What is distributionism?
#11
antimodernist Wrote:This may be a stupid question, but it shows my little knowledge of econ. Good thing I am taking econ this semester. Does distribution have anything to do with equal distribution of wealth?
Not at all. It has to do with equity of the means of production among the population: ie. one may be richer than another and even many others but if many have their own means of producing something they have leverage in the economy, and don't need to be forced into working for less than is just. This also logically leads us to the principle of needing just wages for laborers, the working classes.
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#12
I recently talked to a friend, and he told me that where he worked, the company was employee owned. Is this a type of distributism?
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#13
antimodernist Wrote:I recently talked to a friend, and he told me that where he worked, the company was employee owned. Is this a type of distributism?
Absolutely, it is a step in the right direction at least. One of the most important question to ask is; are the employees making what is just for them to live comfortably according to their state in life (and by "comfortably" I don't mean luxuriously either). You should be able to take care of your family well and, most important of all, you should be able to fulfill and practice the obligations of the virtue of religion (Is the work honest and moral?).
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#14
Is distributism supposed to be like medieval feudal economies? Because if so, there are a couple of problems. For example:

Catholicmilkman Wrote:This would likely outlaw modern multimillion dollar salaries.

Medieval lords and nobles were the multimillionaires of their day. It may not seem fair to peons like you, but the benefit of a few people having great amounts of wealth, both then and now, is that they're able to finance or patronize the arts and sciences, or other good works that aren't strictly for practical purposes. The bulk of the tax burden in modern nations is paid by the wealthy upper-classes and big businesses. Most charities and humanitarian funds are not driven by the dimes you drop in the jars at the counter of the convenience store, but by men like Bill Gates.

Great advances in science, medicine and technology are made possible by the use of capital, investments, and loans. If you take these away, how will society be able to advance? I don't know about you, but I have no interest in owning a "mom and pop" store or being a farmer. I'd rather work for something like, say, a national or international advertising firm. If I ever achieved my dream job of being a film director, I'd want my films to be seen by as many people as possible. Unless you're Mel Gibson and already have millions and millions of your own dollars to blow (also impossible under your version of distributism), that's achieved through giant distribution studios like 20th Century Fox or Paramount. If you bust down big business, you hurt the big guys in favor of the small ones.... how is that more fair?

Quote:Rather I think that distributism wouldn't allow for chains stores at all, at least not the way I envision it. Chains are the antithesis to distributive justice because they still consolidate power and wealth. No two stores should have the same name or owner.

Sounds like tyranny under a different name. Last year, my stepdad and I were almost going to buy two gas stations out in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Under your system, you'd steal one of my gas stations. That brand of justice is a crock.



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#15
Quote:It is about a just family wage for heads of households and just living wages for those who need to work and this is instead of the modern minimum wage system which does not work.

Not so much a just wage as a living wage. Regardless of one's state in life, one ought to be able to provide for their family.

According to Alfred Edersheim in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, a simple carpenter such as Joseph could provide the bare necessities of life, which were easily affordable, while luxuries were very expensive. In other words it was a two-tiered economic system.

What we face today is the elimination of the middle class, resulting in economic slavery for most, while the super rich own and control everything.

The New World Order will be an oligarchy of the super-rich.
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#16
The_Harlequin_King Wrote:Is distributism supposed to be like medieval feudal economies? Because if so, there are a couple of problems. For example:

Catholicmilkman Wrote:This would likely outlaw modern multimillion dollar salaries.

Medieval lords and nobles were the multimillionaires of their day. It may not seem fair to peons like you, but the benefit of a few people having great amounts of wealth, both then and now, is that they're able to finance or patronize the arts and sciences, or other good works that aren't strictly for practical purposes. The bulk of the tax burden in modern nations is paid by the wealthy upper-classes and big businesses. Most charities and humanitarian funds are not driven by the dimes you drop in the jars at the counter of the convenience store, but by men like Bill Gates.

Great advances in science, medicine and technology are made possible by the use of capital, investments, and loans. If you take these away, how will society be able to advance? I don't know about you, but I have no interest in owning a "mom and pop" store or being a farmer. I'd rather work for something like, say, a national or international advertising firm. If I ever achieved my dream job of being a film director, I'd want my films to be seen by as many people as possible. Unless you're Mel Gibson and already have millions and millions of your own dollars to blow (also impossible under your version of distributism), that's achieved through giant distribution studios like 20th Century Fox or Paramount. If you bust down big business, you hurt the big guys in favor of the small ones.... how is that more fair?

Quote:Rather I think that distributism wouldn't allow for chains stores at all, at least not the way I envision it. Chains are the antithesis to distributive justice because they still consolidate power and wealth. No two stores should have the same name or owner.

Sounds like tyranny under a different name. Last year, my stepdad and I were almost going to buy two gas stations out in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Under your system, you'd steal one of my gas stations. That brand of justice is a crock.

No, distributism is not neo-feudalism. Those are two different models. It's related to but not identical with agrarianism, it's American counterpart. It's one of several "third way" models of economics.

I think of distributism as an economic model that is concerned with ethics. It's not a "secular" model like either socialism or capitalism, so it's really irrelevant whether it's as efficient as Austrian economics for example. No, it probably doesn't create as much wealth... but is that the point? I think economics should be concerned with ethics and be tied to the virtues of temperance and charity not the vices of greed and envy.
Chesterton and Belloc of course are the primary authors of distributist texts you also have Fr. Vincent McNabb. Here's a blog maintained by some articulate distributists, The Distributist Review, you'll find alot of links there.
Essay on Distibutivism and Catholic Social Teaching
Good book from one of the primary architects of post-war Germany, Wilhelm Roepke, The Humane Economy, not exactly distributist but a simliar third way model.



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#17
Gabriel Wrote:According to Alfred Edersheim in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, a simple carpenter such as Joseph could provide the bare necessities of life, which were easily affordable, while luxuries were very expensive. In other words it was a two-tiered economic system.

What we face today is the elimination of the middle class, resulting in economic slavery for most, while the super rich own and control everything.

The New World Order will be an oligarchy of the super-rich.

Except for the era between around 1850 (rise of the middle class of the Industrial Revolution) and the present, the world has always been the oligarchy of the super-rich. I'm not saying that's good, but that would just be returning to "business as usual".

There's a great economic and social history 2-volume book by Fernand Braudel called The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. It's almost all facts and figures and is extremely boring for anyone but history majors... but at least in the 16th century, there was no two-tiered economic system like the one you described. The Spanish Empire, for example, rationed rather mediocre allotments of grain to the people. The people often starved; the book recalls one event where a parish church was giving out grain to the masses, and the peasants trampled over one another in a Wal-Mart like mess to get the food. You think one dead Wally World clerk is bad? This event resulted in over a hundred subjects trampled to death: men, women, and children. But it was rather commonplace.
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#18
kjvail Wrote:No, distributism is not neo-feudalism. Those are two different models. It's related to but not identical with agrarianism, it's American counterpart. It's one of several "third way" models of economics.

Ah, thanks. I'd actually be interested in reading more about neo-feudalism.

Quote:I think of distributism as an economic model that is concerned with ethics. It's not a "secular" model like either socialism or capitalism, so it's really irrelevant whether it's as efficient as Austrian economics for example. No, it probably doesn't create as much wealth... but is that the point? I think economics should be concerned with ethics and be tied to the virtues of temperance and charity not the vices of greed and envy.

I'm not saying every country needs to be like Hong Kong, but I believe every country should strive for first-world living conditions. Most of my concerns with distributism are in the first post I made on the forum: about the fairness (or lack thereof) in getting rid of big business, and the consequences of basically banning wealth.
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#19
Harlequin, there is an Internet archive of both essays and articles that cover Distributism in depth. It is called The ChesterBelloc Mandate, and can be found here:

http://distributist.blogspot.com

Forgive me for tooting my own horn here, but some of my articles for Gilbert Magazine are also on that site. Many of the articles are also in Spanish and French for non-English speakers.

Permit me to suggest you drop by there and read what you find. At the very least, you'll find it mentally stimulating and challenging.

For example, click below to read this article by John C. Medaille, who is the new head writer for The Distributist Review. It is called "An Introduction To Distributism":

http://distributist.blogspot.com/2007/08...utism.html

Many thanks for your time.

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#20
The_Harlequin_King Wrote:Is distributism supposed to be like medieval feudal economies?
Is it called feudalism or distributism?

Quote:Because if so, there are a couple of problems. For example:
Catholicmilkman Wrote:This would likely outlaw modern multimillion dollar salaries.
Medieval lords and nobles were the multimillionaires of their day. It may not seem fair to peons like you, but the benefit of a few people having great amounts of wealth, both then and now, is that they're able to finance or patronize the arts and sciences, or other good works that aren't strictly for practical purposes. The bulk of the tax burden in modern nations is paid by the wealthy upper-classes and big businesses. Most charities and humanitarian funds are not driven by the dimes you drop in the jars at the counter of the convenience store, but by men like Bill Gates.
You know there is a difference between Christian lords and nobles and Bill Gates, etc.

Quote:Great advances in science, medicine and technology are made possible by the use of capital, investments, and loans. If you take these away, how will society be able to advance? I don't know about you, but I have no interest in owning a "mom and pop" store or being a farmer.
No one has said anything about stopping capital, investments or loans. I only say to govern them to keep them moral and usury-free (NO UNPRODUCTIVE LOANS!). Stop capital and you stop everything. Capital is a necessity but what exactly is "capital". It is ANYTHING that is used to make further wealth and without which the further wealth could not be made. Capital is always some past-produced wealth. A plumber's tools are capital. What we need once again learn is that not just Capital is always necessary but also Land and Labor. Economic life needs Land, Labor and Capital together; another reflection of the Blessed Trinity.
Quote:I'd rather work for something like, say, a national or international advertising firm. If I ever achieved my dream job of being a film director, I'd want my films to be seen by as many people as possible.
People starving don't care what you'd like to do, they just want to make a few bucks to have some food to eat everyday. I see nothing wrong with national guilds though, though the ideal is local.

Quote:Unless you're Mel Gibson and already have millions and millions of your own dollars to blow (also impossible under your version of distributism), that's achieved through giant distribution studios like 20th Century Fox or Paramount. If you bust down big business, you hurt the big guys in favor of the small ones.... how is that more fair?
We ought to bust the BAD and EVIL big businesses period just because they are that, evil. Whether they support or favor small businesses or not and the same to the small ones, if they are evil. We need good, not evil. The way of Salvation is goodness.

Quote:
Quote:Rather I think that distributism wouldn't allow for chains stores at all, at least not the way I envision it. Chains are the antithesis to distributive justice because they still consolidate power and wealth. No two stores should have the same name or owner.
Sounds like tyranny under a different name. Last year, my stepdad and I were almost going to buy two gas stations out in the middle of nowhere, Texas. Under your system, you'd steal one of my gas stations. That brand of justice is a crock.
Yes, the average person would see it as tyranny, that is fallen human nature, we tend to see things as such more than to try to see good rather than evil. The Bible says we ought see all things working unto good. Why not see try to see it from the other side of the view, the side of the man who has no gas station whatsoever? Is one not enough for you? Hard it is for the rich man to enter Heaven. I'm not saying the State or anyone has the right to steal, except maybe in extreme need. But then, all else being equal, what gives you the right to two of something and your neighbor to none? Though I would think everyone could have two of something. There's enough to go around, if we only tried. Justice dictates equity since you are both men created equal. You may only have the right by your labor but then only if your neighbor is not in need and/or you don't have surplus.
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