It’s time to man the barricades. The British are up in arms over a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. It seems that, in the opinion of some, the portrait makes ’Er Majesty look loike a bloomin’ bloke inna wig. If only we had so little to worry about on this side of the pond.
Unfortunately, we have bigger problems. The stock market continues its wild fluctuations, and this is somehow supposed to be a good thing — it proves the economy is really, really active and productive, raising prices of shares on the secondary market, and all kinds of (unspecified) good stuff.
That there is nothing in the primary market to warrant a doubling of the Dow over the last five years an irrelevant little detail. Judging from the real economy instead of Wall Street and political pronouncements, the Dow probably ought to be around 5-6,000 — if that. Any good stock analyst or financial advisor can tell you that unless the “underlying” (i.e., the asset behind the security) is sound, the security is not sound.
The increase in the price level of the stock market is, however, fueled by the trillions in stimulus money and quantitative easing . . . all of which is backed by more and more government debt. This is now starting to tip the scales at nearly $17 trillion. Adding in the “off-budget” items, the projected obligations of the U.S. government amount to over $124 trillion, according to the National Debt Clock as of this morning.
Here’s the catch: the government can only fund this liability by collecting taxes. Projected GDP for the United States for 2013 is a little over $16 trillion, or less than the booked and acknowledged debt. If the government stopped all spending immediately and instituted a 100% tax on all transactions (i.e., instead of paying anyone for their work or their marketable goods and services, you simply pay the government), we could be debt-free in 8 years at current levels of economic activity.
Or we could do the rational thing, and institute an immediate aggressive program of expanded capital ownership like Capital Homesteading. By having people take over responsibility for their own wellbeing, while maintaining an adequate social safety net, the U.S. could possibly pay down the booked debt in approximately 65 years, and get out from under the $107 trillion or so in contingent liabilities. The choice is ours. In the meantime,
• The Core Group of CESJ is exploring the possibility of co-authoring a book with the U.S. chapter of the Global Harmony Association. The idea is to show that, without a sound understanding of justice, there can be no harmony in the social order, or peace. As Pope Paul VI said in a conscious revision of the noted military aphorism from Vegetius, “If you desire peace, work for justice” (Message on World Peace Day, January 1, 1972). (In the Prologue to Book III of his The Art of War, Flavius Vegetius Renatus advised, Si vis pacem, para bellum — “If you desire peace, prepare for war.”)
• Work proceeds in Cleveland to surface a model company to demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts of the Just Third Way, at least as far as can be done under current law.
• 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 watch them 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.
• We have almost finished the first draft of the first volume of a projected three volume series on the rise and growth of the new socialism, the legal, social, and economic changes that encouraged the new socialism, and how the work of Kelso and Adler counters this development, that has infiltrated every aspect of life on the globe today.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 59 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 United Kingdom, Australia, and India, and Canada. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Defining Money, VII: Expanded Capital Ownership,” “Binary Banking Theory, I: The Types of Banks,” and “Binary Banking Theory, V: Fractional Reserve Banking.”
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.