The stock market, of course, is soaring, having “recovered” from the concern of President Biden’s tax proposals, and the economy is again in full recovery mode . . . whatever that means. Evidently a rising stock market is considered a leading economic indicator, when properly speaking it isn’t an indicator of anything except the price of used debt and equity. What is really needed in this country and the world is a focus on productive activity that everyone can engage in, not fake production of gambling and speculation.
• Plagues and Private Property. An interesting analysis out of England argues that pandemics past and present have resulted in increasing concentration of wealth. In “How Pandemics Past and Present Fuel the Rise of Large Companies,” authors Eleanor Russell and Martin Parker argue that in the short run — at least in a labor-based economy — most people historically were better off because there was a labor shortage. In the long run, however, it was found that larger business enterprises and wealthy families had more resources to keep things going and take advantage of the new conditions following a pandemic. Today, with the growing displacement of human labor from production, large enterprises and the wealthy who rely more on ownership of technology than on labor benefit immediately, while increasingly expensive and redundant labor is taking it in the neck.
• Universal Basic Income. Even before the pandemic, there was a strong push to disconnect consumption income from the wage and welfare system so that people could be assured of a basic income whether or not they qualified for a job or welfare. On paper, it seems to work: if technology can produce everything people need, then why not simply tax away enough from producers (capital owners) to distribute among everyone so that everyone has a basic subsistence? Everything evens out. In reality, of course, it’s been historically the case that only in extraordinary circumstances can tax revenues exceed approximately 20% of GDP, and then only for a short time. In practical terms, then, redistributing wealth through the tax system to provide a basic income would mean that consumption income equal to 20% of GDP is supposed to clear production equal to 100% of GDP — which is impossible. The answer (or so many of today’s economists and politicians believe, thanks to Lord Keynes) is to issue government debt to make up the difference. This, however, soon results in a gargantuan public debt that bankrupts the country issuing it when the bill comes due.
• The Production Participation Solution. Obviously, the only way to make an economy work in a just manner is to make production equal consumption naturally, not through manipulation of the currency, taxation, subsidies, or anything else. And the only way to do that is to make it possible for everyone to have the opportunity and access to the means to own capital and use it to produce as well as with labor. The only proposal of which we’re aware that does that, however, is the Economic Democracy Act, of which few people in Academia or politics seem aware.
• Gene Gordon Testifies Again. One exception to the general rule that hardly anyone in Academia or politics is coming up with anything substantive is Missouri State Senator Karla May, on whose behalf Gene Gordon again testified in Jefferson City, Missouri, this past Tuesday, on Missouri State Resolution SCR 18 supporting expanded capital ownership as a way of rebuilding America.
• Economic Personalism Landing Page. A landing page for CESJ’s latest publication, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, has been created and can be accessed by clicking on this link. Everyone is encouraged to visit the page and send the link out to their networks.
• Economic Personalism. When you purchase a copy of Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, be sure you post a review after you’ve read it. It is available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the cover price of $10 per copy. You can also download the free copy in .pdf available from the CESJ website. If you’d like to order in bulk (i.e., ten or more copies) at the wholesale price, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. CESJ’s series of videos for Sensus Fidelium are doing very well, with nearly 150,000 views in total. The latest available Sensus Fidelium video is “Seeking the Good.” The video is part of the series on the book, Economic Personalism. The latest completed series on “the Great Reset” can be found on the “Playlist” for the series. The previous series of sixteen videos on socialism is available by clicking on the link: “Socialism, Modernism, and the New Age,” along with some book reviews and other selected topics. For “interfaith” presentations to a Catholic audience they’ve proved to be popular, edging up to 150,000 views to date. They aren’t really “Just Third Way videos,” but they do incorporate a Just Third Way perspective. You can access the playlist for the entire series The point of the videos is to explain how socialism and socialist assumptions got such a stranglehold on the understanding of the role of the State and thus the interpretation of Catholic social teaching, and even the way non-Catholics and even non-Christians understand the roles of Church, State, and Family, and the human person’s place in society.
• 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 86 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, the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, and China. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Past Savings Paradox,” “News from the Network, Vol. 14, No. 15,” “The Economic Crimes of David Ricardo,” “Getting Real About Money,” and “JTW Podcast: Louis Kelso and Harold Channer Show (No. 2).”
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.