Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

Toward a Government-Run Gambling Monopoly

Radley Balko, blogging at Cato@Liberty (he also blogs at The Agitator), writes about the creeping campaign in Washington state to crack down on internet gambling. A new law would impose “up to a five-year prison term for people who gamble online,” but since passage has also been used to “to go after people who merely write about gambling.” Citing an editorial in the Seattle Times, the law prohibits not only online betting but also transmitting “gambling information.” The legitimacy of the state government’s efforts against gambling are undermined by the fact that Washington state itself runs and promotes a lottery: “It’s good to play.” The motives of the government are clearly mixed…gambling is acceptable but only if sanctioned and promoted by and enriching to the state. Continue Reading...

Not Enough Funding? Maybe Too Much…

“Amtrak officials seem to be working hard to patch up the older parts of the system. But recent delays serve as only the latest reminder that Amtrak’s problems are not bad management so much as stingy government. Continue Reading...

Cameroon Catholics Combat Corruption

The Vatican recently concluded a conference on corruption (insert joke about ‘knowing whereof they speak’). It was an impressive array of speakers, including World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, and many sensible things were said. Continue Reading...

Who Will Protect Kosovo’s Christians?

Seven years after the United Nations assumed control of the Serb province of Kosovo, talks are underway about its future. Orthodox Church leaders for the minority Serb population, which has been subject to attacks for years by Muslim extremists, are hoping to forestall mounting pressure to establish an independent state. Continue Reading...

Immigration Reform, French-Style

“As we look at how the immigration debate is unfolding, there are reasons to be concerned about the rule of law,” Jennifer Roback Morse writes. “The mass demonstrations of the past weeks reveal a much more sinister development: the arrival of French-style street politics in America.” Read the complete commentary here. Continue Reading...

The Birds and the Bees

For some reason, I get the impression that both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the editorial board of the NYT need a lesson in the birds and the bees. The NYT criticizes Putin’s plan to address falling population levels in Russia “with a wide range of subsidies and financial incentives, along with improved health care, a crackdown on illicit alcohol, improved road safety and the like.” Thankfully for the future of humanity, the NYT has a different suggestion: “Perhaps another approach would be to see whether the population could be increased through improved democratic institutions.” I hate to have to point this out, but populations don’t increase through government programs, policies, or “improved democratic institutions.” They increase as the aggregate result of the successful procreative acts of human beings as blessed by God. Continue Reading...

Corporatism Redux: Latin America, the Left, and the Church’s Challenge

Many are alarmed as Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia veer toward leftist class-struggle politics and socialist economic policies. But, as Sam Gregg points out, the potent combination of state-authoritarianism, populism, nationalism and xenophobia — or “corporatism” — seen today in Latin America was also present in European fascist governments in the 1930s, and later during the regime of Argentina’s Juan Peron. Continue Reading...

The Long Arm of Corruption

As the immigration debate continues, commentators dig deeper in the search for the “sources of the problem.” Many have rightly pointed out that a healthier Mexican economy would alleviate the need that spurs many Mexicans to seek financial recourse across the border. Continue Reading...

Clear Thinking on Immigration

Andrew Yuengert, the author of Inhabiting the Land – The Case for the Right to Migrate, the Acton study on immigration, looks at the current debate and debunks some common misconceptions. Continue Reading...

Spelling Relief II

Jordan pretty well covered the territory in his earlier post on gas prices. But with the silliness from both Republicans and Democrats ongoing, it can’t hurt to suggest two additional sensible treatments of the subject: Thomas Nugent on National Review Online, and Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute on FoxNews. Continue Reading...