• Joe Recinos dropped in from El Salvador, where he is working on a project that would, if successful, result in workers owning 70% of a number of business enterprises. El Salvador and other countries in the region are also discussing a currency union, possibly with the goal of building a foundation for a future political union. Norman Kurland pointed out the importance of reforming the regions central banks so as to encourage democratic access to capital credit so that everyone can become an owner. CESJ is currently studying the feasibility of and preparing a position paper on every citizen and legal resident of a country becoming a direct owner of his or her country's central bank. This would be through the medium of a single, lifetime, no-cost, non-transferable, fully-participating voting share in the central bank. If instituted in the United States with the Federal Reserve, such a program would eliminate concentrated control over money and credit, provide sufficient liquidity to restore and grow the economy in a sound and responsible manner, and answer the fears of people who believe the only solution to today's economic problems is to abolish the financial system rather than reform it. A "natural resources bank" that would vest ownership of the land and and natural resources directly in the people was also discussed.Those are the happenings for this week, at least 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 anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.
• CESJ held its monthly Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 17. Much of the discussion centered around revamping CESJ's communications in order to present the message of the Just Third Way to a broader audience.
• Norman Kurland of CESJ received a telephone call from an official at the Federal Reserve, reporting that she had personally handed the "Declaration of Monetary Justice" to Chairman Bernanke. Norm reiterated the importance of meeting personally with Mr. Bernanke in order to explain our proposals more fully and to respond directly to any questions the Chairman might have.
• An e-mail response to a "mass mailing" resulted in a very productive exchange with some individuals involved in corporate finance and the money markets. One of the individuals agreed that the four pillars of the Just Third Way (1, limited economic role for the State, 2, the free market as the best means of determining just wages, just prices, and just profits, 3, restoration of the rights of private property, especially in corporate equity, and 4, widespread direct ownership of the means of production) are sound and desirable goals. He did not agree, however, despite the obvious growing concentration of economic power in the hands of a few and the correlative economic disenfranchisement of the many, that there are any barriers that inhibit or prevent people from participating in the economy, both as suppliers of labor and as owners of capital.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 32 different countries and 39 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Venezuela, the UK, with Brazil and Finland rounding out the "top five." People in Egypt, Venezuela, the Netherlands the United States and Brazil spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings are the series on usury (which we hope to wind up next week), the news reports, and the Keynesian "paradox of thrift."
Friday, June 19, 2009
News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 25
The news this week is superficially thin. There have, however, been a few brief but significant events.