It seems the worse things get, the higher the stock market goes. That’s as may be, however. What we’re interested in is what’s going on in the real world:
Friday, May 29, 2020
Thursday, May 28, 2020
How Fulton Sheen Viciously Attacked Msgr. Ryan (Not)
As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, Fulton J. Sheen left the Catholic University of America and transferred to the Louvain two years into a three year doctoral program due to the rapidly degenerating level of academic standards under the auspices of the noted Msgr. John A. Ryan. Not surprisingly for one of his temper, Msgr. Ryan appears to have taken Sheen’s move as an insult or a personal attack of some kind.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The American Chesterton Annoys Msgr. New Deal
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that the Catholic Church’s so-called “Living (or Just) Wage Doctrine” of Msgr. John A. Ryan (or anyone else) is not exactly, er, kosher. There is, of course, a “Living (or Just) Wage Discipline,” but not a doctrine. You see, a doctrine is an unchanging principle, while a discipline is a changeable application of a doctrine.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The Living Wage and Social Justice
According to the Wikipedia entry on him, Msgr. John A. Ryan (author of A Living Wage, whom we met in the previous posting on this subject) was “a leading Catholic priest who was a noted moral theologian, professor, author and advocate of social justice. Ryan lived during a decisive moment in the development of Catholic social teaching within the United States.”
Monday, May 25, 2020
JTW Podcast: Dr. Marwane El Alaooui
Friday, May 22, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 21
The Big News this week seems to be the debates about more “stimulus” in the trillions of dollars. We keep wondering why when we first proposed allocating $2 trillion worth of capital credit to finance new capital formation to be broadly owned and in a non-inflationary way, it was called insanely risky. Not like issuing $6 trillion or more of new money backed only by future tax collections that might never materialize. And then there’s this:
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Monsignor New Deal
To hear some people tell it, Monsignor John Augustine Ryan (1869-1945) was not only the greatest social justice advocate who ever lived, he saved the world by inspiring and instituting the New Deal in the 1930s. Neither claim bears up on even the most cursory examination. As we saw in the previous posting on this subject, public, academic, and political opinion had shifted away from an ownership system, and was firmly entrenched in the wage system.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Some Labor Problems
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that where Adam Smith said a thing is worth what the customer is willing to pay for it, David Ricardo said a thing is worth the labor it cost to produce it combined with its scarcity. We then asked the forbidden question, What if it takes immense labor to produce a unique item that nobody wants? That’s where the “labor theory of value” gets more than a little dicey.
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
The Labor Theory of Value
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good wife, must be in want of a job.” That, of course, is the famous opening line from fictional author Gianny Austin’s apocryphal novel, Property and Prejudice, a comedy of manners in which ownership of the means of production (except for an economic or political élite) is depicted as being not quite polite, and the characters spend all their time cleverly positioning themselves for higher wages and fixed benefits, and then wondering why prices are so high and why other people keep telling them what to do.
Monday, May 18, 2020
R.M. Hutchins & M.J. Adler on "the Great Books"
Okay, this is not a video with Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer J. Adler, it's a video about Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer J. Adler and the "Great Books" program. Enjoy!
Friday, May 15, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 20
The latest news is that “the government” (meaning desperate politicians) are considering pumping another $3 trillion so people have something to spend. Of course, we’re still baffled why an additional $3 trillion backed by government debt that is rising skyward is more secure than the $2 trillion backed by private sector hard assets we propose for Capital Homesteading, but then, we’re not politicians or academics. All we can do is talk what seems to be common sense:
Thursday, May 14, 2020
Socialism v. Capitalism v. . . . What?
In the previous posting on this subject, we noted that the phrases “the dignity of labor” and “the dignity of work” might be a little ambiguous, even misleading on occasion. For example, what do we mean by “labor”? Do we mean work . . . or do we mean the worker? The dignity of work is substantially different from the dignity of the worker, so it makes a great deal of difference what we mean by “labor.”
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Dignity of Work or Labor v. Human Dignity
Earlier this week, Catholic World Report, a webzine, ran an article, “Nonessential Workers” and the Essential Dignity of Work.” Reading through the article, there seemed to be some confusion about different types of work, and even work as work, as well as the concept of dignity. It seemed to paint the situation as a single issue in black and white, while in reality it is a number of issues that get into some very gray areas.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
A Measure of Reform
In the previous posting on this subject, we posted another section of our recent CESJ position paper, “Universalizing Capital Ownership.” Today we get to the final section of the paper, dealing with the short-term emergency measures we believe to be necessary, and a brief outline of the long-term reforms to the system that need to be carried out. Of course, if you want to read the entire paper without having to go back and read the individual postings, just click on the link above to the full paper. It’s pretty short.
Monday, May 11, 2020
The Theory of Happiness
In today's video cast, the "Great Books" philosopher Mortimer Adler discusses Aristotle's "theory of happiness" found in Book I of the Nichomachean Ethics. And what has this got to do with the Just Third Way? You'll see. . . .
Friday, May 8, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 19
As the lockdown, shutdown, quarantine, or whatever you want to call it continues, so does the scarcity of real and workable ideas on what to do about it. For example:
Thursday, May 7, 2020
A New Monetary Paradigm
In the previous posting on this subject, we continued posting sections of our recent CESJ position paper, “Universalizing Capital Ownership.” As we said before, of course, . Of course, if you want to read the entire paper without waiting for the parts to be posted, just click on the link.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
The Unacknowledged Right
In the previous posting on this subject, we started posting a recent CESJ position paper, “Universalizing Capital Ownership,” as a series. Of course, if you want to read the paper in one go, just click on the link; it’s not very long, although putting up the whole thing as a blog posting is a bit much at one time.
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Possible Steps to Restart the Economy
Okay, when we last addressed this subject in a posting, we were in the middle of helping prepare a “subject paper” (or whatever you want to call it) on the Covid-19 virus and its economic impact. The preparation of the paper proved to be a bit more involved than originally anticipated (although well worth the effort), so instead of closing this particular series of blog postings with a summary of the paper, we’ll end by serializing the paper itself. Of course, if you want to read the whole paper at one go (it’s actually pretty short), you can do so by clicking on this link.
Monday, May 4, 2020
Just Third Way Podcast (Sort Of): Natural Law Theory
Today we have a short (ten minute) video on "natural law theory" which isn't bad, but it's not the best. For one thing, it's poorly edited, with all pauses between thoughts edited out. It tends to come off like a G&S patter trio after a bit. There are also a number of factual errors, such as man being a social animal . . . no, political animal; we have determinable, not determinate natures. On the whole, however, it's not bad, if you ignore the cutesy and clever language and edit out the oversimplifications and errors:
Friday, May 1, 2020
News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 18
Purely by coincidence, most of the news items this week relate to the benefits of worker ownership. We say “by coincidence,” for today is the “feast” (holiday in honor of) “Saint Joseph the Worker,” which was instituted in 1955 to counter the communists Numero Uno holiday in the workers’ calendar. What the communists and everyone else seemed to forget, however, is that Saint Joseph was not just a worker, he was a worker-owner. He may have been poor, but poor people can own capital, too:
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