The Greatest Country in the World: What is it to You?

I believe that greatness, if defined by power, economic and cultural influence, requires us to acknowledge that the United States of America was once the greatest country in the world. However, as it ceases to lead the world in these areas – as one survey after another shows – and other countries take its place, it can no longer be considered the greatest. Continue Reading...

Jeb Bush Says Work Harder; Americans Respond By Complaining

During a recent interview, presidential candidate Jeb Bush outlined his economic plan, which included a goal of achieving 4 percent economic growth. As for how we might achieve that growth, Bush went on to commit a grave and sinful error, daring imply that Americans might need to work a bit harder: My aspiration for the country — and I believe we can achieve it — is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see,” he told the newspaper. Continue Reading...

Pope Economically Confused in Bolivia

Today at the Library of Law & Liberty, I examine Pope Francis’s recent speech in Bolivia, in which he calls for “an economy where human beings, in harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each individual find suitable expression in social life.” I have no objection to that, but what he seems to miss is that the very policies he criticizes all characterize those countries in the world that most closely resemble his goal. Continue Reading...

3 Things I Wish Pope Francis Knew About a Free Economy

Pope Francis has said that he’s generally “allergic” to financial matters. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing capitalism and suggesting radical changes for a global economic order. During his recent trip to Latin America, the pontiff has been especially denunciatory, saying the unfettered pursuit of money is “the dung of the devil.” Not surprisingly, many critics have complained that Francis is presenting a distorted, incomplete, and naive view of capitalism. Continue Reading...

Economists as Engineers of Markets?

A bit of humility is in order. Alvin E. Roth to Russ Roberts on EconTalk: … I think that economists have to approach their role as engineers with great humility. There’s a lot we don’t understand. Continue Reading...

A Testimony of Conscience and Conviction in the Workplace

Hands On Originals is a small printing company in Lexington, Kentucky, that, up until recently, had very few problems when they declined to print a certain message. Last year, however, the owner, Blaine Adamson, was found guilty of discrimination by a Lexington human rights commission for refusing to print T-shirts for a local gay pride festival. Continue Reading...

Pope Francis’ Incoherent Economics

Peter Johnson, external relations officer for the Acton Institute, discusses the muddled economic message in the recent encyclical for The Federalist: While I don’t doubt for a moment that Pope Francis sincerely wants to help the poor, I think it would be difficult for even the most erudite Catholic scholars to find a coherent message in a passage like this. Continue Reading...

The Poison of Anti-Immigration Protectionism

As the number of Republicans vying for the presidency reaches new levels of absurdity, candidates are scrambling to affirm their conservative bona fides. If you can stomach the pandering, it’s a good time to explore the ideas bouncing around the movement, and when necessary, prune off the poisonous limbs. Continue Reading...