Much of the activity in the Just Third Way this week involved the interesting-to-participate-in-but-not-so-interesting-to-read-about making connections, building relationships, and planning for the coming year. CESJ’s fiscal year ended September 30, and the annual “planning phase” for the coming year usually takes place in the “lame duck” months following the end of the fiscal year and the beginning of the calendar year:
|Norman G. Kurland|
• McGill University Conference. Norman Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), has been invited to give a keynote address at the “Liberty and Agency in the Anthropocene: Economics for the Anthropocene” conference at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. The conference will be held November 12 and 13, 2018, in the Ballroom of the Thompson House.
• Making Connections. Proposals are being developed for possible conferences on sustainable urban redevelopment and reviving Academia. Earlier this week the CESJ core group had a telephone conference with founder and head of a cooperative incubator organization in Ohio, where CESJ is also building a relationship with a Catholic university in Cleveland. The possibility of outreach to other community and religious leaders as well as organizations is being explored, as well as funding possibilities.
• Meeting with Key ESOP Company President. This past week the CESJ core group met with Mr. Andrew Tavss, president of Mid South Building Supply, Inc., which has been 100% owned by its workers since 1985. Since the original buyout — which was the very first to be financed completely with commercial bank credit — the number of participants in the Plan has tripled, and a significant percentage (more than 10%) have accumulated account balances in excess of $1 million.
• Less for More? Hershey’s announced that it is launching “Reese’s Thins” in 2019, a “slimmer” (i.e., smaller) version of the famous peanut butter cup. At a higher price per ounce, the consumer will, of course, get less candy for more money. Another factor to be considered is that the smaller size will encourage people who would otherwise have consumed no candy at all to eat more in small pieces than they would if the pieces were larger. In Justice-Based Management, of course, the idea is to get “more for less,” not fool people into by giving them less for more.
|Harold G. Moulton|
• Myth of the Independent Indian Central Bank. The Reserve Bank of India claims to be an independent central bank and is working at the present time to reassert its independence . . . which argues that they are not as independent as they claim. Of course, it is difficult for a central bank to be independent when the reserve currency is backed 100% by government debt, the government retains legal control and the right to “give such directions to the Bank as it may,” and the government appoints the head of the Bank. Independence of a central bank under those conditions as Dr. Harold G. Moulton of the Brookings Institution pointed out in the 1930s, is a myth. Only by backing the reserve currency with private sector hard assets as was the original theory of central banking is it possible to have a uniform, stable, elastic, asset-backed reserve currency and avoid both inflation and deflation. Only by having widespread capital ownership and universal citizen direct ownership of the central bank, limiting the government’s role to regulation and enforcement of contracts, and a tax system that raises sufficient revenue to run the government and pay down past deficits with only short term borrowing out of existing accumulations of savings to cover temporary shortfalls in tax collections will the system be sustainable.
|Chesterton: Distributism is not socialism.|
• Report on Publications. With three manuscripts submitted in October, a publisher seeking to explore some new directions is requesting more natural law-based Just Third Way material for consideration. One of the manuscripts, with the working title Capital Homesteading: Practical Distributism for the Global Economy, has been described as “a great book” and “a valuable introduction” to the subject. The possibility of getting a New York Times bestselling author to write a short foreword is being explored. The other two manuscripts deal with some of the fallacies of Keynesian economics, and the basis of the natural law. The revision of Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen is under review prior to editing, and What Happened to Social Justice is still in editing.
• 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 33 different countries and 42 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Canada, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “How Things Went Wrong,” “Like a Summer’s Cloud,” “News from the Network, Vol. 11, No. 43,” “,” and .”
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.#30#