D.C. restaurants fight back: When workers oppose a higher minimum wage

Last June, Washington, D.C. residents voted to pass Initiative 77, a ballot measure that raised the minimum wage for all restaurant workers, including those making tips. Driven by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), the policy was meant to ensure that “that no one has to experience the financial insecurity…that comes with being forced to live off tips.” Yet many of the very workers who the law sought to rescue or protect didn’t want it in the first place, and fought vociferously to have it repealed. Continue Reading...

The failure of ‘good intentions’ in America’s entitlement state

Amid the flurry of anti-poverty activism gone wrong, we are routinely reminded that good intentions aren’t enough. Although the motives of our hearts often serve as fuel for positive transformation, our corresponding efforts also require reason, wisdom, discernment, and a healthy recognition of real-world ripple effects and constraints. Continue Reading...

Cuba’s doctor rebellion: ‘You get tired of being a slave’

“You are trained in Cuba and our education is free. Health care is free, but at what price? You wind up paying for it your whole life.” –Dr. Yaili Jiménez Gutierrez In 2013, the World Health Organization brokered a deal through which Cuba would export doctors to Brazil to serve in its poorest and most remote areas. Continue Reading...

Stiglitz vs. Easterly: Leading economists debate the role of markets in reducing poverty

In a fascinating debate hosted by Reason Magazine, development economists William Easterly and Joseph Stiglitz discuss how to best fight global poverty, responding to a simple question: “Which is a better approach, freer markets or increased government action?” Easterly, a professor at New York University and author of the popular book, The White Man’s Burden, highlights the importance of freer markets, arguing they provide better incentives, better mechanisms for sharing knowledge, and, most importantly, better rights. Continue Reading...

Post-industrial economics: Studying human action in an age of intangibles

As society completes its transition into the Age of Information, economists are struggling to identify the drivers and develop their predictive models accordingly. Alas, as businesses continue to grow and evolve more rapidly, and as the corresponding systems continue to increase in complexity, many economists still view individuals and businesses as mostly static and reactionary. Continue Reading...

Conquering famine: 3 reasons global hunger is on the decline

In confronting the problem of global hunger, Western activists, planners, and foreign aid “experts” are prone to look only toward various forms of economic redistribution. Even among nonprofits, churches, and missions organizations, we see an overly narrow focus on temporary needs and material donations with little attention to individual empowerment and institutional reforms. Continue Reading...

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