24 November, 2014

A Distributist Christmas

I know that Advent has not yet started, but I wanted to share this at a relevant time. Americans have developed some strange customs over the years, but the one later this week is one of the strangest. I am not referring to Thanksgiving, but to what has become our annual celebration of greed and inhumanity. I am referring to Black Friday.

20 November, 2014

Has Smith's Capitalism Ever Been Tried?

There is, in the vast realm of people calling themselves capitalists, a very peculiar group. While, like all capitalists, they claim that capitalism is responsible for every material advancement and new technology since they days of Adam Smith, they simultaneously claim that every economic problem that has occurred is not the result of capitalism. These are the true believers in Smith's "invisible hand," the individual self interest that will inevitably (and unintentionally) guide the overall market in a way that is best for all. They invariably blame every economic problem on government meddling. It is government meddling that causes Smith's invisible hand to veer off course. When confronted with any economic problem that has occurred, they counter that the government was meddling in the economy. They claim that capitalism cannot be blamed because the fact that the government was meddling proves that capitalism wasn't being used. If that is the case, if the existence of government meddling in things related to the economy means that capitalism is not being used, has Smith's capitalism ever actually been tried?

06 November, 2014

The End of QE

Well, it's been six long years of the three programs known as Quantitative Easing, or "QE." The first, under president Bush, was for $750 billion. The second, under president Obama, was for another $800 billion. The third, also under Obama, was an ongoing payment by the U.S. government of $85 billion every month. Now, more than $6.6 trillion later, how much did all that taxpayer-funded expense help the economy?