Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 11, 2016
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In Sex Trafficking, ‘Kids Are Renewable Resources’
Emily Deruy, The Atlantic

Authorities and advocates in Reno are finding it harder to identify victims and perpetrators, in part due to social media.

Low-Skilled Workers Flee the Minimum Wage
Corey Iacono, FEE

What happens when, in a country where workers are free to move, a region raises its minimum wage? Do those with the fewest skills seek out the regions with the highest wage floors?

The Flawed Economics of Laudato Si’
W. David Montgomery, The New Atlantis

Laudato Si’ provides a moral framework for addressing climate change based on Christian obligations to help the global poor most affected by it. In stressing these obligations, the encyclical fills a large gap in discussions of climate policy, which are replete with statements of what should be done but tend to lack a convincing moral framework for explaining where such obligations comes from or why they should be accepted when they conflict with particular interests.

Wake up, Christians: The Flint water crisis is an issue of public justice
Kevin R. den Dulk, Washington Post

For Christians, access to water ought not be about the arbitrariness of birth and geography or the vagaries of power. It is a matter of justice, and our response is grounded in God’s call to seek shalom, in this case by addressing the access problems and inevitable conflicts that arise when a good is both basic and unevenly distributed.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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Is Africa paving a road out of poverty?
Robert Mattes, Boniface Dulani and E. Gyimah-Boadi, Washington Post

Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 52,700 citizens in 33 countries in 2014-2015, Afrobarometer reports that in two-thirds of those countries, “lived poverty” has decreased compared to the previous survey round in 2011-2013.

Inside America’s lottery addiction
The Week

The nation was recently in a frenzy over a $1 billion Powerball jackpot. But are lotteries just a tax in disguise? Here’s everything you need to know.

Social Justice: According to whom? Which kind?
Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed

One of the most notable features of American evangelicalism in the last generation has been a powerful surge toward “social justice.” At times it is no different than the old-fashioned social gospel, at times it simply catches up to mainline Protestantism — and most of the time evangelicals have completely ignored the rigorous and comprehensive thinking on “social justice” on the part of Roman Catholics.

An Abandoned White Middle Class
R.R. Reno, First Things

Historically, our nearly all-white leadership class has carefully cultivated white middle class voters. Why the shift toward a more critical, even antagonistic attitude?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
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Evidence Mounts: Minimum Wage Hikes Cost Jobs
The American Interest

The evidence continues to mount that minimum wage hikes have economic costs: A Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco review paper recently found that minimum wages had “directly reduced the number of jobs nationally by about 100,000 to 200,000.”

For poverty, work is more important than wages, but only half of American adults work full-time
Angela Rachidi, AEI Ideas

Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) remains the go-to source for employment-related data (such as that released today), each month Gallup reports the “Gallup Good Job” metric. It reflects the percentage of adults aged 18 or older who work full-time (more than 30 hours per week) for an employer.

Republicans Prefer Blunt Talk About Islamic Extremism, Democrats Favor Caution
Pew Research

Most Americans say religion doesn’t cause violence, but rather that violent people use religion to justify their actions.

How Should Christians Approach Social Entrepreneurship?
Baylee Malloy, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

According to some, “social entrepreneurship” is a redundant term because all businesses are “social.” Businesses create jobs, goods, and services, and thus contribute to overall social prosperity.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 8, 2016
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When Kirill and Francis Meet, It’ll be an Historic Kick in the Devil’s Gut
Deacon Keith Fournier, The Stream

It was the ongoing “Christian genocide” that finally brought about the meeting after twenty years of discussions. Pope Francis and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will be meeting next Friday in the neutral location of Cuba, while the patriarch is there on an official visit and Francis is on his way to Mexico.

Conservatism and the Art of Catechesis
Isaac Woodward, Values & Capitalism

Several denominations of the Christian faith still have formalized methods of catechizing those new to the faith. Yet, it is all too clear that many of these efforts are not achieving the results one would hope they would.

What Should We Do About Natural Law?
James Kalb, The Catholic World Report

Our governing institutions and the public at large have staked their authority and actions on the rejection of natural law in favor of preference satisfaction. So what can be done?

How the Free Enterprise System Is Lifting Millions Out of Poverty Worldwide
Israel Ortega, Opportunity Lives

The free enterprise system has been the greatest force the world has ever known to reduce poverty and increase prosperity. The bad news is that many here in the United States are forgetting this important lesson.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 5, 2016
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Capitalism Promotes Equality
Barry Brownstein, The Freeman

In 1900, Americans spent approximately 50 percent of their household income on food and clothing; today, we spend closer to 20 percent. Today, fresh produce from all over the world, not even available to a king a century ago, awaits common consumers when they enter the supermarket.

The $20-billion hole in Africa’s largest economy
The Economist

Most Nigerians live in poverty. Millions would be spared if officials stopped pilfering from the public purse.

Pope’s opening to China skips over religious freedom
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

On Tuesday, an exclusive interview with Pope Francis about China was published by the Asia Times, in which the pope urges the world not to fear growing Chinese power. It’s likely to be hailed as a great opening, as well as another sign of keen Vatican interest in moving ever closer to normalized diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Federal healthcare spending tops Social Security for the first time
Sarah Ferris, The Hill

Spending on federal healthcare programs outpaced spending on Social Security for the first time in 2015, according to an expansive report from the congressional budget scorekeeper released Monday.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, February 4, 2016
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How GMOs Could Help Biodiversity
The American Interest

By modifying the genes of plants, scientists have discovered ways to make food crops more resilient to drought and pestilence, and to increase crop yields, to boot.

Koch brothers’ new group will take on poverty, educational quality
Fredreka Schouten, USA Today

The political and policy empire controlled by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is building a non-profit wing its leaders say will work to address deep-seated social ills and “revitalize civil society.” Its initial efforts will focus on poverty and educational quality.

Theft-by-Government Continues Through Eminent Domain
A. Barton Hinkle, Reason.com

Governments ignoring the constitutional limitations to eminent domain.

How Ordinary People Are Giving Glimpses of God’s Restoration
James Clark, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

It’s easy to say that ordinary people can effect meaningful change. However, words alone are not proof. Without substantive evidence, any talk of our power to change the world may be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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How School Choice Could Improve Life for Teachers
Mary Clare Reim, The Daily Signal

While it’s often easy to see the success school choice programs have on students, what’s often missing from this conversation is the acknowledgment that teachers are also empowered by school choice.

Flint Weighs Scope of Harm to Children Caused by Lead in Water
Abby Goodnough, New York Times

As officials try to track how many children in Flint, Mich., have been exposed to lead, underlying troubles prevalent among low-income families add to concerns.

Poll: 7 in 10 voters support school choice
Bonnie Kristian, The Week

A strong majority — 70 percent — of likely voters support school choice, finds a new poll funded by the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy group.

Will Sanders and Trump voters push America away from market capitalism?
James Pethokoukis, AEI

Donald Trump says Bernie Sanders is a probable “communist” and “total whack job.” Sanders calls Trump a “pathological liar,” his policy ideas “pathetic.” Trump would cut taxes by $12 trillion over the next decade, and Sanders would raise them by $14 trillion. Also big differences on issues such as climate change and immigration.