“Over the last decade, millennials have been characterized as filled with a sense of entitlement, lazy, and disillusioned,” says Allison Gilbert in this week’s Acton Commentary. “In the past year they have acquired another label: socialist”

Despite the fact that the Democratic Party has begun to adopt more policies of the far left — like the $15 minimum wage — many polls show that less than half of Sanders supporters say they will be voting for Clinton this fall. Taking to social media, Millennials called Sanders a sell-out, asking, “where is this revolution I was promised?” Many made it clear that they do not want to settle for an increasingly progressive Democratic platform; what they desire is the utopian vison of the world that Sanders sold them.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

A portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Courtesy of The Clark.

A portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Courtesy of The Clark.

In a recent article titled “George Washington’s Constitutional Morality,” Samuel Gregg explores the views of the first President on the founding principles and guiding influences of the United States. Gregg identifies three key elements of Washington’s political wishes for the new nation:

Washington identified a distinct set of ideas that he thought should shape what he and others called an “Empire of Liberty”—classical republicanism, eighteenth-century English and Scottish Enlightenment thought, and “above all” Revelation.

Washington, like many of the Founders, had a great deal of admiration for Greek and Roman philosophers and statesmen. In drawing from “Greco-Roman concepts of morality,” he emphasized the importance of good citizenship and virtue in public service. Comments Gregg:

The prevalence of civic virtue among politicians and citizens doesn’t of course guarantee society’s liberty. Nonetheless, Washington clearly doubted whether a republic awash in vice could endure.


In the wake of last week’s Republican National Convention, and in the midst of the Democratic National Convention, it is more important than ever for voters to be thoroughly educated on each party’s platform going into the general election season. In two recent posts on the Republican Party platform, (part one, part two) Joe Carter provides a comprehensive summary of the Republican Party’s main stances (we’ll look at some of the Democratic Party’s platform issues in a later post). Some of the highlights of the platform include: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Does welfare policy discourage marriage?

Means-tested benefits in well-meaning welfare policies are negatively impacting the institution of marriage these days.

Land Everywhere and Not a Place to Live
Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

Land use regulations raise prices, reduce mobility and increase income inequality in the United States. In many parts of the developing world, however, the situation is worse, much worse.

A Miami judge rules that bitcoin isn’t money
Ian Kar, Quartz

Sorry bitcoiners, the US court system doesn’t think your digital currency is real money.

America’s Economy Is Cartelized, Corrupt, and Anti-Competitive
David P. Goldman, First Things

It surely is the case that the old Reagan message has less purchase now than it did a quarter-century ago. The word “entrepreneurship” hardly was spoken during the recent Republican primaries. That is disturbing, because the empirical evidence argues strongly that today’s capitalism is more “clotted” and more “complacent” than at any time for which we have data.

img-church-stained-glass.tmb-16x9largeWhy is political speech in churches back in the news?

During his speech at the recent Republican National Convention, Donald Trump said, “An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.”

The new GOP platform also says the “federal government, specifically the IRS, is constitutionally prohibited from policing or censoring speech based on religious convictions or beliefs” and urges the repeal of the so-called “Johnson Amendment.”

What is the Johnson Amendment?

In 1954, Senator Lyndon Johnson was running for reelection in his home state of Texas and faced a primary challenge from a millionaire rancher-oilman. A non-profit conservative political group published material recommending voting for Johnson’s challenger. To get back at this group, Johnson subsequently introduced an amendment to Section 501(c)(3) that would prohibit tax-exempt organizations from attempting to influence political campaigns. The present ban is codified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What does the law say?

One and Indivisible is a new collection of essays on the connection between religious and economic liberty. Those who regard freedom as essential should uphold the importance of both religious and economic liberty; these essays dig deeper in search of an essential connection or natural interplay between the two.

Now on sale in the Acton Book Shop

Now on sale in the Acton Book Shop

One and Indivisible connects both freedoms as complimentary and symbiotic. Richards discovers a “virtuous cycle” between religious and economic freedom. Michael Novak traces the foundations of each through the American natural rights tradition, finding that economic liberty is both a product of and a supporter of religious freedom.

The book successfully connects the foundations of economic and religious freedom with the challenges society faces today, in the United States and abroad. Especially timely are Jay Richards’ examination of the threat to religious freedom posed by the loss of economic liberty in the Affordable Care Act and Cardinal Joseph Zen’s exploration of the paradox of high economic freedom and low religious freedom in China.

Later in the collection, a case is made for the strength of the symbiosis of religious and economic freedom in combating poverty and restoring an anthropological understanding of private property. A key thought echoed by each essayist is the ability of Christian anthropology to undergird poverty alleviation, natural law, and conclusively economic development. At the end of her essay, “Faith and Freedom and the Escape from Poverty,” Anielka Münkel Olson wraps the ideas of economic flourishing and religion together by quoting St. John Paul II in his address to the United Nations: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How Government Cronies Redefined the Catfish
Veronique de Rugy, Reason.com

An industry clamored for more regulation—because it had a financial interest in doing so.

TANF and Two-Parent Families
Shawn Fremstad, Family Studies

There is little reason to think TANF is providing assistance to most struggling two-parent families.

Staking the Dracula of School Choice Myths
Jason Bedrick, FEE

The myth that there’s no evidence that school choice works has more lives than Dracula.

Judge rules birth control mandate violates religious rights
David Lieb, Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Missouri lawmaker who cited religious objections while challenging the inclusion of birth control coverage in his government-provided health insurance.