What are the unintended consequences of American protectionism?

Protectionism is often associated with patriotic zeal and concern for America. While citizens should certainly have concern for their nation, protectionist measures do not necessarily secure the economic results desired. Acton’s director of research, Samuel Gregg, writes about the unintended effects of protectionism in a recent article for The Stream. Continue Reading...

Subsidies or tax breaks, both are cronyism

Last week, President-elect Donald Trump along with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is the current governor of Indiana, struck a deal with United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, in order to save over 1,000 jobs from being sent from Indiana to Mexico.  Continue Reading...

The constitutional problem with crony capitalism

Recently, when asked if intervention by the White House into private enterprise was presidential, President-elect Trump responded, “I think it’s very presidential. And if it’s not presidential, that’s okay … because I actually like doing it.” Writing for the Library of Law and Liberty, Greg Weiner asks, “On what authority is the President of the United States pressuring, which is to say intimidating, the leaders of private enterprise to determine where goods are made and sold? Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Protectionism harmful in the long run

In a new article at The Christian Science Monitor titled “Can ‘economic nationalism’ keep more jobs in US?” Acton Director of Research Samuel Gregg is interviewed about President-elect Donald Trump’s stated goal of keeping jobs and businesses from leaving for foreign countries.  Continue Reading...

Angus Deaton schools Italians on economics

But was anyone listening? That’s my question after attending the 2015 Nobel-prize-winning economist‘s talk last night in Rome at the Vatican-sponsored Cortile dei gentili (Court of Gentiles). Like the other speakers, Deaton voiced his concerns about income inequality. Continue Reading...

The financial mess of the Vatican

Sistine Hall. The finances of the Catholic Church, and more specifically of the Vatican, are quite the mess. When Pope Francis was elected, he recognized this problem and appointed Australian Cardinal George Pell as the inaugural Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy.  Continue Reading...

Mike Rowe interviews Charles Koch on work, cronyism, and criminal justice reform

Mike Rowe was recently criticized for his new partnership with Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, whose philanthropy for conservative and libertarian causes routinely garners controversy, despite its tremendous fruits. Rowe, himself an increasingly provocative figure, recently interviewed Koch on their core areas of collaboration, including work, the trades, cronyism, higher education, and criminal justice reform. Continue Reading...

Nintendo, Economic Development, and Asceticism

Photography by Larry D. Moore Today marks the 20th birthday of the Nintendo 64 (N64) gaming console. Don Reisinger offered a great tribute at Fortune: On this day in Japan 20 years ago, Nintendo introduced the gaming system, among the first consoles to create realistic-looking 3D worlds filled with monsters, soldiers, and blood. Continue Reading...

Why Do You Need a License to Braid Hair?

There are numerous forms of crony capitalism, but one of the most subtle and damaging to the economically vulnerable are occupational licensing laws. For millions of Americans, occupational licensing continues to serve as a barrier to work and self-sufficiency. Continue Reading...