Once again, many of the news items this week make it obvious that the Economic Democracy Act is pretty much the only game in town if you want something that will actually work. Otherwise, you’re stuck with:
• Wooden Soldiers Next? It’s an oldie but a goodie. For thousands of years, it’s been common practice to use decoys and stratagems to fool the enemy. After weeks of reports from Russia that their troops had been destroying the HIMARS systems at a high rate, and reports from Ukraine that they hadn’t taken out a single one, it was revealed that the Russians had, in fact destroyed a number of what they thought were HIMARS systems, but that were, in fact, made of plywood. Costing at most a few hundred dollars, the plywood decoys caused the Russians to use up missiles costing millions to virtually no effect . . . and to make them more cautious about using up their depleted stores of missiles against future targets. Decoys work whether or not the enemy knows about them, causing them to use up resources to take out fakes, and to refrain from attacking real targets on the chance they might not be real.
• Double Cropping? What with farm subsidies and price supports as a matter of public policy for almost a century, the practice of “double cropping” has not been used very much in the United States. Double cropping is getting two or even more crops planted and harvested in a single year from the same land. It was common practice in Ireland before the Great Famine of the 1840s-1850s when potatoes were easy to grow and sometimes people could get three crops of potatoes from the tiny rackrented plots of land they were permitted to have. Now, due to the anticipated food crisis as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. farmers are looking into double cropping to increase wheat yields, especially winter wheat that is sown in the Fall and harvested late Spring or early summer to clear the way for the usual wheat crop/ This may ease Russia’s weaponization of food in its war against Ukraine and the rest of the civilized world.
• Fuel Shortage in Poland. According to reports, Polish homeowners are spending days in lines to purchase enough coal to get them through the winter. Since the embargo on Russian coal, increased demands have been put on domestic coal production, which can’t keep up.
• (More) Mysterious Russian Deaths. According to Reuters, yet another Russian businessman critical of Putin has committed suicide: “Ravil Maganov, the chairman of Russia's second-largest oil producer Lukoil, died on Thursday after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, two sources familiar with the situation said, becoming the latest in a series of businessmen to meet with sudden unexplained deaths.” A corporate3 vice president was also killed died under mysterious circumstances. As the report continues, “At least six other Russian businessmen, most with ties to the energy industry, have died suddenly in unclear circumstances in the past few months.” We are unable to account for these amazing coincidences.
• Rocks and Hard Places. Depending on your point of view, either in spite of, or because of President Biden’s economic policies, millions of people are being forced to choose whether they go to the doctor or meet other bills. Of course, all this would be moot if Biden adopted the Economic Democracy Act, which would go a long way toward resolving this problem, but it’s not something anyone seems to be considering.
|Russia's advanced military technology|
• Russian Military Technology. What do you do if your military technology is so advanced that even your own country can’t keep up with it? Sell if to other countries. At least, that seems to be3 the tory behind Russia’s efforts to increase arms sales and become Numero Uno on the warmongers’ shopping list. Claiming that its weapons are superior to all others, Russia is peddling its package to any country willing to fork over the cash . . . while it has been taking a substantial hit in Ukraine, losing an estimated 40-60% of its usable tank force, many of which have serious design flaws that make them easy prey to new anti-tank weaponry, basically sitting ducks.
• Another Proposed Social Security Fix. In yet another effort to save the Social Security System from itself, there is another proposal on the boards claiming that if people were allowed to keep their money and invest it, for themselves, they’d e much better off. No, they wouldn’t, because most of them would spend it instead of investing it and they’d be much worse off. Nobody seems to consider the possibilities of the Economic Democracy Act and, which would allow people to invest without cutting consumption, and keep the Social Security system intact.
• California and Worker Ownership. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, the state of California has passed “the California Employee Ownership Act.” As the NCEO reports, “The bill establishes the California Employee Ownership Hub within the California Office of Small Business. The Hub will work to ‘increase awareness and understanding of employee ownership among stakeholders, assist business owners and employees in navigating available resources, and streamline and reduce barriers to employee ownership.’ California has a variety of loan support programs that companies seeking to convert to employee ownership could potentially qualify for.” While this is a nice thing, it is still based on past savings, not expansion of commercial bank credit, puts everything on the back of the already burdened California taxpayer, and doesn’t address the problem of non-employees or those who work for government or the non-profit sector. These are addressed in the Economic Democracy Act . . . which doesn’t seem to be getting on the radar.
• More From the NCEO. Also from the NCEO, “Launched in October 2021 (timed to coincide with Employee Ownership Month!), EO Equals is a research-backed national media campaign designed to expand the employee ownership movement.” The news is that “the campaign is supported by the Kendeda Fund and overseen by four mission-driven nonprofit partners: Evergreen Cooperatives, ICA Group, Nexus Community Partners, and Project Equity.” The campaign “is now expanding its network with the launch of the Allied Partners Program. The cohort of Allied Partners represents important field-building organizations that will help bring an increasingly diverse set of EO stories into the campaign and spread the assets that the campaign has developed to a broader set of business owners, leveraging the research, investment, and learnings of the campaign for greater impact.” One wonders if any of them have paid any attention to the Economic Democracy Act.
• NCEO Employee Ownership Summit. Recently the NCEO held an employee ownership summit and came up with these valuable observations: “getting back together in person was powerful,” “Sharing challenges, not just successes, is valuable,” and “diversity is one of our superpowers.” Apparently, extending ownership opportunities to non-employees through the Economic Democracy Act isn’t powerful, valuable, or a superpower.
• 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 18 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, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Living Wage and Social Justice,” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 32,” “What Does Democracy Mean?” “Social Justice, IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice,” 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#