Acton Institute Powerblog

Free Economies and the Common Good

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Could the early socialists have envisioned an organization such as Wal-Mart or predicted the thousands of jobs created by such a firm? In this week’s Acton Commentary, Rev. Robert A. Sirico examines the “common good” and free markets in this excerpt from a recent speech at the first annual Free Market Forum, sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Center for the Study of Monetary Systems and Free Enterprise.

Read the entire commentary here.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is also a postdoctoral researcher in theology and economics at the VU University Amsterdam as part of the "What Good Markets Are Good For" project. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary.


  • David Pendleton

    It is ironic indeed that conscientious socialists must now admit that the only way their goal of benefiting the common good can be achieved is through the extension of free market economies throughout the developing world. History has demonstrated the catastrophe of communism-socialism and the efficacy of free markets. North Korea has a command economy; South Korea has a free market economy. Mainland China is still communist; Hong Kong on the other hand is free market. Cuba, once a territory of the US following the Spanish-American War is an economic mess, whereas Hawaii, which was in the same boat as Cuba at the close of the Spanish-American War, is today thriving under a free market economy. Is there a poor person anywhere who would prefer a social-command economy over a free economy? Has Marxism anywhere in the world been shown to be superior in raising the standard of living in comparison to a neighboring free-market oriented country?