Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Financial Resilience

It’s not often that we come across a new term — meaning a term new to us — that actually makes sense.  Last Friday we got lucky, and were introduced to one: “financial resilience.”  Of course, we might have come across it much sooner if we didn’t have to keep looking up how to spell “resilience.”

Monday, May 30, 2016

How Not to Limit Capital

We saw last week that existing savings is not a barrier to new capital formation, and thus not to a program of expanded capital ownership.  Today we’d like to conclude our series of rants about the claim that “[financial] capital is finite” by outlining the basic techniques of finance by means of which anyone can become an owner of capital.

Friday, May 27, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 21

This has been a very busy week administratively and logistically . . . which means that “visible” advances are not very evident.  Yet without all the support work done behind the scenes, so to speak, there would be no “visible” advances at all:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How Capital Is Not Limited

This past Tuesday we looked at the claim that financial capital is necessarily finite, and that new capital formation is necessarily limited by the amount of existing savings in the system.  After examining the nature of money and credit, we concluded that this assumption — that Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler called “the slavery of savings” — is not merely misleading, it is completely wrong.  Existing savings are not the only source of financing for new capital formation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Capital Is Not Limited

Yesterday we explained (to our own satisfaction, if no one else’s) that there can be no such thing as a finite amount of capital with which to finance new capital formation or acquisition.  To recap, “money” is a measure, not a commodity.  To say “I have three hundred bushels” is meaningless until you say what it is that you have three hundred bushels of.  A million dollars is only meaningful when those dollars can be redeemed for something worth a million dollars owned by who- or whatever issued the dollars in the first place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Capital Limited?

As some of you may have noticed, we put the blog on “autopilot” for two days last week to attend the annual ESOP Association conference in Washington, DC . . . which was really handy, since we’re in Arlington.  It would have been handier if the Metro system was in good shape and operating in a more . . . user-friendly fashion, but at least we attended some very interesting and even informative sessions.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Strictly Speaking. . . .

We’ve noticed an upswing lately in the number of people who claim to be Chestertivists or distributonians (or whatever incarnation they’re in right now), who are starting to give ear to some capitalists, and are evidently forming some kind of synthesis between socialism and capitalism.

Friday, May 20, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 20

The recent volatility in the stock market reinforces the fact that the stock market has little or nothing to do with the real, productive economy.  That being the case, here are some meaningful news items from the Just Third Way:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lower Forty

We got into it with a “distributist” again.  At least (for a change) the distributist was willing to listen instead of instantly shutting down and insisting we just don’t understand.  Of course, it also helps actually having some real world experience in the area in which the distributist is limited to romantic fantasies, such as money, credit, banking, finance, . . . and small farming.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More of the Same

No sooner had we explained that the whole idea of “debt free money” is an oxymoron than we got a response patiently explaining that we just don’t understand what we’re talking about.  Not that we were in any way annoyed.  Every question like this — even the same question repeated endlessly — gives us a chance to restate what we’ve been saying all along.  After all, if the questioners can ask the same thing over and over without first reading the answers we’ve given before, we can simply say what we’ve said before.  You never know.  Someone might actually read it this time.  Anyway —

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reforming the System

We do get the most interesting comments on occasion, especially from people who have only skimmed through what we’ve written or just glanced at the title or the conclusion.  That seems to be the source . . . excuse me, sourse, of the following comment we got a week or so ago in response to a piece on the role of the central bank in economic development (spelling and punctuation unchanged):

Monday, May 16, 2016

Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice

Last week we looked at the “laws” of social justice.  Today we look at the characteristics of social justice.  Of course, instead of reading this blog, you could always just go to the CESJ website and download a free copy of Father Ferree’s pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice to read at your leisure.  But if you insist —

Friday, May 13, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 19

Any editorial comment on recent events would be superfluous, as they either explain themselves, or are manifestly contrary to reason.  That being the case, here are this week’s news items:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Social Justice, III: The Laws of Social Justice

In 1948, CESJ co-founder Rev. William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D., condensed and popularized his 1941 doctoral thesis, The Act of Social Justice (1942, 1943, 1951 . . . it’s complicated), for high school students as a short pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice.  One of the things Fr. Ferree did in the pamphlet that he didn’t do in his thesis was to set out the “laws and characteristics” of social justice.  This makes sense, for the thesis was intended to settle the question as to whether legal justice and social justice are discrete virtues, the former general, and the latter particular.  Today we look at the “laws” of social justice:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Social Justice, II: Terminology and Tasks

As we saw yesterday, Aquinas gave the same name — “legal justice” — to the general virtue Aristotle described, and to the particular virtue that he, Aquinas, mentioned in passing.  Obviously this is a little confusing.  Having one name for two different things tends to lead to errors, e.g., using the word “man” to mean both a human being and the human race, or “property” to mean both the right to be an owner and the bundle of rights that define how an owner may exercise his or her ownership.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Social Justice, I: A Little Background

In yesterday’s posting we promised to start looking at the right idea of social justice.  This is not as easy as it might seem, because everybody and his brother “knows” what “social justice” is, although few people seem able to agree on a definition.  That being the case, here’s our understanding, and we’re sticking with it:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Social Justice Warriors?

Okay, we admit we’ve been out of SF&F for a while, were never BNF (or even LNF), never went to a Con(vention), and while we might admire the artistry and work that goes into cosplay, can’t help wondering, what if all that talent had gone into something just a trifle more, er, useful and productive?  Recreation is fine and healthful, but to live for it seems a bit much.  Are the code acronyms that separate the SF&F (Science Fiction & Fantasy) BNF (Big Name Fan) in-crowd from the LNF (Little Name Fan) sufficiently confusing?  Cosplay?  Don’t ask.

Friday, May 6, 2016

News from the Network, Vol. 9, No. 18

Last night’s news about the U.S. “jobs market” predicted that today’s report would show strong gains.  It showed weak gains, which means instead of wondering what the “response” of the Federal Reserve will be, “investors” (i.e., speculators) are wondering what the “response” of the Federal Reserve should be . . . in other words, business as usual.  And — as usual — we’ve been working hard to bring the Just Third Way to the attention of prime movers and shakers:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

“If Vulcans Had a Church”

One of the not-so-amazing things we’ve discovered while trying to get some “serious” writing done — free plug alert: Easter Witness: From Broken Dream to a New Vision for Ireland (2016) — is that you can’t read much (or at all) for fun when you’re struggling to track down a key fact or untangle events from nineteenth century newspaper accounts.  Every page of Louis Lamour, Robert Heinlein, or Rex Stout you turn makes you think, “Yeah, I really ought to be doing some work . . . could have written a paragraph . . . done a little research . . . okay, just another fifteen minutes . . . or fifty pages . . .”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sovereignty and Subsidiarity, III: Restoring the Constitution

In our previous posting we saw how, by the simple expedient of “re-editing the dictionary” — shifting the source of rights from actual flesh-and-blood human beings to the abstraction of the collective (“mankind” or “humanity”) — the U.S. Supreme Court managed to interpret the U.S. Constitution in a way exactly the opposite of that intended by the framers of the Constitution, and the principles embodied in the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sovereignty and Subsidiarity, II: The Turning Point

Yesterday we took a look at how many people view the principle of subsidiarity.  We discovered that a great many people have a great many odd ideas about something they do not appear to understand.  At the same time, they have no hesitation in speaking authoritatively on the subject.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sovereignty and Subsidiarity, I: The U.S. Constitution

There has been a lot of talk recently (meaning we saw one posting on FaceBook) claiming that the U.S. Constitution says nothing about “subsidiarity,” i.e., the principle that social and political issues should be dealt with at the most immediate level consistent with their resolution.  Thus, individuals should handle individual issues, local authorities deal with local issues, national authorities deal with national issues, and so on.  As CESJ co-founder Father William Ferree explained it,