What you should know about Jubilee Years

The Year of Jubilee, by Henry Le Jeune (1905)   One of the earliest economic programs mentioned in the Bible is the Year of Jubilee. In the Jubilee Year, as William Baur explains, all land would automatically revert to its original owner (Leviticus 25:10; 25:13), and those who, compelled by poverty, had sold themselves as slaves to their brothers, should regain their liberty (Leviticus 25:10; 25:39). Continue Reading...

The economics of Bedford Falls (Part 3 of 3)

[Note: This is the final post in a series highlighting some of the financial aspects and broad economic lessons of Frank Capra’s holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. You can find part one here and part two here.] Economist Don Boudreaux outlined ten foundational lessons that should be learned in every well-taught principles of economics course. Continue Reading...

Is it immoral to waste food?

“Eat your broccoli,” our mothers would say. “Think of the starving children in Africa!” It’s a moral claim we’re all familiar with. If some of our food goes to waste, someone, somewhere, will face imminent harm and the environment will go to the dogs. Continue Reading...

The economics of Bedford Falls (Part 2 of 3)

[Note: This is the second post in a series highlighting some of the financial aspects and broad economic lessons of Frank Capra’s holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. You can find part one here.]  George’s Life Savings in a Life Insurance Policy George attempts to secure a loan from Potter based on his life insurance policy. Continue Reading...

The economics of Bedford Falls (Part 1 of 3)

Upon it’s initial release in 1946, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life was something of a financial flop, failing to reach the break-even point of $6.3 million. Although it was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, it wasn’t until subsequent decades that it became recognized as one of the greatest Christmas films ever made.* The movie is long overdue for another reappraisal, for it’s also one of the best films ever created about economics and financial services. Continue Reading...

Reimagining work in the coalfields

The American coal industry is facing serious challenges. In states like West Virginia, the effects have been particularly painful, causing many communities to struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs and leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

The awesomely boring future of driverless cars

As fears loom about a future filled with robot overlords, innovation continues to accelerate at breakneck pace. When it comes to self-driving cars, for example, tech companies are making significant strides with the technology, even as the masses continue to fret over a handful of related accidents and the potential for human abuses. Continue Reading...