Friday, December 30, 2022

News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 50

Today we present the second half of our annual news roundup.  As we noted last week, someone suggested that we forgo it this year in favor of something much shorter and confined to one week, but we already had this written, so here goes.  In any event, the important thing is that we move forward to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but we’re getting there:

July 2022

• Sachs and the City, or, How to Screw an Entire Country.  According to the noted quasi-Keynesian economist Jeffrey Sachs, who engineered the post-Soviet economic reforms that eventually brought Putin to power and allowed him to become the greatest thief and richest man in human history, “the neocons” (a rather vague term that, like “the Jews,” seems to mean pretty much what you want it to mean) have been working for the past thirty years to bring about the war in Ukraine.  Sachs, whom Pope Francis appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and thus in some degree a papal advisor (perhaps accounting for some of the more interesting actions by His Holiness), has declared that Putin’s War should never have happened (no argument there), and should be ended as soon as possible (ditto) . . . by peace talks.  As Sachs said in an interview in Tikkun magazine, “The real solution is to end the neocon fantasies of the past 30 years and for Ukraine and Russia to return to the negotiating table, with NATO committing to end its commitment to the eastward enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia in return for a viable peace that respects and protects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”  In other words, The U.S. neocons and NATO caused the war by forcing Putin to attack.  If everybody would just stop fighting and give Putin what he wants, he will immediately leave Ukraine and hand back Crimea and the Donbas, securing to Ukraine what Russia promised absolutely to respect when the country became independent in the first place.  Sachs also believes that abortion is a basic right and a cost-effective alternative to letting unwanted children be born and use up scarce resources, and that population control will bring economic prosperity.  He has also attacked widespread capital ownership and would probably oppose the Economic Democracy Act.

• Winner Take All.  Facing a coming bankruptcy of the system, Congress is thinking of increasing Social Security benefits so that those already getting the goodies (such as they are) get more, while those who haven’t yet qualified for benefits may be left with less . . . or nothing.  Of course, adopting the Economic Democracy Act, might solve the problem, but apparently solving problems here is not the goal.  Rather, the aim seems to be to stick somebody else with it.

• Rebuilding Under Fire.  Ukrainians aren’t waiting for Russia to come to its senses, get rid of Putin, and pull out of their country before starting to rebuild.  The main problem right now is finding the money — and that could easily be solved with the Economic Democracy Act.

• Financing Ukraine’s Recovery.  A meeting is taking place in Switzerland to discuss financing Ukraine’s recovery, although we have a hunch what won’t be discussed is the Economic Democracy Act.

• Ukraine Recovery Conference.  This past week saw the July 4-5, 2022, Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland.  This was focused on the overall recovery plan for Ukraine framed within President Zelenskyy’s “United 24” initiative.  Topics discussed included the methods, priorities and principles of recovery, social, economic, environmental and infrastructure recovery, and specific reforms that can be implemented currently.  A “Marshall Plan” for post-war recovery has also been widely discussed.  Of course, the single most important issue in the minds of virtually everyone, whether current reforms or future recovery, is how to finance the program.  We believe that this issue, while indeed the most serious, is the easiest and simplest to address.  This can be done by integrating the Economic Democracy Act that applies the principles of Economic Personalism into the recovery program, principally that of self-financing out of future profits instead of using existing accumulations, taxation, or government debt.

• North to Russia’s Own?  He’s not the first — Putin has already made noises about wanting Alaska “back” — but a Russian official has been ranting that Ukraine and the rest of Europe is only the beginning, and Alaska really belongs to Mother [Expletive Deleted] Russia.  Given that Russian guarantees of national sovereignty are completely worthless, there’s no reason why they should respect a cash purchase or anything else.  We expect to see claims made on California, too, since there were Russian settlements there, or at least trading posts, and the Moon and the planets since they can be seen from Russia.

• The U.S. Is Already in Recession.  According to Professor Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School of Business, the United States is already in a recession and the Federal Reserve is only going to make it worse.  We have news for Dr. Siegel — we’re still in the backdraft of the Great Depression, and are going to remain there until and unless we dump Keynesian economics and adopt the Economic Democracy Act.

• U.S., Japan, Ukraine and Economics.  Concerns are being raised in Japan and the United States about the economic impact of Putin’s War.  The concerns, of course, are valid.  The problem is that neither Janet Yellen nor Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki are using the right framework for analysis.  This is not to say that they might not come up with something good and workable, but — frankly — it will only be by pure chance if they do so.  Rather than fix a standard for the currencies and back all new money (or as much as you can) with assets, they insist on using Keynesian prescriptions that have never worked.  To be blunt, the only thing that will work at this point is the Economic Democracy Act, as anything else will be either a half-measure or go off in the wrong direction entirely.

• Ukrainian Legal Reform.  There appears to be a consensus that a key element in rebuilding Ukraine will be legal reform to increase transparency and reduce corruption.  That is important, of course, but unless the citizens of Ukraine has the personal economic power to back up their political power, things will go back to the way they were — as Daniel Webster noted more than two centuries ago, “Power naturally and necessarily follows property.”  If you want to maintain political democracy, you must establish and maintain a private property-based economic democracy along the lines of the Economic Democracy Act.

• Solar Power is Gay.  If Ukraine’s use of mutant soldiers doesn’t get you outraged and goosestepping to Putin’s tune, then Der Führer’s declaration that green energy is gay should alarm you.  Apparently the Gay Menace™ is everywhere, so Ukrainian children must be indoctrinated in Putinspeak, mutant soldiers must be eliminated, and now we must use Russian fossil fuels to put hair on our chests and do manly things like invade other countries in unprovoked wars of conquest.  Or we could empower ordinary people with the Economic Democracy Act and let them decide for themselves . . .

• War for Fun and Profit.  Despite the sanctions and the rising prices and shortages through Russia, at least Putin and his cronies are making piles of money off of the war.  No one, of course, would think of accusing Putin of invading another country and racking up tens of thousands of dead and wounded on both sides, not to mention destroying another country’s economy, leveling its cities to the ground, inciting torture, rape, looting, and murder just to line his own pockets . . . not if they want to stay alive themselves, anyway.  Nor, despite promises, is he sharing the goodies with those who are fighting and dying for him.  Of course, at some point even the Russian people might get tired of Putin’s “Let ’em eat nothing” attitude and rebel, but what would they replace him with?  We suggest the Economic Democracy Act.

• Ukrainian Central Bank Lowers Hryvnia.  Although it will hurt the average Ukrainian, the Ukrainian central bank has lowered the value of its reserve currency, the Hryvnia to stabilize its international trading position.  This makes sense in today’s predominantly Keynesian paradigm, but not in the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism.  Changing the value of a currency or maintaining an artificial value for it is one of the primary “tools” of Keynesian economics by means of which governments retain control over economies.  Setting a fixed standard for a currency, backing it with private sector hard assets instead of government debt, and implementing a program of expanded capital ownership financed with future savings would do more to achieve a just market economy than all the Keynesian prescriptions.  Sucha program can be found in the Economic Democracy Act.

August 2022

• Millennial Debt Problem.  It turns out that nearly 75% of millennials are over their heads in debt, and most of it is not home mortgages.  Student loans are a large  part of that, but not the biggest part, which turns out to be credit card debt.  Evidently, many millennials did not get the high-paying jobs they were promised when they took out college loans, but they still insist on living the lifestyle to which they wanted to become accustomed.  As a result, many are spending money they don’t have and will likely never have.  The way out, of course, is the Economic Democracy Act., but nobody seems to be considering it.

• Social Security is Down the Tubes?  According to Market Watch, unless the United States takes in more immigrants willing to take low-paying jobs, there won’t be enough people paying into Social Security to keep it solvent.  This whole problem, in fact, is why CESJ published Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen: A Just Free Market Solution for Saving Social Security (2004).  Frankly, the whole concept of Social Security was shaky from the beginning and has only gotten shakier since.  Furthermore, most people are under the impression that Social Security is a quasi bank account that they’ve paid into and will eventually start withdrawals.  No, it was always intended as a “pay as you go” system.  That’s why we advocate keeping Social Security as a need-based backup, but shifting the core of retirement income to the Economic Democracy Act.

• Backwards Sanctions?  It appears that Russia’s problems with sanctions is not so much what they can’t sell, but with what they can’t buy. Russia needs many things from the rest of the world to keep its economy going, and they aren’t getting them.  Neither can they make the things themselves.  Of course, if they got rid of Putin and adopted the Economic Democracy Act they wouldn’t have this problem, but how are you going to convince people who believe in the New Chronology?.

• Russian Companies to Withhold Financials.  The Russian central bank has ordered a number of companies to withhold their financials from the public.  Nothing could be more indicative of serious problems than that.  Accounting is the language of business, and the Russian authorities don’t like what they’re hearing.  Individuals were silenced about the war, now companies are being silenced about the results of the war.  Of course, with the Economic Democracy Act once there would necessarily have to be complete transparency and truth, but that is the last thing Putin wants in his workers’ paradise.

• 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.

• 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 Act would 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.

• World Economic War.  As has been obvious for some time, Russia’s war against Ukraine is really against the world, as President Putin’s rants and threats have more than clear.  Other fronts are now being recognized, particularly the economic one, due to the disruption in sales of Russian fossil fuels and the economic havoc the sanctions are wreaking on the global economy.  Of course, all this would stop if Putin would simply call a halt to his insane war that seems only to be putting more money into his own pocket, but what about the longer term?  That too can be solved fairly simply if not easily by shifting away from fossil fuels and adopting the Economic Democracy Act on a global scale..

• The Price of Humanity.  Common humanity and decency have a high price tag, especially these days when a dictator like Putin can start a war pretty much on a whim, kills thousands of people, and whine that he’s being oppressed.  Be that as it may, Poland has taken in millions of Ukrainian refugees from Putin’s power (and money) grab, but the financial strain is starting to show.  In the short run, all countries should implement a program of mutual aid, and not just for Poland.  In the longer  term, of course, what is needed is the Economic Democracy Act.

• Raise Costs to Lower Prices!  Yes, you heard it right.  The Inflation Reduction Act is based on the principle that you can lower inflation by increasing the costs of doing business . . . thereby forcing companies either to raise prices to the consumer or go out of business.  The idea that something like the Economic Democracy Act might actually solve the problem at its root doesn’t occur to them.

• Russia and the Forex Market.  In an effort to overcome the effect of the sanctions imposed by countries outraged at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia has become the third largest purchaser of Chinese Yuan in the world.  As usual for Putin and his cronies, they fail to see that getting away from other reserve currencies is not the problem.  If they want to avoid the results of the sanctions, the best way is to stop the genocidal war they started and keep pursuing long after it has become obvious that it is as pointless as it is criminal.  Then, if Russia really wants to put its economy on a sound footing, it can adopt the Economic Democracy Act.

• Change in IRS Filing Coming?  The Internal Revenue Service is working on expanding its free electronic filing program to make it easier for far more people to use the system.  There is a free electronic filing program already in place that the IRS claims could be used by up to 70% of filers, but it has generally been viewed as inferior to the commercial versions people purchase.  Of course, if simplying filing requirements is a real goal, the best way to achieve it would be to implement a simplification of the tax system itself, as proposed in  the Economic Democracy Act, and stop using the tax system for “social engineering” or financing economic growth, and restrict it to raising funds to defray the legitimate costs of government.

• Come Home to Russia?  It may be the perfect solution to Putin’s War.  Having failed to conquer Ukraine and bludgeon its people into becoming Russian, Mother Rus is beginning a campaign aimed at people who just love Putin and Russia to pieces and want to move there.  Perhaps they should start with all the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, whom Ukraine might even be willing to give a little bounty or traveling money if they will go to Russia and leave Ukraine in peace.  It beats the blood-drenched fiasco taking place now, anyway.

• Is the IRS in a Conspiracy Against the Country?  Probably not, but the announcement that the Internal Revenue Service is going to hire 87,000 new agents and expand audits has people up in arms claiming a not-so-secret conspiracy to dominate freedom-loving people who support Trump.  Of course, if people were really worried about government controlling them instead of them being in control of government, they would do better to push for adopting the Economic Democracy Act instead of worrying about conspiracies, but admittedly it is easier to blame others when you aren’t doing very well.

• Ignore the Man Behind the Kremlin.  In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz viewers are treated to the exposure of the Wizard as a bit of a con man . . . okay, a total con man.  The dénouement comes amid shouted commands by the Wizard’s avatar to ignore the man behind the curtain who is really running things.  Everything is normal.  Just ignore the signs that things aren’t as they should be . . .just as in Russia today, when despite growing shortages, spreading poverty, mysterious disappearances of critics of Putin and his war, or anything else (such as enormous casualties in a war that allegedly isn’t really happening), the country is being assured that everything is A-OK.  Of course, if they really wanted to make things “normal,” they would do far better to adopt  the Economic Democracy Act, but maybe we shouldn’t expect too much of anyone who would follow Putin the first place.

• Experts Agree Russia Has Failed.  Despite its ruinous undeclared and unprovoked war against a peaceful neighbor that had the temerity to protest earlier seizure of its sovereign territory and funding an insurgency movement, Russia has not made any substantive gains, and the whole thing has taken on aspects of a blood-drenched fiasco undertaken at the behest of an insane megalomaniac.  It was evident in less than a week that the operation had failed, but Putin ground on, probably realizing he was a goner no matter what happens.  Still, it’s possible that even Putin could save himself — and Russia, if he really cared about the country — by ending the war, surrendering his ill-gotten gains, and implementing the Economic Democracy Act. . . but we’re not holding our breath.

• Zelenskyy Calls for “Summit of the Future”.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling for the United Nations to live up to its founding principles and help bring an end to Putin’s War against Ukraine.  Still, even if the UN does something, it still leaves in place the problem of what to do about the incredible cost of the lost lies and property that can be laid at Russia’s door.  We suggest the Economic Democracy Act and have been working to get word of it to Zelenskyy.

• Powell in Jackson Hole.  We’ll forgo the temptation to indulge in puns about the location of the Federal Reserve’s annual retreat (and the word retreat as well), but there’s no getting away from the fact that Chairman Powell is completely clueless about the role and proper operation of a central bank.  Money and credit is not a commodity, and the interest rate is not the price of it.  Money is a tool by means of which you measure value and carry out transactions.  This is the point of the monetary reforms in the Economic Democracy Act . . . which is probably why Powell and others refuse to look at it.

• Powell Got Some ’Splainin’ to Do.  Being completely clueless (above) about how to do your job or even what the job is, is not a good thing, as Federal Reserve Chairman Powell is finding out.  The “star studded cast” meeting in Jackson Hole this week is expecting Powell to give some explanation of his activities . . . and they are likely to be disappointed. (which is probably why as of this writing the Dow is dropping like a stone).  Naturally, all this could have been avoided if the U.S. had adopted the Economic Democracy Act instead of continuing to make the same mistakes over and over, but what do you expect from career bureaucrats?

• What a Coincidence!  In one of the most amazing coincidences in history, right after the Inflation Reduction Act announced a $7,500 tax credit for purchasing an electric automobile, electric automobile manufacturers announced an $8,000 price increase in their product!  In other news, right after President Biden announced a $10,000 debt forgiveness for student debt, universities announced tuition increases of $10,000!

September 2022

• 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.

• 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.

• 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 be the story 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.

• Foreign Investment Capital? No.  Earlier this week, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine went before the New York Stock Exchange and said that Ukraine is going to need $400 billion in foreign investment capital to rebuild the country.  Well, Ukraine ight need $400 billion in investment capital, and likely quite a bit more, but it doesn’t have to be foreign, and in fact it shouldn’t be.  With a commercial and central banking system such as Ukraine already has, it can finance its own rebuilding and do it in a way in which every Ukrainian can participate in and benefit from the rebuilding.  This can (and should) be done with the Economic Democracy Act.

• Stupid Economist Tricks.  According to the latest dumb thing said by economist, we will never reach peak inflation . . . evidently because it can always go higher!  That’s a little like saying with the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass, “Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.”   “Things can always be worse” is not a good way to run an economy.  If inflation is a problem, you don’t try to control it, you get rid of it.  And how do you do that?  With the Economic Democracy Act.

• The Good Old Days.  Once upon a time, when a district wanted a schoolteacher and didn’t have much money, the teacher would be offered free room and board with students’ families in addition to a small cash stipend.  It seems that the great state of California is so hard up for cash that some school districts are asking families to take in teachers to save money on housing.  Of course, if teachers (and everyone else) had an independent capital income through the Economic Democracy Act, the cost of living would not be a problem, and we’d probably get a better grade of teacher

• Ukraine Will Be Leader in Postwar Europe.  Egils Levits, the president of Latvia, has stated his opinion that when Ukraine wins its war with Russia, Ukraine will take its place as one of the most powerful countries in Europe.  Of course, there’s powerful and powerful, depending on how you view power.  If power means control over others, that can be a very bad thing.  If you understand power as control over your own life and destiny, that’s a very good thing . . . but the question is how to do it.  We, of course, suggest the Economic Democracy Act.

• Buffett v. Nuclear War.  Usually, the last person you want to ask for investment advice in a time of crisis is one of the superrich.  In general, they have usually figured out ways to profit from crises, especially at the expense of others.  For a change of pace, however, Warren Buffett is actually giving us sound advice . . . up to a point.  As he says, in the event of a nuclear war, “You might want to own a farm, you might want to own an apartment house, you might want to own securities.”  Of course, the problem for most of remains how on earth we are to get the money to buy these good things.  The answer, of course, is the Economic Democracy Act.

• Maybe a Grain of Salt.  According to the experts, Ukraine’s battlefield success signals an upswing in the stock market . . . of course, this was before the plunge over the last few days allegedly based on inflation figures from August which were “worse” than they thought . . . have any of these people ever actually done any shopping for groceries or bought gas or anything else?  Of course, if you want a stable stock market you need a stable economy, and if you want a stable economy, the Economic Democracy Act is pretty much the only game in town — unless you like all the economic and financial instability. . . ..

• “Belgium With an Attitude”?  What happens “if” Russia loses the unprovoked war it started against Ukraine?  Several scenarios have been bruited about, including permanent status as a second or third rate power or (as one commentator put it) “Belgium with an attitude.”  Russia under Putin has show itself to be essentially an international criminal gang, at least in the opinion of many people.  It has been held together by threats and fear, and with Putin’s demise or removal, the Russian Federation could start breaking up into its constituent parts, with nothing to hold them together.  Of course, if they were to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, not only would power be spread out and the likelihood of another Putin or worse coming along pretty much disappear, there would be a significant incentive for the Russian Federation to stay together.

• Russia’s Straw Army.  It has been obvious for months that the mighty Russian military isn’t all that’s it’s been cracked up to be.  It is similar to how the British imperial army of the mid-nineteenth century got its reputation.  Aside from the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812, and the Crimean War, British wars were pretty much all against outclassed, outgunned, and outmanned opponents, although even then they sometimes had a hard go of it, but at least they had the reputation of being (virtually) unbeatable.  It appears to be the same deal with the Russians.  For decades they’ve been careful to go up against only vastly inferior forces, and as a result built a reputation as a military powerhouse . . . although taking a decade to figure out that you’ve lost a war in Afghanistan after losing about 1,000 soldiers a year killed in battle, and — by some estimates — losing nearly 1,000 each month killed in Ukraine claiming you’re meeting your objectives might raise a few eyebrows.  The only question now is how long it’s going to take Russia to call it a day and go home.  Using round figures, it should take as many months in Ukraine as years in Afghanistan, so we can expect Russia to throw in the towel sometime around Christmas 2022.

• Expensive Panic.  If you thought a stock market panic is expensive, you ought to see a retreat of panicked troops in battle . . . such as the Ukrainian rout of Russian troops over the past week and a half in eastern Ukraine.  According to British Intelligence, the Russian army “withdrew” so fast that it left behind critical — and extremely expensive — parts of their weapons systems that cannot easily be replaced and that could very well cripple the ability of Russia to continue the war as anything other than a desperate and self-destructive rearguard action.  In military terms, the Russians “retreated with the artillery lost,” meaning they might no longer have the capability of launching an effective offensive . . . which does not mean that they lack the ability to continue to cause destruction as massive as it is mindless.

• Disinflationary Wave Coming?  Once upon a time, “depression” used to be the scary word.  Now it’s “recession.”  Same thing, but a different word to keep people from getting scared . . . which ultimately only ends up adding more fear and confusion.  Similarly, the scare word in monetary policy was “deflation” and a lowering of the price level.  Now deflation is being replaced with “disinflation” and a lowering of the price level.  Same thing, different scare word.  We are now being warned that a “disinflationary wave is coming.”  What that means is that people who make money from having too much money in the economy are worried that the people who make money from there being not enough money in the economy might be winning.  The idea that maybe we should have exactly the right amount of money doesn’t seem to occur to anyone.  Not to beat a dead economy, but we suggest the Economic Democracy Act.

• “The Party’s Over”?  Occasionally even the superrich have glimmerings of intelligence . . . although they soon get over it.  Currently “Billionaire Investor” (evidently a new order of nobility, at least in Walter Bagehot’s Peerage), Carl Icahn is warning us that printing too much money is taking the United States the way of ancient Rome.  There are some similarities, yes, but there is also a ready-made solution that ancient Rome didn’t have: the Economic Democracy Act.

• Russia’s Capitalist Perfect Storm.  Say’s Law of Markets assumes as a given that every producer is a consumer, and every consumer is a producer.  If you want to consume something, you must first produce something, either for your own consumption directly, or to trade for what someone else has produced that you want to consume.  What about charity or theft?  Yes, that occurs, but as exceptions to the normal way an economy should be run.  Socialism/communism tries to run an economy on charity (to each according to his need), although it ends up running it based on theft (to each according to his greed), while running an economy directly on theft ends up meaning that you take what others have produced and then try to sell it back to them.  This is why capitalism is just a shortcut to socialism, because capitalists try to take without giving, and socialists try to give without having, both ending up having many consumers and few producers.  When you combine the two in Hilaire Belloc’s Servile State, you end up with the same thing: too many consumers and too few producers, with consumers unable to purchase what the producers have in superabundance.  As Jean-Baptiste Say noted in his first “letter” to the Reverend Thomas Malthus, “[I]n reality we do not buy articles of consumption with money, the circulating medium with which we pay for them.  We must in the first instance have bought this money itself by the sale of our produce. . . . it is impossible for [anyone] to purchase any articles whatever, to a greater amount than those they have produced.”  So, why is Russia experiencing a surfeit of wheat at a time when a global famine is on the horizon?  Because they have destroyed other countries’ productive capacity, diverted production to war materials, and raised prices with money manipulation.  Putin, a.k.a., “Vlad the Despoiler,” has managed to create the perfect capitalist storm by having immense amounts of produce to sell, and no one able to afford it.  What’s the solution? We suggest getting rid of Putin and adopting the Economic Democracy Act.

• 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 prupose 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.

October 2022

• Jean B. Fry, R.I.P.  We at CESJ were saddened to learn this week of the death of Mrs. Jean B. Fry, CESJ’s longest-serving non-board member volunteer, after a long illness.  Jean began as a parttime paid clerk trying to sort through the massive piles of records chronicling the development of the Just Third Way but became so interested by reading the files that she took one of the proto-Justice University courses CESJ offered in the late 1980s.  Her dedication and occasional commentary from the ordinary person’s point of view was always welcome and helped the Core Group gain new perspectives on the Just Third Way.  She was one of CESJ’s “Soldiers of Justice.”  Her support and encouragement continued after her “official” retirement.  She will be sorely missed.  She will be buried in her hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia, beside her husband Joseph, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

• Saving Social Security (Again).  Concern over the financial future of the Social Security System, the “third rail” of American politics (you don’t touch the “third rail” of an electric train as that is the one that carries the power and will kill you instantly) has caused Republicans to attempt another proposed solution that everyone knows either won’t work or be allowed to work.  No one seems able to get it thought their heads that the so-called “trust fund” is filled with government debt that the government owes itself, and the only way to keep the system as a system afloat is to do one of two things that they can’t do politically or financially: either put more money in, or take less out.  The idea of returning the Social Security System to its original purpose of being a backup instead of the primary source of retirement income is the only solution, and one that is at the heart of the strategy for adopting the Economic Democracy Act. . . . but nobody seems to be considering it for some reason.

• United States Hits Record Debt.  With the national debt hitting in the neighborhood of $31 trillion and change, people are starting to panic.  Unfortunately, the one thing they aren’t considering is actually getting busy and reorganizing the economic and financial system to be able to repay the debt and get back to normal life, if that even has any meaning these days.  By adopting  the Economic Democracy Act, it would be possible to repay the entire debt in less than a century with little or no financial pain (remember, it took 150 years to get us into this mess), so why isn’t anyone considering it?

• Antonio L. Betancourt, R.I.P.  We at CESJ were saddened to learn this week of the death of Antonio L. Betancourt, President of the World Institute for Development and Peace (WIDP).  Antonio was a long-time supporter of CESJ's mission and programs, particularly the Economic Democracy Act as national economic policy, as well as other Just Third Way applications for renewing poverty-stricken communities in East St. Louis and Washington, DC through universal citizen access to ownership of land and new technologies.  As an organizer of many international conferences, Antonio featured as speakers leading scholars and proponents of the Just Third Way, including CESJ President Norman Kurland, former senior economist of the National Security Council for international affairs Dr. Norman Bailey, former D.C. Delegate and civil rights leader Rev. Walter Fauntroy, and the former Chief Architect of Georgetown University Dean Price. These conferences included those held in Seoul, New York, and at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  Antonio the Executive Director of the Summit Council for World Peace (SCWP) and the Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA); and the Deputy Secretary General of the Federation for World Peace (FWP). As an officer, he was responsible for leading these organizations in international affairs in the fulfillment of their charters; brokering dialogue with countries around the world through forums and conferences with current and former heads of state and government, prime ministers, and renowned dignitaries from the Far East, the Middle East and Islamic world, China, Russia, Europe, Latin America and North America. He was a recipient of CESJ’s Soldier of Justice Award.

• Russia Running Out of (Some) Weapons?  Considering the gigantic stockpiles of munitions the Russians built up for decades, it seems weird to think that Russia might be running low on some critical types, but that is the opinion of some of the experts, particularly in light of Putin’s revenge strikes earlier this week across Ukraine, targeting civilians at a time when Russian troops are facing serious difficulties against advancing Ukrainian armed forces.  The Kremlin, of course, denies that they are short on anything, although they’ve been sending conscripts in to fight with two days of training, and many of the recruited convicts have either been killed or deserted.  Still, the fact that Russia keeps pulling back and retreating, then attacking civilian areas is a clear sign of desperation on Putin’s part as far as some of the experts are concerned. What would put the final seal on Putin’s pretensions in Ukraine would be the Economic Democracy Act, as that would rebuild Ukraine economically at a time when Russia’s economy is imploding, but Russia may actually defeat itself before long.

• Bernanke Nobel Laureate.  In a not-so-surprising move, former Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.  It is a graphic demonstration that going with the flow, giving politicians what they want, telling people what they want to hear, and generally being a better politician than economist can do for you.  By continuing the Federal Reserve’s downward course as a money-creator of first resort for the federal government and mismanaged, even incompetent corporations deemed too big to fail (like Russia in the war Putin is waging in Ukraine), Bernanke ensured that the powers-that-be would look kindly on him.  Of course, had he wanted ordinary people to think well of him and give him a prize that really matters — the good opinion of history and grateful people around the world — he would have pushed for the Economic Democracy Act., but although it was repeatedly recommended to him, he did nothing.

• Cannon Fodder Consolation Prize.  To console people for losing their sons, fathers, and husbands to Putler’s greed and lust for power, one mayor of a Russian town is giving servicemen’s families a free, one-time bag of vegetables!  In compensation for the hardship of losing the head of a family, they get a head of cabbage!  To replace the couch potato husband, a wife gets a real potato!  For losing a son to beat the Ukrainians, a mother gets some beets!  What could be better?  Well . . . how about stopping the war and adopting the Economic Democracy Act?

• To the Losers Go the Spoils?  As one commentator pointed out recently, Russia may be the first country in world history ever to “annex” territory from which it’s retreating.  In another ironic or surreal twist (take your pick), the aphorism “to the victors go the spoils” has been turned into “to the losers goes the loot.”  From the very first day of the current phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which started in 2014, the Russians have stolen everything that wasn’t nailed down and quite a few things that were.  The whole idea is clearly that if they can’t beat the Ukrainians at being productive, they can certainly steal what Ukraine has, including lives, liberty, and property.  Of course, if they really wanted to become prosperous, they could adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but then they’d actually have to work for what they wanted.

• The Russian Demographic Bomb.  While Putler’s war against Ukraine and everybody else who looks funny at him is escalating (and causing serious problems not only in Ukraine but in Russia itself), one thing that Putler didn’t think about is the fact that during economic downturns and wars people have fewer children.  Russia has a demographic bomb ticking away.  When young people flee your country, it makes the problem worse.  Yes, Russia has nearly 150 million people, but the male to female ratio is skewing badly, young men are either getting killed in Ukraine or fleeing the country to avoid getting killed in Ukraine, people don’t want to have children for Putler to use as cannon fodder, and so on.  The obvious solution is to get rid of Putler, stop the war, and adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but nobody in Russia seems to want to do the obvious.

• A New Great [Fill in the Blank].  Just when you thought it was safe to make scads of money from the fluctuations in the stock market, the so-called experts are telling you not to , , , no doubt to keep all the goodies for themselves.  Of course, gambling in the market is a rich person’s game anyway; as the old joke has it, to make a small fortune in the market, start with a large one.  What is better for the rest of us is the Economic Democracy Act. . . . as if you didn’t know.

• Bank of England Follies.  As if the British didn’t have enough problems, the venerable Bank of England, the world’s first true central bank, continues to act like a money machine for politicians instead of providing adequate liquidity and reserves for commercial (mercantile) banks as originally intended.  What Great Britain should do (as if you didn’t see this coming) is adopt the Economic Democracy Act to stabilize the economy and put things back in order, and stop the government from trying to control the economy.

• Social Security Redux.  As Social Security approaches its 100th birthday, people are still looking to it as the answer to all retirement needs, even though it was never intended in reality as anything other than an emergency backup to private sector and individual preparation for retirement.  That is why all the discussion about the Social Security system is wrongheaded from the start; they are asking the wrong questions and getting the wrong answers.  The real way to think about Social Security is not as a retirement plan, per se, but as a backup when retirement plans fail.  A better option would be the Economic Democracy Act, with Social Security maintained as a need-based, pay-as-you-go backup funded out of general revenues.  This would allow benefits to be increased across the board for those who need it, but cut out those who clearly don’t.

• Meeting With Biafran Independence Group.  The CESJ core group met today with Dr. Black Uma and Mr. Joel Ogbonna of the Biafran independence movement, to discuss the applicability of the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism to the formation of an official “government in exile” and a sound plan for an independent Biafra prior to a conference in November, to which the CESJ core group was invited.  Joel opened the meeting with a prayer and Dr. Omu gave a brief statement about the history of the independence movement, from the formation of Nigeria by the British as a colony forcing together disparate groups, religions, and cultures.  A parallel was drawn between the 1967-1970 war when famine was used as a weapon of war, and the current situation in Ukraine where Russian President Putin is attempting to do the same thing, similar to what Stalin did with his “terror famine” of the 1930s.  There was also a presentation on the terror tactics in use on an almost daily basis in the country against the predominantly Christian minority, such as the mass kidnappings from schools. It was suggested that perhaps Dr. Omu might find a meeting with Oxana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States to set up a meeting with President Zelenskyy to gain his support and also introduce him to the Just Third Way as a possibility for Ukraine as well as an independent Biafra.

• New PM Says Britain Faces Economic Challenges.  Great Britain has a new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who has made the astounding discovery that the country is in big economic trouble.  How is this possible in the country that gave the world Keynesian economics and drifted back and forth between different incorrect and seriously flawed economic paradigms since the adoption of the British Bank Charter Act of 1844 (7 & 8 Vict. c. 32) that cemented the “Currency Principle” into political thought as the only “right” way to think economically . . . and that is the root cause and justification for both socialism and capitalism?  Of course, adopting the Economic Democracy Act? would solve many of the problems Great Britain and other economies around the world are facing, but for some reason it never seems to occur to anyone.  The problem, of course, is that what passes today for “conservatism” (which is actually a form of individualist and elitist liberalism0

• Russian Economy Dead by Winter.   Due to mobilization of untrained cannon fodder for the Russian army in the war against Ukraine, and the escape of potential conscripts across the border — rumor hath it that Putler has sworn to conquer Ukraine if it costs the lives of 20 million Russian soldiers (just under 15% of the total population of Russia) — the Russian economy is accelerating its downward plunge and according to some may be comatose by winter.  Of course, the obvious way out of this is to stop the war, get rid of Putler (or get rid of Putler and stop the war, we’re not particular which comes first) and adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but nobody in Russia seems to want to do the obvious.

• Ukraine War as a Cost Center.  Evidently trying to be “practical,” Republicans are debating amongst themselves whether aid to Ukraine in the war Putler started is worth the cost.  One imagines the same debate taking place in the U.S. prior to December 7, 1941, when the United States had pledged to Great Britain “all aid short of war.”  Of course, had Germany and Japan won World War II, the possibility is very high that the first people on the purge list would have been those protesting any involvement in the war, but they never seem to consider that.  They also seem to ignore the fact that Putler claims to be fighting the United States as well as aggression from NATO, and that he essentially wants to take over the world.  Of course, they didn’t believe Hitler, either, except when he was lying.  It’s no wonder that they don’t pay any attention to the Economic Democracy Act, but they do have a highly developed ability to avoid the obvious.

November 2022

• Why Did Inflation Surge?  In a related paradox, the “experts” are still wondering where the latest inflation surge came from.  Do you suppose it could be due to governments printing and spending money like drunken sailors on leave?  Naaaaaw.  Impossible.  Keynes said it was okay, and Keynes was always right.  Except when he wasn’t.  Of course, if the “experts” really wanted to get a handle on inflation — and employment, interest, and money, and everything else Keynes thought he knew something about — they would look into the Economic Democracy Act, but that is obviously too easy.

• Powell Up Against It.  Laboring under the “Currency Principle” delusion that the amount of money in the system determines the level of economic activity, the “experts” are speculating endlessly about what Federal Reserve Chairman Powell is going to say or do next.  We have some ad news and some good news for the “experts.”  The bad news is that it doesn’t matter a hill of beans what Powell says or does, because the assumption of the Currency Principle that they think was handed down by God on Mount Sinai is utterly false and is the exact opposite of reality.  Economic activity determines (or should determine) the quantity of money, not the other way around.  And the good news?  It doesn’t matter a hill of beans what Powell says or does because ditto.  What will work?  The Economic Democracy Act.

• Rich Wage Slaves Are Hurting.  According to the “experts,” more than 25% of workers making more than $200 thousand per year are deep in debt and living paycheck to paycheck.  Thing about it.  These are people running through $1 million every five years (do the math). This is a level of affluence (at least in terms of income alone) undreamed of by most people, but they still can’t make it?  It suggests that perhaps wage income is not the way to go, but that people should be thinking about capital income.  The “Fight for Fifteen” people should take note: if you can’t make it on minimum wage, this suggests you won’t make it on maximum wage, either.  What’s the answer?  The Economic Democracy Act.

• Biafran Government in Exile.  This past Saturday, November 12, 2022, leaders in the Biafran diaspora formed a government in exile to focus world attention on the ongoing genocide in southeast Nigeria.  Dr. Norman G. Kurland, president of the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice cut the ribbon opening Biafra House and gave the keynote address.  The entire four-hour ceremony was livestreamed to 17,000 viewers worldwide, and the recording was posted on YouTube.  Uniquely, the Biafran government in exile has stated that they want to implement the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism as embodied in the Economic Democracy Act as the model for their new country.

• Raising Prices to Lower Prices.  In an effort to counter inflation caused by printing massive quantities of money (demand pull inflation, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will be raising the “price of money” (a bizarre notion that only exists in the surreal Currency Principle paradigm) by increasing the interest rate by fifty basis points (cost push inflation).  When analyzed from the perspective of the Currency Principle — that the amount of money in the economy determines the level of economic activity — this makes perfect sense . . . but only if you accept the demonstrable false Currency Principle!  If you go by the reality-based “Banking Principle” — that the level of economic activity determines the amount of money — raising prices to lower prices makes no sense at all.  What should the Federal Reserve be doing instead?  How about its job as described in the Economic Democracy Act?

• Harry Frederick William “Bill” Perk, R.I.P.  We were saddened to learn recently of the death of Bill Perk, a long-time supporter of CESJ, this past September 12, 2022, at the age of 94.  Bill, a professor at Southern Illinois University, was an enthusiastic member of CESJ, even putting it on his business card.  He was instrumental in introducing CESJ to the ideas of R. Buckminster Fuller, with whom he worked, and was a key participant in the attempt to finance Fuller’s dream of “Old Man River City” in East St. Louis, Illinois using the ideas of Louis Kelso and the Just Third Way of Economic Personalism.

• More Prophecies of Doom.  Believe it or not, even the Federal Reserve is starting to admit that their policies are leading (or forcing) the economy into what they euphemistically describe as a “recession” but which in earlier, less sophisticated times they called a “depression.”  Of course, they could fix the entire problem (although clearing up the symptoms and results will take a while) by adopting the Economic Democracy Act at the earliest possible date and stop creating funny money, but that has never been considered.

• Forward Into the Past.  Vladimir Putin’s dreams of wealth, glory, and more wealth (and more, and more, and more . . .) have been somewhat derailed by his war on Ukraine and the rest of the human race, including his own people.  According to some experts, the result of the Russian dictator’s actions to date have been to set Russia firmly on the path of economic regression, and have set the Russian economy back forty years.  Is there a way out?  Yes: get rid of Putin and adopt the Economic Democracy Act.

• Are Big Banks Running Out of Money?  Even though the government is creating massive amounts of money, the “big banks” have expressed concern that they are running out of money. . . which tells us that the people in charge of the system don’t have a real understanding of what a bank is or even what money is.  Ironically, a commercial bank has the ability to create money as needed, and was, in fact, to do precisely that.  If the banks of any size are worried about running out of money they need to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, which is based in part on the proper use of the commercial and central banking system.

• More from Social Insecurity.  The good news is that “seniors” can expect more from Social Security in the near future.  The bad news is that “seniors” can expect more from Social Security in the near future.  What no one asks is where all these lovely increases in benefits are going to get the money.  No one considers the possibility of retaining Social Security as a social safety net based on need, but shifting the bulk people’s “retirement” income to the program presented in the Economic Democracy Act.

• Gimme That Old Time Populism.  It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before, but America’s farmers are being squeezed by higher credit costs . . . at a time of inflation, demand is increasing, prices rising, and they should have everything going for them EXCEPT the artificially set “price of money” — the interest rate.  Of course, the real understanding of interest is that it is the just share of profits due to a lender of existing savings; “usury” is charging interest — taking a profit — when no profit is due or taking more than is due.  This is the position farmers were in following the American Civil War during a period of deflation, rising demand, and falling prices, and again during the 1970s.  The key to resolving this situation, as William Jennings Bryan knew (and why he got behind the Federal Reserve Act of 1913) is low-priced credit for productive purposes.  This is one of the major ideas behind the Economic Democracy Act.

• Another Impossible and Unrealistic Social Security Fix.  The experts are advising people to wait longer before signing up for Social Security, but that will not fix the crisis they see coming.   The problem is that they always ignore the underlying problem, which is that far too many people are taking out of Social Security for far too many things and far too few people are paying in to the system.  The only rational solution — and the only thing not being considered — is the Economic Democracy Act.

• Sorry, the Shift Was to Keynes a Century Ago.  Yet another expert is tell us to expect a “shift” in the economy at the most fundamental level.  That’s a very astute observation . . . but it’s about a century and a half too late.  As an exercise in 20/20 hindsight, it’s great, but the shift came with the change from the Banking Principle to the Currency Principle with the passage of the British Bank Charter Act of 1844 and then the virtually global adoption of Keynesian economics in the 1920s and 1930s.  What can repair the damage and shift the economies of the world back to the Banking Principle and a sane orientation is to adopt the Economic Democracy Act.

• More Expert Doomsayers.  Some of the experts are beginning to insist that (other) people are consciously ignoring signs of a coming financial and economic disaster, or (as they put it) “whistling past a graveyard.”  Of course, what doesn’t occur to anyone is what are they doing around graveyards in the first place.  The way the system is currently set up, the one thing you can count on is that a financial and economic disaster is certain to come.  The only thing that is going to stave off disaster — or help us recover from a disaster — is to adopt the Economic Democracy Act at the earliest possible date.

• Savings Disappear in Inflation.  Much to the astonishment of the usual suspects, we mean experts, people aren’t saving in a time of high inflation!  The experts cannot understand why when real income is declining, and prices are rising through the roof people don’t have anything to put aside.  The solution?  Flood the economy with more money, forcing prices higher, and depleting savings at an accelerating rate.  Alternative, they could push for the Economic Democracy Act and increase savings by increasing investment.

• More Writing on the Wall.  One of the things on which Russian Dictator Putin has continually insisted is the ability of Russia to supply from its own resources the western products and technologies it wants and needs to rebuild the economy Putin has undermined.  Unfortunately for Putin, more companies are getting the hell out of Dodge.  As we have seen above, some experts have already claimed that Putin has set the Russian economy back forty years.  Of course, it could easily be revived with the Economic Democracy Act, but that would spread out property and thus power, which is the one thing Putin fears even more than germs.

• Latest Gambling Predictions from the Touts.  Although most gambling advisers and Wall Street Turf Accountants (touts and bookies) tell you to expect a surge in stock prices in December in advance of year-end profit-taking, the experts are being a little more cautious this year.  Naturally they aren’t going to admit that the system is currently set up to fail, so they are in the position of the speculators in September 1929 who were starting to have a sneaking suspicion that things might not be sustainable.

• Mystic Mind Control.  Russian paranoia has become a byword with Putin’s War, but even within that bizarre mindset there can be extremes.  One very good example is that recently the Russians issued warnings that guards at the Kremlin could be mind-controlled by the evil Forces of Ukraine and NATO (FUNATO).  This will likely be at the instigation of the Security Agencies of The American Nation (SATAN).

December 2022

• Biggest Bubble in History?  According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the economy is heading for a giant crackup soon.  This is hardly news to those of us in the Just Third Way, but it’s nice to have yet another independent corroboration that the Economic Democracy Act at may be the only realistic hoe for a decent future for the world.

• FU Russian Economy!  It appears that thanks to Russian dictator Putin’s war, the Russian economy is (as the title of this video has it) F***ed.  No, we don’t really talk like that (at least in public), but that was the actual title of the video and it caught our eye.  The video relates some obvious fact and observations but it’s still well worth watching if only to see the application of what has been called “the political mind” that refuses to see facts right in front of one’s nose if it contradicts what someone desperately wants to believe.  Of course, if Russia (or anywhere else) adopted the Economic Democracy Act, they might not be in such a position, but that would mean Putin letting go a little of his power, and it’s very difficult for sociopaths to do that.

• Is the United States a War Profiteer?  According to some European officials, the United States with its arms shipments to Ukraine and the Inflation Reduction Act is using Ukraine’s (and Europe’s) difficulties as its opportunity and stands to make a lot of money at everyone else’s expense.  Of course, this comes at a time when a lot of people in the U.S. are complaining that the money spent on Ukraine is a complete waste and it should be cut back or stopped entirely.  The only real solution to this apparently dilemma is for Ukraine to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, and it will be the Ukrainians themselves spending the money and reaping the profits (if any).

• U.S. Wage Slaves Living Beyond Their Means.  According to recent reports, more than half of Americans earning more than $100,000 a year are living “paycheck to paycheck” and not saving enough.  Of course, if they stopped spending and started saving, then they would be chastised for not keeping the economy running — what Dr. Harold G. Moulton called “the economic dilemma” in his 1935 classic, The Formation of Capital.  It seems that if you spend you don’t have enough money to pay for new capital to produce what you want to buy, but if you save, there’s no need to invest in new capital since no one is buying what the new capital would produce.  What’s the answer?  Finance consumption out of past reductions in consumption, and future production out of future increases in production.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  That’s why we recommend adoption of the Economic Democracy Act.

• Quantitative Tightening.  Apparently, the Federal Reserve is using “quantitative tightening” to fight inflation, which means decreasing the amount of money in circulation, what they used to call “deflation.”  Of course, the experts say it’s a big mistake, and of course they’re right . . . but not for the reasons they think.  The fact is that increasing or decreasing the money supply except by economic activity and not artificially by manipulation is a big mistake whichever way it goes.  The only reasonable thing to do is to create money as needed, not before it is needed, or reduce as needed, not to try and force a result.  The only way to do this is by adopting the Economic Democracy Act.

• Banks are Running Out of Money.  Proving that even bankers have no idea what they’re doing, the word on the Street (Wall Street) is that the commercial banking system is running short of funds.  This would be a ludicrous statement if it were not so tragic.  Evidently the so-called experts are completely in the dark about how a commercial bank operates and what it does.  As a combination bank of issue and bank of discount, a commercial (or mercantile) bank “creates” money out of existing and future savings, i.e., past decreases in production and future increases in production.

• Wanting Ukraine to Win . . .Sort Of.  Current jabber among those who are doing everything they can to stop Putin’s war of world conquest except doing what it takes is that they want Ukraine to win, but not to the point that it embarrasses Russian dictator Putin.  Evidently sending tens of thousands of your own people to die in a pointless war that you are clearly losing putting your own economy back forty years, committing genocide and assorted war crimes and crimes against humanity isn’t embarrassing, but having to give back Crimea would be.

• Dutch Farmers in Dutch.  In a drastic move to cut nitrogen emissions, the Dutch government is considering forced sales and takeover of over 3,000 farms.  This is not only an egregious violation of private property but has the potential to harm the national economy as agriculture is a significant part of Dutch GDP.  It seems a little counterproductive when the world is facing a food shortage that a government would mandate cuts in food production, but that’s what happens when people may have nominal ownership but not control of their capital.

• Fusion Breakthrough.  This past week the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced a breakthrough in fusion power, specifically they had achieved a reaction that generated more power than went in.  This is a tremendous accomplishment, as now the task is to increase efficiency to the point where the process generates not only enough power to be self-sustaining but is commercially viable.  This can end dependence on the fossil fuels, and thus (for example) the power of terrorist states like Russia that think they have a gun to the head of other countries and can get away with anything they want.  Of course, you have the nay-sayers (in the pay of the oil and coal companies?) who instantly began preaching that fusion power is not a panacea for climate change.  Well . . . nobody with a good grasp of the situation ever said it was.  It would certainly not hurt, if you’re concerned about it, but if climate change is natural as some insist, or other factors are more important, then it won’t be a magic wand.  Just be glad that the end is in sight for a monopoly over electrical power, and what that can mean for individual lives and the common good.  Of course, development can be financed by adopting the Economic Democracy Act.

• Is Working at Home “Catastrophic”?  According to billionaire James Dyson, allowing people to work at home is “catastrophic” because managers won’t be able to crack the whip and keep them busy.  Evidently Dyson isn’t aware that for thousands of years before the modern age people lived and worked at home, and there was no problem keeping them busy.  The difference, of course, is that for thousands of years most people worked for themselves instead of being someone else’s slave, wage or otherwise.  Many people spent so much time working, in fact, that Church and State sometimes had to make laws to force people to rest or spend time with their families.  So, if you want to make certain people keep working no matter where they are, the answer seems obvious: turn them into owners, so that the more work they do, the more they benefit.  One way to do that is the Economic Democracy Act.

• Counterfeiting to Rescue Speculators.  Similar to the “reflation” Irving Fisher proposed in the 1930s to recover his stock market losses in the Crash of 1929, Robert Kiyosaki claims that the Federal Reserve might print trillions more counterfeit money (albeit it semi-legally) to rescue Bitcoin speculators.  This, of course, will remain a danger as long as the Federal Reserve continues to issue money backed only with government debt and not private sector hard assets as required under the Economic Democracy Act.

• Cost of Rebuilding Ukraine is Really Not a Problem.  Many people are expressing concern about the enormous amounts of money that will needed to rebuild Ukraine.  This is a legitimate concern and needs to be addressed.  After all, not even Putin with all his ill-gotten wealth and the Russian economy can afford to pay for the physical damage, to say nothing of the indemnities due for the criminal slaughter of civilians.  Fortunately, rebuilding even the most devastated country can be done profitably . . . if done the right way, with the Economic Democracy Act, which does not let Putin and Russia off the hook for reparations, but it would even help Russia pay that enormous bill . . . if they first get rid of Putin.

• Living with Mommy and Daddy.  According to the latest reports, more than half of all young adults are living at home under their parents’ roofs.  This is more than at any time since the 1940s.  These people are not, however, contributing to the family purse a was considered the thing to do in days of yore, but using their money to fuel a boom in the demand for luxury goods as Mommy and Daddy pick up the tab for basic living expenses.  Now, there is nothing wrong with living at home, but the common arrangement today is that young adults are in the position of being lords and ladies of the manor while the parents are servants.  At the very least, parents should require adult offspring living at home to kick in to the common purse, and to start setting something aside to move out or build up assets instead of spending everything.  Of course, the Economic Democracy Act, would empower people to build up assets and contribute to the common purse even before they are adults, so that should be the ultimate goal, but in the meantime . . .

• A War of Past Savings.  One of the greatest economic fallacies of all time is the idea that it takes money to make money.  No, the reality is that it takes production to make money; money derives from economic activity, not the other way around.  This accounts for Otto von Bismarck’s imposition of an endemnity on France following the Franco-Prussian War, hoping to destroy France economically forever, and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s targeting infrastructure and everything else in his war on Ukraine.  As a side note, Putin’s activities demonstrate in the most graphic manner possible — even if Ukrainian resistance didn’t prove it — that the “Special Military Operation” is definitely NOT a “liberation.”  You don’t destroy what you’re liberating.  Putin’s idea is that if you cause enough damage, people will just give up because their resources are exhausted.  This is also why targeting productive capacity is also a priority.  From a Just Third Way perspective, what is important is not productive capacity, but productive potential . . . and productive potential doesn’t rely on what exists, but what can exist.  In the Just Third Way, future growth — potential — is not financed by past decreases in consumption (existing savings), but from future increases in production . . . which is what commercial and central banks were invented to create money to finance.

• 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.

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 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  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 35 different countries and 44 states, provinces, and territories in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.  The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “Happy Christmas Eve!” “Happy New Year’s Eve!” “News from the Network, Vol. 15, No. 49,” “Corporatism versus Distributism,”  and “Reason and Infallibility.”

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.