Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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Puerto Rico launches tax crackdown on churches
Kaitlyn Landgraf, Crux

Religious institutions in the United States enjoy broad exemptions from federal taxes, but in Puerto Rico this month, officials are beginning the unprecedented move of auditing churches that abuse their tax-exempt status as part of the island’s efforts to combat its crippling debt crisis.

The incredible miracle in poor country development
Noah Smith, Noahpinion

The amazing improvement in the quality of life of the world’s poor people should be common knowledge by now.

The Chinese Christian Crackdown
The American Interest

Between 1,200 and 1,700 crosses have come crashing down over the past two years in China’s Zhejiang Province, where the brutal repression of Christians has also seen churches demolished and pastors imprisoned, all with the blessing of top party officials.

How Journalists Manipulate You Into Favoring Big Government
John Bicknell, The Federalist

The language we foist upon people becomes the language in which they think about public policy.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 30, 2016
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Why Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Why? According to the Department of Veterans Affairs: Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

The Basic Financial Tool That Can Help the Unemployed Find Better Jobs
Gillian B. White, The Atlantic

Without credit, they’re more likely to settle for lower-paying gigs.

Why we still haven’t made much progress on the world’s deadliest environmental problem
Brad Plumer, Vox

Indoor air pollution gets surprisingly little attention for such a lethal public health problem. It kills more people each year than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, but few countries treat it as a crisis on the same level.

McDonald’s ex-CEO just revealed a terrifying reality for fast-food workers
Kate Taylor, Business Insider

“It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging french fries,” former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi said in an interview on Tuesday on the Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.”

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, May 27, 2016
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MacArthur’s Thought Police
Lane Davis and Milo Yiannopoulos, Capital Research Center

A foundation helps Twitter and other social media enforce left-wing ideology.

We Know What’s Solving Poverty Around the World
Tori Whiting, The Daily Signal

For nations all around the world, as well as right here at home, lawmakers struggle with how to achieve economic and social progress.

Millennials Reject Capitalism in Name – but Socialism in Fact
B.K. Marcus, FEE

So we’re not entirely sure what “capitalism” means to those surveyed, but we think it has something to do with the system we currently live in.

US official warns ‘door for Christians in Iraq is closing’
Ines San Martin, Crux

A U.S. government official visiting Rome on Monday said that as a result of Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS, the “door for Christians in Iraq is closing” and the window of time to prevent their eradication is narrowing.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, May 26, 2016
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Exclusive: Lawmakers Move to Make It Harder for IRS to Seize Money From Innocent People
Melissa Quinn, The Daily Signal

On the heels of the House Judiciary Committee’s legislation reforming federal civil forfeiture laws, House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., are introducing a bill further protecting people from having money wrongfully seized by the government, The Daily Signal has learned.

Bishop threatens to close schools rather than pay property taxes
Crux

After an Italian mayor asked the local archdiocese to pay back property taxes on Catholic schools amounting to around U.S. $112,000, the archbishop has written to the country’s prime minister threatening to close those schools if the Church is forced to pay.

How do school choice laws treat parents?
Gerard Robinson, AEI Ideas

School choice not only allows children to attend the schools best suited to their specific needs, but it can also help empower parents to be thoughtful advocates for their child’s education. And yet, there is very little dialogue on how school choice laws actually treat parents.

What Trade Deals Are Good For
Gene Grossman, Harvard Business Review

In recent months, trade agreements have moved from the arcane pages of academic journals to the front pages of newspapers, from university lecture halls to the presidential campaign trail. What are these agreements about? Why do governments sign them? Why do some candidates lambast them? Do they deserve the attention they have received?

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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When leaders cheat, followers … follow
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today

The trust that underlies a law-abiding society is rotting away thanks to double-dealing in Washington.

A billion prices can’t be wrong
Tim Hartford, The Undercover Economist

‘A “big data” approach to inflation is helping us understand the fundamental question of why recessions happen’

The number of new businesses in the US is falling off a cliff
Michael J. Coren, Quartz

We’re supposedly living in the age of startups when people can create new businesses, enrich themselves, and employ their fellow Americans. That narrative, like much economic optimism these days, is now mostly a tale for coastal cities, and a tenuous one at best.

How Much are Young Americans Paying a Month on Student Debt? Less than You Think
Josh Mithchell, Wall Street Journal

A typical borrower between ages 20 and 30 pays $203 a month toward student debt.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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How Vocation Brings Dignity to Your Work
Tim Challies, TGC

As Christians, you and I are responsible to give all of who we are what we do to the Lord.

Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues
Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute

Last year, at the famous Biennale artistic festival in Venice, Swiss artist Christian Büchel took the ancient Catholic Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia and converted it into a mosque.

Supreme Court Sends 2 More Contraceptive Mandate Cases Back To Circuit Courts
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The U.S. Supreme Court today sent back to Courts of Appeal two more of the cases involving challenges by religious non-profits to the contraceptive coverage mandate accommodation.

Theory vs. Evidence: Unemployment Insurance edition
Noah Smith, Noahpinion

The argument over “theory vs. evidence” is usually oversimplified and silly, since you need both to understand the world. But there is a sense in which I think evidence really does “beat” theory most of the time, at least in econ.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, May 23, 2016
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The poor are paying more and more for everyday purchases, a new study warns
Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

The poor often spend more on all kinds of things. Households that have less money to spare in any given week, for example, are forced to buy toilet paper and similar goods in small packages, increasing the prices they pay.

California Will Put Minimum-Wage Theories to the Test
James Sherk, National Review Online

California employers must pay at least $15 an hour by 2023. Adjusted for inflation, that works out to $13.39 an hour in today’s dollars — higher than any other country’s real minimum wage, even France’s. And it will soon cover one-third of Californian employees. The Golden State has taken its minimum wage into uncharted territory.

Study: Migrant-Smuggling Worth up to $6 Billion in 2015
Associated Press

Smuggling networks cashing in on the huge flow of migrants into Europe had an estimated turnover last year of up to $6 billion, international law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

How Americans define the sharing economy
Kenneth Olmstead and Aaron Smith, Pew Research

Even though stories about services like Uber and Airbnb have put the “sharing economy” in the news, just 27% of Americans have ever heard of the term before, according to Pew Research Center’s recent survey of the new digital economy. Moreover, even those who have heard of the term have widely divergent views about what the sharing economy actually is.