A somewhat slow week at CESJ headquarters, but a number of things are happening that deserve comment. One disappointment is that, despite the beautiful weather in Northern Virginia — in the sixties! — an important trip had to be cancelled due to bad weather in the Midwest. Other than that, however:
• Lincoln Park, Michigan, Presentations. Norman Kurland, president of CESJ, and Dawn Brohawn, CESJ’s Director of Communications, were off today for Lincoln Park, Michigan, a city in Wayne County, to give a series of presentations to key political figures, but the airlines cancelled the flights (freezing rain in Motown), and the train was booked before seats could be secured. Lincoln Park is part of an area of cities and communities known as “Downriver.” Lincoln Park was organized as a village in 1921, and then reorganized as a city in 1925. The area was originally home to the Potawatomi Indians who ceded the land to Pierre St. Cosme from France in 1776. It developed as a “bedroom community” of Detroit, with many people living there working in the nearby steel mills and automobile plants. A sound and financially feasible proposal to revitalize Detroit is therefore exactly what the whole of Wayne County, to say nothing of the state of Michigan and the entire United States (and did we leave out the rest of the world?) needs. That, of course, is exactly what Norm and Dawn hoped to do in their series of presentations, which are currently in the process of being rescheduled.
• Official Book Release. Monday, January 15, 2018, marks the official release date of Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know. While not expressly a Just Third Way book, the publisher has indicated interest in doing a more JTW-themed book should this one be a success. One editor has already suggested a theme for a project that would demonstrate the compatibility of the natural law principles underlying Catholic social teaching with, e.g., Capital Homesteading. A preliminary outline is already in preparation. A treatment of the real significance of the “parable of the talents” suggests itself, as many people claim to be baffled by what seems to be a contrived situation — it’s not, but that will be covered in the book.
• Red Star Over Bethlehem. Work proceeds apace on the book. We expect a draft of the foreword from a professor of philosophy within the next couple of weeks, and hope to meet with an expert on the natural law within that same time period. Some cover ideas have been sent to CESJ’s graphic artist.
|Don't expect to see this at CESJ|
• CESJ Internships and Fellowships. CESJ has been receiving a number of internship applications for what has become an important part of CESJ’s outreach to Academia. One CESJ intern, Eliza R., went on to present a paper at an international conference. CESJ is proud to say that no intern has ever been asked to get coffee or make copies, but to engage in a meaningful project that will in some way advance the Just Third Way.
• Central Banking. The central bank of Switzerland has announced that it expects to realize a profit of U.S.$55 billion for the past fiscal year, approximately 8% of the country’s total GDP. This would appear to get away from “classic” banking theory in which the role of a central bank is primarily to ensure accommodation for a country’s or region’s commercial banks so that commerce, industry, and agriculture have sufficient liquidity. It is not itself supposed to be a primary industry, but an ancillary service that, ideally, would always break even. When money and credit are, instead, treated as a product or commodity in and of themselves, it is a sign that something is fundamentally wrong in the economy, as well as the tax and monetary systems.
|Well, no, it isn't like that at all.|
• Inflationary Fears. U.S. investors are starting to move their money around because of fears that there will soon be inflation due to the economic growth that has been recorded. Aside from the fact that much of the so-called economic growth consists of inflation in the stock market and not actual growth, a more rational system predicated on sound monetary and tax reform (such as found in the Capital Homesteading proposal) would mean neither inflation nor deflation, but a stable, uniform, asset-backed, and elastic reserve currency. The only problem is that politicians and the rich would lose control over the money supply and be unable to manipulate it to their advantages.
|Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman|
• Saudi Arabia and Liberalization. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been moving forward with his program of liberalizing various religious restrictions in the country, primarily (according to the pundits) to support his hopes for economic liberalism. His Highness needs to be made aware that he might have things a little backward, and that it could cause some problems. If he were to put in economic reforms first and return power to people through widespread ownership, both political and religious reforms would follow naturally — and not even the most reactionary Saudi is going to protest empowering people economically, as it is fully consistent with the teachings of the Prophet for people to engage in productive work.
|"I'm so happy you went with Smile!"|
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your Amazon 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.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 45 different countries and 49 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Peru. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were, “The Anti-Francis Effect, II: Leo’s Vision,” “The American Chesterton, IX: ‘Not Because It is True’,” “The American Chesterton, VIII: Modernism and the New Age,” “What Pope Leo XIII DID Say,” and “News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 01.”
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.