Amazon workers in Germany and Spain went on strike today in Amazon distribution centers, possibly the biggest sales day and busiest of the year. The stock market is down. And nobody seems to know how to fix what is going wrong. Maybe it’s time to look seriously at the Just Third Way . . . .
• Catholic Internet Television. On Wednesday Norman Kurland, president of CESJ went into rehearsal for a taping of a segment for the . Dr. Kurland’s segment will focus on a Just Third Way based on a sound money and credit system that transcends monopoly capitalism and all forms of collectivism. The goal is to empower the poorest of the poor without taking accumulations away from the currently wealthy except for their current virtual monopoly over ownership of future new capital formation.
|Henry Thornton, Father of Central Banking, Real Bills Doctrine|
• A New Understanding of Money and Credit Needed. In a recent telephone interview with someone interested in the Just Third Way, it became evident that even people who are well-disposed to the goals of the Just Third Way are often burdened with different ideas about money and credit (and a few other things) that inhibit an immediate grasp of the general idea: empowerment of every child, woman, and man through direct capital ownership, with capital acquisition financed by the expansion of commercial bank credit repaid with the future earnings of the capital itself. Anyone indoctrinated in the “Currency Principle” paradigm on which all three mainstream schools of economics are based (Keynesian, Monetarist, Austrian) assumes as a given that money is first created, then expended. The Just Third Way, however, relies on the “Banking Principle,” which in part relies on the “real bills doctrine,” that is, “money” is created by the process of making and keeping promises, usually in the form of bills and notes. “Good money” is created by “real bills,” that is, promises backed by real assets owned by the maker of the promise or that the maker of the promise reasonably expects to own when it comes time for the promise to be kept. “Bad money” is created by “fictitious bills,” that is, promises backed by nothing, or by something in which the maker of the promise does not have a property stake.
|Socialism, Modernism, and the Occult go together.|
• Socialism, Modernism, and New Age Link? In an article, “ ” (to appear in the December print edition as “Why are Exorcisms on the Rise?”), posted on its website, the Atlantic Monthly examines the increase in the number of requests for exorcisms, or casting out of demons. While it does not say yea or nay regarding the actual existence of demons, the article is far better than most on the subject and avoids overt sensationalism, giving the subject serious treatment. It calls to mind Dr. Scott Peck's book, People of the Lie (1998) which also treats demonic possession as a serious subject (Peck may have gotten a little carried away with some of his claims in this and later books, but still has valid observations and insights); Archbishop Chaput cited Peck’s book as describing symptoms of today's social, religious, and family malaise. It is of interest to the Just Third Way not because of any particular belief in demons, but as an example of how in times of economic, social, political, and religious confusion and chaos people tend to increase their interest in such “esoteric” subjects as the work of Dr. Julian Strube of Heidelberg University demonstrates. Dr. Strube has proved a link between early nineteenth century socialism and modernism, and an increased interest in, even obsession with the occult and the New Age. It is understandable that the further society gets from its natural law foundation and rejects a healthy spirituality, the more it succumbs to unhealthy spiritual ideas in a desperate search for meaning and order. It is no coincidence that Nazism often included an interest in the occult, much of its philosophy and bizarre racial theories coming from “Ariosophy” (“Aryan Theosophy”), derived from theosophy and other esoteric occult movements of the nineteenth century that opposed traditional forms of politics, family structure, and religion, especially Judaism and Christianity.
|Martin Luther King, Jr. (left) Walter Reuther (right)|
• National Minimum Wage Movement. In pursuit of a short term expedient that starts to border on the delusional when it becomes viewed as a permanent solution, the push to implement a $15 minimum wage is gaining force in response to the new ascendancy of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. The problem, of course, is that while paying people more than a free market determined wage rate may be essential at times as an expedient, it is not, and can never be, a permanent solution to inadequate income. As the late labor statesman Walter Reuther of the UAW noted, raising fixed wages and benefits only increases costs and raises prices for consumers . . . who are the same people who would get the increased wages. As a result, workers and consumers are trapped in a perpetual game of trying to catch up, with each round of cost and price increases leaving them worse off than before. After all, even if wages, costs, and prices go up by exactly the same amount, wage earners are no better off than before, but they pay more in taxes (income, sales, property, etc.), decreasing their purchasing power even if everything else stays in the same ratio! In reality, of course, it is inevitable that costs and prices increase faster than wages if only so that companies can maintain their profitability, inflation eats away the purchasing power of the increase, and transfer payments from workers to non-workers also decrease purchasing power. What Reuther pointed out was that if compensation increases came out of the bottom line, i.e., after costs, instead of increasing costs, workers’ incomes would rise but prices would fall, especially if the workers and consumers were owners and receiving dividend income out of profits instead of increasing costs by taking increases in the form of fixed wages. What is needed, then, is not a national minimum wage, but a national minimum ownership.
|Dodged the ax again? Celebrate with Amazon Smile!|
• 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 42 different countries and 45 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “,” “,” “,” “,” 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#