We think of it as "job security." As long as there are such serious flaws in our institutions, we have our work cut out for us. Further, as Father Ferree pointed out, "the work of social justice is never done." Flaws that need correcting will always be popping up, if only because (as Pope Pius XI pointed out) society is "radically unstable," and continually in need of repair by the human beings who put society together in conformity — more or less — with our nature. It's that "more or less" that ensures we will always have work to do in the areas of economic and social justice, for, humanity being imperfect, we will never achieve perfection in our creations.
The following items, then, are evidence of every human being's tenured position as a material cause of economic and social justice:
• Earlier this week we sent "feelers" out to a number of individuals, one of which has sparked an interesting discussion on the validity of the real bills doctrine and its application in an advanced modern economy. So far the discussions have involved clarifying language and concepts, but it appears that validity or non-validity of the real bills doctrine may be a critical factor in advancing the Just Third Way, especially when the all-important question of where the financing is to come from for new capital investment.
• Another feeler went out to columnist Michael Gerson of the Washington Post regarding a piece he wrote on health care reform. We found we agreed with his points. The problem was that he left something out: where the money comes from to pay for it, whether health care reform is a private or public sector initiative. From the standpoint of the Just Third Way, the money will come from full individual participation in the economic process, thereby generating an adequate and secure income sufficient to meet ordinary needs, whether by sale of labor, ownership of capital, or (preferably) both.
• The letter sent to the Irish Independent on the real bills doctrine and copied to a number of parties involved in trying to find solutions to the economic crisis has not received any replies to date. It may be that the real bills doctrine is simply too far outside the frame of reference being used by most people to be grasped when presented within the confines of even a lengthy letter to the editor.
• Work is progressing on a number of publishing projects, including Dr. Alamgir's book, Notes from a Prison: Bangladesh, Dr. Harold G. Moulton's The Formation of Capital, a compendium containing Father William Ferree's Introduction to Social Justice and Discourses on Social Charity, and a volume looking at money, credit, and banking from the perspective of the Just Third Way.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 36 different countries and 43 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, the UK, Brunei, Canada and Venezuela. People in Aruba, Israel, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Venezuela spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular posting by far continues to be "What Caused the Economic Crisis," followed by the response to Dr. Michael Novak, "What You Can Do to Address the Economic Crisis," the news briefs, and William Cobbett. With respect to the amount of time spent reading, the postings on the Keynesian liquidity trap, usury, the paradox of thrift, and William Cobbett appear to be the most popular.
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.