Acton Commentary: The Rich Don’t Make Us Poor

The “fixed pie” fallacy in economic thinking, as expressed by writers such as Hilaire Belloc, has served the class warfare crowd well despite lacking any basis in reality. “The historical reality of entrepreneurs gives the lie to two of Belloc’s assumptions: that the wealthy can maintain luxurious living standards by sitting on their wealth, and that capitalism prevents the poor from working their way up the economic ladder,” writes Charles Kaupke in the latest Acton Commentary (published August 8).  Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: It Takes a Village to Raise a Business

President Obama’s speech last week in which he asserted to businesspeople, “You didn’t build that,” has been getting some pretty harsh and some pretty hilarious responses. In this week’s Acton Commentary, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Business,” I caution against responses that play into a simple individualist/collectivist dichotomy that underlays the president’s message: We all know at some level that we didn’t get where we are on our own, and that we have an ongoing responsibility and dependence on others for our continuing enjoyment of the goods of human existence. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Black Scholars Give Obama an “F”

Under the policies and leadership of the Obama administration, the economic lives of struggling blacks are now worse, not better, than they were three years ago. “If the president were to give an account of his administration’s advancement of African Americans he would be hard pressed to describe anything significant beyond funneling redistributed wealth into government bureaucracies, a traditional path to the middle class for blacks,” says Anthony B. Continue Reading...

Commentary: Reclaiming Fear

Perhaps no other adjective better captures the American political climate than fearful, says Andrew Knot in this week’s Acton Commentary (published May 25). “The past decade has witnessed a spike in fear-driven politics, at least accusations of such. Continue Reading...

From Success to Service

In my Acton Commentary this week, “Good Work Never Ends,” I look at the example of two local personalities, John Izenbaard of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Fred Carl Hamilton of Wyoming, Michigan, to argue that “the good work of service to others ought never end as long as we live.” Izenbaard in particular is a striking example of perseverance in serving others. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Unions and the Path to Irrelevancy

On National Review Online, Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg demolishes the left’s knee-jerk explanation for labor union decline, which blames “the machinations of conservative intellectuals, free-market-inclined governments, and businesses who, over time, have successfully worked to diminish organized labor, thereby crushing the proverbial ‘little guy.'” Gregg writes: “The truth, however, is rather more complex. Continue Reading...