As of this writing (a little after 2:00 pm EDST), the Dow is down more than a hundred points. It’s up, it’s down. Don’t even try to second guess it. Just take your cash to Las Vegas and play the slots or Keno. You probably won’t come out any better, but you can catch the shows and get free drinks.
Most people don’t understand the difference between investing and speculating. It’s really quite simple. Investing means putting your money or effort (preferably both) into something that produces a marketable good or service. The good or service, or (more often) the income (profit) you receive from the sale of the good or service represents your ROI, your “Return On Investment.”
Speculation means buying and selling a thing in order to profit by changes in the value of the thing itself. In the Middle Ages, many merchants were accused of speculation before it was understood that the merchants were really not profiting by changes in the value of a good, except perhaps incidentally. Rather, merchants were being fairly compensated for the services they provided in brokering, storing, and transporting goods. Assuming that the merchant was being honest, changes in the value of the goods are incidental to providing these services. In that case, it does not constitute speculation, because the merchant was not directing his or her efforts to profiting by it.
In any event, here’s what we’re doing to try and wean people off Wall Street and get them back to Main Street where they can get back to work:
• Work is progressing rapidly on the revision of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen (2004). Recent studies into the nature of money and credit, reserve currencies, and the “Eurozone crisis,” as well as changes in assumptions for calculating potential accumulations under Capital Homesteading have made the revision advisable. The presentation and formatting are also undergoing revision to reduce the number of appendices by incorporating the material into the body of the work, and expand the glossary.
• The response to critics is in the final stages of editing. This process has been delayed due to the critics having the habit of adding more issues and raising more questions that require more than mere assertion to answer. It is noteworthy, however, that many of the issues raised by the critics are addressed in the first edition of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen.
• Guy S. and Jeanne C. are working to prepare for editing the texts of a number of works in the public domain that Guy believes may be valuable additions to the “literature” of the Just Third Way. We are, of course, still working to prepare material by Father Ferree, William Cobbett, Orestes Brownson, among others, for publication, per the plan developed in 2005. (If you have a book that you think might be a good addition that would help advance the Just Third Way, consider letting us know — but ask before doing any work. As our resources are limited, we have to be very selective, and it can take us years before getting a republication out. Also, be advised that we are primarily interested in works already in the public domain. In the United States, all works published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain, whether or not the author is still living.)
• We just learned that Pope Francis was given a leather jacket after the Blessing of the Hawgs in Saint Peter’s Square (Harley-Davidsons’ 110th anniversary). Next — an official “Own or Be Owned” sweatshirt.
• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 62 different countries and 47 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, Maldives, Canada, and Australia. The most popular postings this past week were “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “Aristotle on Private Property,” “Why Did Nixon Take the Dollar Off the Gold Standard?” “Binary Banking Theory, V: Fractional Reserve Banking,” and “The Dictatorship of Money, IV: The Turning Point.”
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.