The mode of this week’s media is market madness . . . with a nod toward a number of future publications hopefully soon to come down the pike. Other than that, there have been a lot of thoughtful conversations and one meeting, as well as the usual advancement of the Just Third Way:
|Back to basics in Philadelphia?|
• New Book on Capital Homesteading? Acceptance is, of course, not certain, but a manuscript comparing Catholic, natural law social teaching and the Just Third Way has been submitted to a major Catholic publisher — at the publisher’s own request. While short, in keeping with the publisher’s requirements, it is substantive, and may answer a number of concerns raised by some recent books by prominent Catholics and others (Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option, Anthony Esolen’s Out of the Ashes, Archbishop Charles Chaput’s Strangers in a Strange Land) about how to put the U.S. and other countries back onto a track more in keeping with the original vision of America’s Founding Fathers.
|Might need a little fixing up.|
• National Infrastructure Bank. On Monday, members of the CESJ Core Group met with a group promoting reforms in banking and tax policy to finance infrastructure in the United States. A number of the ideas appeared to be compatible with the proposals of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) and its “Citizens Land Development Cooperative” concept. A number of details could be worked out, such as where ownership should be vested and how infrastructure can be made self-liquidating and self-sustaining whenever possible, but details were made to be worked out as long as the basic concept is sound.
|Just a slight market adjustment.|
• Market Volatility. What with the finagling of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the increasingly tense global situation, the stock market has been undergoing more than its usual fluctuations. For those in it for the long haul, this is not too much of a problem, although naturally worrisome. For those attempting to “play the market,” it can be a disaster, as a single bad decision on a long or short sale can wipe them out. Those it does not worry are those with access to computer trading and more cash than the GDP of Denmark, who make money on split second trades any time the market moves in any direction, up or down, and although they may make a profit of a thousandth of a cent on a single share, multiplied by the sheer volume of trades means that wild swings in the market — again, up or down — can generate millions of dollars in speculative profits in a single day.
|Old habits die hard.|
• Chinese Robber Barons. Unverified rumor has it that the Chinese Nomenklatura are making fortunes by picking up shares at bargain prices from ruined middle class investors who sank their savings and all they could borrow into speculative shares on the Shanghai Exchange, while the Chinese market is taking a hammering today. The government encouraged the middle class to invest, and then financed growth with increased government debt, creating a speculative bubble as cash flowed into the economy, and those with access to ready money are picking up the pieces.
|Fr. William Ferree, S.M., PH.D.|
• Other CESJ Publications. The revision of CESJ’s 2004 policy guide, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, is on track and may be ready for release the early part of next year. Editing of What Happened to Social Justice is proceeding apace, as is that of the compendium of the writings of CESJ co-founder Father William J. Ferree, S.M., Ph.D. Plans for a number of other projects have yet to be finalized but are in the works. To promote publications, CESJ is experimenting with producing “book trailers,” short videos to give a preview, much like the movie trailers seen in theaters.
• 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 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..
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 37 different countries and 46 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Distributism and Ronald Reagan, I,” “Distributism and Ronald Reagan, II,” “News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 41,” “,” and “Just Third Way Podcast Number 38.”
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.