As the world drifts faster into insanity . . . okay, gallops headlong . . . it becomes increasingly evident that the Economic Democracy Act is the only game in town that would put a stop to things like this:
• The Value of Money. Suppose you can buy a loaf of bread on Monday for $1. On Wednesday, something happens so that your $1 million in assets and your $100,000 in income have fallen in value to $500,000 and $50,000, respectively. When you go to the store on Friday to buy a loaf of bread, you discover that they price of a loaf that cost you $1 on Monday is now 50¢. All other prices have also been cut in half. This, in Keynesian terms, is a disaster. Prices have fallen, and there won’t be enough savings to finance new capital to create jobs! In the real world, however, nothing at all has changed. Your money has the same purchasing power on Friday as it did on Monday. All that has changed is how you measure it, which — as Louis Kelso pointed out, is one of the functions of money. Getting upset because value is now measured by a unit worth half as much as before but still buys the same thing is like getting upset because what was a foot long yesterday is now twelve inches. What really causes the problem, of course, is when the measure of value and what is measured are not in sync. That is why the expected drop in the stock market is framed in such apocalyptic terms. With money being created willy-nilly by the monetization of government debt completed separated from the production of marketable goods and services, people lose or gain value based on pure chance. They lose value at the same time prices rise, making them poor at an accelerating rate at the same time the rich get phenomenally richer by having things of value they sell at increasing prices. What’s the solution? We suggest the Economic Democracy Act.
• No Mystery Here, Move Along. With Putin’s “semi-mobilization” of reservists (which has been completely mishandled to the point of being a virtual fiasco), tens of thousands of what remains of Russia’s educated work force has been heading for the border to escape conscription. The Kremlin, of course, has been assuring people that conscription only applies to reservists with prior military experience . . . so of course they’ve been sweeping in warm bodies from among the elderly, untrained, unfit, and so on, all of which are very likely to become cold bodies as the Russian demand for cannon fodder grows. The number of men escaping Russia so far is more than the original invasion force. As the people leaving Russia are the ones essential to keeping the economy (or what’s left of it) running, Russia is facing economic oblivion, even as further sanctions will be imposed as a result of the annexation of another large chunk of Ukrainian territory. Putin is threatening nuclear warm his allies are fighting each other, the economy is in a shambles, the death toll is rising, the Russian military is gutted, the list of atrocities and war crimes is mounting dramatically, support in Russia for the war has dropped to 23% by one account . . .and Putin still pushes on to finish the war of conquest he started. What’s the solution? In the short term, end the war as quickly as possible, but in the long-term, we suggest the Economic Democracy Act.
• England Muddles. It used to be said of England that it acquired an empire in a fit of absentmindedness, and that it always muddles through to victory. We’ll grant the absentmindedness and the muddle, but not the victory. The latest effort to try and correct economic woes by fiddling with the tax system is a case in point. We realize that this comes as a complete shock to many people and most politicians and economists, but the purpose of a tax system is to raise money to run government. Period. It is not a way to finance economic growth, punish offenders, create utopia, or any other kind of social engineering. It’s to raise money to allow government to defray its legitimate expenses . . . which may not cover the vast majority of government expenditures today, but there is a way to fix that. How? By confining the tax system to financing government, and confine the financial system including the central bank, to financing the private sector as originally intended. This is the whole point (at least a limited whole point) of the Economic Democracy Act.
|Russian style warfare|
• Back to the Sixteenth Century. A while back several news commentators noted that Russia’s methods of waging its undeclared war of conquest in Ukraine resembled tactics from World War I, being more than a century out of date as well as employing outdated munitions (however effective in saturation bombing of civilian targets), overly centralized command structures, untrained soldiers, and so on, so forth. With Russian Patriarch Kyrill’s latest announcement that Russian soldiers who are killed while murdering, raping, looting, and so on, will die with their sins forgiven and go straight to heaven, we realized that the experts were wrong. Russia is not fighting an early twentieth century war, but a sixteenth century war. Throwing massive numbers of untrained slave soldiers into battle supported by megatons of artillery, knowing most of them will die to increase the glory of the Sultan was standard tactics of the Ottoman Empire. To inspire their slave soldiers to heights of bravery and bloodthirstiness, the Imams assured them that they would be taken instantly to Paradise, where they could indulge themselves by raping seventy-two virgins every day and get drunk on the Milk of Paradise without a hangover. Of course, the moment the Russians finally realize that neither Sultan Putin nor Imam Kyrill can deliver on anything they promise, they might rebel, but it would be better for them to forget the whole war, drug Putin and Kyrill so they can enjoy their delusions without hurting others, and adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
|Losing his shirt in Ukraine|
• Putin’s Spending Spree. Word comes not only that Russia’s economy and finances are not only officially stretched to the limit, but that there is a gigantic amount of money for the war against Ukraine that is not in the upcoming year’s budget. We predict that if the Russian army or the people don’t rebel first, or if Putin doesn’t commit national suicide by using nuclear weapons, or if the economy doesn’t implode on its own ticket, the unbooked budget item in the hundreds of billions will doom the country. It’s only a matter of time. Of course, the easy way out would be to get rid of Putin, stop the war (not necessarily in that order) and adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but don’t hold your breath as long as a madman is in charge of the country.
• 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 28 different countries and 35 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, the Philippines and Australia. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “The Purpose of Production,” “Inflation or Deflation?” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 36,” “Corporatism versus Distributism,” and “The Euthanasia of the Rentier, I: What?”
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.