Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
By

Rebuilding a Detroit neighborhood, with faith and vines
Ingrid Jacques, The Detroit News

This priest is on a mission to beautify the neighborhood that surrounds his church on Detroit’s east side, where he has worked for 20 years.

Liberals abandon religious liberty
Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI Ideas

The American tradition of religious freedom has long included exemptions from laws that impose a burden on the exercise of faith. The Volstead Act implementing Prohibition, for example, made an exception for the sacramental use of alcohol. In recent years, though, liberals have started to turn away from that tradition — and come up with ever more inventive ways to justify doing so.

NC Supreme Court upholds school voucher program
Anne Blythe and T. Keung Hui, The News & Observer

The N.C. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that North Carolina can use public tax dollars to help children attend private and religious schools. The 4-3 decision reverses a ruling last summer by Judge Robert Hobgood in N.C. Superior Court.

How Christianity Redeems Consumer Entitlement
Daniel Davis, Values & Capitalism

Does capitalism encourage this mentality of consumer entitlement, and thereby discourage human virtue? And is capitalism fundamentally dependent upon this consumer-entitlement mentality?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 27, 2015
By

The Minimum-Wage Muddle
David Brooks, New York Times

Once upon a time there was a near consensus among economists that raising the minimum wage was a bad idea. The market is really good at setting prices on things, whether it is apples or labor. If you raise the price on a worker, employers will hire fewer and you’ll end up hurting the people you meant to help.

How So-Called ‘Equality Act’ Threatens Religious Freedom
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Politico is reporting that the so-called “Equality Act” will be introduced today in Congress. The bill is the brainchild of the Human Rights Campaign—an influential, sophisticated and lavishly funded LGBT activist organization.

Pope Francis’ Favorable Rating Drops in U.S.
Art Swift, Gallup

Pope Francis’ favorability rating in the U.S. has returned to where it was when he was elected pope. It is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014. The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

A Bangladeshi Town in Human Trafficking’s Grip
Ellen Barry, New York Times

Fishermen, shopkeepers and policemen were all drawn in, as participants or observers, to a multimillion-dollar people smuggling business.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 24, 2015
By

Little Sisters of the Poor Appeal to the Supreme Court
The Becket Fund

Today, for the second time in two years, the Little Sisters of the Poor must ask the Supreme Court to protect them from the government.

What it means to be poor by global standards
Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research

In the Pew Research study, anyone living on $2 or less daily is considered poor. Food a Much Greater Share of Family Budgets in India Than in U.S.But what exactly does it mean to live on $2 per day? And how does that compare with the notion of poverty in richer countries?

By 2021, all New York State fast food employees will make $15 an hour
Catherine Garcia, The Week

New York’s Fast Food Wage Board announced Wednesday that it is recommending fast food chains with 30 or more stores nationwide increase employee wages to $15 an hour.

Why Words Matter For Defending Freedom
Frank J. Rocca, The Federalist

We can’t talk to each other if the words we’re using mean different things. Corrupt language steals freedom, even just by the act of redefining it.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 23, 2015
By

Meet the 40 Companies That Donate Directly to Planned Parenthood
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

In the wake of two videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts, Republicans in Congress are working to ensure that Planned Parenthood is stripped of its federal funding.

A Marine Veteran Offers 13 Reasons Why We Should NOT Arm Military Recruiters
Joe Carter, The Stream

They told us in recruiter’s school that recruiting duty was, outside of combat, the most stressful job in the Marine Corps. Yet I believe, and have absolutely no doubt, that having recruiters carry sidearms would simply make the job even more difficult.

Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily
David Henderson, EconLog

The regulations don’t magically make employees more productive. So what would employers do? One or more of three things. I list them in order of what I think is increasing probability.

How Free Markets Lead to Higher Life Expectancy in One Chart
Opportunity Lives

Advances in medicine as the chart below from Max Roser shows. Not coincidentally, the spike in life expectancy occurred as the world began to embrace the ideas of capitalism and free markets at the beginning of the 19th century.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
By

After Obergefell: The Effects on Law, Culture, and Religion
Sherif Girgis, Crisis Magazine

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court didn’t just confect a new right to same-sex civil marriage. In some ways, it inaugurated a new phase in American law, culture, and religion.

What Many Americans Get Wrong About States’ Rights
Jared Meyer and Randal Meyer, The Federalist

When it came to slavery, the Union, not the Confederacy, was the true guardian of states’ rights in the antebellum era.

It’s Time We Learned from Sin Taxes’ Impressive History of Failure
J.D. Tuccille, Reason.com

The Tax Foundation helpfully reveals that excise taxes range across the country from zilch in Wyoming to $35 per gallon of liquor in Washington. That range of rates is an open invitation to fill the backs of trucks and haul loads of booze across borders, which is exactly what happens.

Entrepreneurs Are Better Than Government, Even When Building Infrastructure
James M. Roberts, The Daily Signal

American entrepreneurs built the greatest and freest country the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, the conditions that allowed the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish have deteriorated in recent years, according to the annual Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The main culprits? Too much government spending, too many taxes and a growing sense that the rule of law in our country is unraveling.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
By

How “Results Conservatism” Can Unify Conservatives
John Hart , Opportunity Lives

When the nation’s leading anti-poverty warriors recently gathered in Washington, D.C., House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) outlined a strategic vision not just for the anti-poverty movement but for conservatism as a whole.

Election 2016: The Little Sisters of the Poor vs. The Big Merchants of Baby Parts
John Zmirak, The Stream

Christians are called to live in the real, fallen world, not a wistful fantasyland where everyone tells the truth, secretly means well, and is just a winsome podcast or three-minute hug away from repentance and salvation.

The Distortions of Progressive Christians: How Religious Liberty is in Danger
Matthew Lee Anderson, Mere Orthodoxy

The effect of these expansions is not simply that there is more coercive power from the government being exercised on people’s lives, but that we have fewer non-governmental means of resolving our disputes—and that the government itself will increasingly be not the resolver of fundamental conflicts between citizens, but a source of and party to conflicts.

Wage stickiness and unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

It is common for left-wing progressives to complain that conservatives serve up unflattering accounts of the unemployed and poor, such as by calling them “moochers” and the like. But many versions of the standard Keynesian account, once we deconstruct them a bit, don’t paint such a flattering picture of the unemployed either.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, July 20, 2015
By

What Did Pope Francis Really Think of the “Communist Crucifix”?
John Zmirak, The Stream

Press accounts have been muddled by misreporting and wishful thinking.

State subsidies take from the poor to give to the rich
M. Steven Fish and Neil A. Abrams, Washington Post

In one area, however, government spending almost always redistributes income from the poor to the rich, encourages inefficiency and fuels corruption: state subsides.

Conservatives warn IRS could target gay marriage opponents
Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press

A brief exchange during Supreme Court arguments in the same-sex marriage case has exploded into a full-blown crisis for some conservatives who warn that the IRS could start revoking the tax-exempt status of religious groups that oppose gay marriage.

Do-gooders, do no harm: What are the best–and worst–ways to help those mired in international conflicts?
Laura Seay and Alex de Waal, Washington Post

Since the end of the Cold War, numerous international advocacy efforts concerning global conflict sprung out of these good intentions. Yet the results of these movements are often, at best, mixed, and in some cases actually made a crisis or the plight of innocent civilians worse.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, July 17, 2015
By

Can capitalism keep people out of prisons?
Steven Godeke and William Burckart, Quartz

The Rikers Island Prison SIB is one example of fast-emerging interest and activity around these kinds of strategies, which are also known as pay-for-success financings.

After Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling, How We Can Protect Freedom for Everyone
Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

Respecting religious liberty in the marketplace is particularly important. After all, as the first lady, Michelle Obama, put it, religion “isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well.”

Remove work requirements and food stamp enrollment explodes in a SNAP
Matt Vespa, Hot Air

In all, there are 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 17 million since 2000. Additionally, millions more are being added to their states’ respective food stamp rolls than they are finding full-time work; for every one person who found a job, two people are given SNAP benefits. In terms of cost, we were spending $17 billion on food stamps. It’s now ballooned to an $80 billion program.

Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges
David R. Wheeler, The Atlantic

Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 16, 2015
By

The Best Way to End Homelessness
Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

The first-ever large-scale study on the topic finds that permanent, stable housing can be more cost-effective than shelters.

The Enduring Significance of Edmund Burke
Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative

Order in society: an arrangement of things not according to an abstract equality, nor yet according to a utilitarian calculus, but founded upon a recognition of Providential design, which makes differences between man and man (and God and man) ineradicable and beneficent. This, I think, is the idea fundamental to Burke’s liberal conservatism, and this is the principle to which all real conservatives after him clung.

Don’t Supersize the Minimum Wage
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, City Journal

Boosting New York’s fast-food hourly wage to $15 will kill jobs and raise prices.

Nuns challenge policy on contraceptive access
Robert Pear, New York Times News Service

Four federal appeals courts have upheld efforts by the Obama administration to guarantee access to free birth control for women, suggesting that the government may have found a way to circumvent religious organizations that refuse to provide coverage for some or all forms of contraception.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
By

The sale of fetal body parts: gruesome—and shockingly legal
Joe Carter, ERLC

The discussion in the video is graphic, gruesome, and disturbing. What’s even more shocking is that this practice may actually be legal under current federal law.

Taxing churches is a form of religious persecution — and liberals need to stand against it
Damon Linker, The Week

How long will it be until we begin to see a movement — egged on by activists, encouraged by receptive judges — to revoke the tax exemptions currently enjoyed by churches? A few months? A year? I

Greece Disaster Shows Unavoidable Consequences of Socialism
Stephen Moore, The Daily Signal

The Greek citizens have rolled the dice and voted overwhelmingly to reject the “austerity” referendum. This was a way for voters to stick a finger in the eye of their creditors. The left around the world has responded to the vote with thunderous applause—and is selling the results as a vote for “the little guy.”

Society Exists Prior to the State, Obergefell Notwithstanding
George Weigel, EPPC

Reactions by the Catholic bishops of the United States to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges have been, in the main, robust and carefully thought through.