THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

News from the Network, Vol. 2, No. 37

The Big News of the week is, of course, Mr. Obama's health care speech, and (especially) his promise not to increase the deficit "by one dime" to fund it. Two possible objections come to mind immediately. One, Mr. Obama is not addressing the fact that, whether funded out of current tax revenues or deficits backed by future tax revenues, many people are concerned with what seems to be an absolute insistence on continued government funding of abortion.

Using tax dollars to fund abortion directly or promote it in any way forces people who are opposed to abortion to "materially participate" in the procurement of abortion. This is an act that a significant number of people view as morally repugnant and contrary to the natural moral law. If the justification for legal abortion is based on a woman's presumed right to choose, the legal justification for government funding or support of abortion in any form is obviated.

This is because taxpayers have no choice whether or not they pay taxes. By using "government money" (i.e., taxpayer money) to fund or support abortion, people are forced to pay for something they may regard as criminal, or at least morally wrong. The only way to justify abortion on the grounds of a "right to choose" is to extend that right to everyone. To ensure that abortion is truly a free choice on the part of everyone affected — including those who are currently forced to pay for it — all government support and funding must be halted. It makes no sense to take away the free choice of some people to support that of others, and thereby create a privileged class in what is presumably a legally classless society.

Two, Mr. Obama is not being realistic about funding. The only viable plan to fund health care reform (and all other government programs and operations) is to jettison the dogmatic belief in the absolute necessity of existing accumulations of savings to finance capital formation, and the seemingly inevitable corollary that everything must, ultimately, come from the State. This would allow a complete and long overdue overhaul of the tax system with the goal of leaving people with more of their own income to meet expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, education . . . and health care . . . without relying on charity or government redistribution.

Projections suggest that it would be possible to fund all government programs, including Social Security and Medicare, as well as a universal health care program out of current tax revenues, eliminate the deficit, reduce the debt, exempt $100,000 for a family of four from all taxation, and still keep a single tax rate under 50% for all income over the exemption. With the increase in the tax base as a result of Capital Homesteading and the consequent reduction in the debt and government entitlements to redistribute existing wealth to make up for inadequate income (often caused by excessive taxation and deficit spending that increases inflation to fund government entitlements to address inadequate income), projections suggest that the tax rate could be cut in half within a generation.

If anyone knows a way to get this information to Mr. Obama, he or she would be doing everybody a favor. Other "favors for everybody" are reflected in this week's happenings:

• On Monday, CESJ participation in a seminar at Harvard Divinity School in Rockefeller Hall, in the lounge adjacent to the Cafeteria, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. was discussed. The event, to take place September 24, is in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a "teachable moment" to discuss the integration of the principles of the beloved community into a sound and holistic approach to the economy. Dr. Harvey Cox and Dr. Virgil A. Wood, both long-time associates of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sr., will lead a discussion on the spiritual and economic dimensions of the King Jubilee Dream.

• On Tuesday, members of the Equity Expansion International, Inc. team participated in a two-hour internet discussion with two entrepreneurs in New Delhi, India, to discuss implementation of a program of worker ownership and Justice-Based Management at their company. From the perspective of the Just Third Way, this represents a potential opportunity to develop a new paradigm of economic development for the world that avoids the wealth- and power-concentrating models of the past in one of the fastest developing economies in the world.

• Work continues to progress on the publishing projects. In the course of the research for the books, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of the economic problems being experienced today may result from a misunderstanding of money, credit, banking, and finance. This appears to have developed out of a rejection of the tenets of the Banking School and unquestioned acceptance of those of the Currency School (described in previous postings), resulting in a virtual divorce between production of marketable goods and services and the creation of money. One result has been diversionary discussion over the definition of inflation, with the various sub-schools of thought seemingly more concerned with proving everybody else wrong instead of figuring out who is right and what to do about it.

• The "Truth Be Told" newsletter, a publication of the "Lay Dominicans — Western Province," has republished Michael D. Greaney's original article on universal health care in its September 2009 issue. The article first appeared in Social Justice Review, and contains many of the features that were later more fully developed in the "Doctors' Plan," especially with regard to the question as to how health care reform can be financed. This is particularly appropriate in light of Mr. Obama's pledge to fund health care reform without increasing the deficit "by one dime." Truth Be Told can be downloaded free from the website of the Western Province.

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 36 different countries and 41 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Brunei, the UK, Venezuela, and Canada. People in Aruba, Israel, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Brazil spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular posting continues to be "What Caused the Economic Crisis," followed by the Keynesian "paradox of thrift," what you can do to end the economic crisis, and the news items. With respect to the amount of time spent reading, the postings on the "thoughts on money," usury, the paradox of thrift, the reign of the British Currency School, 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.