Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, December 2, 2016
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Study finds churches with conservative theology still growing
Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service

Since the 1960s, overall membership in mainline Protestant Christian churches has been dropping in both the U.S. and Canada. But some congregations have continued to grow, and a team of researchers believes it now knows why. It’s the conservative theological beliefs of their members and clergy, according to researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University and Redeemer University College in Ontario.

Why Welfare and Work Go Hand-in-Hand
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

To understand why welfare programs are politically popular, consider the word. Well. Fair. ‘Welfare’ seems to embody something that makes our society healthier, happier and more just. Something inherently moral and deserving of unquestioning support. For decades, supporters of welfare have used this understanding to protect welfare programs from reform.

What Persecuted Syrians Can Teach Us About American Politics
Mindy Belz, TGC

My persecuted brethren have given me important inspiration during a strange and disorienting American election. They have long been aliens in their own culture, though their roots run deeper than those who now torment them. Here in America, it’s not unusual for Christians to feel disconnected in a sometimes-toxic American culture, but it’s disorienting to feel the divisions within the church, over an election, and to see name-calling, insults, and recrimination continue after the votes have been counted.

What Is the Biblical Basis for Human Dignity?
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

As a Christian, I do not believe that human beings have intrinsic dignity. I am totally committed to the idea that human beings have dignity, but the question is, is it intrinsic or extrinsic?

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 1, 2016
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A trade policy that wouldn’t leave low-wage workers behind
Edward Conard, AEI

Free-market advocates can find common ground with blue-collar workers.

Affluenza: the sickness of the rich
Tamara El-Rahi, Mercatornet

Privileged youth are checking themselves into a rehab of sorts.

Iraqi Christians returning to villages destroyed by IS
Sally Nabil, BBC

Iraqi Christians who have returned to the village of Qaraqosh near Mosul have spoken of the devastation left behind by so-called Islamic State.

The Federal Idea
Wilfred McClay, The Imaginative Conservative

The concept of federalism has been one of the principal casualties of modern American history. One has to look far and wide to find American historians and political scientists who do not believe, with the smugness and tenacity of dogma, that our federal institutions are lumbering relics of a past we outgrew over a century ago, relics that have been little more than obstacles in the path of national unity and racial justice, and in any event have little or no place in a modern consolidated nation-state.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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The Ethical Argument for Free Trade – Daniel Hannan on Brexit
Alex Manning and Nick Gillespie, Reason.com

Hannan believes the U.K. should take charge of its own economic destiny. “I want people to be making the ethical argument for free trade as the supreme instrument of poverty alleviation, of conflict resolution and of social justice,” Hannan says.

Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse
Nicholas Casey, New York Times

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s richest countries, flush with oil wealth that attracted immigrants from places as varied as Europe and the Middle East. But after President Hugo Chávez vowed to break the country’s economic elite and redistribute wealth to the poor, the rich and middle class fled to more welcoming countries in droves, creating what demographers describe as Venezuela’s first diaspora.

Pope Francis: Grace, not money, must guide financial choices of religious
Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

“The hypocrisy of consecrated men and women who live like the rich wounds the consciences of the faithful and damages the church,” Pope Francis wrote to treasurers of religious orders who were in Rome for a symposium on economics and religious life.

Meet the Christian Who Transformed the U.S. Mint
Bethany Jenkins, TGC

In 2006, when Ed Moy became director of the U.S. Mint, employee morale was incredibly low. The Best Places to Work in Federal Government ranked it number 211 out of 217 Federal agencies. No one wanted to work there, and Ed wanted to change that.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
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How Castro is Like the Minimum Wage
Bryan Caplan, EconLog

In my mind, then, Castro is a lot like the minimum wage: something we must stubbornly decry even though there are far greater ills in the world.

How Do You Solve Crony Capitalism?
James R. Rogers, Library of Law and Liberty

“Crony capitalism” is the idea that politically well-connected owners of productive factors – land, labor, capital, entrepreneurial skill – can use the government’s coercive power to limit competition and increase their return on those factors. More generally, it’s the use of the coercive powers of the state to redistribute resources to specific groups and their associates.

From prisoner to entrepreneur
Gerard Robinson and Elizabeth English, AEI

Finding employment is by far the most difficult — and critical — part of the reentry process for returned citizens. But survey data suggests that over half of those released from prison are unemployed for up to a year after being released.

Your 9-to-5 Is Not in Vain
Andre Yee, Desiring God

What do you do when you experience fruitlessness or even failure in your work? How do you respond when your hard work yields poor results?

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, November 28, 2016
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Conservative Lawmakers Say Current Welfare System Is ‘Anti-Family’
Kelsey Harkness, The Daily Signal

With a new Republican administration in tow, conservative lawmakers are renewing their call for welfare reform that incentivizes families rather than punishing them.

One Way Trump Could Strike an Immediate Blow Against Cronyism
Tom Rogan , Opportunity Lives

Seeking election, Donald Trump promised his supporters three things: a wall to prevent illegal immigration, protectionist trade reforms and restrictions on political cronyism. But out of these three, only Trump’s anti-cronyism agenda attracts support from across the U.S. political spectrum.

Judge blocks Obama administration rule extending overtime pay
Catherine Garcia, The Week

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant of Texas blocked a rule by the Obama administration extending mandatory overtime pay, deciding it runs counter to the federal law that governs who is eligible for overtime.

The Costs of Being Poor
Adam D. Reich, The American Prospect

Two new books explore how difficult the housing market and criminal justice system make it to climb out of poverty.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, November 25, 2016
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Aiming at abundant lives — and livelihoods
John Scott, Washington Times

As the second-generation owner of a commercial construction company near Washington, D.C., I have explored the driving force behind my work. I prayed for a vision and landed on this: Use your influence to create environments where people can experience abundant life.

Unlearned Lessons in Haiti
T. Norman Van Cott, FEE

No one asked why Haiti’s land was left bare, or why their houses were destroyed easily.

The Emotional Labor of Waitressing
Adrieene Green, The Atlantic

Marie Billiel, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years, talks about having to have a ”mask on” for eight hours at a time.

Bitcoin was supposed to change the world. What happened?
Timothy B. Lee, Vox

What went wrong? The Bitcoin community has been hampered by a dysfunctional culture that has grown increasingly hostile toward experimentation. That has made it difficult for the Bitcoin network to keep up with changing market demands.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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Thanksgiving Was a Triumph of Capitalism over Collectivism
Richard M. Ebeling, FEE

Two years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the original number of the Plymouth colonists.

What Is a Christian’s Responsibility to Government?
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The New Testament gives us some broad principles on how we are supposed to respond to government. For example, Romans 13 elaborates on the origin and institution of government as something that God ordains.

Nebraska Senator Moonlights as an Uber Driver
Kirstin Fawcett, Mental Floss

Cash-strapped millennials aren’t the only ones who understand the value of a side hustle. As CNN reports, Republican senator Ben Sasse, who represents Nebraska, spent last Saturday night working as an Uber driver.

In biblical lands of Iraq, Christianity in peril after ISIS
Moni Basu, CNN

Behnam Lalo crunches over jagged glass and tiptoes around a fallen altar, burned Bibles and a decapitated porcelain Virgin Mary. He picks up a cross from a heap of rubble and wipes away ashes with his priest’s robes.