David Bentley Hart and the ‘Pelagian Criticism of Wealth’

Following up on yesterday’s post “Samuel Gregg on David Bentley Hart and Murderous Markets,” Rev. Gregory Jensen, author of the Acton book The Cure for Consumerism, observes that “Hart’s assertion that ‘the New Testament treats such wealth not merely as a spiritual danger, and not merely as a blessing that should not be misused, but as an intrinsic evil’ is simply wrong.” Writing at his Palamas Institute site, Jensen, an Orthodox Christian priest, added that “it is a gross overstatement to assert the Scriptures treat wealth as such as morally evil.” More from Jensen: Whatever might be the contemporary roots of Hart’s moral reasoning on economics, his argument that wealth is evil is more in keeping with the thought of the early Christian heretic Pelagius than with, such as, Ambrose, Augustine, Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. Continue Reading...

5 Ways Obama’s New Overtime Rule Will Harm Workers

In announcing the Obama administration’s new overtime rule (for more on this news, see this explainer), Vice President Joe Biden says companies will “face a choice” to either pay their workers for the overtime that they work, or cap the hours that their salaried workers making below $47,500 at 40 hours each work week. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg on David Bentley Hart and Murderous Markets

Is the dominant economic system we have today, the market economy or capitalism, compatible with Christianity? Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart in a June 2016 First Things article titled,”Mammon Ascendant: Why global capitalism is inimical to Christianity,” is skeptical. Continue Reading...

Does Capitalism Exploit Workers?

One of the most common criticisms of capitalism is that the system exploits workers. It’s an old claim (dating back to at least Karl Marx). But is it true? Philosopher Matt Zwolinski argues that even if individual capitalists want to exploit workers the free market tends to prevent them from doing so. Continue Reading...

Understanding Trump: The Deal-Maker as Redistributionist

[Note: This is the second in an occasional series evaluating the remaining presidential candidates and their views on economics and liberty. You can find the first article here.] In the previous article in this series I explained that the key to understanding Donald Trump’s economic policies is the recognition that, for him, policy and principle are secondary to process. Continue Reading...

In Defense of Wall Street

If we forget finance’s indispensable role in modern economies, says Samuel Gregg, research director for the Acton Institute, in an op-ed for The Detroit News, it’s guaranteed that everyone will be worse off. Continue Reading...