Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 29, 2016
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Why Bernie Sanders doesn’t participate in organized religion
Frances Stead Sellers and John Wagner, Washington Post

“I think everyone believes in God in their own ways,” he said. “To me, it means that all of us are connected, all of life is connected, and that we are all tied together.”

How to Make Liberal Democracy Safe for Religion
Terence Sweeney, First Things

Contemporary liberal philosophy is unable to respond to theological challenges because it cannot account for religious people who are actually religious.

Economic Lessons from ‘Star Wars’ Planet Jakku
Kurt Jaros, Values and Capitalism

In “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”—which at this point I’m sure most of us have seen—we are exposed to some fundamental principles of economics. In this post I would like to examine three principles: supply and demand, economic relativity, and the destruction of value

Why This Local Pharmacist’s Religious Liberty Case Could Go to Supreme Court
Elizabeth Slattery , The Daily Signal

Can a state force pharmacists to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs at the expense of their religious beliefs? This is the central issue in a case the Supreme Court may agree to hear in its next term.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 28, 2016
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Property rights, not eminent domain, first function of good government
Ray Nothstine, Jones & Blount

Like all inherent rights, the right to private property tends to erode with the growth of government. While the American framers did not agree on everything, they were universal in their agreement that personal freedom and property rights were inseparable.

The Impossible (Pipe) Dream—Single-Payer Health Reform
Henry J. Aaron, Inside Sources

Single-payer health reform is a dream because, as the old joke goes, ‘you can’t get there from here.’

Marriage, Poverty and the Political Divide
Andrew L. Yarrow, New York Times

There remains some argument among lawmakers over which Americans should be able to marry, but nearly everyone agrees that marriage itself offers stability and economic benefits to couples and to society at large.

Shared housing as a poverty solution
Kevin C. Corinth, AEI

We often think there are only two ways to fight poverty — the government and private philanthropy. But living arrangements can be just as important

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
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Francis to other Christians: Sorry we mistreated you
Inés San Martín, Crux

Pope Francis apologized for Catholic mistreatment of other Christian traditions Monday, and called on Catholics to forgive followers of those traditions for any offenses of “today and in the past,” as a step toward deeper unity.

How Much Did Jonas Cost the Economy?
Bourree Lam, The Atlantic

There’s no agreed-upon way to measure the price of a blizzard—but people do make intelligent guesses.

Bernie Sanders, One Of The Greediest People On Earth, Says Greed Isn’t Good
Kerry Jackson, Investor’s Business Daily

It is truly painful to hear people use words they don’t understand. It’s made worse when it’s a favorite word that they use a lot.

Can Wealth Acquired by Unrighteous Means Be Used for Righteous Purposes?
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Job is an unimpeachable example of the righteous rich. But, those classified as the righteous rich are not always such paragons of righteousness, as Abraham’s story shows.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
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Catholic Hospitals Win an Important Decision in California
Jim McDermott, America

On Thursday the Catholic Church in California scored a significant legal victory regarding the right of Catholic hospitals to refuse certain medical procedures.

Detroit’s Teacher Union Meltdown
The American Interest

Last week, Detroit’s teachers called a “sick-out”—a coordinated action wherein the unionized teachers call in sick simultaneously in what is best characterized as a strike—for at least the fifth time in the last few weeks.

Budget Deficit Slips as Public Priority
Pew Research

As Barack Obama begins his final year in office, the goal of reducing the budget deficit, which the public once ranked among the most pressing objectives for his administration, has continued its recent decline in perceived importance.

School Choice Interest Skyrocketing as Public Schools Disappoint
Josh Kaib, The Daily Signal

This is shaping up to be the best year yet for National School Choice Week. The annual January event, which began in 2011, will feature 16,140 events, up from roughly 11,000 last year. The festivities officially kicked off across the country on Sunday and run through Jan. 30.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 25, 2016
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N. Korea tops persecution list for 14th year
Baptist Press

As North Korea once again held its spot for the 14th consecutive year as the most dangerous country for Christians, religious persecution on every continent has appeared to increase, according to a new report.

Who’d a-thunk it? Retailers like Wal-Mart make location decisions based on labor costs?
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

To help better understand how “Wal-Mart’s scalpel targeted stores that have the highest minimum wages in the country,” consider the map above showing three Walmart stores along a 5-mile stretch of Interstate 880.

Adam Smith on Society’s Exploitation of the Rich
James R. Rogers, First Things

Donald Trump ascribing responsibility for his first two failed marriages to working “like, twenty-two hours a day” brought to mind Adam Smith’s invocation of the “invisible hand” in his 1759 work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments.

Attention Bernie Sanders: Europe gave up on its socialist paradise years ago
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

The thing that Bernie Sanders, and many of his supporters miss, is that European socialism isn’t what it used to be. It’s a lot less socialist than it used to be.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 22, 2016
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GOP Field Bereft Of Free-Traders
Bill Watson, The Federalist

At no point is restricting trade through taxes or promoting it through subsidies a good economic policy. That’s not what Republican presidential candidates say.

Oldest Christian monastery in Iraq razed
Martha Mendoza, Maya Alleruzzo, and Bram Janssen, Associated Press

Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State group’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.

History and the Limits of the Climate Consensus
Philip Jenkins, The American Conservative

Acknowledging the science of global warming does not require accepting that it is immune to criticism.

The Economic Concept in Church Leadership No One Ever Thinks About
Kathryn Feliciano, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What we find is not that the apostles have a higher calling, but rather that the early church was facing a problem—the apostles could not do everything by themselves.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 21, 2016
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Six Challenges Facing Africa in 2016
Gideon Strauss, Providence

While I am an optimist with regard to global poverty alleviation, my optimism is sorely tested when it comes to my beloved birth continent, Africa.

Some people just shouldn’t save for retirement
Andrew G. Biggs, AEI

To expect that very low-income households should have substantial personal savings for retirement is nutty. These are precisely the households Social Security was created for.

The decline of Bitcoin shows you can’t engineer past government
Ryan Cooper, The Week

Try to engineer around politics, and it will flood back in the most atavistic and unscrupulous forms.

Shouldn’t Bernie Sanders Want to Underpay Teachers?
Jason Richwine, The Corner

There is essentially a “single payer” for education within school districts. The teachers, principals, custodians, textbooks, and school buildings are all paid for by the government. Yet Bernie Sanders would never argue that the government should use its near-monopoly to push teacher salaries below market levels.