Category: PowerLinks

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.

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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Patriarch Sako on Christian Persecution: ‘Is This Not a Crime Against Humanity?’
Pravmir

“In one night, 120,000 Christians left their homes just with their clothes and have been living in camps for one and a half years. Is this not a crime against humanity?”

Seeing The West As Worse
Joel Kotkin, Orange County Register

In the aftermath of San Bernardino and Paris massacres, our cognitive leaders – from President Obama on down – have warned Americans not to engage in what Hillary Clinton has described as “a clash of civilizations.” But you can’t have a real clash when one side – ours – seems compelled to demean its traditions and values.

Can You Glorify God as an Economist? Arthur Brooks on Religion, Economics and Poverty
Napp Nazworth, Christian Post

If your purpose in life is to glorify God, why become an economist? Christian economist Arthur Brooks answered this question at a November Faith Angle Forum.

‘Hamilton’ and the Romance of Government
Eve Tushnet, The American Conservative

The hit Broadway musical risks becoming a love song to America’s regime.

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, January 4, 2016
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The public thinks the average company makes a 36% profit margin, which is about 5X too high
Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas

When a random sample of American adults were asked the question “Just a rough guess, what percent profit on each dollar of sales do you think the average company makes after taxes?” for the Reason-Rupe poll in May 2013, the average response was 36%!

It’s Time for a ‘Persecuted Christians First’ Foreign Policy
Jason Jones and John Zmirak , The Stream

We must love our enemies, but not at the cost of letting them murder our friends.

Pope Francis urges an end to ‘indifference’ in 2016
Catherine Garcia, The Week

Speaking to thousands of people below him in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis shared his wishes for peace and compassion from a window in the Vatican on Friday.

Everything You Need to Know for Making an Annual Plan that Honors God and Gets Things Done
Glenn Brooke, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Far too many of us build an annual plan, file it away, and (maybe) don’t review it until it’s time for the end-of-year performance review or end-of-year report to donors or shareholders.

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 31, 2015
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Five Poverty Busters You Should Know
Bruce Wydick, Christianity Today

Why? Because research shows they are making a real difference.

Why Is the Middle Class Shrinking?
Steven Horwitz, The Freeman

A close look at the data shows that the middle class has shrunk since 1971 because more members of the middle class have moved up the income ladder than down it.

Why I am not a ‘capitalist’
James Pethokoukis, AEI

The short form should be called innovism, meaning trade-tested betterment, because if it’s just innovation that isn’t enough. President Obama thinks he can tell people that wind power is a good innovation. But innovation is not enough. It has got to be tested, whether it is profitable, to work.

The Most Educated Poor in History
Bryan Caplan, EconLog

“As the adults migrated up the educational bins, they took the poverty into the higher educational bins with them”