Called to the coalfields: How an Appalachian church is spurring economic action

Due to a rapidly changing economy and a range of excessive regulations from the federal government, the American coal mining industry is facing serious challenges. For states like West Virginia, the effects are particularly painful, as mining towns and communities struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs in recent years, leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

5 victims of the $15 minimum wage

As protests for a $15-per-hour minimum wage continue to rage across the country, cities like Seattle and states like California and New York have already begun to adopt such schemes. But alas, prices are not play things, and such measures are bound to reap a range of deleterious effects, from raised consumer prices to increased unemployment to reduced working hours to outright business closures. Continue Reading...

Lessons from Poverty, Inc.

“An underlying theme in basic economics says, ‘offering a product for free can destroy the local economy’” writes Luis Miranda.  Miranda recently watched Poverty, Inc and since seeing the award winning Acton Institute documentary he has shared some of its lessons in an article at The Indian EconomistContinue Reading...

Pope Francis to entrepreneurs: Do good, despite what culture says

Yesterday, Pope Francis hosted a private audience in his Apostolic Palace for a few hundred international entrepreneurs and business leaders. The members of the International Christian Union of Business Executives (UNIAPAC) had gathered inside the Vatican’s walls for two days of meetings for the “noble purpose of reflecting on the role of business persons as agents of economic and social inclusion.” Pope Francis, not always an affirming supporter of free market capitalism, focused on some of his usual challenging caveats to business persons. Continue Reading...

Work is a gift our kids can handle

UPDATE: Given the recent attention drawn to this post, permit me to clarify that I do NOT endorse replacing education with paid labor, nor do I support sending our children back into the coal mines or other high-risk jobs, nor do I support getting rid of mandatory education at elementary and middle-school ages. Continue Reading...

The Christian Statesman and the Gospel to the Poor

Today at Mere Orthodoxy, I argue that the duty of the Christian statesman (or stateswoman) to the poor requires defending human rights, supplying urgent needs, reducing barriers to market entry, and guaranteeing access to the institutions of justice, seeking realistic, gradual reform as possible and prudent. Continue Reading...

Why coffee tasting matters to God

Does the work of a coffee buyer have an impact that stretches on into eternity? Does coffee tasting matter to God? In a new video from Chapel Hill Bible Church, coffee taster and buyer Jeff McArthur shares how he came to see the deeper meaning of his work, both in the day-to-day trades and exchanges with his customers and community and in the relational ripple effects that reach on into the broader economic order. Continue Reading...