’t really sink on its maiden voyage. It was actually a ship named Olympic. The switch was made to collect the insurance. And if you believe that, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Keynesian economics should be a breeze for you. (Nobody has bothered to explain where the actual Titanic ended up, though. Unless it’s that thing floating next to the rubber ducky.)
To get back to the real world and the economics of reality, however, this has been a busy and interesting week for those promoting the Just Third Way:
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 was designated “National Day of Action to Fight for $15,” meaning an across the board hike in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour throughout the United States. Many workers at McDonald’s restaurants walked off the job and participated in protests, with “dozens” being arrested in various demonstrations across the country, according to an Associated Press Report.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
According to historian Frederick Jackson Turner, the loss of America’s land frontier meant a complete change in the American character as well as the gradual Europeanizing of the United States. As Turner saw it, the end of “free” land meant the end of democracy as well as the unique American character that made the country great and, as Abraham Lincoln put it, the last, best hope of earth.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Yesterday we took a look at what made England Great & Glorious, Long to Reign O’er us . . . at least until she screwed up the financing of the greatest commercial expansion the world had ever seen up to then, “then” being the period prior to the British Bank Charter Act of 1844. We discovered that after the government took over the banking system (you don’t have to have actual title to something to own it, you just have to control it, as the agrarian socialist Henry George realized in promoting his theories), the British Empire began its long and slow decline.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Last week we got into a little discussion about Merrie Old England. One individual started gushing about how so many inventions ’n stuff had come out of England, and wondered why this was so. Of course, this particular individual was into Art & Literature, so wasn’t too clear on just which inventions she was talking about, but we got the general drift.
Friday, November 25, 2016
It’s been a few weeks since the election, and a great many people still don’t know what to make of President-elect Trump. We can’t say that we do, either, but we know one thing: whoever is in the White House, if he or she doesn’t have the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading, the only thing the American people will have is more of the same, only more so. To keep that from happening, here are this week’s happenings:
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Seriously? You’re reading this blog on Thanksgiving Day? You haven’t got anything better to do? Well, be that as it may, we thought we’d just give you a little something for which you can be thankful . . . besides the election being over, that is.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Yesterday we looked in general at how to start your own religion for fun and profit. The issue today is how to make certain you do it successfully, or at least until people start thinking for themselves and realize what’s going on. Since people without property tend to think the way those in power tell them to think, that’s usually not a problem once you’ve abolished property.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
There is a passage in G.K. Chesterton’s little book on St. Francis of Assisi — titled, appropriately enough, St. Francis of Assisi (1923) — that seems to baffle many people. It is the one where “G.K.” related how St. Francis was such a one-man earthquake or revolution that, had he been so inclined, he could have founded a new religion. Ironically, that is precisely what some of the followers of “Il Poverello” (“the Little Poor Man”) evidently thought he was doing, although they still called it “Christianity.” As Chesterton made his case,
Monday, November 21, 2016
This past Tuesday, November 15, 2016, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops elected His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, as their new president for a three-year term. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, California, was elected vice president.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Although there has been no sign of actual increases in the production of marketable goods and services in a way that allowed the full participation of everyone as both producers and consumers, the stock market took a big jump right after the election. The real problem remains, however: how do we restructure the system to give as many people as possible to the opportunity and means to become capital owners? All we can say right now is that we’re working on getting through to people who might help carry the message:
Thursday, November 17, 2016
What the heck? Why is there a posting on the Just Third Way blog about an obscure Catholic religious feast? And by “feast” we mean a religious festival, not the kind with roast turkeys, roast beef, roast pork, roast lamb, roast . . . what were we talking about, anyway?
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Today we look at the fourth pillar of a just market economy, expanded capital ownership. Father Pesch did not specifically list widespread ownership as a pillar in his system of solidarity, but — as we will demonstrate — it is necessarily implied in his third pillar, “private property.”
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Yesterday we looked at the role of free and open markets in solidarism and the Just Third Way. We found that Father Pesch and CESJ are in substantial agreement that the free market and fair competition are fully compatible with the demand for justice and morality in daily life.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Last Thursday we looked at the role of the State in solidarism as understood by the “redeemer” of solidarism, Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J. We discovered that a limited economic role for the social tool of the State is a pillar of both solidarism and the Just Third Way. Yes, we think Father Pesch could have been a little more explicit, but by and large CESJ and Father Pesch come to the same conclusion: the economic role of the State should be limited as much as possible.
Friday, November 11, 2016
As the United States works to deal with the widespread trauma caused by the election of Donald Trump, we in the Global Justice Movement have a much better way to spend out time and efforts: working to restructure the social order so it doesn’t matter how bad elected officials may be, the people are in charge and are giving the orders again . . . something that can happen only with widespread capital ownership:
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Especially these days, people seem confused about the proper role of the State. Many, if not most people haven’t bothered to find out what the State is supposed to be doing or even what the State really is — a social tool, not the “Mortall God” of totalitarian philosopher Thomas Hobbes. That is why we usually list the pillar having to do with the social tool of the State before the others — as did Father Heinrich Pesch.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Today we start to look at how well solidarism as understood by Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J. (not Émile Durkheim) and CESJ’s Just Third Way fit together. Both claim to be based on an Aristotelian-Thomist interpretation of Catholic social teaching — and thus of the natural law — and therefore should come to the same conclusion(s), even if by (slightly) different routes.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Just to take a break from our short series on solidarism (and because nobody is going to be reading blogs today, anyway), we’re posting our response to a question we got last week on a rather “esoteric” subject: the basis of the natural law.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Today we start to look at how to restore solidarism to comply more closely with the vision of Father Heinrich Pesch, S.J., whom we have decided is not the founder of solidarism, but its redeemer, so to speak. To do this we have to understand the whole point of solidarism, at least from the natural law, “Christian” (or Catholic) perspective: to enhance the dignity of the human person under God.
Friday, November 4, 2016
As the situation continues to deteriorate nationally and internationally, and the long slide to moral relativism and nihilism (to say nothing of capitalism and socialism and ismism) continues, the number of surreal incidents and just plain nuttiness accelerates to what, without the act of social justice and the principles of economic justice, would be the point of no return. Just keep the Just Third Way in mind as you read this issue of New from the Network if you want to retain your sanity:
Thursday, November 3, 2016
In yesterday’s posting we gave a brief overview of solidarism, especially as it relates to individual and social virtue. We closed by noting, however, that what passes for solidarism in many cases these days can hardly be called virtuous. It violates natural law, particularly the natural rights of freedom of association (liberty/contract) and private property, turning the tool of the State into the master. This is a phenomenon Archbishop Fulton Sheen noted in his first two books, God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy (1925), and Religion Without God (1928).
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Solidarism is defined in sociology as a theory that the possibility of founding a social organization upon a solidarity of interests is to be found in the natural interdependence of members of a society. Solidarity, a characteristic of groups per se, is defined as unity — as of a group or class — that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
While most people are concerned with the upcoming election, we should probably spare a thought or two about what to do afterwards. After all, whether Clinump or Trumton wins, We, the People, are going to get what is euphemistically termed the “short” end of the stick. Or maybe the whole stick, a.k.a., “the shaft.”
Monday, October 31, 2016
Last Thursday we looked at some of the flaws in Major Douglas’s social credit proposal, e.g., the wrong definition of money and abolition of private property by taking away the usufruct, to say nothing of allowing politicians to avoid accountability for their actions. After all, is it really coincidental that as more and more of the government’s budget consists of money created by emitting bills of credit instead of tax revenues, the number of programs that go contrary to the fundamental beliefs of most people have proliferated?
Friday, October 28, 2016
This has been another seemingly slow news week in which a great deal has been accomplished. Contrary to the usual case with many organizations, CESJ actually gets things done in meetings, and comes up with some good ideas:
Thursday, October 27, 2016
In yesterday’s posting we noted that even if social credit could deliver on every promise it makes, and every individual received a basic subsistence income from the State in the form of the National Dividend, it would be “unwise” to give the State that much power over the lives of its citizens. Power corrupts, as Lord Acton quoted, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.