Perhaps the more cynical among our readers would say that it’s right on schedule, but the world does seem to be falling apart at an increasing rate. What is also increasing is the obviousness of the fact that the Economic Democracy Act may be about the only game in town that has any hope of solving the mounting problems:
• Keynesian Consumerism. Most people don’t realize it but what saved Keynesian economics — in the short term — was the invention of widespread consumer credit via credit cards. The “Diner’s Club” in the early 1960s, the first widespread consumer credit card, was a godsend to Keynesian economics, as it permitted consumers to spend far beyond their means . . . which is the heart of Keynesian economics, which shifts purchasing power from the poor to the rich via “forced savings” of higher prices paid for fewer goods and services. Unfortunately, just as governments can’t keep spending forever without repaying their debts, neither can individual consumers consume without producing something — Say’s Law of Markets, which Keynes sneered at as he rejected the idea that people should be productive and do something meaningful with their lives. Now it looks as if the bill may be coming due, and the experts are, of course, completely baffled. They don’t seem to be aware that the way to get out of debt is not to inflate the price level even more, but for ordinary people to become productive, as would be the case with the Economic Democracy Act.
•Reparations in Evanston. The city of Evanston, Illinois, has announced an expansion of its reparations for slavery program. This is interesting, as the state of Illinois was not known to be a slave state. On closer examination, what qualified people are being paid is compensation for the effects of slavery, not slavery itself, which would seem harder to quantify if not identify. The program has been expanded from housing vouchers, as Gene Gordon of the Descendants of American Slaves for Economic and Social Justice put it, for housing that they can’t afford without the vouchers, to cash payments as well, paid for out of the city’s legalized cannabis sales. It was difficult to say whether Evanston’s program is intended to operate in perpetuity or for the ten years mentioned in the article, but one thing is clear. Nothing is being done truly to repair the sytem that caused the problem in the first place. All that is being done is getting some people hooked on what amounts to a bribe being paid for by other people who cn legitimately say they never owned slaves, so why should they have to pay for it? Of course, as Gordon says, if they truly wanted reparations, they’d adopt with the Economic Democracy Act, which would repair the system for the benefit of all, not just hand out hush money to a few privileged souls.
|The S.S. Chinese Economy going under|
• Chinese Economy Heading Toward the Rocks. Despite the hype of the last several years, it appears that China has spent too much of its principal and not build productive capacity into ordinary people . . . which means that the Chinese economy is in very deep trouble. The Chinese, in common with their western confreres, have forgotten that, as Adam Smith said in The Wealth of Nations in 1776, consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production. An economy is not supposed to be for the purpose of keeping people in power or advancing economic agendas, but to allow ordinary people to meet their wants and needs by becoming productive. That’s all. It’s the first principle of economics, and it’s the principle — or one of them — behind the Economic Democracy Act.
• Russia on the Skids — Again. Due to the “non” war in Ukraine and the practice of the Put-licking oligarchs siphoning off every kopeck they can get their mitts on, Russia’s store of “ready cash” — it’s current account — has plunged by around 93%, meaning that they’ve raided the piggy bank just a little too often. The Ruble has also fallen, and it doesn’t appear they are going to have the money to pay the paper boy, much less their soldiers. Even the material in inventory, the “sunk cost” that they’ve been living off since they started the war, that is the huge stockpiles of ammunition, are being depleted, so that it’s entirely possible even Putin might see that trying to conquer another country and making threats to destroy the world might not have been the best decision he ever made. Could he still salvage the situation? Of course . . . but it’s highly unlikely he will do so by adopting the Economic Democracy Act.
|"Excellent, Lord Keynes!"|
• Savings VERSUS Investment. It’s one of the great myths of Keynesian economics that the poor must save so the rich can invest. Keynes’s concept of “forced savings” describes how inflation “forces” the poor to cut consumption and transfer that saving to the rich so that the rich can invest in more new capital and “create jobs” . . . by purchasing labor-displacing technology! The government then creates more money to give to the poor which quickly gets paid to the rich through even higher prices, or is given directly to the rich, who pour it into the stock market instead of “creating jobs.” Even when people manage to save, it’s not so they can invest, but to spend the principal itself at a later date . . . if the rich don’t need it to invest. That’s why when people spend their retirement savings in order to survive, those who have more money than God panic at the thought that they won’t be able to use it to increase their already vast wealth. It also doesn’t address the underlying problem in that Keynesian economics is directed toward not only creating massive amounts of legally counterfeit money, it divides society into to classes: those who produce without consuming, and those who consume without producing. This completely destroys the functioning of Say’s Law of Markets, which is based on the assumption that production and consumption should be in balance, at least in the aggregate, so that what is produced is consumed . . . especially since it is impossible to consume that which has not been produced, and the only reason to produce something is to consume it. What’s the answer? Adopt the Economic Democracy Act, but that might be too easy.
|Print money and we'll all be rich!|
• Keynesian Myths Strike Again (and Again). Another Keynesian myth that has done an immense amount of damage is the idea that manipulating interest rates can affect the rate of inflation. This idea is based on an egregious misunderstanding of money and assumes that money and credit are a commodity. Thus, “interest” is the “price of money” instead of being the return to an owner — in the classical Smithian framework of economics, wages are the return to labor, rent is the return to the landlord, and interest is the return to the owner of capital. By assuming that interest is the price of money, and charging interest even on future savings, Keynesian monetary policy increases the costs of doing business and shifts money to the stock market where the increased flow of cash drives up speculative prices, shifting some inflation from the consumer. It’s not that raising interest rates “dampens” inflation or cools down an overheated economy, but simply shifts the heat to another sector, from the real economy to the speculative economy. That is why the experts are baffled at the lack of expected response to their attempts to control the economy. They don’t understand how it works in the first place, so they don’t know how to fix it. If the really wanted to fix it, of course, they would adopt the Economic Democracy Act . . . but then they might be out of a job, even if all they do is misread their crystal balls.
• Blame the Customer. It used to be that the customer was always right. Now it seems that the customer is always wrong and is responsible for not wanting to buy a product after the producer insulted its customer base. We’re talking, of course, about the whole “Bud Light” debacle. Now, we’re saying nothing one way or another about the rights or wrongs of anything here except marketing. The company assumed it could tell people what they should want, and their customer base said, “Oh, yeah?” Some of this may indeed be due to “transphobia” or whatever you call it, but there is also people’s natural contrariness that Anheuser-Busch failed to take into account. They turned their product into a political statement, and thus annoyed anyone who dislikes being turned into a political advertisement by purchasing a six pack of beer — whether they support the cause or not. Now Anheuser-Busch is doubling down on their debacle and saying people must buy their product or 65,000 jobs are endangered. Come again? The employer goofs and the customer is responsible for a major marketing gaffe? Now people who refuse to buy Bud Light are not only transphobic, they’re stealing the food out of the mouths of children? Buy our product or you’re a criminal? Not a good marketing ploy. If Anheuser-Busch was really concerned about 65,000 workers and their ability to gain adequate incomes during an economic downturn — or during a marketing debacle — they would push for the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act., which would allow people to supplement, even replace wage and labor income with capital income and ride out rough times without blaming someone else.
|"Tulips, four lips, six lips, a gulden . . ."|
• The Stock Market and Inflation. Back in the Seventeenth Century, the so-called “Tulip Mania” gripped Holland. Prices for tulip bulbs went through the roof, and fortunes were made or lost overnight. What no one ever comments about is how the shift in demand at the time in Holland lowered some prices for consumer goods, making it appear that there was no inflation . . . depending on how you define inflation. If you define inflation as a rise in the general price level due to too much money chasing too few goods and services, then there was tremendous inflation in Holland as people poured money into the speculative tulip market. If you fail to include certain things in your definition or change the definition, then the Dutch economy was in the doldrums. Applying that same standard to today’s economy, if we look at the stock market, the economy is booming. If we look at the real, productive sector . . . forget it. Key elements are not factored into inflation calculations, and the inflation in the stock market is taken as economic growth! At least with tulip bulbs you still had the chance of a flower or two to brighten your day when the crash came instead of a pile of worthless stock certificates. Or Congress could pass the Economic Democracy Act and you could still have tulips, but nobody seems to be thinking of that.
• Stocks “Pop” as Inflation Cools! In a related story, stocks are “continuing to ‘pop’ as inflation cools down,” which suggests that some people are either delusional or deluded. The experts simply cannot get it into their heads that a rising price level in the stock market is inflation just as much as rising prices anywhere else. The solution? the Economic Democracy Act.
• If You Win the Lottery. Don’t hold your breath, but the experts are now telling you what to do if you win the lottery. Of course, none of them say to invest the proceeds, but to spend it more or less wisely . . . and investing doesn’t seem particularly wise to these people. Why not let everyone “win the lottery” by enabling them to build an ownership stake of income-generating assets with the Economic Democracy Act? Or maybe we shouldn’t get so wild and crazy!
• KIDney Stones on the Rise. If it wasn’t hard enough to be a kid these days, or any days, for that matter. Now, however, it seems that various factors are contributing to the rise of the incidence of kidney stones in teenagers and possibly even younger. For once we’re not sure how the Economic Democracy Act. might help deal with this situation, but there must be some way . . .
• San Francisco Retail Exodus. Okay, they SAY it’s not just the crime rate, but changing work patterns and a host of other things, but retailers are leaving the formerly prime shopping district of San Francisco in droves. We’re not sure how with the Economic Democracy Actcould fix this, either, but we thought we’d mention it.
• Greater Reset “Book Trailers”. We have produced two ninety-second “Book Trailers” for distribution (by whoever wants to distribute them), essentially 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. CESJ’s series of videos for Sensus Fidelium are doing very well, with over 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.
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.