We start off today’s news items with the CESJ Bookstore, which you might want to patronize. If you can’t see anything, evidently you have to turn off some kind of ad blocker and you get everything. The other big concern is China, which makes up the bulk of this week’s Just Third Way news . . . even though what China is doing can hardly be called just. Consider it a warning:
• CESJ’s Bookstore. Have you visited the CESJ Bookstore yet? There is a good pre-selection of books, and 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 the bookstore, not us directly, 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.
|"Say . . . Who owns this company, anyway?"|
• What’s Wrong With Investing. It is clearly not the intent of the article, but if you want to know what is wrong with how people today think of investment, retirement, and income, not to mention private property, take a look at this article. It is extremely disingenuous in that it takes current Wall Street practices for granted and assumes that dividends are some sort of gift that the Board of Directors of a corporation give to shareholders. Most revealing is the statement that a shareholder doesn’t do anything to receive dividends. Apparently, being an owner is not something that anyone needs to consider. No wonder the Great Reset, stakeholder capitalism, inclusive capitalism, and so on, in which the rights of ownership are completely abolished and everybody and his brother receives dividends simply because they’re hanging around, are proving so popular.
• Apple Daily. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, published its last issue yesterday, citing concerns for workers’ safety due to the communist government’s crackdown. We have noted before that while fear of the people is a hallmark of the People’s Republic, and a primary motive for the crackdown, we strongly suspect that the fact that Hong Kong has been one of the major (if not major) conduits for funneling vast amounts of cash out of the country by the nouveau riche Chinese entrepreneurs making fortunes out of the “Belt and Road Initiative” and neo-colonialism. Since China has funded both its internal development and its colonial expansion by issuing vast amounts of debt, the government badly needs the tax revenue and the economic activity that would ensue from keeping the money within China. Instead, by taking advantage of the international tax evasion industry made possible by the appearance of “über-wealth” in the 1970s and complicated networks of shell corporations registered in overseas tax havens, the newly wealthy Chinese have been taking money out of China as fast as they can, ensuring that the government that financed their projects derives no benefit from them. Bitcoin has been used the same way, accounting for the government crackdown on “bitcoin mining” over concerns about pollution from cheap energy generation that hasn’t bothered them in any other industry.
• Pyramid Scheme. The Chinese government has been forced to issue more debt to keep the economy going as profits are siphoned out of the country. A significant amount of this new money also ends up in the pockets of the wealthy and is sent out of the country to evade taxation. In consequence, the Chinese economy is rapidly becoming a hollow shell, a pyramid scheme supported only by debt that is itself backed by other debt. Following the pattern of any pyramid scheme, the Chinese government has no choice but to keep expanding the amount of debt and hoping against hope that it will be able to recapture the money currently beyond its reach.
|Need to put a lid on it.|
• How to Stop the Hemorrhaging. If governments are serious about bringing a halt to the “capital without borders” phenomenon, there is a relatively simple, yet far from easy way to stop it: the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism. In addition to spreading out ownership and equalizing wealth and income, encouraging people to spend income on consumption instead of reinvesting it, and freeing the economy from what Louis Kelso called the “slavery of savings” — the belief that you can only invest using existing wealth — the entire monetary system is shifted from being backed by government debt, to being backed by private sector assets. The tax base expands, the presumed dependency on the currently wealthy is broken, and the enormous amounts of money held by the über-rich are “sterilized,” that is, they can’t be used for reinvestment and can only be spent.
• 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 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 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 25 different countries and 31 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Czechia. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Not Really About Religion,” “News from the Network, Vol. 14, No. 24,” “Still Not Really About Religion,” “JTW Podcast: The Economics of Reality and Justice” and “The Fabian Flood.”
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.