Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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Charter High Schools Increase Earnings and Educational Achievement
Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

Private and charter schools appear to have significant but modest effects on test scores but much larger effects on educational attainment and even on long-run earnings

Reason and Revelation: Why Christians Need Philosophy
Sherif Girgis, Public Discourse

Many Christians question the value of philosophical arguments for conjugal marriage, preferring to appeal to revelation. But our natural moral knowledge in some ways precedes revelation and helps us to understand it.

The Gains from Getting Rid of “Run Amok” Occupational Licensing
David Henderson, Econlog

If licensing causes pay to be about 14 percent higher, how would it do that? I think almost any economist, including the authors, would answer that it does so by restricting entry into those licensed occupations. Indeed, the authors state.

Why Religious Freedom Matters for Our Work
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Today we fight another battle for freedom – religious freedom. Only this one isn’t on the fields of Stirling Bridge; it’s in the halls of the United States Supreme Court. But like the Battle of Stirling Bridge, this debate has implications for all of our lives – including the way we understand our work as a religious activity.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, February 3, 2014
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The War on Christians in the Middle East
Michael Coren, Catholic World Report

Baroness Warsi, UK’s Minister for Faith, warns of the possible extinction of Christianity in its historical heartlands.

Work That Makes a Difference
Tim Challies, Challies.com

Work has intrinsic significance because it gives me the opportunity to do something with joy—with joy in the Lord. I can do my work in such a way that it glorifies God, or I can do it in such a way that it dishonors him.

Ukraine is no laughing matter
The Mendeleyev Journal

At some point the dust and soot will clear from the fighting in Ukraine and the finger-pointing that has already begun will intensify. Cartoons from social media are already making this point as Russia blames the USA and the EU and the West points the blame at Russia.

It’s the bottom 1% that really deserves our attention
Chris MacDonald, The Business Ethics Blog

An awful lot is being said these days about the difference between the top 1% and the rest of us. But if we really care about social justice, we should probably focus more of our attention on the difference between those of us fortunate enough to be in the top 99%, and the 1% at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 31, 2014
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In Praise of Simple Government
Paul David Miller, The Federalist

Congress should reauthorize the president to reorganize the executive branch of government.

Can the Minimum Wage Close the Opportunity Gap?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

This executive order begs the larger question: Would a minimum wage applied to all industries be the great equalizer? Can it increase opportunities for the poor?

Controverting Inequality
Jonathan Teubner, Values & Capitalism

How does one disagree with the focus on inequality without shirking the responsibility to the “least of these,” to the tired, poor, huddled masses?

Top brass say they’re not aware of bias against military chaplains
Adelle M. Banks , Religion News Service

Lawmakers peppered Pentagon officials on Wednesday (Jan. 29) about claims that military chaplains have faced discrimination for their beliefs, and time and again, chaplains and personnel officials said they were unaware of any bias.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Faith Rising in East, Setting in West?
Eric Metaxas, Breakpoint

The Christian sun is rising in the east. Eastern Europe, that is. And the Western media just doesn’t get it.

Bi-Partisan Legislators, Religious Leaders, Legal Scholars and States File Support in Supreme Court for Hobby Lobby
The Becket Fund

At midnight tonight more than 50 briefs will be filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Hobby Lobby Stores and the Green family, supporting their challenge to the HHS mandate.

11 Facts About The Minimum Wage That President Obama Forgot To Mention
Sean Davis, The Federalist

Most minimum wage workers are under 25 and work in sales or food preparation.

Church Leaders: ‘There Will Be No More Christians in Syria’ If War Continues
Alissa Tabirian, The Foundry

Religious leaders from Syria warned that without dialogue between Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and the rebels, Syria will eventually lose its indigenous Christian population.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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Pope drafting encyclical on man and environment
Associated Press

Pope Francis has begun drafting an encyclical on ecology. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the document was still very much in its early stages and that no publication date has been set. He said it would be about ecology and more specifically the “ecology of man.”

Why should we care about school choice?
Michael McShane, AEI Ideas

School choice fundamentally challenges the organizational structure of schools by allowing parents to choose where their child goes to school, supported by public dollars.

Crony Capitalism vs. Market Morality
Timothy P. Carney, Reason

Finding an ethical lobbying line in a fallen age of corporatism.

The U.S. Puts ‘Moderate’ Restrictions on Religious Freedom
Emma Green, The Atlantic

A new Pew study reveals complex questions about First Amendment rights.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Pope tells Christians to put aside their divisions
Associated Press

Pope Francis has led a prayer service in a Rome basilica attended by representatives of Orthodox, Anglican and other Christian communities in hopes of healing centuries-old divisions.

On “Shark Tank,” Income Inequality, and the Glory of Entrepreneurship
Owen Strachan, thoughtlife

It has struck me in my limited viewings of “Shark Tank” that this wildly popular show offers a nice response to the quandary of “income inequality” so frequently discussed today.

Conservatives and the Constitution
Rob Schwarzwalder, Public Discourse

Conservatives must resist the temptation toward “big-government conservatism.” Easy acceptance of extra-constitutional federal powers betrays the philosophical roots of the conservative movement.

A Sustainable Solution to Poverty
Lord Brian Griffiths, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

What’s the best way to help the poor without trapping individuals in a cycle of dependency? It’s not aid. Not philanthropy. Not even straightforward commercial activity.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 27, 2014
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Have Icon, Will Travel
Alexander F. C. Webster, American Orthodox Institute

The ministry of an Orthodox Army chaplain in southwest Asia post-9/11.

A Moral Basis for Markets: A Response to James Stoner
Michael C. Munger, Public Discourse

All truly voluntary exchange should be allowed without state interference. But many exchanges that are not fully voluntary should be allowed, too. It is immoral to restrict the ability of market processes to create a space where right action is rewarded and immoral actions are punished.

Key findings about growing religious hostilities around the world
Agelina Theodorou, Pew Research Center

Our new report found that a third of the 198 countries and territories studied in 2012 had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion, the highest share in the six years of the study.

Why It’s So Hard To Come Out of the Homeschool Closet
Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

Why aren’t more people open about homeschooling? When people ask me where I went to high school, I usually have to take a deep breath before I reply. Here it comes. “I was homeschooled,” I’ll reply.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 24, 2014
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The Philosophical Basis for Religious Liberty
Michel Therrien, Crisis Magazine

We should be careful in the present public discourse around religious liberty. If we employ relativism to defend this right, we can be assured that this same rationale will come back to bite us.

A Fiscal Conservative Defends the Pope
Scott Fyall, Values & Capitalism

Fiscal conservatism and Catholicism’s teachings on helping the poor are compatible—but it is up to us to make it so.

On masculinity and the War on Poverty
Melanie Sturm, Washington Examiner

Rather than apply Band-Aids to the cancer of chronic unemployment — like unemployment-insurance extensions and minimum-wage hikes — political elites must focus on the real problem: Millions of males, especially less-educated men, are “unhitched from the engine of growth,” according to a 2011 Brookings Institution report.

Five Things Christians Need to Know about Income Inequality, and What You Can Do about It
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Bringing about flourishing through good stewardship requires discerning the biblical principles that will lead us to understand whether income inequality is a problem, and if so, how we are to respond. The best way to summarize this tough topic is through these five points that are critical for Christians to understand in order to bring about greater flourishing, especially for the poor.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 23, 2014
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Monks from the Kiev-Caves Lavra stand between police and demonstrators in Kiev
Pravoslavie.ru

Yesterday morning, monks from the Kiev-Caves Lavra Fr. Gabriel, Fr. Melchisedek, and Fr. Ephraim stood on Grushevsky Street in Kiev with a cross and icons, between the demonstrators and the Ukrainian special police force “Berkut”, and stopped the conflict. They entered the arena as peace-makers, and not in support of one side or the other.

The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence
Brian Auten, Mere Orthodoxy

The thesis of The Locust Effect is straightforward: without effectively addressing the “locusts” of “common, everyday, predatory violence” (50) and lawlessness that eat away at the politically and economically disenfranchised in the developing world, no amount of poverty-alleviation work is going to do any lasting good.

Jesus Wants Business Leaders
Sutton Turner, Resurgence

Many of us assume that leaders in the church must have some sort of professional credentials, like formal ordination or a seminary degree. That’s what I thought, anyway. But what does the Bible say?

Why Anti-Catholic Prejudice Ought to Bother Everyone
Rev. Robert Barron, National Review Online

What is particularly troubling today is the manner in which this deep-seated anti-Catholicism is finding expression precisely through that most enduring and powerful of American institutions, namely the law.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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Spitting in Rome’s Eye: A Reflection on How Orthodoxy’s Sinfulness Prevents Reunion
Fr. Oliver Herbel, Red River Orthodox

Many Orthodox prefer to dismiss Catholicism and Protestantism as two sides of the same coin, as though Orthodoxy is completely separate from them. If it weren’t for the fact that such an attitude is based on ignorance, it would be audacious in the extreme.

The Elephant in the ‘Christian Persecution’ Room
Raymond Ibrahim , Front Page

Open Doors USA recently released its widely cited 2014 World Watch List—a report that highlights and ranks the 50 worst nations around the globe persecuting Christians.

Capitalism’s Enigma And Its Future
Donald Devine, The Federalist

In How the West Grew Rich, Nathan Rosenberg and L.E. Birdzell traced the beginnings of the legal order underlying capitalism back even further than did Marx, to the 13th Century, or earlier.

Study: Charter Schools Raise Nearby Home Values by Thousands of Dollars
Jason Richwine, National Review Online

One of the most consistent results found in the education literature is that school choice leads to high levels of satisfaction among parents. Researchers normally measure parental satisfaction with simple surveys, but a new paper by Robert Shapiro and Kevin Hassett offers a more rigorous test: Are parents willing to pay a premium to live in an area with more school options?