Joseph Sunde

is an associate editor and writer for the Acton Institute. His work has appeared in venues such as The Federalist, First Things, The City, The Christian Post, The Stream, Charisma News, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work. Joseph resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and four children.

Posts by Joseph Sunde

When online conformity mobs imitate government coercion

The social-media outrage machine is rather predictable these days. It doesn’t take much for companies and celebrities to offend the cultural consensus, spurring online mobs to respond, in turn: not through peaceful discourse or by turning their attention elsewhere, but by fomenting rage, abuse, and assault on the subject(s) in question. Continue Reading...

The cramped morality of trade protectionism

“If a product is seen only as the opportunity for work, it is certain that the anxieties of protectionists are well founded.” –Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms Drawing inspiration from a 1847 essay by the inimitable Frédéric Bastiat, economist Donald Boudreaux tackles a popular argument from today’s trade protectionists: namely, “that protectionism is justified if enough consumers or voters are willing to pay higher prices in order to help workers.” The problem, of course, is that such a perspective debases the value of labor to the value of products and vice versa, ignoring the many other relationships and ripple-effects that production and trade are bound to inspire. Continue Reading...

Brains and brawn: Does manual labor belong in the modern economy?

As economic prosperity continues to spread, and as the American economy completes its transition into the age of information, manual labor is increasingly cast down in the popular imagination. When our youth navigate and graduate from high school, they receive a range of pressures to attend four-year colleges and pursue various “white-collar” careers, whether in finance or law or tech or the academy. Continue Reading...

Why the culture matters for economic flourishing

“Moral ecology is the new frontier of political economy: the culture in which the free society thrives — or destroys itself.” –Michael Novak In assessing and addressing the economic issues of the day, we tend to look first to tangible or mathematical solutions, cutting and re-cutting various economic pies as we ponder different policies and pathways to higher employment, better wages, and all-around material prosperity. Continue Reading...

Did the Reformation lead to ‘economic secularization’?

In his famous work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber attempted to draw a clear link between the Protestant Reformation and the rise of capitalism, focusing mostly on the Puritans and their (faulty) connections between spiritual significance and economic prosperity. Continue Reading...