Everybody likes DIY (“Do It Yourself”) videos, right? Well, not everybody can whip out a mission-style house with all the furniture (unless your name happens to be Norm Abram, that is, and you have every power tool known to man or woman), but you can join in the feeding frenzy when it comes to undermining the fundamental principles of natural law and common sense:
Monday, August 31, 2020
Friday, August 28, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
In a recent article in Catholic World Report (“Why We Are Where We Are“), George Weigel opines that the increasing chaos we see around us these days is the result of the United States having lost its way after being cut loose from the liberal principles of its founding. There is a good deal of merit in Weigel’s argument, but it doesn’t really explain how the U.S. lost its anchor. As he says in this edited-for-length extract (since you can read the entire article by clicking on the link; it’s not long):
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, when people have an inadequate understanding of money and credit, they necessarily get themselves into a bind called “the Economic Dilemma”: that you can’t profitably finance new capital without increasing demand to justify it, but you can finance new capital at all if you don’t have the money savings accumulated from decreasing demand!
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, the popular notion of finance — embodied in all three mainstream schools of economics (Keynesian, Monetarist/Chicago, and Austrian) — is that it is essential to cut consumption and accumulate money savings in order to finance new capital formation. This, however, leads to a paradox that Dr. Harold Glenn Moulton of the Brookings Institution called “the Economic Dilemma.”
Monday, August 24, 2020
How did “the new things” of socialism, modernism, and esotericism (“New Age”) manage to become part and parcel of the political and economic thought of so many people? After all, as we define it (abolition of private property in capital), socialism is not particularly social, modernism (not modernity, but a philosophical/theological shift from the human person to the abstraction of humanity) is not really all that modern, and esotericism or the New Age is not all that new.
Friday, August 21, 2020
On the face of it, it appears to be a paradox: unemployment continues to spread, but “the economy” seems to be doing well . . .if by “the economy,” you mean the stock market, which has as much to do with the real, productive and consumption economy as a television situation comedy has to do with real life. One of the more bizarre concepts to come out of what seems to be a pervasive insulation from reality among business, political, and religious leaders is the notion of “stakeholder capitalism,” with which we lead off this week’s news items:
Thursday, August 20, 2020
With apologies to Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that anyone in possession of a good business, must be in want of savings. As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, savings are essential to the process of new capital formation. The only question is the source of the savings. Is it to come from past reductions in consumption, or from future increases in production?
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
In the previous posting on this subject, we closed with the comment that John Maynard Keynes did not define savings properly, and this skewed his entire analysis to the point where it really wasn’t very closely connected with reality. This is, in fact, why the eventual title of Louis Kelso’s third book was Two-Factor Theory: The Economics of Reality (1967).
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted the fact that inflation-indexing capital gains would stop a rather shady practice that taxes people on income they never earned and never received. As we noted in the first simple example we gave, if someone pays $10 for something, the value of the money drops by half, and then the thing is sold for $20, the seller realizes no actual gain at all, but is taxed as if there was a $10 gain. This is unfair by any measure.
Monday, August 17, 2020
Ninety years ago, the noted English writer G.K. Chesterton gave his opinion of socialism and modernism. As he said, “anything can be called Socialism, . . . it seems to mean Modernism; in the sociological as distinct from the theological sense. In both senses, it is generally a euphemism for muddle-headedness.” (“There Was a Socialist,” G.K.’s Weekly, May 10, 1930.)
Friday, August 14, 2020
It appears that some people might be waking up to the potential of expanded capital ownership for spearheading an economic recovery, especially since it not only enables more people to be productive, it empowers them with the ability to consume without redistribution. Of course, at present all the proposals apply only to people who are employed by for-profit companies, and to make expanded ownership truly effective as an economic force requires that everyone be a capital owner, especially anyone who doesn’t work for a for-profit enterprise or who can’t work at all, but it’s a step in the right direction:
Thursday, August 13, 2020
In the previous posting on this subject, we asked why the current system of financing new capital formation would cause the lid to blow off the economy or society as a whole. The quick answer? Because relying on past savings gives the rich or the State control over the economy, and the Keynesian reliance on inflation to control economic growth and finance new capital is a way of stealing from the non-rich. It works like this:
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
For those of you used to doing things the right way instead of getting everything all turned around, the title of this blog is “How to Finance Capital Backwards,” which is what the world has been doing for the last two centuries or so . . . or thinks it has, which amounts to the same thing.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
We’ve been looking into the roots of socialism, and how socialism and social justice became confused. One of the things that struck us that we had never noticed before was the insistence of the early socialists that, one, what became known as socialism was originally not intended as an alternative to capitalism, but to Christianity, especially the most organized and hierarchical form of Christianity, Catholicism.
Monday, August 10, 2020
This week we have another video from the “Sensus Fidelium” YouTube channel. Yes (as we’ve said before), it’s a “Catholic channel,” and if you search through the thousands of hours of programming on the channel, you will find a great deal of material oriented to Catholics. There’s a bit of that in these videos, too (of course), but the primary emphasis is on the “natural law” aspect of Catholic social teaching, so you can mentally filter out the explicitly Catholic material if you’ve a mind to, and you won’t miss anything.
Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, one way to “lure” people back to work when they are (at least temporarily) better off not working, is to make them an offer they can’t refuse, or at least would be extremely foolish to turn down. The offer we suggested, of course, is that it would be beneficial to offer workers a piece of the action, that is, part ownership of the companies that employ them.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
In the previous posting on this subject, we looked briefly at the problem of how things like the UBI, welfare, and unemployment compensation can act as a disincentive to work. The bottom line is, if you pay people not to work, they tend not to work. The only way a basic income of some kind is not a disincentive to take gainful employment is if you get it in addition to, not instead of, gainful employment, and that is something that it would be complete and total disaster for a government to do.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
. . . but is that the question? Quite a few people have noted over the past several months that the enhanced unemployment benefits have persuaded a number of people not to return to work. It seems that some people are actually getting more income by not working than they did when they were employed. As noted in yesterday’s (August 3, 2020, p. A-16) Wall Street Journal,