Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 14, 2016
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How To Raise Children Who Can Handle Freedom
Anna Mussmann, The Federalist

It is not enough for me to teach my children to shoot holes in The New York Times with their favorite sidearm or to deliver impromptu lectures on American history.

Kenya’s Evangelical Alliance opposes registration plan
BBC

Kenya’s evangelical churches have condemned government plans to make it tougher for religious bodies and clerics from all faiths to operate.

But Who Will Stock the Supermarkets?
Barry Brownstein, FEE

What beliefs do we have about the source of order that cause us to rely so heavily on planning and controlling?

All the Money on Earth, in One (Giant) Visual
Shaunacy Ferro, Mental Floss

Large sums of money can be hard visualize. What does it really mean that Uber is valued at $51 billion? What does it mean that Apple, the world’s most valuable company, is worth more than $600 billion? That’s an unfathomable sum of money for most of us. It’s easier to compare that kind of money with all the money in the world than it is to compare it to the money in your wallet.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
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Minimum Wage Dishonesty
Walter E. Williams, Creators.com

It is incompetence or dishonesty for my fellow economists to deny these two effects of minimum wages: discrimination against employment of low-skilled labor and the lowering of the cost of racial discrimination.

How Do You Tax Bitcoin?
Adam Chodorow, Slate

Should governments consider it a currency or property? The answer could determine Bitcoin’s ultimate viability.

Humans Innovate Their Way Out of Scarcity
Marian Tupy, Reason.com

Decline in commodities prices since the 1960s illustrates the enduring wisdom of Julian Simon.

Ranked: The economies of all 50 US states and Washington, DC, from worst to best
Andy Kiersz, Business Insider

We ranked the economies of all the states and DC on seven measures: unemployment rates; GDP per capita; average weekly wages; recent growth rates for nonfarm payroll jobs; GDP; house prices; and wages.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
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Free enterprise and the burgeoning coalition against poverty
Arthur C. Brooks, AEI

If you had proposed four years ago that 2016 would bring a presidential forum dedicated to the issue of poverty and featuring the conservative candidates, few would have been quick to believe you. Let’s face it: When most people think of the free enterprise movement today, they don’t immediately think of a laser-like focus on fighting poverty and lifting up vulnerable people.

What Do the Oregon Standoff, Third World Poverty and the Ukrainian Famine Have in Common?
John Zmirak, The Stream

They’re results of elite contempt for ordinary people’s property rights.

More Candidates Should Come Out against Cronyism on the Campaign Trail
Veronique De Rugy, The Corner

The bottom line is that I wish more candidates were consistent and willing to oppose cronyism even when campaigning in Iowa or Florida. It would be a powerful signal that business as usual is indeed over.

Five places where Pope Francis’ political lightning might strike next
John L. Allen Jr., Crux

What we’re looking for are places where the stars seem aligned in such a way that a nudge from Francis, at the right moment, could mean the difference between real change and a return to the status quo.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 11, 2016
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Free and fair elections attract investment, no matter who’s elected. Here’s why.
Mike Touchton, Washington Post

If developing countries want to be prosperous and attract international investment, they should hold free and fair elections. That’s the takeaway from my analysis of data on elections and net investment flows in 157 countries between 1990 and 2013, which I presented in a recent paper in International Interactions.

The Solution to Income Inequality is to Empower People
Jeffrey Carter, Points and Figures

Income inequality is on the minds of journalists and political candidates. It’s on the lips of people who worry about social justice. I think income inequality is a symptom and solving for it won’t change anything. There are deeper problems that we can attack as a society which will do a lot for the symptom.

Bill aims to replace Indiana’s religious objections law
Associated Press

Indiana lawmakers will consider a proposal that would throw out the state’s contentious religious objections law and replace it with a statute its sponsor says aims to protect six fundamental rights.

Conservatives should keep talking about poverty – and not stop
Amanda Munoz, Hot Air

Today in Charleston, South Carolina, several high-profile players in the Republican Party gathered for the Expanding Opportunity Forum hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation. The goal was to discuss “ideas for fighting poverty and expanding opportunity in America” – a topic rarely mentioned, let alone proactively championed, by the GOP on a national stage.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 8, 2016
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How Congress Can Increase the Transparency of Environmental Regulations
Katie Tubb, The Daily Signal

The House is expected to begin considering the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act (H.R. 712), which would address a legal tactic often referred to as sue and settle.

Regulators Are Not Heroes
Adam C. Smith and Stewart Dompe, The Freeman

The heroes we need profit from serving us.

Why Conservatives Must Confront Cronyism
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

As the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney notes, “Being a conservative today increasingly means opposing big-government handouts to special interests, even to ‘your own’ people.”

Minimize Student Debt, Maximize Christian Mission
Alex Chediak, Desiring God

How should Christian students in particular think about their finances in this transitional and formative season of life?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 7, 2016
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Supreme Court Justice Scalia: Constitution says government can favor religion
David Gibson, Religion News Service

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is never shy about voicing his strong, and strongly conservative, opinions about the role of religion in American society, and he has once again made headlines with what he called a “sermon” in which he said the US Constitution can favor religion over “nonreligion.”

Why ‘the evangelical voter’ doesn’t mean anything
Trevin Wax, Religion News Service

It feels like stating the obvious to say that “evangelical voters” are not a monolith that can be reliably relied upon by any politician. But what should go without saying apparently needs repeating: To say “the evangelical vote” without any further specification is almost meaningless.

The Farm Bill mainly helps wealthy farmers
Vincent H. Smith, AEI

Most subsidized programs in the 2014 Farm Bill transfer income to wealthy farmers and related agricultural business.

How Net Neutrality Hurts Innovators and the Poor
Opportunity Lives

In 2015 the Federal Communications Commission released the Open Internet Order, at President Obama’s behest, to keep the internet “free” and “fair” and to protect users. Yet the very policies the Obama administration has pushed end up having an adverse on those they sought to protect: the poor and tech entrepreneurs.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
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On religious liberty: a surprisingly hopeful tale
James A. Sonne, San Fransico Chronicle

On the surface, 2015 was a stormy year for religious liberty. The topic made news more regularly and controversially than at any time in recent memory. In hindsight, however, there were also quiet points of consensus that should be hailed — and not only in their own right but also for their promise in resolving conflicts where agreement has so far proven elusive.

Can public employees be forced to pay union dues?
The Economist

On January 11th, when the justices hear arguments in Friedrichs v California Teachers Association, the future of public-sector unions in America will be on the table.

Epiphany Brings Thoughts of Christian Persecution in the East
Fr. George W. Rutler, Crisis Magazine

Iran and Syria are strategic allies now, and Christians there and in Iraq have a history no less complicated than the Magi, some dating their foundation to Saint Thomas the Apostle.

The problem with eliminating the payroll tax
Alan D. Viard, AEI Ideas

Unfortunately, a VAT has many of the same problems as the payroll tax. And using it to pay for Social Security would have repercussions for the program that the candidates haven’t thought through.