Daily Archives: December 4, 2011

Economic Social Justice

I was really interested to read about Distributism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism), especially because of the distinction it makes between wealth and property.

All that yapping the Occupiers have been doing about the alleged “99% vs. 1%” is about wealth, not property, and I’ve heard that kind of trash talk many times in the past when various anti-Catholic groups would get to harping on how “rich” my church supposedly is (therefore, we’re selfish and greedy, don’t care about the poor, yada yada).

But I’ve belonged to one Catholic parish or another my entire life. I’ve served on parish councils, examined the annual statements and helped Dearest when he was chairperson of the building committee that did a major rehab on our facility.

You know where the alleged wealth of our parishes are located?

In the property we use.

We don’t have millions stashed away under the priest’s mattress. We have land and a building that we and others in our community use every day for worship, spiritual direction and counseling, educational programs, day care, exercise classes, and a host of other things.

Our parish is very small, so we work with other churches in the area to do the food cupboard, which is located in a non-Catholic church building, but many larger Catholic parishes maintain schools, food cupboards, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other programs that all require buildings on land that have dollar values attached to them.

You could call that dollar value the “wealth” of the church. But it ignores the WORK that property is doing. It ignores all the jobs associated with that work. It ignores all the good those facilities and jobs do in the community. It also ignores the costs of utilities and upkeep.

That Occupy thing about 99% vs. 1% is based on wealth. They’ve taken one unimportant and extremely deceptive statistic about our nation, used it to falsely condemn our entire economic system and then, in the name of social justice, demanded we shift our economy toward Socialism.

But it’s all a lie.

The true model for economic social justice is not Socialism, but Distributism. We don’t hear much about it, which is a shame, because it’s good stuff.

Basically, Distributism says that for maximum economic social justice, property should NOT be centralized under the control of the state (Socialism) OR under the control of a few huge businesses or wealthy private individuals (Capitalism).

Instead, property (not wealth) should be spread out among the general populace in the form of small businesses and worker-owned cooperatives.

Pay attention here. Distributism does NOT promote redistribution of wealth. It promotes small business.

I have lived virtually my entire life in close proximity to one or more small family businesses. My parents’ sporting goods business employed 10 or 15 people and put me and my 5 sibs through college; hubby’s rental property venture got us enough money to buy our own home; his one-man architecture business supported me and our three kids. There was and is very little wealth in any of these ventures, but they provided jobs, goods, services and a good life to our families and to people in the community.

And that is the point of Distributism, to focus not on whose bank account is bigger, but on what is best for people.

Thinking about all these things got me wondering how well our nation is doing in promoting the kind of small operations that Distributism says are the ideal for an economically just society. I found these eye-opening statistics at http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html:

Ignore that 99% vs 1% crap. Here are the FACTS:

HALF the jobs in this country are in small businesses that generate 42% of the money!

HALF the employees in this country work for business with fewer than 500 employees and 70% of those work in businesses with fewer than 100 employees!

If Distributism is the best economic model for social justice — and I’m inclined to think it is — then the United States of America is doing a pretty darn good job on the economic social justice front!

According to Occupy, I’m part of the “down-trodden” 99%.

Well, phooie on them. I’ve had a great life!

I think I’ve been really blessed to have lived in a country where my mom and dad could start a business in the spare bedroom and work to make it grow enough to put six kids through college. I’ve loved my life as the wife of a small businessman and I know my kids were blessed in many ways to have a self-employed dad who worked out of the house.

And you know what else? The same people who push for bigger and bigger government, more and more regulation, and higher and higher taxes … THOSE people are KILLING small businesses in this country.

IOW, in the name of economic social justice, the Left is working as hard as they can to REDUCE economic social justice!

Below is just one example:

Choking on Obamacare – December 4, 2011

http://patriotupdate.com/15384/choking-on-obamacare

CKE, with more than 3,200 restaurants (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s), has created 70,000 jobs, 21,000 directly and 49,000 with franchisees. The growth of those numbers will be inhibited by — among many government measures — Obama­care.

When CKE’s health-care advisers, citing Obamacare’s complexities, opacities and uncertainties, said that it would add between $7.3 million and $35.1 million to the company’s $12 million health-care costs in 2010, CEO Puzder said: I need a number I can plan with. They guessed $18 million — twice what CKE spent last year building new restaurants. Obamacare must mean fewer restaurants.

And therefore fewer jobs. Each restaurant creates, on average, 25 jobs — and as much as 3.5 times that number of jobs in the community. (CKE spends about $1 billion a year on food and paper products, $175 million on advertising, $33 million on maintenance, etc.)

Puzder laughs about the liberal theory that businesses are not investing because they want to “punish Obama.” Rising health-care costs are, he says, just one uncertainty inhibiting expansion. Others are government policies raising fuel costs, which infect everything from air conditioning to the cost (including deliveries) of supplies, and the threat that the National Labor Relations Board will use regulations to impose something like “card check” in place of secret-ballot unionization elections.

——————–

FROM: Table 2a. 2008 (Big numbers rounded to spare my brain)

# of all firms in the United States: 27 million # of all employees: 121 million Annual receipts: $31 trillion

1) # with 500 or more employees: 18 thousand # of all employees: 61 million Annual receipts: $18 trillion

2) # less than 500 employees: 27 million # of all employees: 60 million Annual receipts: $13 trillion

http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

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Filed under Catholic Church, Economy, Obamacare, Occupy Movement

UC Davis Pepper Spray – What Really Happened

I got this in email from a friend:

“We all have seen the media coverage of the police pepper spraying the kids at UC Davis, but what really happened before and after that event? This video is 15 minutes long, but it shows all of the events leading up to the pepper spray heard round the world. The news failed to mention that the students had surrounded the police and were threatening them by not allowing them to leave or giving them an exit. They also had been given multiple clear warnings and sometimes even personal warnings of what would happen if they didn’t comply. Funny, I don’t remember hearing that on the news. Seeing this video, I think the police acted in a very professional manner, managing to keep calm…I knew there were two sides to the story, but didn’t think the agenda would be this blatant.”

UC Davis Pepper Spray – What Really Happened @ http://youtu.be/hhPdH3wE0_Y

Same video without text comments @ http://youtu.be/yjXcaoEAkq4?hd=1

Description on the video: This video shows the events leading up to the use of pepper spray by UC Davis police officers. Occupy protesters and the media have sensationalized this story by only showing short clips of the officers spraying the students with pepper spray. This video shows in chronological order how the protesters trapped the police and demanded the release of those they had arrested before they would be allowed to leave.

CtH: What I see is a handful of Leftist agitators surrounded by a bunch of disrespectful, ignorant, spoiled brats who are being used, loser-sheeple-fashion, to instigate an event (pepper spraying) that the Leftist agitators can use to further their agenda at the expense of the rule of law and the kind of calm and respectful society we need if we’re going to have anything good in our lives. Like, say, universities.

What kind of parenting did these class-cutting twerps have? The kind where Mommy and Daddy caved in and gave them whatever they wanted if they yelled loudly enough? The kind where Mommy and Daddy threatened to punish, but never actually did?

If you’re pressed for time, push the slider bar to 12:52. Thirteen minutes into the confrontation, the protesters have been repeatedly told to clear the quad. When police arrested some of them, the crowd moved to surround and menace the much smaller group of officers, yelling that the police could only leave if they let the arrestees go.

The police have given the protesters many, many warnings of the consequences of their behavior, including taking out their pepper spray, announcing what it is and very clearly shaking the cans to show their intent to use it.

At 14:00, one of the agitators is leading the kiddie crowd in a little exercise in mob rule where they surround the police and scream how the police will be PERMITTED to leave.

At 15:00, look how big and loud this crowd is compared with the police, who are backing themselves into a smaller, protective bunch.

Also check out how much laughing and horsing around there is among the students, even after the pepper spraying. My guess is that most of them are just there because a mob on the quad is more fun than classwork.

At 15:44, the Leftist agitator gets them yelling “Look at how they react to peaceful assembly.”

Dear God in Heaven. Peaceful?! Those police behaved very professionally. The students … I’m just glad none of them are MY kids.

Of course, my kids would know better!

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Filed under Education, Law Enforcement

On the brink

America is on the brink of financial suicide, because folks voted for politicians who promised them free stuff.

But folks are never satisfied with what they’re getting; they always want more, so they voted again, and again, and again for politicians who promised to give them more and more and more.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than there are paying for the free stuff.

The people who are paying for all that free stuff can’t afford it any longer.

But those “Tax the rich!” and “Republicans just want you to die!” politicians want to keep their cushy jobs, so they tell the folks who are getting free stuff that the people who are paying for the free stuff are greedy and mean.

In reality, it is the politicians who preach hatred and the folks who demand free stuff who are being greedy and mean.

America is on the brink of financial suicide, but there is a very simple solution. In November of 2012:

Vote FOR the people who talk about cutting spending and lowering taxes,

and,

Vote AGAINST the people who preach hatred and class envy.

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Filed under Economy, Taxes

Distributism: The Third Way

Three acres and a cow was his way of referring to his economic philosophy of distributism.

“Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.” ~G.K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton and other Catholic thinkers of his time developed an economic philosophy they called distributism. They based it on the Catholic Church’s social teaching, particularly Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum and Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quadragesimo Anno.

According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized either under the control of the state (state socialism) or in the hands of a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (laissez-faire capitalism).

“Distributism seeks to subordinate economic activity to human life as a whole, to our spiritual life, our intellectual life, our family life.” ~Thomas Storck

It has been successfully realised by commitment to the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity:

Subsidiarity means that matters should be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized body that is competent to handle them.

Solidarity refers to the social ties that bind people to one another.

Distributism advocates widespread private ownership of housing and control of industry through financially independent, worker-controlled local cooperatives and small family and owner-operated businesses.

Its practical implementation in the form of local cooperatives has recently been documented by Race Mathews in his 1999 book Jobs of Our Own: Building a Stakeholder Society.

SOURCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_acres_and_a_cow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributist

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidiarity_%28Catholicism%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity

RERUM NOVARUM: ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR

Full text @ http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html

QUADRAGESIMO ANNO: ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SOCIAL ORDER

Full text @ http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19310515_quadragesimo-anno_en.html

Jobs of Our Own: Building a Stakeholder Society: Alternatives to the Market and the State by Race Mathews

Available @ http://www.amazon.com/Jobs-Our-Own-Stakeholder-Alternatives/dp/0967970792

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Filed under Catholic Church, Economy