How Michigan’s licensing laws hinder the disadvantaged

Proponents of greater government intervention often argue that some freedoms are well worth sacrificing for greater social stability or public health and safety. Such is particularly the case with occupational licensing and other micro-regulations, where the government routinely imposes barriers with the stated aims of “protecting consumers” or “stabilizing industries.” But while such regulations may overly technical and practical, the cost of the corresponding freedoms is far from abstract. Continue Reading...

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workers who the law sought to rescue or protect didn’t want it in the first place, and fought vociferously to have it repealed.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...

Business Matters: Meaningful Work in the Modern Age

Like everything else in 2018, business has an emotional and often polarizing effect in our society. There are, of course, legitimate stories of business behaving badly. One high-profile example: the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle that thrust the social media giant into the spotlight with a data breach affecting 87 million users. Continue Reading...

Acton Institute statement on Richard M. DeVos Sr. (1926-2018)

Richard (Rich) M. DeVos exemplified the value of hard work, free enterprise and expansive philanthropy in building flourishing communities. The Acton Institute mourns the passing of DeVos, 92, who for decades was known for leadership in business, his dedication to the promotion of liberty, and his courage in maintaining and defending the free and virtuous society. Continue Reading...

Workplace as community in an age of isolation

Despite the countless blessings of modernity, expansions in freedom and economic prosperity have been accompanied by a widespread decrease in community involvement and steady increase in loneliness. As Michael Hendrix recently put it, “Prosperity has afforded our independence from neighbors and networks.” Thanks to thinkers such as Robert Putnam, Charles Murray, and Yuval Levin, as well as politicians such as Mike Lee and Ben Sasse, our attention has shifted to how we might reignite the vibrant civic and associational life of our past. 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...

Don’t save Barnes & Noble!

First it happened to Toys ‘R’ Us, but we did nothing (except complain). Now it may be happening to Barnes & Noble, and we will do nothing again. (Nothing except complain, that is. Continue Reading...

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