Of course, proponents of raising the minimum wage insist that if prospective employers would pay more, they’d have all the workers they need. The downside, of course, is that at some point it becomes cheaper to outsource or replace human beings with robots. Robots don’t make demands, but then they don’t buy products, either. No one is asking why not turn everybody into owners of the machines that are doing the work, which would solve a lot of problems:
• Beanie Baby Bust. With all the furor over Americans not saving enough for retirement, and not spending enough to keep the economy going, you could always depend on one thing: those collectibles that you bought to fund your retirement instead of putting the cash into boring things like mutual funds or your own business. Not only did you spend money and keep the economy going by buying that stuff, you funded your retirement by having something that would only increase in value . . . right? Wrong. The beanie baby fad died years ago. Now all you have is something for a couple of yard sales. This is why “investing” in “collectibles” is generally a bad idea. A true collector collects something because it’s interesting somehow, not because it’s worth money. That’s just a bonus, and if it doesn’t pay off, so what? Do you expect the concerts and sports events you attended to pay you money thirty years later? If you want to invest for retirement or anything else — such as current income — start lobbying for the Economic Democracy Act, don’t start trying to second guess what the biggest collectibles fad will be in twenty or thirty years.
• A Response to Remarks on Crypto Currencies. Last we we made some comments regarding the crash in crypto currencies. This week we present a different view from one of our readers, who took advantage of our request for news items — if only to demonstrate that the Just Third Way has room for different opinions. As our reader responded, “This blog is a consistent source of wisdom about past and future money, but the cryptocurrency position should be refined. Bitcoin, despite its shortcomings, should be praised for opening the world of alternative currency creation. Incredible money and banking innovation is taking place around distributed ledger technologies including blockchain. Instead of separating decentralized finance (DeFi) from the philosophy of sound money that empowers all, bring them together. Cryptos are now worth trillions, with many backed by assets like gold and fiat currencies. Since they are here to stay, we should encourage competing coins so the best can prevail. Most developers in the crypto space already realize money has not worked well. We just need to show that the main problem still has not been addressed. It is actually not traditional banking and finance, but concentrated ownership of it and the resulting corruption including monetization of the wrong things. Let's work with devs on distributed ledger projects that prove at least a model of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism, so the world's leaders must discuss it. One may materialize around the community being built at: paradime.org.”
|Judge Peter S. Grosscup
• Judge Grosscup Rides Again. While researching something else — which is how we seem to come up with some surprising things — we came across extracts from a speech given by Judge Peter S. Grosscup on December 12, 1902, at the University of Nebraska School of Law. Judge Grosscup was one of President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Trust Busters,” and a strong advocate of broadening ownership of America’s corporate wealth to ordinary people. He considered a system in which wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few to be both a political and an economic danger to a nation. As he said, “A widespread withdrawal by the people at large from general ownership in the properties of the country cannot but be fraught with the gravest dangers. Such withdrawal will diminish if not destroy popular interest in national prosperity, for from those only who have a stake in prosperity can we expect great interests — the real strength of government; for government must be built on the interests as well as the affections of the people governed. An industrial system subject to such indictment is a rising menace to free government itself.”
• Hortense and Her Whos. In case you’ve been wondering how you might advance the Just Third Way by introducing it to legislators at any and all levels of government, we’ve made it easy for you, with the “Hortense Hears Three Whos” initiative. Visit the explanatory website, and consider downloading the postcard to send to people in government. Don’t worry if you think they won’t be open to it, as the postcard is intended to get them to open their eyes.
|Don't be the last on your planet to get it.
• 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 email@example.com 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 Sensus Fidelium video is “The Political Animal.” 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.
|"Beanie Babies are out! I'm safe!"
• CESJ’s Bookstore. Have you visited the CESJ Bookstore? Okay, there’s no coffee (or tea) bar, but there is plenty of parking if your chair is big enough, a good pre-selection of books, nobody shushing you as they read books without buying them, or a host of other things. There is even a rebate for CESJ members (you have to be an official member, not just with us in spirit) that applies to verified purchases for verified members . . . once we verify it. And you have to request it; it’s not automatic, sorry (blame state tax laws for making it complicated; we do NOT make retail sales, you HAVE to go to a regular bookstore, although we do have certain titles available for bulk discounts if you buy direct from us.) We should mention that some of the books are also available as free download in electronic format, if you feel you can’t afford the cash right now. If you do buy some books, however, be sure to take advantage of the Amazon “Smile” program, below. It won’t cost you any more, but it will benefit CESJ.
• 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 28 different countries and 38 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Tanzania, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Purpose of Production,” “JTW Podcast: Mortimer Adler, Aristotle, and Happiness,” “The Struggle for Sanity,” “The Secret History of Rerum Novarum,” and “The Socialist Counterattack.”
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.