Ready for this week’s short list of economic insanity and gloom and doom? Neither are we, but here it is, anyway. Of course, we could adopt the Economic Democracy Act . . . so if people want to see something new in this report, get Congress to act . . .
• Conflicting Views of the Economy. Depending on who you’re talking to, the economy is either on the skids, or is booming like never before. Jobs and earnings are disappearing, or being created and earnings are going through the roof. Of course, you have to look at the industries that are booming, and those on the skids. Sections of the economy doing well are those selling necessities that everyone believes they must have, high-end luxuries that typify conspicuous consumption, or are ephemeral, speculative sectors such as the stock market and crypto that rely on the greater fool theory and greed to make a profit. What is missing are the goods and services used by the so-called “middle class” — ordinary people who are allegedly the backbone of society. One way to restore this would be to adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
• Conspiracy Theorists Have a Field Day. There have been great advances in implanting computer chips in human brains, with a number of perceived benefits and downsides. One of the biggest benefits, of course, will be for the conspiracy industry, which will maintain that this is another way to impose mind control on a massive scale. That, of course, may be possible, but with precautions — and limiting implants to medically necessary conditions — it might be of great benefit. The only real safeguard to being taken over by power groups, of course, is to diffuse power throughout society, is to diffuse capital ownership, and the way to do that is to adopt the Economic Democracy Act.
• The Sinking DINK. Double Income, No Kids . . . and still can’t make it with a six-figure income . . . at least at the level of their “chosen lifestyle.” It’s a little difficult to listen to people who have more money than most people and fewer obligatory demands complain how bad they’ve got it. It’s tempting to give out a sarcastic “Boohoo” and tell the wusses to suck it up and live within their means, they might have real problems. Or they might be perfect to join the effort to push for the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act so people can generate their own income and afford what they want, and find jobs in an enhanced jobs market if they want more.
• Why a Rate Hike? The economy is booming! So why is the Federal Reserve considering raising the interest rate? Because the housing market and other key sectors of the economy are sluggish, even though the speculators and gamblers are making huge profits! Therefore, make it even more difficult for people to afford housing or anything else, encouraging them to speculate on the stock market and buy lottery tickets, and vote into office any politicians who offer them a way out . . . except for the Economic Democracy Act that has the potential to put an end to this economic and financial insanity.
• Harvard Woes. A “mega donor” who has given in the neighborhood of half a billion dollars (U.S.) to Harvard University has said enough. No more gravy train. Despite the incredible amounts of money being poured into education, America’s elite schools are turning out “whiny snowflakes.” Robert Maynard Hutchins warned about (something like) this nearly a century ago when he and Mortimer Adler opined about the future of American education. What to do about it? Hutchins thought that making schools independent of donors would do the trick . . . although he suggested making them dependent on government, which makes the problem worse. It looks as if the real solution would be the Economic Democracy Act.
• Peter Pans and Boomerangs. Increasing numbers of young “adults” are choosing to live in their parents’ homes and be taken care of as long as possible. A lot of this is blamed on the economy — you know, the one that is booming yet failing to provide an adequate living for increasing numbers of people — and that is true, but it also can be blamed on a system that encourages lack of responsibility and development of poor character. Some of this, the economic part at least, can be addressed by the Economic Democracy Act, but people are going to have to solve the rest of it themselves.
• UPS Lays Off 12,000 Workers. Massive layoffs are not unusual . . . but a few months after winning a terrific compensation package, etc.? Well . . . yes. What better time to do it? The company’s labor costs just shot way up, giving them a huge incentive to restructure their system and eliminate human input, which is precisely what they did, surprise, surprise. Of course, as Louis Kelso said back in 1964, “If the machine wants our jobs, let’s buy it.” Whether you or a machine you own does the work, what does it matter, so long as you get the income? That is one of the ideas behind the Economic Democracy Act
• The “Great Resignation” is Over. And the problem is that, now there are more people than desired jobs, the big bucks employers were willing to offer to lure people back to work are coming to an end as well. What’s the answer? Why not do the obvious thing and make it possible for people to live without a job through expanded capital ownership? That’s the goal of the Economic Democracy Act, which would mean employers would have to offer what a job is objectively worth to people to lure them back into the workforce. Some jobs might be so attractive, according to some very bad jokes, that people will pay to do them. (“What do you do?” “I help strippers dress.” “What’s that worth?” “A hundred dollars a week.” “That’s not much.” “No, but it’s all I could afford to pay them.”)
• U.S. Manufacturing Output Greatest Since October 2022! Of course, that doesn’t really mean much if we don’t know how October 2022 compares with output levels over a longer period of time. Between “lousy” and “really lousy” there is often very little real difference. Yes, output may be greater than two years ago, but what was two years ago compared to, say, 1955, or 1973? What should be looked at is sustainable consumer demand, and that will only result from the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act
• Greater Reset “Book Trailers”. We have produced two ninety-second “Book Trailers” for distribution (by whoever wants to distribute them), essentially 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.