Friday, March 29, 2024

News from the Network, Vol. 17, No. 13

As usual, there are many problems in the world we report on this week that would either be greatly alleviated or eliminated entirely with the adoption of the Economic Democracy Act:, but the big job is convincing the powers-that-be it is a good idea and to get moving on it:

Dorothy Jean Fry Previc


• Dorothy Jean Fry Previc, R.I.P.  CESJ was saddened to learn of the death of Dorothy Jean Fry Previc of Camp Hill, PA, a long-time supporter of CESJ, on March 17, 2024.  She was a graduate of T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria, VA, attended Mary Washington University, Fredericksburg, VA and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA.  A devoted mother and wife, she dedicated herself to raising her family and caring for others.  Faced with lifelong health challenges, she became an expert on natural healing and nutrition. She also transmuted her pain into compassion and focused a library of spiritual reading into a meditative perseverance. Her political acumen and moral compass were her husband’s north star in his career, and they were full partners in all he did in the Pennsylvania legislative and electoral arenas. She took on the role of primary caregiver for more than ten years for her own mother, Jean Fry, who volunteered for many years with CESJ and interested Dorothy in the work of economic and social justice, and then her mother-in-law, Caroline Previc.  In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions in Dorothy’s memory to CESJ:

"I'm in charge, and don't you forget it!"


• The Alpha Menace.  “Alphas,” children born (and to be born) between “roughly” 2010 and December 31, 2024 (who makes up these rules?) are widely being called “feral,” “illiterate” and “doomed” on YouTube and TikTok — where alphas themselves make up many of the users.  According to one so-called “expert”, “‘Everyone on the internet is really scared of Gen Alpha,’ said Gen Z influencer Rivata Dutta, aka Riv, whose content is popular with alphas on TikTok. ‘They're like, oh my God, Gen Alpha is so weird.’”  And whose fault is this?  That can — and will be — argued for decades as the problems grow . . . if they do.  There is a solution, though, and it is a lot better than waiting around to identify somebody to blame.  Get the family back together, back in the home communicating with one another and their neighbors instead of with anonymous and sometimes non-existent others on social media.  And how to do that?  Adopt  the Economic Democracy Act, so that parents and children are actually LIVING in a home instead of using it as a temporary hangout and place to plug in, turn on, and drop out.

Easier to sell to the Chinese?


• High Interest Stranglehold.  Much to the surprise of the powers-that-be, raising interest rates also raises the cost of doing business, and that means reducing production, and thus economic activity.  This is particularly hard on anyone in a business with high fixed costs and low variable costs, such as farming and labor-intensive industries with unions.  Working capital for such businesses tends to be in the form of short-term borrowing as profits and retained earnings are tied up in long-term capital and cash is at a premium . . . but still essential for day-to-day transactions and making payments on the short-term loans.  Short-term borrowing is also affected quickly, sometimes immediately, by changes in interest rates, which means that, as the Federal Reserve is finding out (again), farmers are getting priced out of farming.  What’s the solution?  Shift to “interest-free” (but not cost-free) money for productive purposes.  “Interest” is supposed to be paid on the loan of existing money, while new money for productive purposes is “discounted” to the present value (the lenders’ profits come from the difference between what is created, and the total sum repaid, with the discount set by the market, not by government or anyone else).  This is one of the monetary reforms in the Economic Democracy Act.


• Homes for €1 Can’t Sell.    Why?  Because some people just don’t want to give up something they aren’t using and can’t use.  A small town in Italy tried to take advantage of the houses for €1 program that has proved so successful in some places fell on its face in other places, including “Patrica, a remote medieval village of barely 3,000 residents located south of Rome, where more than 40 properties deserted in the early 1900s have been left to rot.”  It seems that the program has been successful where the municipality itself owned the houses or most of the owners wanted to sell.  Other places, such as Patrica, absentees own the abandoned houses, and sometimes can’t be located.  Much of the ownership is split up, and dozens of people can own a single house, and under Italian law everyone must agree to sell, so one stubborn person or one who can’t be located can kill a deal.  Evidently, Italian law doesn’t allow for condemnation or the takeover of long-abandoned property, so they are just left until they fall down.  Some parts of the Economic Democracy Act, might help, but even more a change in some fundamental laws, e.g., allowing the municipality to take over the property for unpaid taxes or something, and then sell it in the €1 program.

. . . except it was designed for 15-to-1 . . .


• Fixing Social Security?  The latest attempt to “fix” Social Security, as reported in this article, this one, and this one, does nothing of the sort.  Raising the retirement age doesn’t fix the underlying problem: too few workers paying in and too many taking out.  It just delays it a bit and puts a temporary patch on it.  A real fix would be to adopt the Economic Democracy Act, let people accumulate their own stake of income-generating assets, and make the Social Security system need-based after merging the tax into general revenues.

Robert Kiyosaki


• Robert Kiyosaki Surprises Us.  Financial guru Robert Kiyosaki, who has been doomsaying almost as much as we have for quite some time, has managed to surprise us by saying that Bitcoin, a virtual currency with nothing behind but a weird fantasy that it is worth something (pure Currency Principle and application of the “Greater Fool Theory”) is a good investment.  It’s not an investment at all, and it’s a rather marginal speculation.  If Kiyosaki wants to do a public services, he should get behind the Economic Democracy Act, which is geared toward real investment.

• 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.