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:
|Louis Kelso: "Told you so . . . fifty years ago."|
• Corona Job Losses. According to reports, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida have been hit hardest by the wave of sudden unemployment, now “officially” up to 14.7%. Of the approximately 33 million jobs “lost,” by far the most have come in those three states. Not surprisingly, these are also states that have experienced rapid growth over the past ten years . . . but did so in ways that in general did not allow as many people as possible to participate fully in that growth as workers, consumers, and owners of the new capital. Had more of the growth been focused on financing in ways that broadened ownership of advanced technology, not only would workers and former workers be able to derive income from ownership when they can no longer work, but production would have continued as advanced technologies usually require substantially less human input and sometimes none at all. As Louis Kelso pointed out over half a century ago, whether a human being earns income by producing with his or her labor, or owns the machine that produces, the human being is still going to get the income, which will keep the economy running both on the production side and the consumption side, as described in the short paper, “Universalizing Capital Ownership.”
|Bernie Sanders: "Forget what I said about worker ownership."|
• Free Money for All? Why Not Capital Credit for All? As reported in the Huffington Post (“New Bill Would Give Americans $2,000 Per Month Until Coronavirus Pandemic Is Over”), a proposed bill in Congress would . . . well, hand out $2,000 monthly to folks to help out in this time of crisis . . . and make them dependent on the federal government. As stated in the article, “The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, introduced Friday by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would provide a monthly $2,000 check to every person with an income below $120,000 throughout the public health crisis and for three months after it officially ends.” Of course, who is to say when something “officially ends”? . . . but that’s not what we’re questioning . . . okay, we’re questioning that, as well as wondering where the money is supposed to come from, but we’re also wondering why CESJ’s proposed “Capital Homestead Act” that originally suggested $3,000 (up to $7-12,000 now, why be stingy?) in capital credit extended in a non-inflationary way to allow people without savings to purchase newly formed capital and become productive without past savings (Capital Homesteading uses “future savings”) isn’t being discussed. After all, if you’re really interested in putting the economy on a sound footing, doesn’t it make sense for every child, woman, and man to participate to the fullest extent possible as producer, consumer, and owner?
|What pops into our heads when we hear "the Jobs Market."|
• Jobs are Down, the Dow is Up. It is not clear to us just how or why the worse the “Jobs Market” gets, the higher the stock market rises. As far as we know, there are only two direct factors of production, labor and capital. If someone cannot produce (or produce enough) with his or her labor, logic dictates that he or she must produce with capital or be forced to rely on charity or theft (with a nod to redistribution as an allowed expedient in an emergency, but not as a usual thing). Rises in the stock market as increasing numbers of people become non-productive seems to be rooted in the rather bizarre notion that stock market price changes represent changes in real wealth. No, they represent changes in the prices people are willing to pay for the symbols of ownership of wealth, i.e., debt and equity instruments representing the assets and liabilities of the issuing institutions. That is why the stock market is called a “secondary market.” The primary market is a term applied to two things, 1) the private sector companies and individuals engaged in producing and consuming marketable goods and services, and 2) institutions making new (“primary”) issues of debt and equity. In regard to the latter, every new issue of either debt or equity in which the issuer gets the money is a “primary issue,” while debt and equity instruments that are resold are “secondary issues.” The primary market gets the issuer the money, but the issuer never sees a cent more regardless how high the price of an issue goes once it’s out in the market.
|"Use Amazon Smile . . . Blah, Blah!"|
• 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.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 32 different countries and 37 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Spain, the United Kingdom,, and Indonesia. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “How Commercial Banks Create Money,” “News from the Network, Vol. 13, No. 18,” “Possible Steps to Restart the Economy,” “The Unacknowledged Right,” and “Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice.”
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.” Due to imprudent language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.