As of this writing the stock market is up. This allegedly somehow reflects the improving economy as seen in the lack of employment opportunities. How this is a good thing is a mystery, for in this writer’s opinion the stock market is far from being the leading economic indicators it’s touted to be.
This, however, is not the week we’ve chosen to rant about the crazy stock market . . . much. Instead, there have been some extremely interesting things happening:
• Guy Stevenson, Our Man In Iowa, has been putting together a rather significant number of videos to explain the Just Third Way and Capital Homesteading. As a financial professional, Guy is probably in a better position than some to explain what strikes most people as something so esoteric that they think they can never understand: money, credit, banking and finance. It would take too long to explain each of his videos in detail, but you can watchthem for free on his YouTube channel. If you want to watch some short videos that will probably answer some of your questions, pay a visit.
• Guy also came up with another interesting information tidbit. Per the “Unemployment InsuranceWeekly Claims Report” of the United States Department of Labor, a weekly report on (obviously) unemployment claims released yesterday, May 16, 2013, the seasonally adjusted claims rate for the week ended May 11, 2013 showed an increase of 32,000 over the previous week. This does not bode well for the students who will be looking for jobs as they graduate this month, many of which assumed large burdens of debt in order to get jobs, and which they now have little hope of repaying.
• Yesterday two very interesting reports came out of the Vatican. One was essentially a call by Pope Francis to break the “new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny” of finance. This recalled Pope Pius XI’s comments about the “immense power and despotic economic dictatorship [over invested funds] . . . consolidated in the hands of a few.” This sounds like the “usual” barbs directed at the presumably uncharitable rich. Consider it, however, in light of Pope Francis’s call the same day formore active Catholics. This begins to sound as if Pope Francis has been reading Quadragesimo Anno and Divini Redemptoris, and may be looking to revive “Catholic Action” as one instrument to restructure the social order and restore the natural law in personal, social, and economic life. We believe that we have what the pope is looking for in the Just Third Way, especially (for economic reform) as applied in Capital Homesteading.
• The CESJ monthly Executive Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Most of the discussion other than the required business focused on the possibility of having a symposium in Cleveland later this year. Due to time constraints, a number of news and information items were left for the June meeting.
• Norman Kurland had a few exchanges with Bill Still, the monetary historian and theorist whose videos and talks have gained him a wide following. We believe we may have discerned certain differences in our Just Third Way understanding of money, credit, banking, and finance that might preclude our coming together to effect what we believe are necessary changes not only in existing institutions, but our understanding of them. Mr. Still has definite views on money that we do not necessarily share.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 65 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, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India. People in Pakistan, El Salvador, Turkey, Ireland, and Argentina 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,” “Social Justice IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” “Defining Money, VII: Expanded Capital Ownership,” and “Why a Central Bank, I: What Do Banks Do?”
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.