The Social Responsibility of Business

When business corporations are created, the community does not give something away, says Robert G. Kennedy in this week’s Acton Commentary. Instead, in order to pursue the economic benefits offered by the corporate structure, the community offers something in exchange. Continue Reading...

Bonanza’s Adam Cartwright, a Cowboy in Black

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I adapt a section from my latest book focusing on an instance of “cowboy compassion” we find in an episode of Bonanza. I focus on the example of Adam Cartwright, who helps out an economically-depressed family faced with the tyranny of a greedy scrooge, Jedediah Milbank. Continue Reading...

Maximizing Labor, Minimizing Wages

For this week’s Acton Commentary, ahead of Labor Day weekend, I write about “working harder and smarter,” lessons we can learn from Ashton Kutcher and Mike Rowe. One of the implications of connecting hard work with smart work is that the difficulty of work on its own does not determine its value in the marketplace. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Divorce, Denial and the Death of God

Which came first, the collapse of the family or of traditional Christianity? “It’s a chicken-or-the-egg riddle, whether the disintegration of the family came first or the collapse of traditional Christian faith did,” write Elise Hilton, in this week’s Acton Commentary. Continue Reading...

Detroit’s Civil Society and the DIA

Photo Credit: Patrick Hoesly via Compfight cc Following up on last week’s proposal and discussion about the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts in the midst of the city of Detroit’s ongoing budgetary woes, arts commentator Terry Teachout penned a piece for the WSJ about the need for Detroit’s leaders to step up: “Protecting Detroit’s Artwork Is a Job for Detroit.” Among other things, Teachout writes, “Any argument to keep Detroit’s masterpieces in Detroit has got to make sense to Detroiters who think that pensions are more important than paintings.” Teachout goes on to explore a couple such arguments, but the most salient point is that Detroiters themselves are the best ones to make such arguments. Continue Reading...

The DIA, Public Art, and the Common Good

In today’s Acton Commentary, “It’s Time to Privatize the Detroit Institute of Arts,” I look at the case of the DIA in the context of Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings. One of my basic points is that it is not necessary for art to be owned by the government in order for art to serve the public. Continue Reading...

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