Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Christian Social Thought

Why Emergency Food Assistance Can Prolong War and Conflict

There are ten vital foundational lessons that should be taught in any introductory course on economics, says Don Boudreaux, a professor of economics at George Mason University. The first three lessons on his list are, (1) [T]he world is full of both desirable and undesirable unintended consequences – consequences that are largely invisible but that even a course in ‘mere’ principles of economics gives us great vision that enables us to “see,” (2) intentions are not results; (3) our world is unavoidably one of trade-offs and not “solutions,” … While these lessons can be easily understood in theory, applying them to the real world can often be surprisingly difficult. Continue Reading...

Gertrude Himmelfarb ‘Threads the Needle’ on Lord Acton Biography

Biographers suffer from a myriad of temptations. Gertrude Himmelfarb, in her bibliography to the newly republished Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics, recalls how Acton’s first biographer, Ulrich Noack struggled mightily to reconcile contradictions and tensions in Acton’s thought and in doing so lost much of the man himself. Continue Reading...

There’s A Promising Market For Conservative News

Fox News anchor Shepherd Smith in the studio Yesterday at The Federalist, I examined the claims of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during last week’s GOP primary debate that the “mainstream media” is dominated by “liberal bias.” While there is some truth to this claim, as I point out in my article, the data paints a more complicated picture: Conservative outlets such as Fox News and (editorially) the Wall Street Journal outperform the closest left-leaning ones, CNN and the New York Times, by wide margins. Continue Reading...

China Ends One-Child Policy, Still Limiting Births

The BBC reported today that China is ending its one-child policy, providing the following overview: Introduced in 1979, the policy meant that many Chinese citizens – around a third, China claimed in 2007 – could not have a second child without incurring a fine In rural areas, families were allowed to have two children if the first was a girl Other exceptions included ethnic minorities and – since 2013 – couples where at least one was a single child Campaigners say the policy led to forced abortions, female infanticide, and the under-reporting of female births It was also implicated as a cause of China’s gender imbalance Before everyone celebrates, China did not, however, eliminate all limits but changed the limit to two children. Continue Reading...

What Christians Should Know About Consumption

Note: This is the latest entry in the Acton blog series, “What Christians Should Know About Economics.” For other entries in the series see this post. The Term: Consumption What it means: Consumption is the use of goods and services by households. Continue Reading...