Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Support Low-Income Parents Without Discouraging Marriage
Robert Cherry, Family Studies

Here’s one way to support low-income parents without discouraging them from marrying.

‘Rethinking Social Justice': A Call to Restore Biblical Compassion
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Social justice is an elusive concept because it means so many different things to different people. One often-used definition of social justice is “giving to each what he or she is due.” The problem is knowing what is “due.”

Why Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions Should Continue
Amy Hall, Stand to Reason

Since Time is saying “Now’s the Time to End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions,” it’s important we understand why our government has not taxed religious institutions in the past. I recently explained that one reason for non-profit tax exemptions is that “the power to tax implies the power to destroy” (McCullough v. Maryland, 1816), and our government has not been given the power to govern religion. But there’s more to it than that.

Free Market Capitalists Should Celebrate Ex-Im’s Demise, But the “Eternal Vigilance” Thing
Daniel J. Ikenson, Cato At Liberty

At midnight tonight, the gears of crony capitalism will grind to a halt at 811 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. After 81 years of funneling taxpayer dollars to favored companies, projects, and geopolitical outcomes under the guise of advancing some vague conception of the “U.S. economic interest,” the Export-Import Bank of the United States will end its financing operations at midnight tonight. No more subsidies to Fortune 100 businesses.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

9 Bastiat Quotes for his 214th Birthday
Amelia Hamilton, The Stream

Exactly 214 years ago this Tuesday, Claude Frederic Bastiat was born. Before his death just 49 years later, his work on political theory and economics would make him a leader in both fields. We now remember him as a father of the Austrian and libertarian schools of thought.

Obama Plans to Expand Overtime Eligibility for Millions
Mike Dorning, Bloomberg Business

The Obama administration plans to raise the wages of millions of Americans who work more than 40 hours a week by requiring their employers to pay them overtime.

The Poverty of the Prosperity Gospel
Vaneetha Rendall, Desiring God

When we assert that pain-free lives are God’s reward for the righteous, we insinuate to the wounded that their problems are of their own making.

Improving mobility for our kids: Starting early is key
Aparna Mathur, AEI

While there is no one statistical database that would capture all of these effects, it is clear that what matters for children’s mobility is parent’s income, family structure and geography. Here are the numbers.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Capitalism should stop being so self-serving
Archbishop Justin Welby, The Telegraph

If we relied solely on self-interest, society would collapse – but inclusive capitalism benefits everyone

In Victory For Small Businesses, Texas Ruling Eliminates Onerous Occupational Licensing
Carrie Sheffield, Opportunity Lives

Sometimes it’s all about the small victories. Yet as we have discussed here at Opportunity Lives, occupational licensing is no small problem that disproportionately harms the poor and the young. Some 29 percent of American workers are in jobs mandating these licenses, which are often lobbied for by incumbent business owners to shield them from fair competition.

ACLU: Why we can no longer support the federal ‘religious freedom’ law
Louise Melling, Washington Post

The ACLU supported the RFRA’s passage at the time because it didn’t believe the Constitution, as newly interpreted by the Supreme Court, would protect people such as Iknoor Singh, whose religious expression does not harm anyone else. But we can no longer support the law in its current form.

Supreme Court lets Obama administration say words don’t mean what they say
Michael Barone, AEI

For most people, words mean what they say. But not necessarily for a majority of Supreme Court justices in two important decisions handed down Thursday.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 29, 2015

Who is the philosopher who holds so much influence over Pope Francis?
Matthew Schmitz, Washington Post

“Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’s letter on the environment, has captured the world’s attention, but few have considered how heavily it draws on the work of a little-known German philosopher-priest.

The tangled web of low-income housing tax credits, the Fair Housing Act, and disparate impact
Alan D. Viard, AEI

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project that the Fair Housing Act authorizes lawsuits to challenge housing policies that have a disparate impact on racial minorities, even in the absence of discriminatory intent. As Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion explained, the Court’s holding is not supported by the text of the Fair Housing Act.

How a Supreme Court decision for gay marriage would affect religious institutions
David Masci, Pew Research

As the Supreme Court prepares to release its decision on gay marriage, some legal scholars and others are trying to determine how a ruling granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to wed might affect religious institutions. It’s a question on the minds of the justices too.

How the Supreme Court Housing Decision Will Hurt, Not Help, Poor Americans
Hans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal

The news about the Supreme Court’s abysmal decision in King v. Burwell, in which the majority assumed the job of Congress and rewrote an unambiguous provision of SCOTUSCare (formerly Obamacare) to change it, obscured the release of a second, similarly awful opinion by the court today.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court upholds broad housing discrimination claims
Lawrence Hurley, Reuters

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday embraced a broad interpretation of discrimination claims allowed under the landmark Fair Housing Act, handing a victory to civil rights activists who had feared the justices would rein in such lawsuits.

Religious Freedom Can’t Depend on a Whim
Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

It may be that even the Obama administration would not seek to lift the tax-exempt status of Catholic, Mormon, evangelical or even Orthodox Jewish institutions over their rules about gay relationships. But that is merely a momentary pause.

How John Roberts abandoned conservatives
Matt K. Lewis, The Week

If you believe that the purpose of the court is to rule on what the law actually says, not what it should have said, then Roberts has failed.

On Obamacare It’s the Supreme Court vs. Rule of Law
David Harsanyi,

Roberts, abandoning law, laments that Obamacare was drafted in a haphazard and vague way, right before ruling that laws can be implemented in any way the executive branch sees fit, as long as judges deem its intentions righteous.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Would You Ever Pay a Bribe?
Amy Medina

Would you ever pay a bribe? If you’re like most westerners, you’ve never really had to think about it. You’ve probably never been asked for one. The temptation has never been there. It’s a non-issue. Consider yourself blessed.

Business concerns stall minimum wage vote by L.A. County board
Abby Sewell, Jean Merl, and Sarah Parvini L.A. Times

The campaign to push Los Angeles County to significantly raise the minimum wage suffered an unexpected setback Tuesday, with a key county supervisor demanding a postponement to address complaints from small-business owners.

Schools Fear Impact of Gay Marriage Ruling on Tax Status
Laurie Goodstein and Adam Liptak , New York Times

Conservative religious schools all over the country forbid same-sex relationships, from dating to couples living in married-student housing, and they fear they will soon be forced to make a wrenching choice. If the Supreme Court this month finds a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, the schools say they will either have to abandon their policies that prohibit gay relationships or eventually risk losing their tax-exempt status.

Conservatives Really Do Have a Heart: Arthur Brooks’ Solutions for America
Jamie Jackson, The Daily Signal

Arthur Brooks was a liberal bohemian musician studying economics when he embarked on a journey that led him to conservatism. He realized, for instance, conservatives had more sufficient answers to solving America’s poverty problem, one of the many issues he writes about in a new book, “The Conservative Heart.”

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brother Glum, Mother Earth
Steven Malanga, City Journal

The pope’s encyclical on climate change ignores how markets and technology have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Pope Francis’ Call to Action Goes Beyond the Environment
Ross Douthat, New York Times

After this document, there’s no doubting where Francis stands in the great argument of our time. But I don’t mean the argument between liberalism and conservatism. I mean the argument between dynamists and catastrophists.

Dear Pope Francis: Here Are Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians
David Harsanyi, The Federalist

The Pope has been protected by the Swiss Guard since the 1500s— and those guys pack an array of high-powered contemporary weaponry to gets the job done.

The Greatest Good
Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

Inspired to make a meaningful donation, I wondered: What is the best charitable cause in the world, and was it crazy to think I could find it?

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pope Francis asks pardon from Waldensian Protestants for past persecution
Philip Pullella, Reuters

Pope Francis asked forgiveness on Monday for the Roman Catholic Church’s “non-Christian and inhumane” treatment in the past of the Waldensians, a tiny Protestant movement the Vatican tried to exterminate in the 15th century.

Pope Francis is actually bringing America’s environmentalism movement to its religious and moral roots
Mark Stoll, Washington Post

In early colonial days, Puritans following Calvinist principles established communities across New England. Calvinism put special emphasis on God’s presence in the works of nature, and Puritans often went alone into the fields, woods, and hills to pray and meditate.

The Case for Religious Liberty
A. Barton Hinkle ,

The case of Iknoor Singh highlights the importance of protecting religious freedom.

How the Declaration of Independence Differs From the Magna Carta
Michael Sabo, The Daily Signal

This month we celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, which secured rights for free Englishmen, and, more importantly, established what would later become the principle of the rule of law.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, June 22, 2015

Few Echo Pope’s Environment Plea in Sunday Sermons
Laurie Goodstein, New York Times

[F]ew priests or bishops — other than in parts of Latin America — used their own pulpits on Sunday to pass on the pope’s message, according to parish visits, interviews with Catholic leaders and reports from Catholics after Mass.

When Mike Rowe says “Work Ethic,” do you hear “Lazy”?
Brian M. Carney, Acculturated

When Mike Rowe, creator of the show Dirty Jobs, issued his S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, it prompted an unusually fierce debate: Is a work ethic now a partisan issue? Writing in the Washington Post, Hunter Schwarz argues that it is, like it or not.

Water Market Best Hope to Ease California Drought
Steven Greenhut,

As California’s drought enters its fourth year, policy makers here mostly argue over two alternatives – stepping up conservation and water-use enforcement or building new dams and other water-storage facilities. But the solution to the water crisis is more likely to be found on an application that can be downloaded onto our cellphones.

Supreme Court Says Texas Can Reject Confederate Flag License Plates
Adam Liptak, New York Times

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Texas did not violate the First Amendment when it refused to allow specialty license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag. Such plates, Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the majority, are the government’s speech and are thus immune from First Amendment attacks.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, June 19, 2015

Magna Carta: The birth certificate of the rule of law
John Steele Gordon, AEI

The Magna Carta, thought a dead letter two months after it was written, lived on to become nothing less than the birth certificate of the rule of law.

Are You Christian? Forget About Doing Yoga!

The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church reacted to the UN’s decision to designate June 21 as International Day of Yoga in 2014. The Holy Synod’s statement says that the practice of yoga has “no place in the lives of Christians” since it is a fundamental aspect of Hinduism and as such is not considered a “form of exercise” but of worship!

The Return of Catholic Anti-modernism
R. R. Reno, First Things

n this encyclical, Francis expresses strikingly anti-scientific, anti-technological, and anti-progressive sentiments. In fact, this is perhaps the most anti-modern encyclical since the Syllabus of Errors, Pius IX’s haughty 1864 dismissal of the conceits of the modern era.

House panel advances rider to block Internet rules
Mario Trujillo, The Hill

The House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill Wednesday that includes a policy rider to block newly implemented net neutrality rules temporarily.