Here is the second part of the annual year-end news roundup, covering July through December 2016. The first part, covering January through June, was posted Friday of last week. From the volume of news from the second half of the year, perhaps we should have done a 75-25 split instead of 50-50:
Friday, December 30, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Yesterday we looked at how, under Say’s Law of Markets — everything else being equal — every producer is a consumer, and every consumer is a producer. Thus, as Say’s Law is often (if somewhat inaccurately) summarized, “supply (production) generates its own demand (consumption), and demand its own supply.”
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Yesterday we looked at how supply and demand should always be in balance. That is, as long as we hold everything else in the equation equal, and consider only supply and demand, no other factors — no ifs, ands, or buts. Everything else being equal, supply and demand will always be in balance, with everyone producing as much as he or she consumes, and consuming as much as he or she produces.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Okay, last week we had a couple of postings on the first principle of economics, viz., that consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production. This fits in perfectly (in our opinion, of course) with basic principles of the natural law as found in (for example) Catholic social teaching. That’s because Catholic social teaching is based on the dignity of the person and sovereignty of the individual under God — as is the Just Third Way.
Monday, December 26, 2016
It is either a baffling paradox or a supreme irony that many people in the United States who call themselves solidarists often have neither a real understanding of solidarism, nor any practical experience in implementing the solidarist approach.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Okay, we actually answered this question — very briefly — in yesterday’s posting. As we noted, according to Adam Smith and a bunch of other people (such as a couple whose first name happens to be “Pope”), the purpose of production is consumption. This does make a little bit of sense, after all. If something is not going to be used (consumed), why bother to produce it?
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A little over four years ago (on December 13, 2012, to be exact), we whipped out a quickie posting on the purpose of production in real life, versus the purpose of production in the economics of John Maynard Keynes. As the introduction to the link to the posting on FaceBook was just a trifle long but substantive, and the posting has proved one of the most popular on the blog, we decided to repost it with a few additions. After all, one reader, J.C. (not that one), recently commented on this particular posting,
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Yesterday we looked at what Keynes really meant when he advocated “the euthanasia of the rentier.” Today we want to look at why he would say something so obviously heartless and insensitive.
Monday, December 19, 2016
In his book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936), John Maynard Keynes made the somewhat startling (and rather heartless) statement that he was advocating that rentiers — small investors who live off the income from their investments — should be euthanized. Specifically,
Friday, December 16, 2016
One year he forgot, and Lucy reminded him, giving the poor guy a double whammy. Fortunately, the Just Third Way is for every day in the year, so we don’t have to worry about missing a specific anniversary . . . although we would welcome the opportunity to become so used to Capital Homesteading as a way of life that we are tempted to take it for granted. We won’t, of course, but we would certainly like the opportunity to be tempted. . . .
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Yesterday we looked at the strange case of people who insist on arguing with others by forcing their definitions and principles on others, and then berating those others as stupid, vindictive, or malicious if they stick to their own principles and definitions.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Yesterday we looked at the strange case of the man who wouldn’t take yes for an answer, and who kept insisting we didn’t know the difference between speculation and investment because many people today confuse speculation and investment. Today we go one step further and look at a second case in the examples of the dishonest way to argue.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
In his little book on the Scholastic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, the English essayist G.K. Chesterton remarked that one of the problems of the modern age is that few people take the time to argue. That is, few people take the time to argue fairly. All too many people find more than enough time to argue unfairly — mostly by sneering at anyone who disagrees with them.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Last Thursday we promised (sort of) that today we would talk about how to restructure the financial system to encourage real investment so that people like Sister Lioba Zahn, O.S.B. of the Mariendonk Abbey won’t have to deal in speculation just to keep their heads above water. This is not as cosmic as it might otherwise appear. It’s one of the paradoxes of the modern world that the way the financial system is running today is not the way it’s designed or intended to run.
Friday, December 9, 2016
The stock market continues to soar. This is because . . . we have no idea. Let’s just say the stock market, in a continuing burst of (what was it Alan Greenspan called it?) “irrational exuberance”? Whatever. The stock market just keeps going up for some reason, and economic (and thus political) insecurity continues to spread. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we continue working to spread word that there is a viable solution out there. All we need to do is get it to people who can get it to world leaders. Maybe the fact that this is Fulton Sheen Day might wake some people up:
Thursday, December 8, 2016
On Monday of this week we opined that, while Sister Lioba Zahn, O.S.B. of the Mariendonk Abbey in Germany seemed to be doing good by doing well as a day trader in the stock market, things are not as they seem, especially in the rather schizophrenic global financial system. While her activities are directed at generating essential funds for the Abbey (not all of them are able to provide the stuff of hit musicals), the end does not justify the means.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
|If we ignored your private crusade...good.|
December is a really bad month in which to blog if you’re trying to focus on things like the Just Third Way. Today is a very historic anniversary, and we could tie it in to the Just Third Way, but it would be a pretty big stretch, and we’d spend more time justifying it than we would on the subject at hand, which is a bit more immediate. We get enough flak from people whose personal crusades we’ve forgotten to mention just because they have nothing to do with what we’re talking about.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
|St. Nick opening the can of whup-ass on Arius|
If this were a religious blog, today we’d be gushing about how the original Saint Nick got a rep as a real bad-ass dude by slapping down Bishop Arius for asserting that the Son was similar, but not the same as the Father (the original lump of coal in the stocking for bad boys and girls was a fat lip for spouting what Bishop Nicholas of Myra thought was drivel), and how the tradition of gift-giving got associated with him (and maybe even how he became the patron saint of pawnbrokers).
Monday, December 5, 2016
Last week the Wall Street Journal carried one of its more or less cute human interest stories. You know, the ones that appear on the front page and tell you more than you really want to know about turtle ranching in Tasmania, the world’s champion string collector, or the most prolific novelist in history — “Corin Tellado,” pen name of Maria del Socorro Tellado Lopez (1927-2009), with more than 4,000 (not a typo) novels, and total sales of over 400 million. Most prolific living novelist? Japanese-Brazilian Ryoki Inoue, with more than 1,100 novels to his credit, having turned out as many as three in one day.
Friday, December 2, 2016
|All done with smoke, mirrors, and ice.|
Breaking news: the latest conspiracy theory is that the Titanic didn’t really sink on its maiden voyage. It was actually a ship named Olympic. The switch was made to collect the insurance. And if you believe that, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Keynesian economics should be a breeze for you. (Nobody has bothered to explain where the actual Titanic ended up, though. Unless it’s that thing floating next to the rubber ducky.)
To get back to the real world and the economics of reality, however, this has been a busy and interesting week for those promoting the Just Third Way:
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 was designated “National Day of Action to Fight for $15,” meaning an across the board hike in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour throughout the United States. Many workers at McDonald’s restaurants walked off the job and participated in protests, with “dozens” being arrested in various demonstrations across the country, according to an Associated Press Report.