Friday, June 17, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 24


Two of the reasons people tend to think the fourth part of the Great Depression we’re in is really recovery from a Great Recession are that 1) they confuse aggregate economic growth for individual economic benefits, and 2) they confuse speculative rises in stock prices with actual productive activity, a.k.a., economic growth.  Here’s what we’ve been doing to try and correct some of those delusions:
The problem is that Social Security was never what you thought it was.
• According to some “news” items floating around the internet, “seniors” are worried that Social Security won’t be able to meet the projected liabilities out of the trust fund.  This, of course, begs the question as to whether the alleged assets in the trust fund — government bonds — are worth anything in the first place.  No one seems to understand that for every dollar paid out of the Social Security trust fund, the government has to collect more than two dollars in taxes because all funds deposited in the trust fund are immediately replaced with IOUs.  It’s the same as if you gave your friend $100 to hold for you, and he spent the money, but replaced it with his note for $100.  When you want your money back, your friend can’t give you the money you gave him, he has to go find another $100 to replace what he spent.  Of course, the whole thing could be straightened out by implementing Capital Homesteading, and shifting Social Security to a need-based system after keeping the promises that have already been made (just stop making new ones you know they can’t keep).

• On Monday, CESJ president Norman Kurland had a meeting with Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a strong supporter of worker ownership.  The meeting was pleasant and positive.

• Tomasz Pompowski in Western Australia is now taking orders for CESJ publications from organizations and retailers in Australia and New Zealand.  Tom is the exclusive publisher direct agent for all CESJ and Universal Values Media publications “down under,” which means that if you want the publications at a reasonable price, you must go through him.  He reports that he is already receiving orders, and great interest has been expressed in Just Third Way economic and financial reforms.

• Fulton Sheen’s “long lost” classic, Freedom Under God, has sold more than ten times the number of any other CESJ or UVM publication this month, outstripping even Easter Witness (below).

• CESJ’s latest book, Easter Witness: From Broken Dream to a New Vision for Ireland, is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as by special order from many “regular” bookstores.  The book can also be ordered in bulk, which we define as ten copies or more of the same title, at a 20% discount.  A full case is twenty-six copies, and non-institutional/non-vendor purchasers get a 20% discount off the $20 cover price on wholesale lots ($416/case).  Shipping is extra.  Send enquiries to publications@cesj.org.  An additional discount may be available for institutions such as schools, clubs, and other organizations as well as retailers.

• Here’s the usual announcement about the Amazon Smile program, albeit moved to the bottom of the page so you don’t get tired of seeing it.  To participate in the Amazon Smile program for CESJ, go to https://smile.amazon.com/.  Next, sign in to your account.  (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.)  Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.”  If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through.  Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 52 different countries and 43 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, South Africa, Brazil, and Australia. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “The Purpose of Production,” “Strictly Speaking,” “Financial Resilience,” and “Lower Forty.”

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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