Thursday, October 20, 2005

The "Just Third Way" -- A just & humane reform of capitalism?

"On the one hand there is capitalism, an economic system governed by market forces but where economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few who own or control productive capital. On the other hand, socialism, in its many forms, is an economic system governed centrally by a political elite, with even more highly concentrated ownership and economic power. Logically, a 'third way' would be a free-market system that economically empowers all individuals and families through direct and effective ownership of the means of production--the best check against the potential for corruption and abuse." - Norman Kurland. Director, Center for Economic and Social Justice in a letter to the editor published by The Washington Post that challenged the Post's assertion that "there is no third way to prosperity."
I have been exchanging emails with Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research at the Center for Economic & Social Justice. I must say, after spending about an hour looking at his material, I am impressed. Check out their main web site:

Center for Economic & Social Justice

And here is a proposal to finance the rebuilding of the areas affected by Katrina and Rita in a manner consistent with Catholic social teaching. According to Greaney,
"The proposal is based on principles detailed in our book, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, available as a free download from the web site. Capital homesteading is derived from the social doctrine of Pius XI, particularly as found in Quadragesimo Anno and Divini Redemptoris, and the economic justice ideas of Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler in their books, The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) and The New Capitalists (1961). Despite the latter titles, what Kelso and Adler discuss is the antithesis of both capitalism and socialism."
God knows we need a better economic system for our country than we have now. And God knows that the social doctrines of the Church have not been tried & found wanting in the US., they have not been tried.

This sounds as promising as anything I have seen in a long time. Anybody want to chime in with anything they know or experiences they have had with this or similar efforts?

1 comment:

Jan Baker said...

Dear Rae,

I appreciated this post--it's just about identical to mine, and we share the same concerns. I think you should read my Holy Mass and the Stock Market for a couple of caveats. I would correspond with you personally about correspondence I had with Norman Kurland regarding the question of abortion. As you may know from Quadragesimo Anno, Pius XI was very concerned about the social values side of the question and said a just society shouldn't be tried by those who weren't willing to be very tough on social values. I'm paraphrasing badly, you must read it yourself. But anyway that it's really important. Well, read my post, visit the site, read what they say about abortion, and then if you want, contact me and I'll share with you what Mr. Kurland said.

I sure agree with you that we need a just third way so much! I take a post outside a local abortion clinic every Saturday and know just too well how much economics kills babies--and would continue to do so illegally if it were illegal again. We just haven't kept up, in this country. But I'm not an economist!