Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How Economic Freedom Reduces Poverty
Kim Holmes, The Daily Signal

Suppose someone told you there were over two decades of economic data showing the secret of success for every nation in the world and that a Nobel laureate in economics inspired the methodology that was used to analyze that data. Would you sit up and listen?

Pope Francis faces a big week in his effort to reform the Vatican
David Gibson, Religion News Service

Pope Francis has begun what could be a key week for his reformist papacy, starting with meetings with his hand-picked kitchen cabinet of nine senior cardinals, who are developing plans to overhaul the Roman Curia, the papal civil service that has been plagued with crisis and dysfunction.

Five Bleak Facts on Black Opportunity
Richard V. Reeves and Edward Rodrigue , Brookings

In terms of opportunity, there are still two Americas, divided by race. Five facts show how far we still have to go.

Many states have cracked down on payday loans. Here’s how lenders still get away with it.
Jeff Guo, Washington Post

Payday lenders are a slippery bunch. In recent years, several states have passed laws curtailing these kinds of loans, which often charge triple-digit interest rates and tend to be a last resort for the poor

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 9, 2015

Sub-Saharan Africa Is Struggling to Achieve Economic and Democratic Freedom
Daniel Patrick Shaffer, The Daily Signal

Two new reports show that Africa still has significant room for improvement in the areas of economic and democratic freedom.

Francis to Become the First Pope to Address Joint Session of Congress
Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

The head of the one billion-member Roman Catholic Church will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress later this year. For the first time in history, a pope will come before both houses of Congress and give an address to the legislative body.

The Competition Myth
Peter Thiel, Intercollegiate Review

If I could go back and give advice to my younger self, it might be this: Competition is for losers.

The Reality of Persecution
Philip Jenkins, Patheos

Not just were these mass persecutions on exactly the lines that Candida Moss dismisses as mythical in the West, but they were very specifically religious, undertaken by adherents of Religion X because of its theologically motivated loathing of Religion Y.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 6, 2015

The Privilege of Freedom
Daniel Hannan, Intercollegiate Review

My friend told me something about the visit that I had never considered before. He said, “You know, the Holy Father never once directly criticized the Communist authorities. He didn’t have to. He just offered something better.” That, I think, should be the creed of conservatives: Just offer something better.

We need to reward work, not just make it more miserable to be unemployed or poor
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

One government program that many conservatives like — especially vs. the minimum wage — is the Earned Income Tax Credit, the federal subsidy for low-income, working households.

Onward, Christian Health Care?
Molly Worthen, New York Times

Could this model scale up? These ministries seem to achieve a remarkable level of member satisfaction, even if they sometimes must portion out reimbursements when the bills outstrip monthly contributions.

The FCC’s chairman just proposed the strongest network neutrality rules yet
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, just announced new regulations that will provide strong protections for network neutrality.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 5, 2015

Can Mobile Banking Revolutionize The Lives Of The Poor?
Ben Popper, The Verge

We’re excited to have Bill Gates as our guest editor in February. Throughout the month, Bill will be sharing his vision of how technology will revolutionize life for the world’s poor by 2030 by narrating episodes of the Big Future, our animated explainer series.

Prisoner beards and religious freedoms — what a recent Supreme Court decision means for you
Hannah Smith, Becket Fund

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a unanimous victory for religious freedom in Holt v. Hobbs. It held that a federal civil rights statute requires prison officials to accommodate peaceful expressions of religious devotion, an issue arising from a dispute between a bearded Muslim inmate (named Holt) and the Arkansas Department of Correction.

Can Politics be a Vocation? Three Lessons on the Virtues of Good Government
Mary Ann Glendon, Abc Religion And Ethics

Cicero, like Edmund Burke and Vaclav Havel, understood that the everyday work of politics is a crucial part of what determines whether all other components of dignified living will flourish.

Pope declares Oscar Romero, hero to liberation theology, a martyr
Inés San Martín, Crux

Marking an end to one of the most divisive debates in Catholicism in the past 35 years, Pope Francis has officially declared the late Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero a martyr, clearing the way for eventually proclaiming him a saint.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vatican enlists volunteer barbers to offer shaves, haircuts to the poor
Inés San Martín, Crux

As of Feb. 16, homeless people around the Vatican will be able to shower under the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, and, if they do so on Mondays, they also may emerge sporting a new haircut and trimmed beard.

How Can Conservatives Best Fight Poverty?
Genevieve Wood, The Daily Signal

Conservatives have great recipes for addressing poverty. But for those living in impoverished communities to become believers in those recipes we need more chefs – people and organizations in such neighborhoods living out the principles that work.

How Conservatives Are Getting Right On Crime
Rachel Lu, The Federalist

Today’s conservative crime reformers are aiming for less guards, bars, and prison beds.

Perpetuating Ineffective Anti-Poverty Programs
Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine

The Obama presidency has been distinguished for unprecedented levels of federal social welfare spending. In his second term, President Obama is pursuing new and expanded federal anti-poverty initiatives.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Religious and secular advocates urge IRS to clarify rules on political endorsements from the pulpit
Adelle M. Banks, Religion News Service

Religious and secular advocacy groups jointly called Thursday (Jan. 29) for greater clarity by the Internal Revenue Service regarding nonprofits and political activity.

How to Convince Men to Help the Poor
Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard

New research finds the key to a successful fund-raising campaign is convincing them that their self-interest is aligned with your cause.

10 Ways You Can Help Fight Human Trafficking
Heather Davis Nelson, OnFaith

If you’re not sure where to begin engaging with human trafficking, start here.

Cliches of Progressivism #42 – “Jesus Christ Was a Progressive Because He Advocated Income Redistribution to Help the Poor”
Lawrence W. Reed, The Freeman

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate the deceit in this canard. You can be a person of any faith or no faith at all. You just have to appreciate facts.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 2, 2015

Challenging Unjust Laws Takes Prudence, Courage, and Common Sense
Russell Nieli, Public Discourse

In the real world, human goods are often in conflict with one another. This reality forces us to make difficult choices and trade-offs that cannot be eliminated or adjudicated by following simple rules.

Congress Seeks to Improve Global Anti-Trafficking Efforts
Olivia Enos, The Daily Signal

As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, Congress is turning its attention to combatting human trafficking. New estimates suggest that as many as 35.8 million people are victims of human trafficking. Renewed attention on this international crisis is necessary if the U.S. is to continue to lead global anti-trafficking efforts.

We’re hardly doing anything about the single biggest killer on the planet
Gwynn Guilford, Quartz

What hardly anyone’s spending on is pollution—even though it’s the most lethal force on the planet, killing nearly 8.9 million people in 2012, the last year for which there was data.

These are the religious beliefs of Europe’s leaders—including the atheists
Kabir Chibber and Jason Karaian, Quarz

Despite the ceremony being officiated by an archbishop, Alexis Tsipras this week became the first Greek prime minister to be sworn in without taking a religious oath (pictured above). You see, Tsipras is an avowed atheist.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 30, 2015

Cake baking and journalistic story baking
Marvin Olasky, World

Bill Jack goes on the offensive today in the Colorado cake-baking story that’s received enormous media attention over the past week.

Anti-Slavery Activists Imprisoned in Mauritania
Charlotte Florance, The Daily Signal

Three prominent anti-slavery activists and opposition politicians in Mauritania were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month.

The Image of God in Each of Us Could Change How Christians View Prison Reform
EliseAmyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The United States is home to more incarcerated citizens than any other nation in the entire world. With 25 percent of the world’s prison population behind bars in the U.S., prison reform is an issue of rising bipartisan support in Washington. It’s also a huge concern among Christian social justice advocates, especially since there is a strong link between incarceration rates and poverty rates and reform may greatly improve overall human well-being.

After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion
Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel , Pew Research

Majority Says Publishing Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Morality in the Marketplace: A Catechism for Business
Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

There are many books on my shelves that haunt me with a sense of guilt every time they catch my eye. They are my sins of omission, those worthy tomes that deserve my attention and which I should have read but which I have thus far neglected. “Read it?”

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way”
Jeffery J. Ventrella, Public Discourse

When conscience flirts with the idea of accommodating an unjust law, it must politely, yet firmly, reject the sirens of seduction

How Hurricane Katrina Made Radical School Choice Possible in New Orleans
Katherine Mangu-Ward & Todd Krainin,

“Katrina literally and figuratively washed away many of the institutional barriers that had prevented us from even imagining that we could make systemic changes to this school system,” says Patrick Dobard, superintendent of Louisiana’s Recovery School District.

A new study argues cutting unemployment benefits created 1.8 million jobs
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

Economists will debate what happened, but one of the more controversial theories is that Congress’s decision not to extend federal unemployment benefits at the end of 2013 encouraged those out of work to settle for more poorly paid jobs, giving firms a better reason to expand and hire new workers.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Connecticut’s Homeschool Hokum
Matthew Hennessey, City Journal

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission continues to tread on parents’ rights.​

‘Free’ Community College Will Just Make High School Six Years Long
Georgi Boorman, The Federalist

When personal investments are converted to universal entitlements, quality declines for everyone while the tax increases are a burden we will pay forever.

Princeton professor and others offer to take 1,000 lashes for Saudi blogger Raif Badawi

A Princeton University professor and a prominent Muslim American figure, as well as five other religious freedom advocates, are offering to take 100 lashes each for imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced by Saudi Arabia to 1,000 lashes for insulting his country’s clerics.

State high court’s vote affecting Scout affiliation stirs debate anew
Thomas Curwen, LA Times

High court voted to bar judges from belonging to nonprofit youth organizations that practice discrimination.