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...

Charles Krauthammer on America as a ‘commercial republic’

“We are not an imperial power. We are a commercial republic. We don’t take food; we trade for it. Which makes us something unique in history, an anomaly, a hybrid.” –Charles Krauthammer This week, we received the sad news that Charles Krauthammer has passed away due to a recent battle with cancer.  Continue Reading...

Incredibles 2: Making superheroes great again

I saw Incredibles 2 over the Father’s Day weekend, and just like its predecessor, there’s a lot to ponder beneath the surface of this animated film. In the real world we’ve had to wait 14 years, but the sequel picks up basically where the original left off. Continue Reading...

How not to think clearly on faith and economics

Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary, recently addressed a meeting of Evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College and has released a reconstruction of his remarks. It is an interesting address which spends four paragraphs explicitly addressing questions of economics and economic policy. Continue Reading...

A polite rebuke of Pope Francis’ economic confusion

Review of Pope Francis and the Caring Society, edited by Robert M. Whaples; The Independent Institute, Oakland, CA; 2017, 234 pp. Having toiled in the free-market research universe for nearly two decades, perhaps the most common misperception I’ve encountered is “whataboutism.” Readers know of which I write: “What about BP and Deepwater Horizon?” or “What about Enron?” and, perhaps most stridently, “What about the mortgage-lending industry’s complicity in causing the Great Recession?” When this rhetorical strafing fails, there’s always the “What about the poor?” and the “What about the environment?” macro-strategies. Continue Reading...

What would life be like without free enterprise?

The Fund for American Studies has a superb It’s a Wonderful Life-style video about life without capitalism. The video not only shows what life would be like if we banned free enterprise (i.e., a lot like Soviet Russia) but also makes the point that when you lose economic freedom you lose other freedoms too. Continue Reading...

Pope, Patriarch need theology of civilization

Today at Public Orthodoxy, I examine the recent claim of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people. Continue Reading...