Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 29, 2016
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Where’s the Pope on Syria?
William McGurn, Wall Street Journal

No papal prayer vigils to protest the military solution Putin has imposed on Aleppo.

Who went insane? BuzzFeed editors or the Greek Orthodox believer who leads the GOP?
Terry Mattingly, Get Religion

What happens when you mix Christmas, politics, Twitter and the ongoing emotional meltdown on the cultural left in the wake of the 2016 presidential race?

To the Poor, Poverty Is More Than Material
Kathryn Feliciano, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The body of Christ functions properly and more efficiently if each person is using their God-given gifts to do what God has designed them to do.

How Government Regulation Makes Us Poorer
Per Bylund, Mises Wire

We recently spoke with Professor Bylund about his book and how the effects of government regulation are more far-reaching and more damaging than many people realize.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
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Top Ten Religious Liberty and Church-State Developments of 2016
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Each year in December, I attempt to pick the most important church-state and religious liberty developments of the past year. This was a busy year, and a number of the important developments amounted to themes that spanned many months.

Iraqi Christians celebrate a bittersweet Christmas amid destruction and liberation
Bonnie Kristian, The Week

Christians in Bartella, Iraq, are celebrating their first Christmas since 2013 following their town’s liberation from Islamic State militants as part of the campaign to retake Mosul.

Unthinkable Today, Obvious Tomorrow: The Moral Case for the Abolition of Cruelty to Animals
Matthew Scully, National Review

On that issue, our evolving standards approach the ancient ones of Judeo-Christian morality.

The Relationship Between Culture and Poverty
William Reddinger, FEE

In a state of learned helplessness, people who are suffering consistently feel like something has been done to them.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
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Is scarcity as much about psychology as it is economics?
Dan Nixon, Bank Underground

“Unlimited wants, scarce resources”. This is the economic problem. But once basic needs are met, how much should scarcity – having “enough” – be understood as a psychological problem? Is it possible to cultivate an “abundance mindset”? And what does all of this mean for how economics is taught?

Combining Creativity, Purpose, and Freedom to Help the Poor
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

We want for the poorest among us to experience the long-term dignity which comes from their ability to showcase each of their gifts to the world.

How Unions Used Licensing to Crush Ethnic Barbershops
Ryan McMaken, Mises Wire

For far too long, historians who wrote on inter-racial and inter-ethnic relations focused almost exclusively on the victimization of various groups while ignoring the entrepreneurship and mutual aid that took place within those same ethnic groups.

Orange Rocks and the Minimum Wage
Bryan Caplan, EconLog

I’ve long been deeply suspicious of contrarian research that purports to show that the minimum wage doesn’t decrease low-skilled employment.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, December 26, 2016
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The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy
Victor Tan Chen, The Atlantic

The main source of meaning in American life is a meritocratic competition that makes those who struggle feel inferior.

Aleppo presents a moral dilemma for Christian leaders
The Economist

Syria’s Christians see Bashar al-Assad as their protector.

USCIRF Appoints Singshinsuk As Executive Director
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom announced yesterday that Erin D. Singshinsuk, who has served since September as the Commission’s Acting Executive Director has now been named Executive Director.

Your sneakers are a case study in why Trump’s America-first trade policy is nonsense
Marc Bain, Quartz

A combination of protectionist policies and lobbying by US trade groups has kept these tariffs high since the Great Depression, despite import duties for other products being reduced.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 23, 2016
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The Six Mysterious Elves of the Commercial Marketplace
Jeffrey Tucker, FEE

We were born into a world of amazing prosperity that our generation did not create.

A 2-country, 2-transaction example to understand trade, trade deficits, capital flows, and the balance of payments
Mark J. Perry, AEI

To help understand international trade, suppose that there are only two international transaction that take place in a given period, but let’s assume that those two transactions are representative of the thousands or millions of other transactions that might have taken place.

Religion and Education Around the World
Pew Research

Large gaps in education levels persist, but all faiths are making gains – particularly among women.

A drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business
Denny Burk

In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge has a startling conversation with the ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 22, 2016
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Surveys Find Charter School Parents More Satisfied Than District-School Parents
Daniel Huizinga, Opportunity Lives

Politicians and policy experts have argued for two decades about the merits of charter schools, with many studies showing the alternative public schools perform as well or better than traditional tax-funded schools. But what do parents think?

Catholic social thought in a progressive bubble at Catholic University of America
Steve Bainbridge, ProfessorBainbridge.com

One would have hoped that CUA would have included representative voices of pro-capitalist Catholic social thought thinkers such as Michael Novak, Fr. Robert Sirico, or, for that matter, yours truly.

All’s well that spends well
David Throsby, The Times Literary Supplement

Even the most cursory examination of the evolution of literary and economic theory over time reveals many interconnections. A variety of examples can be seen of the ways in which the state of the economy and the interpretation of it in economics have influenced literature; at the same time, one can point to the functions of literature in shaping and reflecting our understanding of economic behaviour.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians are stuck between between ISIS and an indifferent government
Farid Y. Farid, Quartz

Just over a week ago, terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on St Peter & St Paul’s church in Cairo where 27 people, mostly women, were killed and scores more injured.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
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Stereotypes Are Poisoning American Politics
William R. Easterly, Bloomberg View

J.D. Vance calls on Appalachians to alter a “culture that increasingly encourages social decay.” To what Central Committee on Appalachian Culture is he appealing?

Vatican official: Religion in public has never been more at risk
Elise Harris, Catholic News Service

Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Under-secretary for relations with the States, warns that Western nations face a new type of oppression meant to eliminate religion from public life. “To act and speak out publicly as a committed Christian in one’s professional life has never been more threatened,” he said.

Aleppo sold out by the ‘human rights’ community’s moral hypocrisy
Michael Rubin, The Hill

What the world now witnesses in Aleppo was never supposed to happen.

Kidnapping for ransom works like a market. How it is organized is surprising.
Anja Shortland, Washington Post

Here is why kidnapping involves some tricky business relations, how private sector institutions work to resolve them and why governments have a harder time preventing kidnapping from escalating.