Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

The Bond of Fellowship

I was reading an essay that I found in an old book I bought in Vermont. Dr H.J. Laski (Oxford and Yale) wrote, “The less obvious the differences between men in the gain of living, the greater the bond of fellowship between them.” In other words the less we talk about differences between the rich and poor, the better we will all like each other and get along. Continue Reading...

A Letter on Work and Worth

The following is a letter written in response to a post from my friend Brad Littlejohn on the topic of the minimum wage.  Dear Brad, Thank you for your thoughtful and substantive engagement on the question of the minimum wage. Continue Reading...

The Christmas Tree as a Source of Wonder

Related to some recent discussions about the market for Christmas trees, an irreducibly commercial aspect of the holiday, I ran across this delightful post about a little-known poem by T.S. Eliot, “The Cultivation of Christmas Trees.” In this piece, Eliot introduces the Christmas tree as a source of wonder for children, a source which can be cultivated into maturity so that at the end of times the fullness of the Christmas message might be harvested. Continue Reading...

Keep Calm and Christmas On

In this week’s commentary, I examine the link between delayed gratification and civilization. I use the image of children waking up on Christmas morning to a cornucopia of presents under the tree. Continue Reading...

Utopia is a Relative Concept

Shannon Love reminds us that what great-great-grandparents would consider utopia is what we consider modern life: Star Trek is often used as a starting point for musing about this or that utopia because everything in Star Trek seems so wonderful. Continue Reading...

The Fountainhead of Bedford Falls

[Note: A version of this article ran last year around Christmastime. I’m posting it again because I love talking about Frank Capra and everyone else seems to love talking about Ayn Rand.] Frank Capra and Ayn Rand are two names not often mentioned together. Continue Reading...

O Tannenbaum and Fair Trade

A couple of further points in reply to Micah Mattix’s response on buying Christmas trees, based on his original post here. 1) I think Mattix’s characterization of the buyer as “selfish” goes a bit too far, and is not an accurate characterization of a good deal of market activity. Continue Reading...

5 Minute Explainer: Competitive Federalism

Concepts you should know about explained in five minutes (or less). Leo Linbeck III, President and CEO of Aquinas Companies, provides an explanation of competitive federalism and how competition and governance relate in society. Continue Reading...