Category: PowerLinks

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pope Francis, Economics, and Poverty
James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic World Report

Comments made by Cardinal Bergoglio in 2010 shed light on his understanding of capitalism, work, and the poor

Casinos’ worrying knack for consumer manipulation
Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist

The spread of machine gambling offers a portent of other economic developments.

Common Core: Twenty-First Century Peonage
Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

It is a bag of rotten old ideas doused with disinfectant; its assumptions are hostile to classical and Christian approaches to education; it is starkly utilitarian; its self-promotion is sludged up with edu-lingo, thick with verbiage and thin in thought; its drafters have forgotten, if they ever knew, what it is to be a child.

C.S. Lewis on Progress in Economics and Politics
Art Lindsley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

Lewis also had a great deal to say about “progress” in economics and politics, even though he did not often comment on these topics.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lord Acton and the Importance of Economic Education
R.J. Moeller, The American Spectator

As a kid, I always hated even just the thought of summer school. But during my grad school years, Acton U became a refreshing oasis I looked forward to every year.

In Malaysia, Battle Over Christian Use of “Allah” Intensifies
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Officials from the Selangor state Islamic Religious Department, aided by police, yesterday raided the Bible Society of Malaysia and seized 321 copies of the Bible that use the term “Allah”.

Are Markets Just?
R. Mark Isaac, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

To the economist, there are numerous well-known advantages to a system of well-defined and enforceable property rights.

Another Problem Obamacare Won’t Solve: Health Costs
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg

People who got access to Medicaid used doctors more than people who didn’t. But they also used the ER more

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, January 6, 2014

Do Christians Threaten Religious Liberty?
R. R. Reno, First Things

Jews ought to back away from any alliance with Christians when it comes to the contraceptive mandate, argues Yishai Schwartz in Tablet.

Why intact families are key to shared American prosperity
James Pethokoukis, AEI Ideas

Family structure is often neglected when policymakers discuss income mobility, stagnation, and inequality. But it matters a lot whether kids, especially ones in working class and lower-income families, grow up with both biological parents.

The Magi and the Eternal Effect of Our Work
Hugh Whelchel, The Gospel Coalition

Who knows how God will use what we do today to further his kingdom tomorrow.

It’s Not Every Day You Get to Save a Five-Year-Old’s Life
Don Fornes, A Million Little Ways

What if your business is primarily commercial and not, well, saving the world?

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, January 3, 2014

A Flurry of Lawsuits Involving School Choice
Mary C. Tillotson, Reason

Nothing sparks court challenges like trying to expand education options.

The Normal, Drama-Free, Totally-Healthy Christian Homeschool Movement
Ruth Moon, Christianity Today

In a culture that loves shock value, typical evangelicalism rarely makes news

United Nations too Christian, claims report
The Guardian

Study calls for greater religious tolerance with Hinduism and Buddhism under-represented and funding a major issue

Report On Freedom of Religion or Belief Prisoners Issued
Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Nine countries hold prisoners on blasphemy or defamation of religion charges. The countries with the most freedom of religion or belief prisoners are China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and South Korea.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, January 2, 2014

Subsidiarity: Why is It Praised More than It is Practiced?
James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

Subsidiarity is a basic principle of Catholic social teaching. Like other such principles, it is praised more than practiced, because it is at cross purposes with the outlook that now governs our public life.

Attacks on religion, liberty
Robert P. George and Katrina Lantos Swett, Philadelphia Inquirer

What can we do to save Christian and other religious minorities?

New Egyptian constitution gives greater freedom to Christians
Carey Lodge, Christian Today

Barnabas Fund has given thanks in its prayer update for a new draft of the Egyptian constitution that grants additional rights to Christians and marks a significant move away from the fundamental Islamic laws that have dominated in the past

Limited Government Solves Constitutional Violations
Walter E. Williams, Investor’s Business Daily

The problem our nation faces is very much like a marriage in which one partner has an established pattern of ignoring and breaking the marital vows.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam
Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, AsiaNews.it

Islam is at a crossroads: either religion is a way towards politics and towards a politically organized society, or religion is an inspiration to live and love more fully.

The 10 Worst Regulations of 2013
James Gattuso and Diane Katz, The Foundry

There are many things 2013 will be remembered for, not least the miles of red tape that were imposed on Americans

“The Struggle against Scarcity:” Arthur Lovejoy and Roepke
Ralph Ancil, The Imaginative Conservative

There is a double meaning to the conventional economist’s use of the phrase the “struggle against scarcity.”

Philanthropy’s Original Sin
William A. Schambra, The New Atlantis

Philanthropy has many wonderful qualities — and never tires of proclaiming them, for one quality it sorely lacks is humility.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, December 30, 2013

Americans turning to ancient music, practices to experience their faith
Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post

“It’s the recognition that Christianity didn’t start when someone got an electric guitar,” said Ed Stetzer who runs Lifeway Research

Conservatives and Poverty
Peter Wehner, Commentary

According to Myers, while those in ancient Rome did participate in alms giving, in Roman and Greek culture there wasn’t the compassion for the poor that was present in Jewish and Christian understanding because “there was nothing like Yahweh’s love for the oppressed in their moral imagination.”

What Francis can do on anti-Christian persecution
John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter

Maybe Francis can be to the early 21st century what John Paul was to the late 20th, meaning a pope who genuinely changes history.

Westminster and Economic Justice
Steven Wedgeworth, The Calvinist International

The Westminster Larger Catechism has a comprehensive treatment of the moral law, and its treatment of the eighth commandment is particularly interesting. With certain small modifications, these statements are representative of the older universal Christian tradition.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Friday, December 27, 2013

Sci-Fi Is Socialist, Like Most Art
Todd Seavey, The Federalist

Maybe there is room for more visionary science fiction?

The Aid Debate Is Over
William Easterly, Reason

The failure of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages.

Wealth: Learning & Discovery
George Gilder, The Imaginative Conservative

We begin with the proposition that capitalism is not chiefly an incentive system but an information system.

How Then Should We Tackle Income Inequality?
Tyler O’Neil, Christian Post

While Bible scholars agreed that income inequality is not in itself wrong, they attacked the distribution of wealth in modern America as unfair and proposed solutions to it.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Thursday, December 26, 2013

Do you even want to win the culture war?
James Chastek, Just Thomism

Perhaps the church had its run of control over the world, but it’s better off now that its lines of evangelization are characterized by freedom, reason, and legitimate parental authority.

Why All Americans Should Support Hobby Lobby’s Case Against Obamacare
Evan Bernick, The Foundry

The plight of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts business whose owners are being forced to compromise their faith, instantly draws the sympathy of religious conservatives. But why should anyone else care?

Can a Church Refuse to Sell Property Because of a Buyer’s Religion?
Mark Movsesian, First Things

Is it legal for a church to refuse to sell church property solely because of the buyer’s religion? You’d think there would be an easy answer, but I haven’t been able to find one.

What are some of the biggest problems with a guaranteed annual income?
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Whether on grounds of justice, practicality, or just public choice considerations (“you can keep your current welfare payments if you like them”), we should not expect everyone to be paid the same under a guaranteed annual income.

Blog author: jcarter
posted by on Monday, December 23, 2013

Don’t Be a Scrooge This Christmas
R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

The high degree of commerce at Christmas is driven by one thing: the buying of gifts for others. To present our friends and families with gifts is not an ugly, ignoble vice.

Restorative Justice Programs – An Alternative to State-Centered Punishment
Derek Cohen, The Federalist

The underlying problem is viewing the government as the victim of crime, instead of the individual who was actually harmed. Restorative justice programs are a better alternative that return us to the original conception in western civilization of a crime as one person harming another.

Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare’s Insurance Mandate, ‘Unaffordable’ Exchanges
Avik Roy, Forbes

The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes that Obamacare’s offerings are unaffordable.”

How Can Economic Law Help Us Fulfill the Cultural Mandate?
Shawn Ritenour, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

A proper understanding of economics is crucial for our obeying and fulfilling the cultural mandate given to us by God in the first two chapters of Genesis.