What with the politicians fighting and the economists arguing, it might seem to you as if no progress is being made . . . and you’d be right — if by “progress” you mean that the politicians have decided to spend more money they don’t have, and the economists have figured out a way to get some of it . . . oops, we mean, present a socio-economic theory and econometric model demonstrating how essential it is that the politicians spend lots of money and that the economists get some of it. In the real world, however, progress continues to be made developing, refining and communicating these ideas:
• Help Joe Walk Again for Economic Justice. Just a reminder, if you haven’t already done so, to visit the GoFundMe campaign and consider making a contribution and spreading word out among your social media networks. It’s off to a good start, but it’s still just a start.
• The Great Worker Shortage. Buzz in business and government circles these days seems to be focused on the inability of businesses to find enough workers who want to — work, that is. Newspapers are carrying page upon page of analyses trying to explain how or why people aren’t returning to work. We don’t have space (or the inclination) to go over the arguments, but we do have something we don’t think any of the experts have considered. That is, people have been conditioned for the last century or so to think of income solely in terms of either a private sector job or government redistribution. (Or the idea: a government job.) The problem is that technology is displacing private sector jobs, and the diminishing tax base combined with increasingly almost cosmic demands on government assistance render continuing redistribution as the primary source of income for a significant number of people is unrealistic. So why aren’t people returning to work? In our opinion, it’s because they are waiting to see how much the government is going to give them out of the multi-trillion-dollar budget. This, of course, will prove ephemeral, because there’s no way it can be sustained. No one considers the option that Louis Kelso presented more than half a century ago: build capital self-sufficiency into everyone, so that ownership income from self-liquidating assets generates a core income that is non-redistributive and non-inflationary, relieves pressure on the government to redistribute and the private sector to create unnecessary jobs, and businesses can pay the true market value of labor without having to worry whether it’s enough to live on. (In our opinion, wages would rise dramatically as people found it possible to live comfortably without a wage system job, but that’s another issue.) A program that would do all this and more is the Economic Democracy Act.
|"It's good if you're poor if I'm rich."|
• Inflation is Good for You. Not. Or so sayeth the Great God Keynes . . . and only if you’re rich enough to take advantage of the opportunities for fun and profit offered by inflation. You see, Keynes believed that concentrated wealth is a great good, for how else can new capital formation be financed and jobs created? That’s why virtually everything in Keynesian economics is designed to help the rich get richer, and keep the non-rich on wages and welfare . . . and one of the best ways to do this is by inflation. Inflation shifts value from non-producers to producers by cheapening the value of the money received by wage and welfare recipients and making products more expensive. This concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands. For example, if someone is paid $1 an hour for work performed when bread is $1 a loaf, but at the time the bread is purchased is $2 a loaf because the government inflated the currency, the bread cost 2 hours instead of one hour, even if the wage rate increased to $2 per hour in the meantime. The wage earner’s real pay was 50¢ per hour. Where did the money go? To the producer of the bread, who doubled his profits without having to increase production.
|Hydrogen has come a long way, Baby.|
• (Potential) Energy Crisis, Anyone? The powers-that-be are getting worried about yet another potential energy crisis as the fossil fuels which are under the control of other powers-that-be might not be available for the people that want or need them. Of course, we could switch to hydrogen as a fuel source, hydrogen being the most common element in the universe . . . and thus not under the control of anyone and is relatively easy to extract from water (helium is the second, but impossible at the current state of technology to manufacture and is only available from natural sources on Earth, although "Out There" is a different story). That, however, would require that someone come up with a handy-dandy home hydrogen producer, that it be installed in every hydrogen-powered vehicle, or that gas stations be retrofitted with hydrogen stations to supplement the gas pumps. The fuel source would be plain, old water, and it wouldn’t even have to be particularly clean, since the goal is to extract hydrogen, leaving oxygen behind. All three could done, thereby easing the shift from fossil fuels to a cheap and virtually endless fuel source. It’s not such a crazy idea. Henry Ford’s original idea was to power his car on industrial grade alcohol, a renewable resource that can be made on virtually any farm from organic waste, such as corn stalks, straw, weeds, etc. It’s not something you really want to drink, but the fact is that hydrogen fuel should be even easier and cheaper to make at home, and you don’t have to worry about the kiddies getting into the fuel cabinet. Of course, new types of hydrogen fuel would have to be developed and the cost efficiency increased dramatically, but that’s a technical problem that some high school student will solve the moment he or she is told not to do it. And, despite the usual chants of Hindenburg-Hindenburg-Hindenburg, hydrogen fuel is much safer than gasoline. And biodiesel is do-able right now for anyone frightened of hydrogen, and it, too, can be made in your own home.
|"This Just Third Way worries me."|
• The GREATER Reset. Latest word on the upcoming (March 1, 2022) book, The Greater Reset from TAN Books/Saint Benedict Press that presents a Just Third Way alternative to “the Great Reset” proposed by Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum he founded is that the foreword will probably be done by a “name” bishop and that a Cardinal or three might be persuaded to give a thumbs up on the project. The Greater Reset is an application of the principles outlined in Economic Personalism that came out last year and is available both as a free ebook and in trade paperback. It’s conceivable that the new book could get into the hands of legislators in some country, and they’d see the potential for getting off the Keynesian treadmill.
• 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 over 150,000 total views. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “The Four Pillars of a Just Market Economy.” 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 29 different countries and 35 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, the Philippines, Australia, and. Spain. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Help Joe Walk Again for Economic Justice,” “News from the Network, Vol. 14, No. 40,” “Hijacking Financial Reform,” “Did C.S. Lewis Approve of Socialism?” and “Thomas Hobbes on Private Property.”
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.#30#