The financial crisis is over, but markets still need moral attention

With the financial crisis nearly a decade behind us, and with the latest figures showing 4.1 percent economic growth, the economic woes of yesteryear feel increasingly distant in our past. Even still, it’s hard to avoid the sense that something remains amiss—that beneath the material successes and encouraging metrics about unemployment rates and Gross Domestic Product, our society continues to lack the moral fabric necessary for sustained and holistic economic flourishing. Continue Reading...

How to increase the economic knowledge of Americans

Imagine you receive an email from the Secretary of Education saying that you’ve been randomly selected for a test pilot program. In an attempt to democratize the educational system, 20 citizens have been selected to develop a curriculum that will be added as a graduation requirement for every high school student in America. Continue Reading...

New Issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality (Vol. 21, No. 1)

The newest issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality has been published online and print copies are forthcoming. This issue is a theme issue on “The Role of Religion in a Free Society,” with guest editors Richard Epstein and Mario Rizzo of New York University School of Law, and Michael McConnell of Stanford Law School. Continue Reading...

Peter Heslam on wealth creation among the global poor

Throughout our debates about global poverty and economic inequality, critics of capitalism routinely raise the point that half of the world’s population live on less than $2 per day, while wealth among the other half continues to “concentrate.” The underlying assumption is clear: For so many to be making so little, someone (somewhere) must surely be taking much. Continue Reading...

The folly of ‘following your passion’

If you’re a young person in America, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded by calls to “follow your passion,” “pursue your dreams,” or “do what you love and love what you do.” But do these sugary mantras truly represent the path to vocational clarity, economic abundance, personal fulfillment, and human flourishing? Continue Reading...

Chafuen celebrates Catalan critic of socialism

Jaime Balmes was a young Catalan priest who died 170 years ago and is largely forgotten today. But Alejandro Chafuen, Acton’s Managing Director, International, believes that Balmes deserves more attention for his economic ideas and his critiques of socialism.  Continue Reading...

Corporations: moral, immoral, or amoral?

Is the free market moral? To hear its opponents describe it, the free market is an unethical system that exploits workers, consumers and the environment to make a quick buck. To critics such as Marx, capitalism leaves “no other bond between man and man than naked self-interest,” replacing human connections with cost-benefit analyses and supply-and-demand charts. Continue Reading...

Deregulation: When to wash a pig

You could be prosecuted on the federal level if you “make any incision” on hog carcasses before all “hair, scurf and dirt, including all hoofs and claws, (is) removed from hog carcasses and the carcasses thoroughly washed and cleaned.” In January, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13771, pledging to reduce regulation, which initiated the recall of the Hog Carcass Cleaning Rule. Continue Reading...

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