The fluctuations in the stock market have for some time been completely divorced from the real economy in which actual people produce through their labor and their capital marketable goods and services for themselves and to trade with others so they can consume what those others have produced. Unfortunately, academics and politicians are obsessed with the idea that “the stock market” actually means something, and manage to ignore something like Capital Homesteading that would return prices on the secondary market to realistic levels, and start to implement counterproductive trade policies instead of essential tax and monetary reforms:
• Wayne County, Michigan. Members of the CESJ “core group” have been working with people in Lincoln Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, to explore the possibility of using applications of Just Third Way financial and ownership technologies to provide a foundation for rebuilding America’s cities and infrastructure in ways that pay for themselves instead of putting the burden on the backs of current and future taxpayers. The challenges facing Wayne County — that can be solved by reforming tax and monetary laws and institutions — reflect the same challenges facing the rest of the state and the nation as a whole. Poverty, mounting public sector debt, crumbling infrastructure, widespread home foreclosures, a struggling educational system are symptoms of an economy that has stopped growing in a sustainable way, where prosperity flows to every citizen. Ultimately, Wayne County could become the first place in the world to provide universal access to economic power and the rights of a citizen-owner. It would fulfill the promise of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights — the equal right of every human person to own productive property individually as well as in free association with others, in order to enjoy life and liberty and acquire and develop virtue, thereby achieving true and sustainable happiness.
|The Right Reverend New Dealer|
• Cardinal Dolan and the Democrats. According to a piece he contributed to the Wall Street Journal today, the Democratic Party has officially cut all ties with its traditional Catholic constituency (“The Democrats Abandon Catholics,” March 23, 2018, A15). The only thing surprising about this is that His Eminence reports it as if it were news. The slide has been going on since at least the early 1930s and FDR’s semi-public courting of the Catholic and Jewish vote that he desperately needed to get elected, all the while despising both groups. Roosevelt was able to capitalize on the three-way split in Catholics over the Church’s social teachings. This began in the early nineteenth century following the French Revolution with the rise of “social Catholicism” as a form of the “democratic religion” of socialism. It really took hold in the United States with the rise of the agrarian socialist Henry George and his clerical advocate, the renegade Catholic priest Father Edward McGlynn. It became accepted as the “right” view on Catholic social teaching after Monsignor John A. Ryan of the Catholic University of America, an admirer of George, McGlynn, and the New Age politician Ignatius Loyola Donnelly, successfully perverted Thomist natural law theory and reinterpreted the social encyclicals as socialist tracts. Ryan, a.k.a. “Monsignor New Deal” and “the Right Reverend New Dealer” was, after the Rev. Charles Coughlin “the Radio Priest” before the latter’s break with FDR, instrumental in convincing Catholics that the New Deal was compatible with Catholic teaching. Ryan is perhaps most notorious, however, for his attacks on Ven. Fulton Sheen, which resulted in the destruction of Sheen’s academic career and eventually forced Sheen out of Catholic U. One quibble about Dolan’s piece: His Eminence seems fixated on tax credits for non-public schools, whereas a better arrangement that would help ensure choice would be school vouchers. Interestingly, Fr. McGlynn, one of Ryan’s heroes, was violently opposed to Catholic schools, considering them “un-American.”
|Panic on Wall Street|
• Drop in the Dow. Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 700 points, which sent a number of people into a panic. This is unwarranted. True, some people think the stock market is a leading economic indicator, but it’s not that, nor even a lagging or coincident economic indicator. It’s a gambling casino that reacts to the mob mentality about anything that affects people’s moods. Yesterday it was fears of a trade war. We addressed this earlier by pointing out that the real solution to trade imbalances and monkeying around with subsidies and tariffs is not to increase the market manipulation, but take steps to eliminate it at the source, that is, by making everybody productive through capital ownership, freeing them from the wage and welfare system.
• Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know. We should mention that Saint Benedict Press, of which TAN Books is an imprint, is running a 40% off (almost) everything on their website until 11:59:59 pm EDST tonight, March 23, 2018, use the code STBEN18. It’s your chance to get two copies of Ten Battles Every Catholic Should Know almost for the price of one, as well as books by obviously lesser authors but that are still worth reading, even if you’re not Catholic or even Christian. Here is the link: https://www.tanbooks.com/. Be sure to leave a review after you’ve read the book.
|"You used Amazon Smile for CESJ? . . . Excellent!"|
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your Amazon account. (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.) Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.” If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through. Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
|Around the world . . . maybe not that world. . .|
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 36 different countries and 44 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Peru, India, and the Philippines. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were, “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property,” “News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 11,” “Social Justice Takes Time,” “What is a Central Bank Supposed to Do?” and “A More Just Tax, I: Monetary and Credit Reform.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those 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, so we’ll see it before it goes up.