Kevin Schmiesing

Kevin Schmiesing, Ph.D., is a research fellow for the research department at the Acton Institute. He is a frequent writer on Catholic social thought and economics, is the author of American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895-1955 (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002) and is most recently the author of Within the Market Strife: American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II (Lexington Books, 2004). Dr. Schmiesing holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in history from Franciscan University ofSteubenville. Author of Within the Market Strife and American Catholic Intellectuals, 1895—1955 (2002), he serves as Book Review Editor for the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is also executive director of CatholicHistory.net.

Posts by Kevin Schmiesing

Acton Commentary: An Ode to Power

“Power permits people to do enormous good,” Lord Acton once said, “and absolute power enables them to do even more.” This wisdom from the nineteenth-century’s champion of state prerogative applies as well today. Continue Reading...

PBR: Who Will Read It?

In response to the question, “What form will journalism take in the age of new media?”, a quick thought, speculative and devoid of adequate substantiation. I’ve heard a lot of worrying about what will take the place of newspapers and news magazines as their decline continues. Continue Reading...

Cole on “Patent Failure”

Back in September I posted an announcement about a new book that contributed in interesting ways to our understanding of patent/intellectual property issues. Now Julio Cole’s full review of the book in the Independent Review is available online. Continue Reading...

School Choice in D.C.

Washington, D.C., has long been a focal point of debates about vouchers and other forms of school choice–partly because the public schools there are so notoriously bad that a working majority of politicians and parents are open to experiments that might improve them. Continue Reading...

The Perils of Planning

Somewhere in the United States today, government officials are writing a plan that will profoundly affect other people’s lives, incomes, and property. Though it may be written with the best intentions, the plan will go horribly wrong. Continue Reading...

PBR: Something for Nothing

In response to the question, “What are the moral lessons of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)?” The ARRA makes clear that we have not learned one great moral lesson: You can’t have something for nothing. Continue Reading...

Debunking the New Deal

It’s long been my contention that the mythology surrounding the New Deal in large swaths of the popular imagination plays an ongoing, important, and harmful role in politics and policy debate. Continue Reading...

PBR: History Casts Doubt

In response to the question, “What is wrong with socialism?” I can hardly do better than Pope John Paul II, who wrote in Centesimus Annus, “the fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature,” because socialism maintains, “that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice.” The socialist experiment is attractive because its model is the family, a situation in which each gives according to his ability and receives according to his need—and it works. Continue Reading...

New Book: Cleveland on Economic Policy

As the media bombard us with misleading language describing the role of government in the economy (e.g., that a stimulus plan will “inject money” or “create jobs”), those who know better need to keep up a steady drumbeat of common sense concerning the potential and track record of the state’s involvement in economic affairs. Continue Reading...

Population Economics

It’s usually good to steer clear of apocalyptic predictions of any sort, but as temperatures struggle to break the 10 degrees fahrenheit mark under full sun here in the Great Lakes region, talk of a “demographic winter” feels more compelling than warnings of global warming. Continue Reading...