Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 29, 2016

Democrats, the Law of Demand, and the ‘Fight for 15’
James Sherk, National Review

Economists call this the Law of Demand. People buy more goods or services at lower prices than high ones. Almost everyone experiences this law daily. In most circumstances, no one disputes this. But not when it comes to the minimum wage.

An Overlooked Tool for Making Decisions in Our Fallen World
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

As I follow the news lately, I’m constantly reminded that things in this world are not as they should be. That’s why I’m grateful economics is a tool we can use to navigate our fallen world.

Rick Perry: Liberty Is Key to Restoring African American Communities
Evan Smith, Opportunity Lives

The reason we’ve had the political year we’ve had is because fewer American remember how well liberty can serve them and their families.

Global Food Security Act Leaves African Farmers in the Dirt
Stacy Ndlovu, FEE

The American Congress recently passed the bipartisan Global Food Security Act, a $7 billion dollar project aimed at bolstering efforts to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty across the globe. Sounds noble, but this Act will most certainly not improve global food security, especially in Africa, because it fails to address a fundamental cause of food insecurity in the developing world: US agricultural subsidies.

dncplatformDuring the recent Democratic National Convention the delegates voted to adopt their party’s platform, a document that outlines the statement of principles and policies that the party has decided it will support.

Although the document is not binding on the presidential nominee or any other politicians, political scientists have found that over the past 30 years lawmakers in Congress tend to vote in line with their party’s platform: 89 percent of the time for Republicans and 79 percent of the time for Democrats.

Because of its significance to political decision-making, Americans should be aware of what is proposed in these documents. In this article, we’ll examine a summary outline of the Democratic platform as it relates to several non-economic issues covered by the Acton Institute. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the the party’s economic agenda as laid out in the platform. (Last week we examined the GOP platform’s stance on these same and related issues.)

Michael Thigpen had a successful job at a bank, rising through the ranks of the company to a management position. Yet he had originally planned to be a teacher or a pastor, and after finally graduating from seminary and struggling to find a position in either role, he became frustrated with his banking career.

Now a theology professor at Biola University, Thigpen realizes that his frustrations had to do with an inaccurate vision of vocation and the human person as redeemed by Christ.

“Why had I been so frustrated when an unplanned career was successful?” he now asks. “And why was my sense of identity so tied to the source of my income? …My occupational angst was rooted in a misunderstanding of my identity,” he says.

In a talk for the Oikonomia Network, Thigpen explains the importance of grasping precisely this, arguing that properly understanding our vocation begins with uniting our understanding of economic activity with the “grammar of creation.”

Thigpen reminds us of three distinct truths: (1) economic activity flows directly out of our identity, (2) economic activity is worship, and (3) God intended a flourishing society, not just flourishing individuals. (more…)

New York City

New York City

New York City has been called one of the least religious cities in America. In recent years though, ministries’ based there have felt a resurgence of the gospel movement and seen potential for cultural change. Because of this Tim Keller and his church, Redeemer Presbyterian, have started the Rise campaign. Rise is looking to dramatically expand the number of New York City residents that attend a “gospel teaching church” from the current 5 percent, to 15 percent in the next 10 years. The movement believes that, if successful, they would see not only the spiritual restoration of hundreds of thousands, but radical economic restoration in the city as well. Keller, most well-known for his popular books “Reason for God” and “Every Good Endeavor,” has made the theology of work a central theme in the Rise movement.

Keller stresses that correctly understanding God’s attitude towards work is an essential element of healing urban cities. In a Rise series sermon titled “Faith and Work,” Tim Keller discusses the centrality of work in the Bible. From the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15) to the new heaven and earth (Revelation 22:3, Matthew 25:23), Keller says that work is portrayed as good and dignified. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Catholics who free slaves on the high seas
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

Missionaries, nuns and other pastoral workers provide crucial assistance in identifying and freeing trafficked seafarers, according to a US State Department official in Rome for a conference on the issue.

How Our Individualism Has Trapped Us In A Welfare State
Heather Judd, The Federalist

America’s enchantment with individualism is so thoroughly ingrained that it has become almost invisible, except in our massive, socialistic welfare state.

Africa Is Getting Richer, Thanks to Capitalism
Marian L. Tupy, FEE

Sub-Saharan Africa consists of 46 countries and covers an area of 9.4 million square miles. One out of seven people on earth live in Africa, and the continent’s share of the world’s population is bound to increase because Africa’s fertility rate remains higher than elsewhere.

China shuts down ‘unofficial’ Christian churches ahead of G20 summit
Suzette Gutierrez Cachila, Christian Times

Chinese authorities are banning “illegal” and “unofficial” churches in preparation for the G20 summit, which will be held in Hangzhou.

“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.