Friday, May 29, 2009

Why I'm so different on economics.

Robert Oak of Economic Populist often gets on my back for what he calls "Economic Fiction".

I think I finally realized what he means by that. He means anything outside of the axioms of economics taught by Keynes, Roosevelt, and Smith- the axioms and theories that classic economics is built on.

I don't hold to those as the founding documents for my economics. Instead as a good Catholic should- as ANY good Catholic should- my economics is built on Rerum Novarum from Pope Leo XIII, Quadragesimo Anno from Pope Pius XI, Mater et Magistra from Pope John XXIII, and of course John Paul The Great's Centesimus Annus.

In these, work is held as a holy good in and of itself; the product of work destined for charity to oneself, one's family, and one's community. Private property is acknowledged, but limited to doing good rather than the freedom to do evil. The power of the corporation in capitalism and the power of the state in communism or socialism is restrained to a duty to provide for the material good of the individual, every individual, not just profits and power for the few.

Efficiency, beyond that which is necessary to make sure that every human being on the planet has food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and medical care, is simply NOT a concern in the economics preached by the Popes. That each man has the dignity to work to provide food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and medical care for his family, is the overriding concern.

Note also that class warfare, is considered a huge negative- the rich and the poor are to toil together in the common sacred duty to provide for the community.

This isn't communism- and it isn't capitalism. It's a third way, known as distributism. And I would hold that it is equal in reality to the other two ways- Catholic communities all over the world have been practicing this third way for many centuries before Pope Leo XIII was born, and the system is so sustainable that I have no doubt that long after the last revolutionary communist is in his grave and the last capitalist bankster has stolen his last penny of usury from some poor widow, there will be distributist communities still in existence.

In the middle ages and dark ages, such communities existed without any outside official government or economic system to depend on. They are extremely robust. I would encourage any survivalist following my blog to read these documents, and consider what a world we could have, made up of small communities following these axioms, values, and principles.

Value Added Tax WTO treason

A very good article on the main thing that is wrong with the WTO and a major cause of current US Stagflation. It's much nicer than I would have been, for instance:

The failure to properly classify VAT rebate schemes as an unfair subsidy within the context of the GATT has proven to be a monumental error on the part of U.S. trade negotiators.

No, the failure to properly classify VAT rebate schemes as a subsidy within the context of the GATT is TREASON on the part of US trade negotiators and should be punished as such.

Based on this, I propose two potential solutions more in keeping with the progressive nature of the United States:

1. An ITYT- Intermodal Transfer Yard Tax. This would be an indirect volume/mile tax on all shipping that goes through an intermodal transfer yard. It'd be much like a national sales tax, but *local* products shipped *locally* would be exempt. It would cover *both* imports and exports equally, but create jobs in the United States by creating taxation on goods shipped more than a few miles.

2. When the WTO challenge comes, use it politically to unilaterally pull out of the GATT, NAFTA, and GATS treaties entirely, and hold all WTO representatives that are within US territory as either traitors or foreign agents, and try them under the espionage laws currently on the books.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sola Scriptura and the Priesthood of All Believers

Two heretical doctrines, at least from a Catholic Standpoint. Yet 500,000 modern Protestants stick to them like glue.

There's been a ton of problems with the arrogant belief that God speaks directly to a given individual- this is cult-land after all- without a touchstone of *rational* thought.

And worse yet, Islam is beginning to imitate the same mistake, in Bin Laden's Wahabbist doctrine of Sola Jihad- the requirement of any believer to commit himself to violence when justice is threatened.

They say you can see a false teaching by it's fruits- and certainly, the fruits of the spirit of the Reformation have been anything other than a Holy Spirit. I contend that absent of a strong hierarchy and strong tradition, a religion that relies *ONLY* on a priesthood of believers is like a science that has no peer reviewed journals- it can only produce biased bunk.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Case for an Early Hierarchy

Last week, and this coming week and the next week (depending on if you're on the Julian or Gregorian Calendar), the Catholic Church as a whole celebrates Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday, 40 and 50 days after Easter. What many people don't understand is this is the celebration of the official start of the Hierarchy- the point at which Jesus stopped reappearing to convince people he was alive, and ten days later, when he sent His Holy Spirit to transform 11 Aramaic and Jewish fishermen, tax collectors, and other relative outcasts into the first set of Christian preachers the world ever saw.

And these weren't your ordinary preachers- internal to the Bible we only have one book about them, the Acts of the Apostles, and in there you've got plenty of miracles, from speaking in tongues to healing the sick to raising the dead. External to the Bible, we have the legends of the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches about how the Patriarchs (starting with James in Jerusalem and John in Antioch and Peter in Rome) got started, as well as horrific tales like what happened to the guy they chose to replace Judas and be their 12th (stoned to death) or what happened to Philip when he tried to evangelize some of the more primitive tribes in Africa (food for cannibals).

But these 12 (counting Stephen, after he was ordained by the others, complete with laying on of hands) were the start of something big. Over 1.5 billion Catholics, when you count the Eastern Rite churches along with the 1.1 billion in the Latin Rite, are believers in this world today- 75% of the Christians in this world follow one of the Patriarchs who can trace their lineage back to the Apostles WITHOUT excommunication.

So when the emergence folks say they want to get rid of Sola Scriptura, and the mistakes of so many different interpretations of the Bible- why not return to one of the Catholic Churches- the folks who experienced Pentecost directly, proceeded to edit their writings into the Scripture you say means so much- and STILL EXIST TODAY!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A billion Catholics can't all be wrong

Yet that is *exactly* what the emergence movement says to me. They've finally got rid of Sola Scriptura, they're realizing that they've thrown out the baby with the bathwater in the Reformation to begin with, they realize that schism is evil.

But they don't seem to realize that the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom, or that the Community of Saints exists.

Sure, we've got three districts in the Kingdom- the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant. And the Vicar in Rome only has leadership over the Church Militant. Our once and future King is with the Church Triumphant.

I think, what it comes down to, is fear. Fear of the hierarchy, fear of tyranny, fear of losing their freedom in submission to Christ. I don't know how to get past that fear. Anybody have any ideas?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nationally U6 hits 15.8%

The April Seasonally Adjusted numbers are in and the only good news is that NEW unemployment is slowing down. U6 for Oregon is pushing 20%- Great Depression numbers, except during the great depression we weren't releasing U3 instead of U6 in a blatant attempt to lie with statistics.

But remember folks, PROSPERITY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. The question being, Which Corner? So for your entertainment, a few depression era music videos:

And finally for comparison, one modern one:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Slow and Steady, Makes Right

John Paul the Great used to say "I'd rather be right and the leader of only a church of 1000, than wrong and the leader of a billion."

One of the big reasons I'm still Catholic is because that isn't just a saying- there's a real system behind it.

Long before anybody ever imagined the scientific method, we had the Councilar method. Unlike some other more modern Christian sects, for Catholics (both Orthodox and Latin) Doctrine Develops. Dogma is set in stone, but doctrine develops, and discipline (which the Councilar method also affects) is temporary. Theology is in fact logical, despite what some atheists will want to tell you.

But one big difference between the Councilar method and more modern theologies and philosophies; it's slow. So slow in fact that it took more than 1200 years for one theological theory (the Immaculate Conception of Mary) to move from first being written down, to being believed by the whole church, to being preached from the See of Peter as being infallible.

The theologians of Catholicism are nothing if not complete in their tasks.

600 years to come up with an Apology to Galileo for our side of the argument.

But when I see such theological mistakes as the American Shakers denying the existence of human sexuality or the rush of emergence theology to embrace homosexuality, or scientific mistakes such as Thalidomide and the nuclear bomb, I have to wonder if speed in human development isn't a mistake in and of itself. How much better it is when change happens slowly enough so that those who remember the old way are long dead before the new way fully takes hold!

Speed and impatience kill. The reason why the scientific method is faster, is because it enables the scientist to disregard huge swaths of data that the theological council must consider. But by ignoring the moral and philosophical implications of their work, quite often science gets it wrong. One way I think science is getting it wrong in the United States under the Obama Administration is the fight over stem cell research- because the fight had been going the other way under the Bush Administration, embryonic stem cell research is being funded at the expense of adult stem cell research- despite the fact that embryonic research has yet to find a single cure, but we can hardly go more than three months without hearing about a new cure from Adult Stem Cell research. It's clear which one should get more funding based on past performance, yet we do the reverse because it is trendy and quick rather than making the harder moral decision.

Monday, May 4, 2009

There ain't no opportunity left in America

First, we'll see how well I can cut and paste a chart here:

President Jobs Created Tax IDs issued Population Growth Total percentage
George HW Bush 2,500,000 1,802,000 12,500,000 34%
George W. Bush 3,000,000 5,875,000 22,000,000 40%
Gerald Ford 1,800,000 2,434,000 5,100,000 83%
John F. Kenedy 3,600,000 3,256,000 8,200,000 84%
Dwight Eisenhower 3,500,000 15,987,000 23,300,000 84%
Richard Nixon 9,400,000 3,689,000 12,300,000 106%
Bill Clinton 23,100,000 3,756,000 25,200,000 107%
Lyndon Johnson 11,900,000 400,000 11,300,000 109%
Ronald Reagan 16,000,000 4,216,000 17,300,000 117%
Jimmy Carter 10,500,000 1,374,000 9,800,000 121%

Ok, slightly messed up. I wonder if I'll do better in creating a chart in any other editor. At any rate- as you can see from this chart, aside from Bill Clinton's years, we've got a very bad growth rate- and Bill Clinton's 107% really wasn't enough to make up for Bush I's 40%.

There were some surprises there- the amazing number of new businesses being created in the 1950s for example, despite 95% tax rates (probably on GI bill education & V.A. loans, I'd suspect). The death toll lowering the tax rate took on new business creation during the Kennedy/Johnson Administrations.

But other than that, it shows what a horrible job the GOP has done lately....

New Autistic thing I figured out

I've spent the last 25 years or so with homophobia and a fear of gender segregated team sports, because I've been mislabeling idiot jocks as homosexuals (due to certain behaviors common in my high school when it came to team razing and initiation ceremonies).

So first, to all homosexuals out there who aren't predatory and don't bother the people around you, I'm sorry for misjudging you. For all of the jocks I misjudged- you might want to look at some of those team rituals with a critical eye towards how they might look to the kid you're bullying just because he's weird. And finally, to all parents of autistic kids- you might want to have a talk with them about stereotypes and how being bullied has affected the way they see the world.
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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