The "big" news this week is President Obama's "jobs plan." We say "big" advisedly. The only thing big about it is the price tag — half a trillion dollars to throw away on boondoggling fake work and increased government expenditures. Neither the boondoggling nor the increase in State power would be necessary if Capital Homesteading were enacted. Instead of raising taxes and running up debt even further, the tax burden could be spread out more equitably, possibly even reduced over time, the deficit eliminated, and the debt reduced and finally paid off.
Oh, yes — and jobs would be created and full employment of both labor and capital achieved for the first time since World War II. So, what have we been doing besides hounding you to start opening doors so that benighted souls like Mr. Obama can a) learn about the Just Third Way, and b) do something about it? How about this:
• Out in Ohio, Monica W. is giving an example of Just Third Way networking. She has linked up with a local politician with national connections, and who is scheduled to be going to Japan (where this writer is known as "Earthquake Man," even though he's never even been near a Sumo ring) in the near future to attend a conference on alternative energy. There are several tie-ins here. One, of course, we have a bit of knowledge about alternative energy systems based on hydrogen rather than wind or biofuels. (When we say "a bit," we mean that. We have no technical expertise in this area, but we "know people.") Wind and biofuels have some potentially significant problems, but where our special Just Third Way approach comes in is in the financing, and the social impact of the financing. By using "future savings" and pure credit, there is no need to raise taxes or inflate the currency to finance either advanced energy systems or the rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami. By vesting direct ownership of the new energy system in the people who are served by the system, the social impact is immense — in a very good way. Another tie-in is that we've been interacting with a businessman in Tokyo who has expressed interest in the Just Third Way approach, and with a Chinese journalist who will be attending the Japanese-American Institute in Hawaii soon, and is scheduled to drop by Washington some time in October.
• Outreach efforts continue in other areas. We are still sifting through people in the Washington, DC metro area to find the one critical individual who turns out to be the "key log" in the logjam that seems to be preventing word from getting out. Once you free the "key log," all the rest start moving. Part of the problem, of course, is that far too many people today are paralyzed by fear, and are consequently holding back to see which way the wind is blowing (or public opinion is flowing) before they commit themselves to anything. True leaders are scarce . . . but even scarcer, it seems, are people who recognize their own limitations, but are confident enough to open doors — just as Monica is doing in Cleveland.
• Guy "[Don't] Call Me Potato Head Capitalist" Stevenson has been getting an astonishing response to his sending around the links to this week's short series on William Thornton's A Plea for Peasant Proprietors from 1848, revised 1874. Blog readership has tripled this week (no, not to "me, myself, and I"), demonstrating that, if presented in a way that shows its relevance to today, a proposal from the middle of the 19th century for Irish famine relief can fire the imagination, even if you aren't Irish or don't care for potatoes. Guy has been using social media very effectively, particularly sending around links from the blog via the "share" button on Facebook.
• It's not too early to start thinking about the annual Rally at the Fed to take place in April, as close to "Income Tax Day" as we can make it.
• Inspired by the reception we've received from the postings on Thornton's Plea, we're considering a "critical edition" of the book, the first edition to come out since 1874. Thornton's proposal not only illustrates graphically the principle of "binary growth," but presents a practicable plan that, with a little updating and applied to the current world economic situation, has a great deal of potential for solving the crisis. Maybe we should call it something like, "Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen" . . . .
• Work continues on the revised and updated edition of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen. You can, of course, still use the current edition, but just note that some of the figures will be updated, and a few additions and corrections made in the glossary. Otherwise, it will be the same book.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 40 different countries and 49 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, Canada, India and the Philippines. People in Poland, Uganda, Zambia, the United States, and the Philippines spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "The National Infrastructure Bank Proposal," "News from the Network, Vol. 4, No. 36" (i.e., last week's), "A Plea for Peasant Proprietors, Part I," "The Stimulus, Part II," and "The Keynesian Paradox of Thrift."
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.