Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

On Tyrannical Experts and Expert Tyrants
Angus Deaton, Review of Austrian Economics

We should indeed champion the rights of the poor and their full participation in a democratic state. But it is too optimistic to believe that rights and democracy by themselves will guarantee growth and prosperity, and the argument that rights and democracy are both necessary and sufficient for population health is largely wishful thinking.

The Pope’s Subversive Message
Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times

The central theme of Francis’ visit was a call for unity. He has frequently urged us “to dialogue together, to shorten the distance between us, to strengthen our bonds of brotherhood.”

This couple lives on 6% of their income so they can give $100,000 a year to charity
William MacAskill, Quartz

Julia Wise is a social worker and her husband, Jeff Kaufman, is a software engineer. In 2013, their combined income was just under $245,000, putting them in the top 10% of US households. And yet, excluding taxes and savings, they lived on just $15,280, or 6.25% of their income.

Former Obama White House economist: $15 minimum wage is a ‘risk not worth taking’
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

The Democratic Party platform calls for a $15 per hour national minimum wage. Hmm. Here is economist Alan Krueger, a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, on the “fight for 15.”

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 12, 2015

India is as rich as the US in 1881. A mesmerizing graphic shows where every country falls.
Dylan Matthews and Kavya Sukumar, Vox

As of 2013, India had a GDP per capita of $5,200, as measured in 2005 dollars. For comparison, the US had a GDP per capita (again, measured in 2005 dollars) of $5,200 in 1881.

Replace Welfare With a Negative Income Tax
Michael Shindler, Manhattan Institute

Amid years of perpetual congressional gridlock and partisan rivalry, the notion that both Republicans and Democrats could come together in support of sweeping welfare reform seems laughable. Yet, if it were to happen, the likeliest candidate for such a reformative policy might be the negative income tax (NIT).

The Case for Choice in Education
Veronique De Rugy, The Corner

The answer is and always has been that throwing money at the problem of failing schools, especially when the money will be spent on teachers’ salary and consultants, does nothing to address the structural problems and disincentives to perform that exist in these schools.

Study: Democrats Moving Left Faster Than Republicans Moving Right
The American Interest

At least since the 2010 midterms, it’s been a liberal talking point that Republican extremism is to blame for political polarization and gridlock.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 9, 2015

What you need to know about the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Matthew Hawkins, ERLC

Authorization for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is about to expire. Below are five basic things you need to know about USCIRF and why it matters

International Religious Freedom Commission Lives to Fight Another Day
Faith McDonnell, Juicy Ecumenism

The United States government’s watchdog for those around the world who are being persecuted because of their religious beliefs will continue its work.

Wilberforce and the Road to Abolition: A Model for Christian Cultural Engagement
Andrew Spencer, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Wilberforce’s greatest achievement was ending slavery in the British Empire. However, his impact spread to other social issues.

Gig Economy Is Piecework. But This Isn’t Dickens.
Megan McArdle, BloombergView

Manual labor in the Victorian era was not primarily awful because it involved short-term contracts; it was awful because the jobs were grim, the pay was low, and injured workers frequently ended up destitute. Getting paid $25 an hour for doing something much more pleasant than scrubbing floors with caustic chemicals does not tug at my heartstrings in the same way.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 8, 2015

School choice’s supply problem
Max Eden, AEI Ideas

School choice programs will hit a low ceiling without the creation of new and better schools.

Students Make a Surprising Discovery about Small-Town Poverty Alleviation
Russ McCullough, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

12,500 people live in Ottawa, including the 670 students attending Ottawa University, where I teach economics. Poverty is still present in our pleasant little town.

A Princess’s Plan to Bring Light to the 620 Million Africans Without Power
Bryan Lufkin, Gizmodo

Many people living in Africa need electricity, but don’t have it. Luckily, something of a solar power revolution is afoot in Africa, triggering a wave of innovation from solar energy entrepreneurs. One of them is a princess descended from an ancient Mossi warrior, who stresses that the best way to combat this problem is by empowering the people to educate and help themselves.

The Reign of Recycling
John Tierney, New York Times

While it’s true that the recycling message has reached more people than ever, when it comes to the bottom line, both economically and environmentally, not much has changed at all.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Crisis In International Religious Freedom
David D. Corey, First Things

The vital question is why the number of countries committing and supporting religious persecution is growing so rapidly. The number of CPSs has nearly doubled in a year. What lies behind this startling trend?

Supreme Court Justices Get More Liberal As They Get Older
Oliver Roeder, FiveThirtyEight

A typical justice nominated by a Republican president starts out at age 50 as an Antonin Scalia and retires at age 80 as an Anthony Kennedy. A justice nominated by a Democrat, however, is a lifelong Stephen Breyer.

African governments show improvements but progress ‘stalls’

Thirty-three out of Africa’s 54 countries have shown improvements in the way they are governed over the last four years, research has found.

Uber, Millennials And The Struggle For The Free Market
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

Unfortunately, from Frankfurt to Paris, Madrid to Rome, Sao Paulo to San Francisco, London to New York and beyond, ride-sharing firms are under attack from increasingly aggressive enemies.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Funding growth, expanding opportunity: Novel funding mechanisms for schools of choice
Michael Q. McShane, AEI Ideas

Private school choice programs and the organizations that support them could do a much better job deferring the capital, infrastructure, and other fixed costs of participating private schools.

This is the simplest solution to help Africans live longer
Samuel Oti, Quartz

For many African countries and especially among poorer communities, when people die there is no trace in any official legal record or statistic.

How Do You Improve Worker Pay? Licensing Reforms, Not Unions.
James Sherk and Astrid Gonzalez, The Daily Signal

What do today’s workers need? The White House appears to believe the answer is “a union.” At a summit Wednesday the administration plans to showcase workers unions have helped. That is fair enough, but most workers don’t find unions relevant to their working lives. A much greater problem is the barriers the government itself erects.

The Military Isn’t A Low-Wage Option For Stupid People
Emily Domenech, The Federalist

Active-duty military troops far out-earn their civilian counterparts when compared to civilians with similar education.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, October 5, 2015

What this new experiment in Chicago can teach us about combating poverty
Joel Dodge, The Week

In an age of rising inequality and stagnating incomes, we must look for ways to get smarter about fighting economic insecurity. This means adapting successful anti-poverty interventions to meet the needs of low-income Americans.

Why raising taxes on the rich doesn’t reduce inequality
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

The progressive/left-wing response to the new Brookings study on inequality is obvious, right? From “Would a significant increase in the top income tax rate substantially alter income inequality?”

God’s Purpose in Creation: A Study in Genesis 1
Greg Ayers, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The first chapter of Genesis is more than the introduction to the first book of the Bible. It’s the opening chapter in the grand story of God’s redemptive plan for his creation.

Criminal justice reformers just secured a major victory: a bill that could pass the Senate
Dara Lind, Vox

On Thursday, a group of senators introduced a bill they called “the biggest criminal justice reform in a generation” — an effort that, unlike other bills, actually has a shot at moving through the chamber.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, October 2, 2015

It’s sleazy, it’s totally illegal, and yet it could become the future of retirement
Jeff Guo, Washington Post

Over 100 years ago in America — before Social Security, before IRAs, corporate pensions and 401(k)s — there was a ludicrously popular (and somewhat sleazy) retirement scheme called the tontine.

World Bank rethinks poverty measure
Noel King, Marketplace

The United Nations General Assembly meets in New York City this week, and poverty is high on the agenda. Eradicating extreme poverty by the year 2030 is No. 1 on the U.N. list of sustainable development goals. The World Bank, which sets the benchmark for the global extreme poverty line, is expected to shift the line soon from $1.25 a day to $1.90 a day.

Evangelicals Going to the Dogs — and Cats — With Major Statement on Animal Welfare
David Briggs, Huffington Post

First, Pope Francis issued a major encyclical in June stating any act of cruelty toward any creature “is contrary to human dignity.” Now, evangelicals are turning their attention to all creatures great and small.

How important is inequality to voters?
Karlyn Bowman and Heather Sims, AEI Ideas

What are Americans saying about the issue that Mayor de Blasio and the candidates should know? Do people think the deck is stacked against them? Do they believe inequality is getting worse? How important will the issue be in 2016?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 1, 2015

The public value of religious faith
Mark DeForrest, The New Reform Club

In the midst of the “new atheist” attack on the value of religion as a public good, British philosopher Roger Scruton took part in a discussion regarding that topic over at the UK Independent online: Scruton defended religion as a force for good in society.

Cards Against Humanitarians
Ilya Lozovsky, Foreign Policy

How a satirical card game is skewering the international development industry — and raising uncomfortable critiques of the global development agenda.

Victims of China’s Religious Liberty ‘Crackdown’ Appeal to Obama. But Will He Help?
Madaline Donnelly, The Daily Signal

Earlier this week, as devout American Catholics took to the streets of Washington to celebrate the arrival of Pope Francis, four Chinese human rights activists sat in a small, plain congressional office room on Capitol Hill.

A Place for the Stateless: Can a Startup City Solve the Refugee Crisis?
Mark Lutter, Foundation for Economic Education

Can refugees (and billionaire investors) build their own state?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Free Market: It’s Like Uber, But for Everything
Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

If it sometimes seems like it’s impossible to restore the free market, as if every new wave of government regulation is irreversible, then consider that one form of regulation, which is common in the most dogmatically big-government enclaves in the country, is being pretty much completely dismantled before our eyes. And it’s the hippest thing ever.

A Millennial’s Take on Godly Civil Disobedience
Bryan Ballas, Juicy Ecumenism

So was Kim Davis in the right? To answer this question we must approach the issue from two angles: the authority of government and the duty of the Christian in the face of unjust orders.

Right To Work 2.0: A Vision For New Business And Economic Growth
Jay Caruso, Opportunity Lives

Big business loves regulation because it prevents competition. Amazon, Home Depot, Best Buy, and other big online retailers support an Internet sales tax because smaller online retailers will have difficulty complying.

Seven-in-ten people globally live on $10 or less per day
Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research

Following his election in March 2013, Pope Francis wasted little time in conveying his great unease with the state of global poverty and inequality.