Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

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...

Fast-Food Fête

On the heels of a proposed city-wide tax on quickservice restaurants in Detroit, a state bill has been introduced in the Michigan House to implement a 2% tax on fast-food establishments. Continue Reading...

Attack of the So-Called Free Markets!

Economic reality is finally catching up with the big American automakers and their suppliers, as noted by Thomas Bray in Wednesday’s Detroit News: Around Detroit, the bankruptcy of giant auto parts maker Delphi Corp. Continue Reading...

Natural Justice, Eminent Domain, and Corporate Welfare

A man’s home is his castle, unless of course government officials need his property for a new strip mall or a hotel. Since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court dramatically expanded government’s eminent domain powers, some three dozen states have formulated measures to protect property owners from the Kelo v. Continue Reading...

Church-Backed International Development

In between dire warnings from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) about the evil neo-liberal economic order and calls for more money from its member denominations, this gem arrived today via Ecumenical News International: Church bank says its loans are at forefront of anti-poverty fight Utrecht (ENI). Continue Reading...

Ethical ‘Super Speculation’

This interview with Charles Sandmel, a veteran of the municipal bond market, gives us some insights into current trends in the ethical investing movement. Some key points: The leading market sectors over the last few years are in areas that “most of them [ethical investors] avoid, such as energy.” Ethical investors don’t buy “Big Oil because of the pollution problems.” Examples of ethical investments: wind turbine farms and facilities. Continue Reading...

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