Not unexpectedly, the stock market is shooting up again as a new government is installed in Greece and Italy promises austerity measures. Since there is nothing behind either action that offers any real hope that necessary and substantive reform of the financial and ownership systems will be implemented, we can expect the riots to commence as soon as people realize that no solution has been offered. In the meantime, here's what we've been doing to offer a real solution:
• CESJ's Director of Research returned Monday from a brief sojourn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While most noted for religious groups who settled there to avoid becoming dependent on government or the surrounding culture (e.g., the Old Order Amish), old time residents are noting that a significant number of institutions, formerly private initiatives but that have become dependent on federal and state subsidies over the years, have been rapidly disappearing. As a result, Lancaster County's unique heritage is in danger of becoming assimilated into the general culture. Capital Homesteading would allow both a restoration of the tax base to support unique cultural institutions, as well as make those same institutions less dependent on government subsidies for survival. Yet another reason to push for Capital Homesteading by 2012.
• Norman Kurland met with an official from the Israeli Embassy on Tuesday of this week. The official was intrigued by some of the Just Third Way ideas, but could not reconcile the Just Third Way's inclusive approach with the exclusive nature of a specifically religious State. There was, however, agreement that, with the rapid increase in lack of understanding of fundamental institutions like private property, money, credit, banking and finance, the recent upswing in anti-Semitism is threatening to become a tsunami as people search for someone to blame for badly structured institutions when the solution is readily available in Capital Homesteading.
• On Thursday, Norman Kurland had a telephone conference with some people from the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (N.B. — "Detroit Shoreway" is a neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, not an area of a city in Michigan), or "DSCDO." The DSCDO is involved in revitalizing the ethnically diverse neighborhood, with civil theater, an arts district, block clubs and an Ecovillage. The DSCDO is under "ESOP," which in this case stands for "Empowering and Strengthening Ohio People." The meeting was very positive, and the participants indicated that they would be investigating the Just Third Way concepts of the Citizens Land Bank and the Homeowners Equity Corporation in much greater depth for possible application.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 56 different countries and 51 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, Australia, and Bulgaria. People in Australia, India, Germany, Austria, and Sweden spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Aristotle on Private Property," "The Paradox of Thrift," News from the Network and "Keynesian Economics: Socialism Lite."
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.