Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

Jesus Christ, a Small Businessman at Work

Mark Tooley of IRD highlights a talk by Michael Novak, “Jesus Was a Small Businessman.” Speaking to students at the Catholic University of America, Novak observed: When he was the age of most of you in this room, then, Jesus was helping run a small business. Continue Reading...

How IKEA and Innovation Help Refugees in Iraq

When looking for solutions to humanity’s problems, conservatives and libertarians tend to prefer turning first to free markets rather than government. The reason for such a preference is often misunderstood, and can be difficult to explain since it appears paradoxical: free markets are often better at serving human needs than governments because free markets make it easier to fail. Continue Reading...

What is Innovation?

“Most CEOs now spray the word ‘innovation’ as if it were an air freshener,” says Dennis Berman in the Wall Street Journal, “A little spritz can’t hurt.” A prime example, notes Berman, is what Kellogg’s CEO John Bryant described as one of their company’s most important “innovations”: a peanut butter Pop-Tart. Continue Reading...

Liberating Our Labor

“I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build!” At Slate Miya Tokumitsu writes that the motto “Do What You Love” really functions as a kind of capitalism-supporting opiate: “In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism.” While Tokumitsu singles out Steve Jobs, perhaps Howard Roark might agree. Continue Reading...

Discerning Between Service and Disservice

“‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say–but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’–but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Cor. Continue Reading...

MLK, Jim Crow, and the Rule of Law

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., like most mortals, evokes a certain ambivalence regarding what should be celebrated and what should be rightly critiqued. There are certainly parts of his life and thinking that warrant correction, rebuke, and challenge, but this will be true of all us if we live long enough. Continue Reading...

What the Oregon Medicaid Study Tells Us About Big Government

If a large Oregon study is any indication, says Jonathan Witt in this week’s Acton Commentary, the Affordable Care Act may drive up frivolous emergency room visits and do little to improve people’s physical or economic health: In essence, the healthcare industry becomes the enabler in a lucrative game in which patients put off needed lifestyle reform, opting instead for prescription pills, surgeries and conversations about “genetic predispositions.” None of this gets at the root problem, and indeed exacerbates the root problem. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What is Net Neutrality?

In a ruling that has significant implications for the future of the Internet, an appeals court has ruled that the FCC cannot impose so-called “net neutrality rules.” What exactly is net neutrality? Continue Reading...