Friday, March 8, 2024

News from the Network, Vol. 17, No. 10

Yes, it’s depressingly the same news items (or very nearly) week after week, but it’s what is going to continue happening until we adopt the Economic Democracy Act:

Jerome Powell


• Interest Rates and Inflation.  Jerome Powell is opining that interest rates won’t be cut until inflation reaches the magical 2% level . . . .  But strictly speaking in the Just Third Way paradigm interest is not the price of money, but a share of profits from a productive enterprise; it’s from “ownership interest.”  Once we understand that, we can see why “usury,” which consists of taking interest on a loan of money for a non-productive expenditure, is wrong.  It’s not because usury is all interest or high interest, but taking a profit when no profit is due.  Thinking of interest as the price of money completely changes one’s understanding of money, credit, banking, and finance.  Then there is the quantity of money.  Let’s be blunt here.  A share of profits is based on the relative value of one’s contribution to production.  If the money you provide contributes, say, 5% to the effort, then the interest rate should be 5%.  If you contribute 50% to the effort, the interest rate should be 50%.  Who decides what the contribution is worth?  The free market, that is, the aggregate of opinions of people in the market as to what something is worth.  Changing the interest rate frankly has no effect on inflation.  What causes inflation (at least the demand-pull variety) in most cases today is governments creating massive amounts of money backed with their own debt.  Manipulating interest rates in a futile effort to counteract this insanity is a fool’s game as there is no logical connection between the two.  Correcting this insanity requires that we adopt the Economic Democracy Act.


• Economy Booming . . . For Some.  Despite the howls of delight that the economy is booming and in great shape, there is growing discontent among people who are unable to find the jobs believed essential for them to participate in the benefits.  At the same time, jobless claims are “holding steady,” leading the experts to say everything is just fine and getting better.  Uh, huh.  What the jobless claim statistics don’t tell you is the numbers of people whose benefits have run out, those who have just given up, and those who are underemployed or holding multiple jobs.  Part of the problem and what causes what amounts to a massive delusion on the part of economists and policymakers is the fixed belief that the only way most people can gain income is from jobs or welfare.  As has been pointed out for more than two centuries with increasing insistence, however, the only truly empowering way for people to gain income is through capital ownership — in other words, to become productive with their own tools instead of being used as a tool, “human capital,” by others.  This is the whole idea behind the Economic Democracy Act.


• American Dream is Dying.  As has been the case for more than a century — since the Panic of 1893, in fact — periodic announcements have been made regarding the demise of the American “middle class,” meaning those who are neither rich nor poor, but are the presumed majority of producers and consumers . . . who are becoming less and less productive as technology advances and takes their “jobs.”  The answer is to make people productive once again, and that means making them owners of the capital that is taking their jobs away — and that means adopting the Economic Democracy Act.


• Both Sides of His Financial Mouth.  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has become quite expert at managing to say everything and nothing at the same time.  For example, “An uneasy calm that has pervaded the U.S. bond market could break in coming days, as looming data on employment and consumer prices shed more light on how long the Federal Reserve might need to keep rates elevated in its battle to decisively defeat inflation.”  Anyone who really understands money, credit, banking, and finance would just shake his or her head at that statement, as would anyone with even a superficial understanding of the first principle of finance: to know the difference between a mortgage (past savings) and a bill of exchange (future savings).  Getting back to a true understanding of money might require passing the Economic Democracy Act . . . which might not get passed before people gain a true understanding of money!  It’s a real chicken-or-the-egg question, because the mistaken idea of money assumes you can’t produce marketable goods and services until and unless you have money . . . which derives from marketable goods and services!  The answer?  Using future savings — the present value of future increases in production — instead of past savings (past decreases in consumption) to finance new capital formation and future production of marketable goods and services.

• 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 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.