Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

Economic Turmoil in Zimbabwe

Where in the world would you pay $145,750 for a roll of toilet paper? According to an article in the New York Times, inflation in Zimbabwe is soaring higher than ever — about 900 percent since President Mugabe began seizing land from wealthy landowners in 2000. Continue Reading...

How Do You Spell Relief?

You may have heard about the debate in Washington that erupted late last week, as Senate Democrats and Republicans sought ways to respond to rising gas prices. According to Marketplace’s Hillary Wikai, the majority Republicans settled on “a $100 gas-tax rebate to be paid for by drilling in Alaska’s Wildlife Refuge.” Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow proposed “a $500 rebate but pay for it by cutting the tax breaks for oil companies.” She said, “We should instead put that money back in the pockets of the people paying the high gas prices.” But one other Democratic plan was to stop taking that money from the people in the first place, at least temporarily. Continue Reading...

Wanted: A Duke Lacrosse Team Hero

Duke University is embroiled in a sensational scandal involving its lacrosse team and allegations of sexual assault of a stripper at a wild party. But, as Anthony Bradley points out, the case is really symptomatic of a much larger problem in American society. Continue Reading...

Bigger and Better

When I was in college, living in the dorms, friends of mine would play a game called bigger and better. In this game, they would take an object–something that they owned–and trade it up for something that was worth a bit more to them, but worth a bit less to the person that they were trading with. Continue Reading...

Rights of Skilled and Unskilled Alike

An op-ed earlier this week in the New York Times examines the emphasis and attention that has been placed on the influx of low-wage immigrants to the United States. According to Steven Clemons and Michael Lind, “Congress seems to believe that while the United States must be protected from an invasion of educated, bright and ambitious foreign college students, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, we can never have too many low-wage fruit-pickers and dishwashers.” They base this conclusion on many of the measures and stipulations that have been put forth in the varieties of proposals, bills, and amendments flowing out of the latest discussions over immigration reform. Continue Reading...

Marriage in the City

In this week’s commentary, Jennifer Roback Morse takes a look at the socio-economic factors that influence the age at which young people aim to get married. Many are waiting. One reason why so many young people put off marriage unitl their late 20s or early 30s, says Morse, is that the cost of setting up an independant household is too high — unjustifiably high. Continue Reading...

Connecting France with Good Economics

It seems that it may be possible. An interesting article from yesterday’s International Herald Tribune: Danielle Scache tries to avoid using the term “capitalism” in her economics class because it has negative connotations in France. Continue Reading...

Chirac Waves the White Flag

French President Jacques Chirac has given in to the student protests in his country, protests that called for the removal of the First Employment Contract. This is a controversial new law giving employers greater freedom in whom they fire amongst under-26 employees. Continue Reading...

French ‘Security’ and Economic Reality

As student demonstrations in France mount, the government finds it increasingly difficult to dismantle restrictive labor laws that are directly tied to high unemployment rates. Michael Miller examines the political and cultural factors that are behind the French fear of economic risk taking. Continue Reading...

Budziszewski on Subsidiarity

Following up on yesterday’s entry about Ronald Aronson’s call for a renewed socialism in American politics, I offer this paragraph from J. Budziszewski’s book, What We Can’t Not Know. Discussing the principle of subsidiarity as first explicitly articulated by Pius XI in the encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, Budziszewski writes, As Pius explained, what pushed the principle of subsidiarity to the forefront was the crisis in civil society brought about by the industrial revolution. Continue Reading...