The year just past was full of newsworthy events, so this end of year news roundup is a bit longer than most. Fortunately, it is also full of substance, so it won't seem so very long:
Friday, December 29, 2017
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Yesterday we closed with a brief quote from Father William Ferree’s pamphlet, Introduction to Social Justice to the effect that problems that seem insoluble when approached from an individualistic or collectivistic perspective can become resolved very easily after shifting to a socially just approach. And since we also said that we would expand on that today, we can’t do better than extract the entire relevant passage from Father Ferree’s pamphlet:
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Pope Francis is again causing a bit of a stir, this time with his “Urbi et Orbi” address at Christmas. This is another one of those things that has to be explained before it can be explained, even (or especially) to Catholics and other Christians, before it can be understood.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Here is the latest Just Third Way Hour podcast, brought to you by the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), with your host Dave Hamill. This is the show that asks the question, “Do you want to own, or be owned?”
Friday, December 22, 2017
Again, surprising this close to the holidays, we have quite a number of news items, covering everything from Pope Francis, to nineteenth century science fiction writers living in San Francisco (i.e., Robert Duncan Milne), and even G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. AND there is an unsolicited review of Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research, that describes him as “brilliant.” Rather than keep you in suspense, then:
Thursday, December 21, 2017
In case you were thinking all these brilliant ideas in the last half dozen or so postings came from us (which means you probably missed the significance of all those big pictures of Dr. Harold G. Moulton and the quotes in boldface type), no, we’re just quoting from Moulton’s 1935 refutation of the monetary and banking theories underpinning the Keynesian New Deal, The Formation of Capital.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Many people misunderstand the role that reserves play in banking. This is not unusual, for most people do not understand the role of banking. They tend to confuse the different types of banks, and thus the unique function that each one of them performs.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Last Thursday we looked at Dr. Harold Moulton’s statement about the two functions of a commercial bank, or — more specifically — how such a bank makes loans . . . which is how commercial banks create money, regardless what the Keynesians tried to tell you in all those textbooks.
Monday, December 18, 2017
The latest Just Third Way Hour podcast, the “maiden voyage” of new host Dave Hamill, features an interview with Onaje Muid of the U.S. Human Rights Network, recorded on the spot at their conference in Atlanta, where Norman Kurland participated in two panel discussions.
Friday, December 15, 2017
Quite a bit of news this week, which is unusual, as things generally slow down as the holidays get closer and people get busy with other things. Of course, the current global situation certainly warrants a little more attention paid to things than usual. That being the case, here are this week’s news items:
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Yesterday we posted the introduction to the chapter in which Dr. Harold G. Moulton demolished the Keynesian money multiplier, which ironically, despite the fact that it is based on an easily disproved fallacy, forms the basis of the monetary and fiscal policy of virtually every government on Earth.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Yesterday we posted a brief discussion of why the “classic” Keynesian money multiplier — on which virtually every government on Earth bases its monetary and fiscal policy — simply doesn’t work. The Keynesian money multiplier, in fact, is based on an accounting fallacy and a complete misunderstanding of money, credit, finance, and (especially) banking.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Last week we got another comment on a posting of the kind that we like to get, i.e., that writes another blog posting for us. This gets more bang for the buck by killing two birds with one stone, as long as we hit the nail on the head. Which uses up our quota of aphorisms for the day. So, let’s cut to the chase. Our commentator said,
Monday, December 11, 2017
We don't have a new Just Third Way Hour podcast for this week, but now is your chance to catch up on the ones you missed before you get too far behind. You don't want to be taken by surprise or be unprepared when our new host, Dave Hamill, gets revved up and running:
Friday, December 8, 2017
Although things generally slow down during the “holiday season” (although when is there ever a season without a holiday or two?), activity in the Global Justice Movement seems to be picking up. Blog readership is much greater than it has been, and several projects are coming to fruition, while ongoing ones are, well, ongoing — which is something, considering how ephemeral many things are these day. So, to close out the week:
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Yesterday we hung our Canadian correspondent out to dry by publishing his comments on Keynes . . . with his permission, of course. We wouldn’t want to offend those aggressive Canadians who would then swarm across the border to take bloody revenge, crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of war.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
A short time ago we made a few remarks about Lord Keynes, the Defunct Economist who rules modern political economy. Within hours of posting the comments, we heard from a faithful reader up in Canada, who started off with, “Interesting read.” Well, “interesting” can be good or bad; we recall the foreword G.K. Chesterton wrote to a book by the guild socialist Arthur Penty that said the questions Penty raised were “interesting” and “important” . . . and managed to say not one word one way or another about Penty’s answers. . . .
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
A few weeks ago Andy Kessler raised an interesting point in his piece, “Quit Modifying Capitalism” in the Wall Street Journal of November 20, 2017 (page A15 if you’re curious). As Kessler suggested, capitalism is capitalism, and socialism is socialism. Why cover up with meaningless qualifications? Kessler had in mind such modifications as "democratic capitalism," "social capitalism," "ethical capitalism," even "free market capitalism" — you name it.
Monday, December 4, 2017
The latest Just Third Way Hour podcast again features an interview with Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research. Greaney talks about how the Just Third Way might help start-ups, and how to handle private ownership of land and natural resources in a just manner.
Friday, December 1, 2017
Everyone here at CESJ survived Black Friday . . . mostly by staying in the office and working to advance the Just Third Way. We figure the greatest gift we could give to the human race is one of hope for the future, and the Just Third Way has that and more:
Thursday, November 30, 2017
One of the problems with talking about things other people either don’t know anything about, or (more often) who are operating within a different “paradigm” (“a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated”) is that matters can often get . . . confused. People often use the same word with different meanings, while some even change the meaning of words within a single sentence, sometimes without realizing they are doing it.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Yesterday we noted that fiddling with the tax system does not really affect the aggregate rate of economic growth. Assuming that the government is not emitting bills of credit and inflating the currency and that private opportunists also are not printing their own money, the amount of spending in the economy will remain the same, regardless of the tax rate, even if the tax rate is 100%.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The “conservatives” claim that taxing corporations less will stimulate the economy, result in new capital formation, and create jobs. The “liberals” claim that taxing corporations less will mean taxing people more, depress the economy, result in new capital formation, and destroy jobs.
Monday, November 27, 2017
For quite some time, we have been making references to the “Currency Principle” versus the “Banking Principle.” Understanding the differences between the two is key to understanding today’s problems with money and credit, and why adherence to the Currency Principle precludes restoring Say’s Law of Markets and establishing and maintaining a society characterized by widespread capital ownership. So here goes —
Friday, November 24, 2017
Even with the mid-week holiday and two days without internet access (long story), things have been moving well along, with great strides being made in a number of areas. This is encouraging, because things often slow down at this time of year, whereas for us they seem to be picking up:
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Today we look at one of the more bizarre, even baffling paradoxes that afflicts the modern global economy, albeit one that has become so engrained in monetary and fiscal policy as to rank as unquestioned — and unquestionable — dogma of The Great Defunct Economist, He Who Reigns Above All Other Economists, Alive or Dead. In case the heavy-handed sarcasm hasn’t alerted you to whom we refer, that’s John Maynard Keynes.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Judging from current literature, lectures, and what-not, “social justice” is just another name for socialism. Is that really the case, though, given that, e.g., the Catholic Church has been extremely supportive of social justice, but “down” on socialism? Are socialism and social justice really just different names for the same thing?
Monday, November 20, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Even with the “Holiday Season” right around the corner next week, things are happening on the Just Third Way front. The CESJ core group has put together the outlines of the presentation that could be the basis of a lecture or an interview, new podcasts are being recorded on schedule, and the new and revised publications are on track:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
You get into the strangest arguments on the internet . . . and sometimes they really are arguments, that is, “a coherent series of reasons, statements, or facts intended to support or establish a point of view.” Not like what we got into, thankfully just on the fringes.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
A while back we got into a rather pointless argument — with a lawyer, no less — about whether the natural law is discerned by faith, or by reason. Despite what you might think, it was the lawyer who argued for a faith-based understanding of natural law! (And he was supposed to be an expert on constitutional law, too, oy weh.)
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
As we may have mentioned once or twice in the past, we like to get questions from our loyal readers . . . “loyal” being defined as anyone with a query that does not begin, “Are you stupid-insane-crazy, etc., etc., etc., for saying something with which I disagree, misunderstand, or can’t pronounce? (The answer, by the way, is “yes.”)
Monday, November 13, 2017
We’ve been a little remiss in posting the link to the CESJ podcast, scheduled for release on a weekly basis . . . so here are the first few weeks’ worth. The newest one is always at the top, so if you want to catch up, start at the bottom and work your way up. These are mainly informal talks about matters relating to the Just Third Way, so tune in and turn on to the Just Third Way with your host, Bryan Vosper:
Friday, November 10, 2017
A number of CESJ initiatives have made a great deal of progress this week. We have been talking with people from across the globe and even in the United States, as can be seen from this week’s news items. Our electronic outreach seems to be having some effect, and the social media, podcasting, and now even television are starting to pick up on the Just Third Way:
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Far from being a “religious” problem, what has been happening with respect to social justice affects the whole of society. The fact remains, however, that — at the same time — the issue is “religious” in that what eventually became known as socialism first arose within Christianity as an alternative to the existing economic, political, and religious order, and based on a different idea of the dignity of the human person.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
No virtue — and social justice is a virtue — can be imposed by force, a monopoly of the State, (human) nature’s only legitimate monopoly. Force can be used to prevent injustice or punish wrongdoing, but not to impose virtue. Everyone is free to be unvirtuous, as long as in being so he or she does no harm thereby to others or to the common good.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
As a follow-up to last week’s look at social justice, yesterday we looked at social charity, that, just as individual charity is the “soul” of individual justice, is the “soul” of social justice. We discovered that (as Father Ferree put it) in social justice nothing is impossible . . . even if the institution in need of reform is social justice itself!
Monday, November 6, 2017
Last week we looked into the real understanding of social justice: the virtue that reforms institutions to make individual virtue possible once again, but does not replace individual virtue. What do we do, however, when social justice is the very institution that needs reform?
Friday, November 3, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Yesterday we raised the question about what to do when the institution of social justice, the virtue directed to correcting institutions, is the very institution that is in need of correction. Fortunately, the paradox of the very institution essential to reform being itself in need of reform resolves itself — up to a point.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Modern society, if there are any doubts, is in serious trouble. Over the last two centuries, the institutions of civil, religious, and domestic society — State, Church, and Family — have been revised, reformed, and reinvented to the point that these chief props of human dignity have become, to all intents and purposes, meaningless.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
We’re still reeling in disbelief here at CESJ global headquarters . . . and we’re almost out of fish line. And as for the pole . . . well, we’re talking to him next week, and we’ll see what he has to say. But enough of bad fake Marx Brothers jokes. On to the point of today’s Horror Special . . . the wage system!
Monday, October 30, 2017
A week or so ago in a posting on how to make tax reform even worse, we noted that when the State starts to take over more and more control over people’s lives, not only the State becomes overburdened with duties, but the citizens become overburdened with taxes. Somebody, after all, has to pay for such things, such as universal basic incomes; money just doesn’t appear out of nowhere.
Friday, October 27, 2017
The Just Third Way continues to make steady progress. Interestingly, more and more of the postings on this blog are getting “shared” and “liked” than ever before on FaceBook, and at least one individual has requested a formatted version of a blog for use in a class lecture. He was having trouble downloading for some reason, so we made a special version in .pdf. By the way, if you want to use a posting in a class or something, go ahead and print out as many as you want, just give us credit so that people will know where you got it (and if you’re quoting, don’t change any words except to correct spelling or grammar errors):
Thursday, October 26, 2017
It’s gotten so predictable that we forgot to predict it. We kept telling people that binary economics and the Just Third Way are based on something called “the Banking Principle.” As we’ve repeated ad nauseam, the Banking Principle is that the amount of money in the system depends on the velocity of money, the price level, and the number of transactions, not the other way around.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
As all good Keynesians, neo and otherwise, learn in Economics 101, there is a tradeoff between employment and inflation. The theory is that if you want low inflation, you’ll have to put up with high unemployment, and if you want low unemployment, you’ll have to accept inflation.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
If you read yesterday’s blog posting, you know that Say’s Law of Markets and money creation go together. In a very real sense, production is money, and money is production . . . if the system is arranged the right way. “Money” — defined as anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt (“all things transferred in commerce”) — is the means by which I exchange what I produce, for what you produce, so that every producer is a consumer, and every consumer is a producer; supply and demand are in balance. That is why money is usually defined as “the medium of exchange.”
Monday, October 23, 2017
. . . instead of making people work for profits. Which, frankly, is a bad way of putting it, for there is no reason to work at all if there is no profit in it. What we mean (after titling this blog in a way we hope will catch your eye and keep you glued to the screen), is that — consistent with Say’s Law of Markets — production and consumption should be in balance.
Friday, October 20, 2017
A number of projects have made great progress over the past week, from the proposed re-launch of The Just Third Way Hour to the final editing and review of Red Star Over Bethlehem. Perhaps it won’t be too much longer before world leaders start catching on to the fact that there is a viable alternative to the sad condition of today’s society:
Thursday, October 19, 2017
All the recent talk about tax reform, good, better, and worst, has focused on the debate as to which philosophy of taxation, and which specific tweaks to the existing system, will best stimulate an acceptable rate of economic growth. Commentary has ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, with the usual barrage of inane and erudite remarks, interspersed with more or less veiled attacks on the intelligence, motives, and fashion sense of anyone on the other side, but no one has raised the real issue here: