A number of interesting developments this week that would probably be moot if some country adopted the Economic Democracy Act, but then there probably wouldn’t be anything to write about. That not being the case:
• A Suggestion for Elon Musk. Elon Musk, one of the world’s richest people (we don’t know how much Putin has stolen, so he might have more moolah than Musk) has taken a great interest in the war Russia is waging on Ukraine. For some reason recently we recalled a column written by the late Art Buchwald after a report was released in the late 1960s about the cost of killing an enemy during the Vietnam War. Buchwald suggested that the Department of Defense turn everything over to the Mafia, and just take out $10,000 contracts on enemy combatants. It would be much cheaper. Well, not to go to that extreme, but why shouldn’t Musk offer, say, $50,000 to each Russian soldier who deserts? Putin is offering bounties of up to $5,000 or so per month and reportedly being a little slow in paying out, probably in the hope that the soldiers will die before he has to hand over his hard-stolen cash. When you consider that the total daily losses to Ukraine are in the neighborhood of $4 billion, that amount at $50,000 per deserter would be 80,000 soldiers leaving the Russian army. Given that at most Russia has 150 Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) available overall, at about 800 soldiers each — roughly 120,000 effectives — $6 billion, the estimated outlay for a day and a half, would leave Russia without a single soldier. And we’re not even talking about buying equipment, which would be an added incentive.
|The Economic Democracy Act might cure this.
• We Never Had It So Bad. Forget anything you might have heard your parents, grandparents, or the history books say about the Great Depression, slavery, or taxation without representation. These are the worst of times, with no best times coming . . . or so say the majority of Americans (or at least those who bother to participate in opinion polls). At a time when there is the potential for greater hope than at any time in history, more people have less hope than ever before. Some of this is caused by the lack of material opportunity, which could easily be remedied by adopting the Economic Democracy Act, . . . if the powers-that-be catch on, or people get organized and demand what they really need instead of increased government handouts.
|Poor in America still better than Putin
• Russia to Save America by Destroying It. In a classic example of Russian doublespeak, Russia claims that there are more poor people in the U.S. than in the rest of the world, and the only hope is to be taken over by Russia . . . as soon as they finish with Ukraine. . . .
• Time for Alternative Energy. The United Kingdom is having blackouts and the Rhine Maidens are starting to dry out. All in all, not a good summer. It looks as if it might be a real good time to start pushing strong for alternative energy, especially fusion power, to completely eliminate dependence on fossil fuels and perhaps do something about climate change, whether or not you believe in it. And how to finance it? Why not the Economic Democracy Act?
• Not What the Economy Ordered. Greece has decided to try and solve its economic problems by ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away. Getting away from all the “surveillance” imposed by the financial powers of the European Union may sound like a good idea at the time, but it is not calculated to end well. The problem is that, contrary to Keynesian dogma, production doesn’t come from money, money comes from production. Get this backwards and all you do is assume debt that can probably never be paid until and unless you produce something that people want or need. Instead of getting rid of restrictions, Greece should adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
• Golden Victory Arches? It might not be the greatest military victory in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it’s a sign of eventual victory, a sort of “Golden Arches of Triumph”: McDonalds is reopening some of its stores in Ukraine. You can say what you like about the company, but in addition to providing safe food for travelers (on concert tour in college, we could always be sure we weren’t going to end up with food poisoning or something . . . which some people did when they ate in a local diner or other greasy spoon), McDonald’s is a business and they need a customer base that a Russian victory won’t provide. In its own way, the reopening is a good sign for Ukraine. Of course, an even better sign would be the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act, but that will come soon.
• Who Pays for This? The Social Security Administration has announced another increase in benefits . . . not too long after the latest projections declared that the system could very well be on its last legs. An increase in benefits is all very well, but where are they going to get the money? If they really want to increase “retirees’” personal income, they should adopt the Economic Democracy Act, and make Social Security “needs based” after keeping all current promises.
• Fight Inflation by Raising Prices! In a move consistent with standard Keynesian dogma, the Federal Reserve is planning on raising interest rates to slow inflation . . . a move virtually guaranteed to generate further rounds of economic stagnation and inflation, what the experts now call “stagflation,” an impossibility under Keynesian assumptions. The so-called experts don’t seem to realize that inflation means rising prices, and that raising interest rates increases the costs of doing business, i.e., increases prices. Of course, what they conveniently forget is that Keynes defined “true” inflation as a rise in the price level after reaching full employment. dismissed rises in the price level before reaching full employment as not really inflation! In other words, Keynes dealt with inflation by pretending it didn’t exist. Of course, adopting the Economic Democracy Actwould get rid of all this playing word games with people’s lives, but the “experts” don’t seem to realize that you can’t run a system on Keynesian contradictions.
• Need a Long-Term Solution, Not Short-Term Fix. Ukraine’s lenders have agreed to a two-year moratorium on debt service payments, but that still leaves the country with the question of where to get the money in two years. This would still be a serious question if Ukraine adopts the Economic Democracy Act, but it would be a relatively simple matter to give a good assurance that all debts would be paid..
• The Great Stagflation? It’s being blamed on the unraveling of globalization due to the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine, but the “hidden villain” in the “Great Stagflation” is how governments create money instead of letting the private sector handle the process as described the Economic Democracy Act. The fact is that the private sector cannot create money the way government does without going to prison for fraud. Government can and should regulate and set the standard for the currency, but actually to create money, especially backed with its own debt, is another thing altogether, and makes the money supply and the general health of the economy completely dependent on government.
• Vatican Doesn’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty! The Vatican’s worldwide conference on economics to discuss new economic alternatives coming up in Assisi on September 20-24 will not allow anyone over the age of thirty to attend, except for the pope and other Vatican functionaries. This is interesting if only for the fact that Jesus, whose age is traditionally given as thirty-three, would not be eligible to attend. The problem, of course, is that virtually everyone under thirty and the Vaticanistas don’t really know anything besides the current wage and welfare system, with varying degrees of government control. The idea of a free market, private property-based alternative, is alien to them when it isn’t anathema. Something like the Economic Democracy Act can’t even get a place at the table, much less have a chance of being understood.
• Russian Central Bank Stepping Up Forex Purchases. In an effort to circumvent the most widely accepted global reserve currencies, the U.S. Dollar and the Euro, Russia’s central bank is purchasing other currencies. This will presumably allow them to sell their oil and purchase essential goods without first having to have Dollars or Euros. This can backfire badly, especially if alternative energy sources can be implemented and used soon. It will also result in substantial losses if the U.S. and the European Union adopt the monetary reforms in the Economic Democracy Act.
• Greater Reset “Book Trailers”. We have produced two ninety-second “Book Trailers” for distribution (by whoever wants to distribute them), essentially a minute and a half commercials for The Greater Reset. There are two versions of the videos, one for “general audiences” and the other for “Catholic audiences”. Take your pick.
• The Greater Reset. CESJ’s new book by members of CESJ’s core group, The Greater Reset: Reclaiming Personal Sovereignty Under Natural Law is, of course, available from the publisher, TAN Books, an imprint of Saint Benedict Press, and has already gotten a top review on that website. It can also be obtained from Barnes and Noble, as well as Amazon, or by special order from your local “bricks and mortar” bookstore. The Greater Reset is the only book of which we’re aware on “the Great Reset” that presents an alternative instead of simply warning of the dangers inherent in a proposal that is contrary to natural law. It describes reality, rather than a Keynesian fantasy world. Please note that The Greater Reset is NOT a CESJ publication as such, and enquiries about quantity discounts and wholesale orders for resale must be sent to the publisher, Saint Benedict Press, NOT to CESJ.
• 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.
• 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 over 155,000 total views. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “The Five Levers of Change.” 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 persons 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 22 different countries and 30 states, provinces, and territories in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Sweden, and Brazil. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “JTW Podcast: Louis Kelso on Harold Channer Show,” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 29,” “Does Vladimir Putin REALLY Believe This?” “The Purpose of Production,” and “Did C.S. Lewis Approve of Socialism?”
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 well see that it gets into the next “issue.” Due to imprudent and intemperate language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.#30#