Note: This second article in a two-part series on the Republican Party Platform. Part I can be found here.

In the previous article we looked at summary outline of the Republican platform as it relates to several non-economic issues covered by the Acton Institute. Today, we’ll look at the GOP’s economic agenda as laid out in the platform. Because the document is long (66 pages) and covers an extensive variety of economic-related areas (agriculture, energy) this list won’t be exhaustive. But it does cover the primary economic positions that are being supported or opposed by the Republican Party.

(Next week, after the Democratic National Convention, we’ll examine their platform’s stance on the same and related issues.)
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Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 22, 2016
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People have strong opinions on a variety of subjects in which they don’t have an advanced degree or training. Yet when it comes to economics many people defer to “experts.”

But as Ha-Joon Chang, a South Korean economist who specializes in development, says, “Economics is for everyone.” Chang argues that we shouldn’t rely on experts to tell us what is true about economics (because they probably don’t know) but instead rely on our own commonsense to help us make sense of a complicated world.

While you likely won’t agree with everything Chang says in this short video, it’s worth watching to hear why ordinary citizens should challenge professional economists.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 22, 2016
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5 Facts about Captive Nations Week
Joe Carter, ERLC

In 1959, during the height of the Cold War, President Eisenhower signed into law a joint declaration of Congress recognizing “Captive Nations Week” and issued a proclamation that has been reissued by every U.S. president since. Here are five facts you should know about this annual commemoration.

Falling for ISIS Propaganda about Christians
Nina Shea, The American Interest

An influential international body endorses the discredited claim that ISIS wants to protect Christians—not commit genocide against them.

African farmers say they can feed the world, and we might soon need them to
Peter Schwartzstein, Quartz

“We’ve talked forever about what places like Ethiopia and Kenya could do. They have all this land; all this water,” said Giovanni Santo, an Italian apple exporter, as he eagerly chatted up possible clients. “So it’s good to finally see them here.”

Can Microfinance Really Help the Poor?
James Clark, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Within the past decade microfinance became the new panacea for eliminating poverty, but recently it too has undergone increasing scrutiny, with Lesley Sherratt’s Can Microfinance Work? being only one of the most recent examples.

GOP Party PlatformDuring the recent Republican National Convention the GOP 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 Republican platform as it relates to several non-economic issues covered by the Acton Institute. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the GOP’s economic agenda as laid out in the platform. (Next week, after the Democratic National Convention, we’ll examine their platform’s stance on the same and related issues.)
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pro_regeHow do we live in a fallen world under Christ the King?

In partnership with the Acton Institute, Lexham Press has now released Pro Rege: Living Under Christ the King, Volume 1, the first in a three-volume series on the lordship of Christ.

Originally written as a series of articles for readers of De Herault (The Herald), the work was designed for “the rank and file of the Calvinist community in the Netherlands,” not academic theologians, offering a uniquely accessible view into Kuyper’s thinking on the role of the church in the world.

In their introduction, editors John Kok and Nelson Kloosterman describe it as “fundamentally correlative and complementary” to Kuyper’s other seminal volumes on this topic, the Common Grace series and his 1898 Lectures on Calvinism. As with those other works, the Pro Rege series offers evangelicals a robust framework for cultural engagement, including a range of specific teaching and guidance on how to be “in but not of the world.” (more…)

Photo courtesy of Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Photo courtesy of Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan sat down with NPR to discuss, among other things, poverty. As the highest ranking member of the House, Ryan has a crucial opportunity to change the way the government addresses poverty. In his plans to confront this issue, Ryan keeps community efforts and local solutions central.

During the last four years, Ryan made visits to several poverty-stricken areas with community organizer Bob Woodson in order to better understand the challenges these struggling communities face. Through these visits, Ryan recognized the influence of community groups and the importance of supporting the efforts of those who have found and are implementing effective local programs. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 21, 2016
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Pokemon Go and the Kindness of Strangers
Alexi Sargeant, First Things

What is Pokémon Go? Is it the epitome of decadence? Evidence of America’s precipitous decline? No. Every popular game has its naysayers, but a doom-and-gloom attitude is harder to justify when a game is pulling players out into the sunlight to discover the places and people around them—and to do some good deeds to strangers in the process.

“Buy Local” Would Even Spoil Farmers Markets
Joseph S. Diedrich, FEE

The market’s popularity, variety, energy owe themselves to trade and to quality—not to locality.

Religious liberty trouble in California: An interview with the President of Biola Univerity
Laura Gurskey, ERLC

Society profits from universities like Biola that produce ethical thinkers who can contribute to the marketplace of ideas. As a student who has benefitted greatly from receiving a distinctively Christian education, I am concerned by recent governmental threats to such institutions.

Profit Maximization: A Much Abused Doctrine
Anthony de Jasay, Library of Economics and Liberty

Business education tends to produce zombies with self-contradictory minds.