As the capitalists and socialists continue their past savings-based “tastes-great-less-filling” argument that manages to avoid any of the real issues (such as why do both insist that only past savings can be used to finance new capital formation), the stock market is wavering.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
There’s a lot of fuss being made both inside and outside the Catholic Church about Pope Francis’s “simplicity” compared with Benedict XVI’s more “imperial” trappings. Why this is relevant to anybody outside that particular religious body (or even within it, for that matter) is something of a puzzle. You’d think people would have something better to do with their time, but let’s take a look at this. Somebody thought enough of this to write and article on it, so we can get a little mileage out of it ourselves.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
As we saw in yesterday’s posting, one of the problems with organized relief for “the poor” is that it gives the people whose job it is to “help the poor” a vested interest in making certain that there are always “the poor” there to “help” — especially if it is a government program. Nevertheless, as Pope Leo XIII pointed out,
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Yesterday we noted that the usual sorts of foreign aid to alleviate poverty do just that: they alleviate it, they do not, despite the rhetoric, end it. Bono of the Irish rock group U2 seems to understand this. While he is by all accounts astonishingly generous both in giving and in raising money to help the poor, the sick, the naked, etc., he seems to realize that, necessary as this sort of thing is, it is not a solution.
Monday, August 26, 2013
In last Thursday’s posting we viciously attacked rock icon Bono of the Irish group U2, a name that sounds like the Hun invading. We reported that he had mentioned in an interview with somebody-or-other that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than even the most massive foreign aid. We also squealed on him by noting that he has actually said Good Things about America and Americans. Obviously the man is a complete nutcase.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Those of you who have been paying close attention to this blog and a little bit of buzz around the internet know that CESJ is planning on republishing a “long lost” book by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, considered by many to be the first “televangelist.” In what no doubt surprises many, Sheen was also a strong advocate of widespread capital ownership — and therein lies a tale.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Bono of the Irish rock group U2 (who has nothing to do with Cher) strikes us as someone who is both extraordinarily charitable and possesses a certain hardheaded practicality (in a good way). His list of charities is “impressive,” to put it mildly. We don’t agree with some of them, but unlike some celebrities and most media figures he has on occasion admitted to making mistakes.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
A couple of weeks ago somebody posted a . . . “meme” we think it’s called? on our FaceBook page. That doesn’t sound right, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not the point. The little poster showed Superman having a cup of joe and asking Batman, “How can you start the day without coffee?” to which Batman, of course, replies, “I’m Batman.” You can see it for yourself, here.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Anything that has a present value can be put into a contract as “consideration” — the inducement to enter into a contract. Past savings obviously have a present value, for the marketable goods exist, and claims on them can be drawn or issued and used as “money.” Money, of course, is anything that can be accepted in settlement of a debt, or “everything that can be transferred in commerce.” All money is thus a contract, just as in a sense all contracts are money.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Last week a member of the network forwarded a link to an article on cooperatives. The article details many of the advantages of worker ownership, but then dilutes the effect. It does this by making an unconscious assumption that has had a very negative effect on economic growth in general, and widespread, democratic ownership of that growth in particular. This assumption is what ESOP-inventor Louis O. Kelso and Aristotelian philosopher Mortimer J. Adler called the “slavery” of past savings.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Breathe easy. The CIA has just released a report on “Area 51” in Nevada. In a stunning revelation, it has absolutely nothing to do with extraterrestrial beings. Instead, Area 51 was used to test the U-2 spy plane . . . which has nothing to do with Bono (or Cher).
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Evansville, Indiana, has reached a deal to construct a $74 million convention center that is expected to revive the downtown area and bring in new business and infusions of cash. This is pretty much the standard pitch when something of this scale is planned, whether a convention center or a sports arena.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Scott v. Sandford in 1857 — the notorious Dred Scott case — effectively shifted the determination of who is a person (and thus who has rights) from human nature itself to the State. As Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney declared, no black man, free or slave, could ever be a person as that term is used in the Constitution.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The invention of the cotton gin changed everything as far as slavery in America was concerned. Suddenly, where it took one slave ten hours or more to pick the seeds out of a single pound of cotton, a team of three slaves could process fifty pounds in the same amount of time — more than 1,500% increase in production . . . and that was the early model.
Monday, August 12, 2013
The connection between abortion, slavery, and the decline of private property is not accidental. Life, liberty, and property are, after all, the great triad of natural rights named in the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776. Jefferson omitted property from the Declaration of Independence a month later probably because of “discomfort” over slavery. It was, after all, a bit tricky to be demanding full rights for free men and, at the same time, denying any rights at all to half a million others.
Friday, August 9, 2013
The news is a little thin this week, possibly the “dog days” or the “silly season” for news — or maybe it’s the lull before the storm. President Obama keeps running around trying to find some new cause to divert attention away from far more pressing problems. A lot of talking, but very little walking, so what else is new?
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Yesterday’s posting, “Was John Paul II a Socialist?” excited a little comment. After posting it, I began to have second thoughts about some of the things I said. All were true, of course, and can be substantiated from independent, third party sources. Members of the CESJ “core group,” however, pointed out that some of what I said was not entirely appropriate.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Someone recently sent us a link to an article from the Houston Catholic Worker, Volume XXVI, No. 2, March-April, 2007, “How an Unknown Text Could Throw New Light on John Paul II’s Views on Economics.” The article was reprinted with permission from Catholic Life of Cheshire, England.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
In The Transcribed Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye, “Nancy” (Betty-Jo Biolofsky) has managed to get hold of some incriminating photos with which the villain, Rocky Rococo, has been blackmailing her and her husband. She quickly leafs through them and then exclaims in a shocked voice, “It’s not us!” Then, in a calm, interested voice, she continues, “It’s an interesting approach, but it’s not us!”
Monday, August 5, 2013
A while back in an article on the dangers of immigration we saw a sign on an ethnic restaurant advertising some kind of vegetarian fusion cuisine, a tofu taco or something. That was shocking enough, but even more shocking was the attitude that “foreigners” (dirty or otherwise) are somehow a threat to the American Way of Life.
Friday, August 2, 2013
"I am the State thy God, and thou shalt have no other gods before Me." This is the logical outcome of viewing the State as a "Mortall God," as totalitarian philosopher Thomas Hobbes put it in Leviathan. Not surprisingly, Keynesian economics is based on that of Walter Bagehot, whose political philosophy was derived from that of Thomas Hobbes.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
A week or so ago somebody brought to our attention a proposal by Senator Elizabeth Warren. No, it had nothing to do with the oddity of a culture that insists on “gender inclusive” terminology for pretty much everything that doesn’t matter, but says nothing about calling relatively young ladies “Old Men” or “Tribal Elder,” which is what “senator” means in Latin.