Harry Potter: Venture Capitalist

I recently read the first Harry Potter novel to my six-year-old son Brendan, then watched the film with him. It was all the fun I hoped it would be: he is just the right age for it — excitedly asking what is going to happen next and jumping and cheering at the end. Continue Reading...

The Parable of the Long Spoons explains free markets

“How can we explain this emporiophobia—a fear of markets—given the overwhelming evidence that such institutions provide the greatest wealth, health and happiness for humankind?” When economics professor Paul Rubin asked that question he answered by saying that we need to shift the metaphor of markets from “competition” to “cooperation.” Cooperation isn’t just more important in the economic sphere—it’s also more common. Continue Reading...

Enjoying your weekend? Thank God and free markets

No two words in the English language create the feeling of relaxation as perfectly as “summertime weekend.” But the two days of physical and spiritual rest we enjoy each week are not the inevitable products of the cosmic order: They have been made possible by the unique marriage of the free market and faith. 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...

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...

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