Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 14, 2015
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Catholics, Evangelicals team up to fight poverty
Michael O’Loughlin, Crux

Putting aside theological differences – and the battle for souls on the ground – in order to form a unified front on fighting poverty is the only way to make progress as inequality grows, Catholic and Evangelical leaders said Monday.

Bastiat, ‘reductio ad absurdum’ and the minimum wage
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

The great French free-market economist Frederic Bastiat was considered by many to be the master of the reductio ad absurdum approach that he used quite effectively to expose the logical fallacies of his opponents’ positions by taking unsound arguments to their extreme and often ridiculous conclusions.

Student religious freedom bill signed into Alabama law
Erin Edgemon, AL.com

Legislation that protects students’ religious freedoms was signed into law by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley today on the National Day of Prayer.

Ministerial Exception Bars Discrimination Claims Against Salvation Army
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Rogers v. Salvation Army, (ED MI, May 11, 2015), a Michigan federal district court held that the ministerial exception doctrine bars race and age discrimination claims against The Salvation Army.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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Why Americans oppose economic redistribution despite income inequality
Michael Barone, AEI Ideas

Americans have an innate sense that it’s a mistake to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. They seem to understand that, if taxes are too high, the affluent will figure out ways to shelter income.

The Faustian Bargain Between Church and State
David Shipler, The Atlantic

To receive tax-exempt status from the IRS, religious organizations must abstain from electioneering. Is that constitutional?

The Surprising News about Poverty
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

We won’t ever have all the pieces to the poverty puzzle in place on this side of eternity, but every now and then, a few seem to fall into place.

Forgive Us Our Debts: Family Christian Turns to the Law for Grace
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Christianity Today

The Bible debate inside the bankrupt bookstore chain’s searches for a new buyer.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
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Cuba’s President Castro: ‘If Pope Keeps Going Way He’s Going, I’ll Come Back to Catholic Church’
Deborah Castellano Lubov, Zenit

Following meeting with Pope Francis, Raul Castro shares he’ll attend papal Masses in Cuba.

Why raising minimum wages is riskier than expanding the EITC
Aparna Mathur, AEI Ideas

The reason minimum wages may not boost incomes at the bottom is because there is a significant probability that higher minimum wages could result in fewer jobs. Increases in the minimum wage mean an increase in costs for employers.

5 takeaways from the US religious freedom panel’s report
Brian Pellot, Religion News Service

The independent watchdog panel created by Congress to monitor religious freedom conditions worldwide issued its 16th annual report last week. Here’s a roundup of the report’s key recommendations.

Russia Threatens Veto of EU Anti-Trafficking Efforts
The American Interest

In recent years, Russia has become hellbent on using every opportunity to put obstacles in the way of EU—and U.S.—policy. That’s not necessarily because Moscow has any substantial objection to or even interest in any particular question, but simply because it wants to be as much of a factor in geopolitics as it can.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 11, 2015
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Two Premises on Poverty and Culture
Ross Douthat, New York Times

These two realities, taken together, do not necessarily point toward either a left-wing or a right-wing diagnosis of our situation.

How would we know if we won the War on Poverty?
Scott Sumner, EconLog

There’s a tendency to assume that the effect of anti-poverty spending can be measured by looking at the difference between market income and market income plus government aid. I’m going to argue that this is a very serious conceptual error, even if their conclusions end up being correct in the end.

The three keys to school choice success
Michael Q. McShane, AEI Ideas

For the class of 2014, only 26 percent of those who took the ACT scored college-ready in all four subjects. If we want to turn around these depressing statistics, we need serious change in the American education system.

The Left Frets: What If the Supreme Court Recognizes the Dignity of Christians?
Seth Mandel, Commentary

A nagging question I’ve had while watching local businesses sued into oblivion for the Christian thoughtcrimes of their proprietors is: What will it take for liberals to finally have second thoughts about the way in which gay marriage is being legalized?

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 8, 2015
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In Utah, chronic homelessness could soon be a thing of the past
Catherine Garcia, The Week

Over the last 10 years, the number of chronically homeless people in Utah has dropped dramatically — down from 1,932 in 2005 to just 178 in 2015. The decline started once the state decided to try something new: Giving homes to the homeless.

Revisiting “The Servile State”
Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

A major reason for the hostility that Belloc’s work arouses is its polemical stance against the evils of “capitalism.” For those who self-identify as capitalists it is indeed understandable that such a polemical approach will raise hackles.

Vietnam, ruled by communists for 40 years, is now the No. 1 fan of capitalism on the planet
Matt Phillips, Quartz

It’s been 40 years since the harrowing rooftop helicopter evacuations of Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, which marked the end of America’s military involvement in a conflict that left roughly 58,000 Americans dead, sharply divided the country, and damaged America’s self-confidence until the 1990s.

What matters to parents in picking their child’s school?
Michael Q. McShane, AEI Ideas

“Socioeconomically disadvantaged children and their families are easier to manipulate,” an education blogger and teacher from Philadelphia wrote. “Many urban poor are not in a position to access research on charter school performance, so they simply believe what they hear or are told.”

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 7, 2015
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A conservative anti-poverty agenda: School choice
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

If the system had been specifically designed to entrench class privilege and inequality, it could hardly have been put together much better than this.

The Nature of Poverty
David Brooks, New York Times

Lately it seems as though every few months there’s another urban riot and the nation turns its attention to urban poverty. And in the midst of every storm, there are people crying out that we should finally get serious about this issue.

Conservatives and Low-skilled Workers
Pete Spiliakos, First Things

Why should we be advocating policies that reduce the wages of our poorest workers (both the foreign- and native-born)?

Thai army finds six more bodies near suspected human trafficking camp
Surapan Boonthanom , Reuters

Authorities in Thailand have dug up the bodies of six suspected Rohingya migrants from Myanmar at a rubber plantation near a mountain where a mass grave was found at the weekend, the military said on Wednesday.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
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Why can’t Muslims laugh at Mohammed?
David P. Goldman, Asia Times

Why do Jews as well as Christians–but not Muslims–laugh at jokes about the founders of their faiths?

The Pontifical Spin Cycle
George Weigel, National Review

The Battle of the Blogs over papal environmentalism.

Nuns Intercede for Victims of Sex Trafficking in Italy
Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times

In cooperation with social workers, local institutions, and embassies, the nuns assist the women in getting new documents, necessary for a new start.

A conservative anti-poverty agenda: Criminal justice reform
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

America’s criminal justice system entrenches far too many people in poverty. And the fact that this system so disproportionately incarcerates black men is the disgusting icing on an awful cake.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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New York City Underreported School Violence to State, Audit Shows
Kate Taylor, New York Times

A review of violent episodes at 10 public schools in New York City found that the Education Department failed to report nearly a third of the cases to the state, as required, according to an audit the state comptroller released on Wednesday.

Pence, GOP leaders get pastors’ ‘rebuke’ for RFRA fix
Robert King, Indianapolis Star

A pastor who stood behind Gov. Mike Pence last month when he signed the “religious freedom” bill stood in the heart of the Statehouse on Monday and publicly rebuked Pence for the “betrayal” of signing the “fix” that quelled the national backlash.

The Wild Ideas of Social Conservatives
Ross Douthat, New York Times

[T]he basic social conservative analysis has turned out to have more predictive power than my rigorously empirical liberal friends are inclined to admit.

A conservative anti-poverty agenda: Strengthening the family
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

Conservatives tend to prefer an indirect approach to fighting poverty. That means we don’t have to have big government “anti-poverty programs” with “anti-poverty” branding in order to effectively fight poverty.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 1, 2015
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Electricity for Africa
Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist

There really is a trade-off: denying aid for fossil fuels hurts the poor.

If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church
John Zmirak, The Stream

Obama’s Solicitor General admits that the feds will treat orthodox Christians like racists.

The Paradox of Dogma: How the Left Is Crippling Itself
Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

If you try to shut down public debate, is this a way of ensuring that you win—or an admission that you have already lost?

How California Cities Are Making Millions Seizing Property and Money from Law-Abiding Citizens
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

In a small number of cities clustered in Los Angeles County, Calif., people are seeing their property and money seized by law enforcement through civil asset forfeiture, and it’s making police departments tens of millions of dollars.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, April 30, 2015
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On Sustainability
James V. Schall, S.J., The Catholic Thing

The phrase “objection sustained” comes from the law court – a judge agrees with a lawyer’s objection to procedure. His “sustaining” guarantees that the trial follows established rules. Today, in an enormous literature, what is to be “sustained” is not legal procedure, but the supposed “rules” that keep this planet viable down the ages.

Religious Liberty Is Not Enough
Jennifer Roback Morse, Crisis Magazine

We cannot cite religious liberty as a free-standing argument at this point. If we do not provide our unchurched or poorly catechized neighbors with an answer that makes sense to them, they will supply their own answer: “You won’t bake the cake because you hate gay people.”

Baltimore And The Broken Windows Fallacy
Rich Cromwell, The Federalist

The opportunity costs of rebuilding Baltimore after its riots will be steep.

Why conservatives need an anti-poverty agenda
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week

To some people (and not just liberals!), a conservative anti-poverty agenda sounds like an oxymoron. There are several reasons for this, some valid and some not.