There are some very interesting news items this week, many of which reveal widespread misunderstanding regarding the nature of money. Many people talk about it, but very few seem to have any real idea what it is. To lighten things up a little, however, we lead off with a free plug for the CESJ Bookstore, which you really should visit:
• 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.
• Stock Market Secrets Revealed! The secret is out: there is no connection between the real economy and the stock market. Once upon a time there might have been, but with the massive money creation by governments pouring their debt-backed issues into the global economy, the presumed link between money and prices was lost. Consistent with Keynesian monetary theory and the Quantity Theory of Money equation ( M x V = P x Q, where M is the quantity of money, V is the average number of times each unit of currency is spent in a year, P is the price level, and Q is the number of transactions), anything can be anything you want! It’s magic! As any high school algebra student can tell you, if you have one equation and three unknowns, the answer is whatever you want it to be! Pure moral relativism translated into mathematics! Behind this, of course, is the idea that the quantity of money determines economic activity, that is, M determines V, P, and Q. That means M can be whatever you want it to be, and since the politicians and the speculators want inflation that concentrates wealth and makes wage earners poor and dependent on them, they issue as much money as they want. The effect is to rob from the poor to give to the rich. Of course, the Economic Democracy Act would upset this applecart by making the amount of money determined by economic activity, but that would give us a stable economic and a sound currency, and who wants that?
• Inflation Skyrockets! Much to everyone’s surprise, “inflation” (which is calculated very strangely) has “jumped” to a “13-year high,” according to today’s Wall Street Journal. According to the Monetarist definition — which is the one we use — “inflation” means a rise in the price level due to an increase in the money supply faster than the increase in marketable goods and services. Keeping in mind that Keynesian economics defines inflation as a rise in the price level after full employment has been reached, while the Austrian school defines it as an increase in the money supply, whether or not the price level rises, we realize that the powers-that-be manipulate the inflation rate by massaging the definition in order to obtain the desired results — which is one reason the stock market keeps going up regardless what is happening in the real world (above). Speaking of the stock market and the jobs market (full employment, you know), we find that there has been inflation all along . . . but that it’s hurting the people it’s supposed to help. Take the stock market, for instance. On June 27, 2008, thirteen years ago, the Dow closed at 11,346.51, and “they” (whoever “they” are) declared an official “bull market.” Today at approximately 10:45 am, the Dow was at 34,442.16, a 203% increase in the stock market price level, an average of nearly 16% inflation per year. Trillions of dollars have been poured into the stock market instead of being used to rebuild the U.S. economy. The lid has been kept on consumer prices only because the money has gone into speculation. There has been inflation all along. The experts have simply been looking in the wrong place.
• Reparations for Slavery. At least it’s a new twist. Trevon Logan, an economist at Ohio State University, is demanding that the United States redistribute not income, but existing wealth to descendants of slaves. The problem, of course, is that he is talking about taking wealth away from people who never owned slaves, and giving it to people who were never slaves. Of course, if he’s talking about systemic racism, then why not advocate a systemic solution, such as the one developed by the Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice? Dr. Logan is correct that redistributing income won’t do anything beneficial, but by the same token neither will redistributing wealth. Why redistribute opportunity and access to the means to become wealthy, instead of waiting around for a handout?
|Uh, you really want this?|
• “Gangbuster Summer” According to the Wall Street Journal (A-2, 06/11/21), be prepared for a “Gangbuster Summer” of Initial Public Offerings. Companies are evidently gearing up to take advantage of the pent up consumer demand that accumulated during the pandemic . . . which will be depleted very quickly as inflation starts taking a bigger bite of people’s income and savings. Not that IPOs are necessarily bad, but if they do nothing to increase the base of share ownership, they are not building the consumer demand essential to make the IPO a sinning proposition . . . unless the issues are purely speculative, of course, and manage to catch the wave of pump before being dumped.
• Bitcoin and 401(k). Also in today’s Wall Street Journal was a notice that Bitcoin will now qualify for 401(k) investment. This is a rather equivocal decision in many respects. A 401(k) is supposed to be a tax-deferred savings plan for retirement, with the savings going into qualified investments, not simply accumulated as cash. If Bitcoin is a genuine currency, that means it’s cash, and should not qualify for a 401(k). If it’s a commodity, it is not an investment, but a speculation, and should not qualify. Which is it? Bitcoin supporters should be very worried about this move, as it calls into question the claim that Bitcoin is an alternative currency and even what, precisely, it is.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 26 different countries and 29 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, Canada, and India. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “JTW Podcast: Are You Happy?” “The Attack on Fulton Sheen,” “Sabotaging Solidarism,” “News from the Network, Vol. 14, No. 22,” and “John Henry Newman and Charles Kingsley.”
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.