Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, February 27, 2014

In San Jose, generous pensions for city workers come at expense of nearly all else
Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

In San Jose and across the nation, state and local officials are increasingly confronting a vision of startling injustice: Poor and middle-class taxpayers — who often have no retirement savings — are paying higher taxes so public employees can retire in relative comfort.

How to Fix Our Appalling Tax Code
Dave Camp, Wall Street Journal

There have been so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10 times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News.

Subsidiarity Calls Us to Live Like Catholics
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

Subsidiarity is integral to a social doctrine based on natural law rather than technology. That ought to be a feature rather than a bug, but in today’s world it means no one can make sense of it or apply it coherently.

Why Income Inequality Has Little to Do with Poverty
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Income inequality can reflect theft and abuse of power, and in those situations, we must stand up and stop it. However, income inequality is a natural part of the human condition, and when a result of well-functioning, voluntary trade protected by a rule of law, it can be the sign of a vibrant society full of opportunities for the rich and the poor.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ukraine Names Baptist Pastor as Acting President
Timothy C. Morgan, Christianity Today

After 88 die in protests, Ukrainian evangelicals call nation “to learn to love yesterday’s enemies.”

Some inconvenient facts for income inequality worriers
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

The reform conservative movement seeks to strengthen the middle class, reform the safety net, and increase the rewards for low-income work. At the same, it rejects crony capitalist policies that enable vast wealth through government favor rather than innovation

The Pope’s radical call to the new evangelization
Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, L’Osservatore Romano

American Cardinal on the message of this Pontificate

UN Commission Finds Severe Human Rights Abuses, Including Religious Persecution, In North Korea
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights announced yesterday the release of the report of a commission of inquiry on human rights abuses in North Korea

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The War on Humans
Wesley Smith, First Things

[B]eginning in the late 1960s, a subversive misanthropy began to gestate within environmentalism. This view does not see the earth and the fullness thereof—in the Biblical turn of phrase—as ours to develop responsibly for human benefit, but instead castigates humans as a “disease” (or “parasites,” “maggots,” “cancer,” take your pick) afflicting the planet, best treated with the antibiotic of radical human depopulation and implacable opposition to economic growth.

Reasonable Hope for Our Secular Age
An interview with Greg Forster, The Gospel Coalition

For Christians in the secularizing West, the days of privilege have ended. And that’s not entirely a bad thing.

Rikers Island Tackles Rearrest Rate With Country’s First Social Impact Bond
Ken Stier, Free Enterprise

What is different is the way the program is being funded — through the country’s first social impact bond. With the innovative financing option, Goldman Sachs’ [Urban Investment Group] is lending the city $9.6 million to fund the program for four years. The bank would only get repaid — plus interest —if the program succeeds in reducing recidivism.

Texas’s Cost-Benefit Guide to Choosing a College
Fawn Johnson, The Atlantic

A new website offers data on tuition, fees, and potential earnings from the state’s public universities.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, February 24, 2014

Holding the Ropes
Andrew Walker and Daniel Darling, First Things

How religious liberty helps advance the gospel.

Why We’re Keeping a $1 Million Koch Gift
John Garvey and Andrew Abela, Wall Street Journal

This Catholic university won’t cave to demands made by the liberal social-justice movement.

Religious Freedom Bill Riles Gay Rights Supporters
Bob Christie, Associated Press

The Arizona Legislature gave final approval Thursday evening to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.

Ukraine president exits Kiev; protesters take over
Maria Danilova and Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press

Protesters took control of Ukraine’s capital on Saturday, seizing the president’s office as parliament sought to oust him and form a new government.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, February 21, 2014


Kiev monastery a sanctuary for the bloodied and bruised

Matt Robinson, Reuters

It was a scene of quiet determination and order, a short walk uphill from the black smoke and violence of Independence Square, crucible of a geopolitical battle between Russia and the West.

Dalai Lama: A ‘Marxist’s’ new respect for capitalism
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

A fascinating bit from the Dalai Lama’s chat at a recent AEI event.

Where Does “Separation of Church and State” Come From and What Does It Really Mean?
Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition

It’s not uncommon for advocates of the “high and impregnable wall” misunderstanding of the metaphor to suggest that Jefferson’s own policies were incompatible with his own principles (e.g., endorsement of federal funds to build churches, support of Christian missionaries among the Native Americans, etc.).

Inequality’s Inconvenient Truths
Seth Mandel, Commentary

What they need most, then, is job creation. The Brookings study finds that cities with high inequality are better at producing wealth–and for good reason. The job market in such cities tends more toward growth industries.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Role of Faith in Public Life
Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today

Examining the intersection of faith and politics: What do pastors think?

Going Global: House Hearing Documents Worldwide Persecution of Christians
Andrew E. Harrod , Juicy Ecumenism

Persecution of Christians is the “premier human rights issue of the early 21st century, as well as the most untold story about global Christianity in our time,” Boston Globe reporter John Allen stated in prepared remarks on February 11, 2014.

When Work Disappears
Ross Douthat , New York Times

I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest that this future, however potentially inevitable, would represent a grim retreat from basic American ideals.

Common Core’s Surprise Critic: Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Calls Standards ‘Completely Botched’
Rob Bluey, The Foundry

The country’s largest teachers union is no longer a cheerleader for Common Core national education standards.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Truth About the ‘One Percent’
James Piereson, Wall Street Journal

The typical ‘rich’ person works for a salary. Only 18% are in the financial industry.

Alexander Hamilton: An Unorthodox Conservative Mind
Mark DeForrest, The Imaginative Conservative

The dispute over Hamilton’s place within the conservative tribe is a reflection of the unorthodox nature of Hamilton’s approach to politics and law. Yet, Hamilton’s work was essentially conservative in its nature, even if many within current conservative circles are profoundly uncomfortable with much of Hamilton’s legacy.

Bake Us a Cake, or Else!
Ryan T. Anderson & Leslie Ford, National Review

Marriage laws should not treat religious believers as bigots to be purged from the public square.

What Is Stewardship – Really?
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Many Christians in the church today view stewardship only as giving money to the church. Even those who understand stewardship as the godly management of their time, talent, and treasure are still missing something. We have lost the idea of “whole-life stewardship” taught in the Scriptures.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blessing of weapons and Orthodox Christians
Fr. Ernesto Obregon, Ortho Cuban

It is in the context of a forced means of action, in the context of war being an evil, in the context of defending one’s neighbors or restoring justice that has been violated that the prayers over weapons and soldiers takes place.

What Is the US Doing About Religious Persecution Worldwide?
John Burger, Catholic World Report

While President Obama calls religious freedom a “key objective of US foreign policy,” experts question how high a priority combating persecution really is.

When Policy Choices Become Moral Mandates
Stephen M. Krason, Crisis Magazine

Two recent newspaper articles—one in the Catholic and the other in the secular press—illustrate the need to be skeptical about claims that particular public policy approaches are morally necessary.

Why Private Property Rights Help the Poor
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

In order to be made alive and active, in order to become capital, the land under the feet of the poor—much of which lacks formal ownership—needs to be formalized through property laws that allow these assets to be used for credit like allowing mortgages, loans, etc.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, February 17, 2014

The Presidential Bible Class
Tevi Troy, Wall Street Journal

Abraham Lincoln’s diligent reading of the Good Book informed the Gettysburg Address.

The HHS Mandate Meets an Immovable Object
Ken Starr, National Review Online

RFRA was written to be easily strong enough to favor Hobby Lobby.

Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving
N. Gregory Mankiw, New York Times

A fact that’s lost in the inequality debate: The top 1 percent of wage earners often accomplish extraordinary things, and at great risk.

Adoption and Foster Care: An Issue We Can’t Ignore
Kristie Eshelman, Values & Capitalism

“Not everyone can adopt,” Graham noted, “but everyone can care for a child in need,” by supporting a foster care family, financially or otherwise.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, February 14, 2014

National Marriage Week: Fight Poverty by Strengthening Marriage
Rachel Sheffield, The Foundry

What’s one of the best ways to ensure a child is protected from poverty? Marriage. As such, it also helps protect families from ending up on welfare.

How the West Won—but “Western Civ” Lost
Rodney Stark, Intercollegiate Review

It’s remarkably unfashionable to study—or even talk about—the West these days.

Labor exploitation threatens millions of African children
Charles Braddix, Baptist Press

Every day millions of children in Africa are at risk of being exploited, resulting in slave-like working conditions. Their childhood is forever lost.

Ayn Rand and Christianity: An Interview with Mark David Henderson
Elise Amyx, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Having grown up with a Christian father and atheist stepfather who adhered to Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, Henderson is passionate about reconciling the differences and concentrating on the unity between these two worldviews.