We don’t really mean what we say in the heading of this blog posting. First, we couldn’t use “for Dummies,” because that one was already taken. Second, our readers aren’t dummies. Third, our readers aren’t flying elephants, either. Come to think of it, “Money Creation Made Easy” might have been a better heading, except that money creation isn’t easy. It is, however, quite simple.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
The late Paul Samuelson once quoted the late Irving Fisher regarding the monetary policies of the late John Maynard Keynes to the effect that what developed into Keynesian “Modern Monetary Theory” is, in reality, nothing more than “legal counterfeiting.” While it is unusual to find so many defunct economists in agreement on this point, there is another that is even more remarkable:
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Crypto Currencies: Coin or Con Game?
Just yesterday the Wall Street Journal had an opinion piece by Mr. Andy Kessler, who writes for the Journal on technology and markets. The article, “The Bitcoin Valuation Bubble” (August 28, 2017, A15) raised some interesting questions . . . such as, What is a “Bitcoin,” anyway?
Monday, August 28, 2017
Taxation and Representation
We're still having computer problems, but that will not stop "the Happy Revolution" . . . even though such things don't exactly make us completely happy! (Obviously.) Today we're featuring the (unedited) exchange we recently had on FaceBook with a commentator who is proposing a reform of the entire tax system, but — injudiciously in our opinion — has not considered the implications of his proposal, nor what taxation really is.
Friday, August 25, 2017
News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 34
We have a correction to make from our previous News from the Network. Due to our unfamiliarity with a lot of computer and internet terminology (and just plain ignorance about what was going on), we referred to the broadcasts by Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, as "podcasts." No, they are broadcasts, not podcasts. This has caused some confusion, as podcasts are posted on the internet and can be listened to at any time, while a broadcast just goes out, and must be re-broadcast if it is to be heard again. Still, the audience being reached via these broadcasts is rather phenomenal, as you will agree:
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Experiencing Technical Difficulties . . . But We Carry On . . .
We're having a bit o' trouble with the old hard drive, and are (temporarily, we hope) unable to compose off-line and edit today's posting as we usually do. That being the case — and since we are probably about to lose use of the computer for a few days, we decided to "cheat" a little and just post a conversation or two from FaceBook. We hope soon to be able to get back to normal operations, and have all the neat graphics 'n stuff we've been having, but until then, we'll manage something.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Social Justice and the Common Good
Yesterday we looked at the common good, that vast network of institutions that create the environment within which human beings as political animals carry out daily life, suggesting that a justly structured common good is a fundamental building block of the Just Third Way. Having gone over the basics of the common good, we are now prepared to do more than suggest such a thing. We can come right out and say it:
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
What is “the Common Good”?
Just the other day we were talking about what we would do if we were putting together a series of educational videos or audio recordings or something like that. Naturally, there was no dearth of suggestions about what to cover, e.g., “What is Money?” (a personal favorite, not that you’d know it from reading this blog. . . .), “What is Justice?”, “What is Private Property?” (are you detecting a certain theme here?), and so on.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Ultimately, there are two ways to make money. One respects the dignity and personal sovereignty of the individual, and is based on the right every human being has by nature to be an owner of productive assets as well as his or her own labor. The other rejects personal sovereignty, and assumes as a given that rights belong to humanity as a whole, not to individual human beings.
Friday, August 18, 2017
News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 33
We’ve been given to understand that the phenomenal increase in listeners to the CESJ weekly podcast featuring Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, is . . . well, phenomenal. There has been a (try not to gasp too loudly) 33,741% increase in audience size over the past six weeks — and we haven’t even started podcasting to North America. Tellingly, the ideas of the Just Third Way, while they are based on “traditional” American values, are finding more acceptance overseas than in the U.S.:
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Show Me the Money!
Last Thursday we asked the eternal question, Where does the money come from so people can buy capital and supplement or replace what they produce with their labor? As we promised, here is one possible answer. But first, why is where the money comes from such a big deal? Money is money . . . right? Well . . . maybe. Up to a point. And the point is . . . ?
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Democracy and Monetary Justice
Yesterday we raised the eternal question, if capital ownership is so good, why aren’t more people owners? The answer is that the rich who control existing money and credit aren’t likely to let go of it, and most people who are not rich do not generally have access to new money creation that would enable them to purchase new capital that pays for itself out of its own future earnings, and thereafter provides income for the owner.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Money, Power, Justice, and Democracy
Yesterday we looked at the importance of economic democracy to political democracy and, of course, justice — and asking why U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson is having the Department of State draft new statements of purpose, mission, and ambition that drop the commitment of the United States to support democracy and justice. The U.S. not support democracy and justice? Isn’t the United States supposed to be the beacon to the world for democracy and justice? What gives? It’s right there in the Preamble to the United States Constitution, isn’t it? —
Monday, August 14, 2017
Democracy, Justice, and . . . Healthcare?
According to the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently announced that the Department of State is drafting new statements of purpose, mission, and ambition. These will jettison the U.S.’s commitment to justice, democracy, and personal liberty. As POMED Executive Director Stephen McInerney said,
Friday, August 11, 2017
News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 32
While we have some bad news this week, we thought we’d start out with a little — or a lot — of good news. Somewhat to our surprise, the weekly talks given by Dr. Norman Kurland have proved phenomenally popular . . . everywhere except in the United States, where many of these ideas originated! There are more than twice as many listeners tuning in from Russia than from the U.S. As for the Philippines, roughly a third of the total listeners (numbering in the thousands now) come from that country:
Thursday, August 10, 2017
A Few Essential Tweaks to Social Security
Yesterday we noted that to get Social Security out of the hole it’s in, if everyone (or at least most people) in an economy owned sufficient labor and capital to produce enough marketable goods and services to generate income sufficient to meet the needs of someone and his or her dependents, the economy would be in balance, and justice would have an easier time of it. Okay, those weren’t our exact words, but they’re close enough to what we meant.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The Social Security Tontine
One of the biggest problems with Social Security — with any of the social welfare programs in place in most countries in the world today — is the fact that they are being used to do something that they were never intended or designed to do: be the primary or even sole source of income for people no longer working or unable to work. Social Security was intended as an economic safety net, a sort of systemic poorhouse to ensure that no one fell through the cracks.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
How Not to Save Social Security
We haven’t ranted about the problems in the Social Security system for a while, but an article struck our eye a couple of weeks ago. As soon as we got back from the ophthalmologist, then, we decided to do a blog on the subject. After all, none of us is getting any younger, and the government doesn’t have forever to fix the thing.
Monday, August 7, 2017
A Taxing Problem
We’ve been talking quite a bit about expanded ownership and the need for monetary reform, tax reform, and even reform reform, i.e., the need to reform how we reform institutions. (For the record, “reform reform” is social justice: if our institutions prevent or inhibit people from fully participating in the common good, social justice fixes the institutions so that people can fully participate; it doesn’t try to force participation without changing institutions.)
Friday, August 4, 2017
News from the Network, Vol. 10, No. 31
What is particularly interesting over the past couple of weeks is the reception that the presentations by Norman Kurland have been getting around the world. The audience has been increasing in quantum leaps by hundreds of percentage points each time. Nor is that the only thing going on:
Thursday, August 3, 2017
How to Become an Owner
’Way back in Ancient Times, about 1922 or so, the irascible George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and the genial Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) got into a . . . discussion. Anybody else would have called it a knockdown, drag-out fight, but Shaw and Chesterton were old friends who managed to stay that way by not agreeing on anything except that they irritated each other.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
How to Be Productive
Yesterday we noted that the way for people to “make money” is to be productive. This is because “money” is anything that can be used to settle a debt, and a debt is an obligation to deliver something of value. There being only two ways to get something of value (make it yourself or get it from somebody else), we either have to produce whatever we want, or produce something that we can exchange to others to get what we want.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
A (Very Short) Primer on Money
|Aureus of the First Citizen|
It somehow seems appropriate on the first day of August to have a posting about money. August is named after Caesar Augustus. In addition to stealing a day from February because 1) Julius Caesar added a day from February to his month, July, 2) a month named after a living god needs thirty-one days instead of a boring thirty, and 3) February got stuck because it was the last full month of the Roman calendar year — all really good reasons for messing things up — he also instituted a new coin, the “Aureus,” or “Gold Coin” that has maintained its weight and purity down to the present day, although not the same name.
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