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Month: September 2011

Usury

Usury

Did you know the Roman Catholic Church once excommunicated members of both laity and clergy for practicing usury? In the Third Council of the Lateran (1179), usury was declared heretical. In 1745, Pope Benedict XIV issued the encyclical, Vix Pervenit, condemning the practice. The papal prohibition on usury meant that it was a sin to charge interest on a money loan. As set forth by Thomas Aquinas, the natural essence of money was as a measure of value or intermediary…

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Economics

Economics

This weekend, I’ve been listening to lectures by Dr. Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. This man is a brilliant economist, one of the best America has produced. It would be to our advantage to heed…

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Democratic Capitalism? Yeah, Right!

Democratic Capitalism? Yeah, Right!

Is it still true that we in America enjoy a capitalist democracy? I am of the opinion that we do not. In fact, capitalism and democracy are hurtling away from each other at a seeming break-neck speed. The interests of capitalists, these days, are diametrically opposed to the good of the people. This, of course, is no new development. Capitalism has been gnawing away at our political voice for a good number of years. The corporate lobbying that is so…

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