Yesterday we promised to start looking at some of the policy objectives of a “Capital Homestead Act.” Since there are more than a few, we decided to do some today, and the rest on Monday — with the caveat that a division of any kind might give the wrong impression that parts of the program can be separated and implemented piecemeal. No, the proposal is an integrated approach, and must be implemented as a unified approach, or there is a very good chance it won’t work.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
One thing we’ve noticed about a number of proposed reform packages is that all too frequently the desired goal is stated as the means instead of the end. This tends to get almost simple minded at times. If you want something, just do it. How to do it is an unimportant detail.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Last Thursday we looked at how cutting consumption to accumulate savings, far from being the only way to finance new capital formation, actually throws the entire financial and economic system into a cocked hat and causes a failure of Say’s Law of Markets to operate . . . although why the hat has to be cocked instead of a gun remains a mystery. Either does the damage.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Last Thursday we noted that the ability to accumulate — “save” — while an aspect of money, is only peripheral to the principal function of money, which is to be spent, i.e., “consumed.” Money, which is anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt, derives from the functioning of Say’s Law of Markets.
Friday, April 21, 2017
One of the things the news media have made clear this week — whether or not they meant to — was to underscore the fact that so many of what seem to be insoluble problems actually have some fairly simple solutions . . . if you bother to look for them:
Thursday, April 20, 2017
We’ve been getting into some interesting discussions on FaceBook about the similarities between the rather vague system that G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc called “distributism,” and the more specific proposal we call “Capital Homesteading” within the context of the Just Third Way.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
It is all very well to say that social justice is better than socialism. We could even come up with a “Top Ten List” of reasons why, and try to make something appallingly serious — the infiltration of socialist principles and the concept of society into virtually every aspect of life — a trifle less ghastly.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
As a slogan, “Three acres and a cow” has been around a lot longer than most people who think about it think . . . if, of course, they think about it. There’s even a bit of history that goes with it, and it could also apply today — properly understood.
Monday, April 17, 2017
To many people, the term “social justice” is another way of saying “socialism.” And if we use the term as it was used prior to Pope Pius XI, they are correct. It was Pius XI, following up on Pope Leo XIII’s efforts to counter the “new things” of religious and scientific socialism, who took the previously vague term and turned it into something meaningful and useful.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
In the previous posting in this series, we ended by asking the question, What was wrong with the New Deal? Didn’t it save the country?
Not exactly. In fact, a good case could be made that the New Deal ruined the United States, especially monetarily.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
It seems a little obvious. If you expect to save for retirement, you need something out of which to save. In the current state of society, that means you need a wage system job . . . and those are disappearing in competition with advancing technology or cheaper labor elsewhere.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Yesterday we looked at how Academician Walter Russell Mead managed to equate capital ownership with home ownership, and then with having a guaranteed job . . . and then wonder why the system wasn’t working at all the way he thought it should. Today we’re going to looked at Dr. Mead’s proposed solution to the problem of today’s disappearing guaranteed jobs and its effect on retirement savings.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.
A number of times we’ve commented on this blog that we like to receive comments and questions from the floor. Responding to them is an easy way to write a daily blog.
It’s also an easy way to give up in despair about the future of the world. . . .
Friday, April 7, 2017
Thursday, April 6, 2017
When the United States began gearing up for entry into the First World War, one of the first things the politicians did was decide how to finance the war effort. Politicians being what they are, of course, they chose to finance the war using debt as much as possible instead of raising taxes . . . which might harm their chances of reelection.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Last Thursday we noted that the Federal Reserve, far from being “the Creature from Jekyll Island” intended to enslave the human race to the Gnomes of Zürich, was actually designed — and intended — to break the virtual monopoly enjoyed by the money moguls of Wall Street. How did it happen?
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
We’ve been working on a study of the origins of religious (as opposed to scientific) socialism. Part of the problem of trying to figure out just how much modern “social thought” is actually a version of socialism is handicapped by the fact that the distinction between religious socialism and scientific socialism is often not very clear.
Monday, April 3, 2017
There has been quite a bit of discussion about the idea that everyone is entitled to a basic income just for existing. Even the Wall Street Journal recently reviewed a book, Basic Income, by Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght, making it sound as if such redistribution was the solution to the growing wealth and income gap.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Another week of extremely important advances that do not make for particularly exciting news reporting. That, however, is one of the problems with reporting about what a think tank does . . . which is, primarily, thinking. And there just aren’t too many ways to say people did a lot of thinking (and talking about thinking). So what else has been going on?
Thursday, March 30, 2017
The mistakes England made with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 managed to get themselves duplicated in the United States with the National Banking Act of 1863 (amended 1864). In both cases the legal tender reserve currency was backed by government debt, convertible into gold, and inelastic, i.e., fixed in amount, to try and avoid inflation. This lack of understanding about money and credit caused or contributed to a series of financial panics and currency crises in both countries.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
In the previous posting in this series — cut short on the Ides of March — we saw how the tenets of the British Currency School became predominant. We also saw how one branch of it, that which held that government debt is an asset of the issuing government, quickly became public policy . . . if only because it allowed politicians to spend as much money as they could until the public lost confidence in them.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
As we conclude this brief series examining “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” it becomes evident why Chesterton was so adamant that, while the principles of science, politics, and religion must be compatible with each other and consistent with reality, they cannot be combined or mixed without disaster.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Last Thursday we continued our examination of “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” which the author of an article in Regina Magazine claimed was realized in the “distributism” of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Going through the letters G through M we found more discrepancies between Chesterton’s and Belloc’s concept of distributism and what the author of the article claimed was their system, and what the Catholic Church actually teaches as opposed to what the author claimed the Catholic Church teaches.
Friday, March 24, 2017
A number of things are happening that tend to bear out the sense we got last week that things were starting to heat up in the Just Third Way . . . despite the “cold snap” being experienced inside the DC Beltway (you’d think all the hot air coming off Capitol Hill would warm things up a bit, though). That being the case, we’ll get right to it:
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Yesterday we began an examination of “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics,” which the author of an article in Regina Magazine claimed was realized in the “distributism” of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. The goal was to determine whether it is correct to say that what was presented in the article as “Catholic Economics” was, in fact, the case, or if what was presented was a distorted version of what the Catholic Church teaches.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
A few days ago on FaceBook we came across a reposted article from Regina Magazine (“Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.”), an internet journal “interested in everything under the Catholic sun . . . [seeking] the Good, the Beautiful and the True” — surely a laudable goal, regardless of your religion or lack thereof. The article was “The ABC’s of Catholic Economics” by either Beverly Stevens or William Schultz, possibly both — it wasn’t clear, and a visit to the website didn’t make it any clearer.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
It is with deep regret that we learned recently of the death in Chicago of Max Weismann, who served on the Board of Counselors for the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), allegedly of an undiagnosed kidney ailment. Max, an American philosopher and a long-time friend and associate of Mortimer J. Adler (co-author with Louis O. Kelso of The Capitalist Manifesto, 1958, and The New Capitalists, 1961), co-founded the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas in Chicago with Adler in 1990.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Roman history, whether Latin or Greek, graphically illustrates the importance of widespread ownership to national security — and the inevitable tendency of the rich and powerful to concentrate ownership, whether privately (capitalism) or publicly (socialism) to the detriment of national wellbeing, even disaster.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Despite a sudden cold snap, a “DC Blizzard” (i.e., a quarter inch of snow or the threat thereof), and a semi-lost day of work, things have been “heating up” at the Just Third Way. A great deal of it has been in the form of meetings and conversations, which are very hard to report, but it’s obvious that things are starting to move:
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Guest Blogger: William R. Mansfield, Founder, Mansfield Institute for Public Policy and Social Change, Inc.
According to the quintessential entertainer, P.T. Barnum, founder of “the Greatest Show on Earth” and other modest productions, you could fool all of the people all of the time . . . but only with their full and willing consent. Many people are, in fact, surprised to learn that “America’s Showman” was not only a model of personal rectitude, always keeping his word, but insisted on strict honesty in all business dealings.
“Consumption,” as Adam Smith declared in The Wealth of Nations, “is the sole end and purpose of all production.” This makes sense, for if something has not been produced, how can it exist to be consumed? And why produce something if it is not intended for consumption?
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
As we saw in yesterday’s posting, governments were not able to control the currency for political purposes to any appreciable degree until they were able to hijack the institution of the central bank. Even then, their power over the money supply was generally limited by two factors which tended to subject the value of the currency to the forces of the market, rather than the force of politicians’ arguments.