Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Who’s looking out for ya, baby… I know I’ve been enjoying the falling oil prices of late when filling up my minivan’s gas tank. At the height of the post-Katrina and Rita oil price spike, I was paying upwards of $70 to fill the thing up. Continue Reading...

‘Addio, Dolce Vita’

That’s the title of this week’s survey of Italy in The Economist. The news for Italy is quite depressing. Its economic growth is the slowest in Europe, behind even France and Germany, its productivity is down while its wages are up, and a massive demographic crisis looms. Continue Reading...

The True Cost of Everyday Low Prices

A consensus has developed among activists on the left that Wal-Mart is bad for America, and particularly bad for the poor, not only in America (where wages are supposedly driven down) but also abroad (where suppliers allegedly abuse and exploit their workers). Continue Reading...

“…and then carry the one…”

Four hundred MILLION dollars! Whoops. This week, GM retracts its earnings report from four years ago, saying it overstated its profits by somewhere between $300-400 million dollars. The tendency with a story like this is to cry “fraud!” and then denounce corporate America for its inherently corrupt nature. Continue Reading...

The Moral Legacy of Rosa Parks

Black Americans have enjoyed only a mixed record of progress in the fifty years since Rosa Parks took her seat on that Montgomery bus. Anthony Bradley examines her legacy and the nature of liberty in today’s America. Continue Reading...

Saving Small-Town America

For those of us who harbor some nostalgic sentiment for this country’s agrarian past… I’ve written previously about the corrosive effect of subsidies on American agriculture. Now, Denis Boyles, in a thoughtful piece on NRO, notes from a similar perspective the importance of entrepreneurial thinking in preserving the agricultural towns of rural America. Continue Reading...

What Sarbanes-Oxley Hath Wraught

Aaah, the magical soothing balm that is government regulation! The delightfully titled Now Batting for Pedro Borbon blog (“Manny Mota…Mota…Mota”) reveals the (predictable) results of governmental efforts to “increase transparency” in the business world: So, let’s review. Continue Reading...

Gracious Competition

So often we are bombarded with news of businesses accusing others of unfair trade practices, intentional competition smashing, monopolization, etc. Every once in a while, its good to hear about the good business that goes on, the appreciation that one company has for another, and a customer oriented view of production. Continue Reading...

Taxing the Wages of Sin

A lively discussion is going on over at the evangelical outpost on the idea of the “sin tax,” spurred on by Rev. Sirico’s paper on that subject. A key point to remember: once the state gets to decide which activities are immoral (but not illegal) and has a vested financial interest in them, you’ll find more and more activities becoming “sins.” Exhibit A: eating fast food. Continue Reading...

Sin is Not Cost Effective

Dr. Jennifer Morse, a senior fellow in economics for the Acton Institute, argues in this week’s Acton commentary that the key road-block to successful economic development in impoverished nations is the lack of good “moral qualities, like the even-handed enforcement of law, and the transparency of government.” Dr. Continue Reading...