Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

When Life Has Killed the American Dream

When I talk about my time growing up in Los Angeles with my mother, I often describe her motivations for going to Hollywood like this: “She wanted to be a movie star…which means she was a waitress.” That’s a pretty common experience in an industry as competitive and grinding as film. Continue Reading...

Making The Family Farm Profitable

There is much nostalgia about America’s agricultural past that many seem incapable of releasing. But the reality is forcing a new narrative about the family farm. In an era of globalization and government subsidizing large agribusinesses, family farmers have no choice in the near future but to diversify the use of their land and do something that is actually profitable. Continue Reading...

A Failure to Save

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc This first appeared in my newsletter, Economic Prospect, in late 2008. Looking back after five years I still like it. The American failure to save is matched by our insistence on spending to have it all. Continue Reading...

Sachs Misses The Civil Society Mark (Again)

Over at the New York Times, economist Jeffrey Sachs opines about the need for greater measures to “end poverty” in countries across the world where people are truly suffering. Using data from the World Bank, Sachs reports that the proportion of households in developing countries below the extreme-poverty line has declined sharply from 52 percent in 1980, to 43 percent in 1990, 34 percent in 1999, and 21 percent in 2010. Continue Reading...

College and the Value of a Paycheck

Floyd “Money” Mayweather Over at Think Christian today, I explore the connection between higher education as a means to greater earning power in “The myth of lucrative college majors.” I argue that “the size of a paycheck is not the only factor worth considering,” and go on to detail what a paycheck does and does not represent. Continue Reading...

Creating Large Retail Deserts In Washington, D.C.

As politicians continue their surrogate decision-making in the lives of the underclass, Washington, D.C. city politics remain a laboratory for repeated public policy failures. The Washington, D.C. city council recently approved a measure that would create a living wage for workers in the city who are employed by large retailers. Continue Reading...

Blacks as Mascots of Progressivism

There are times when you have to imagine that black justice pioneers like Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the like, must be turning in their graves at the nonsense circumstances that black Americans find themselves in in 2013. Continue Reading...

Maximizing Labor, Minimizing Wages

For this week’s Acton Commentary, ahead of Labor Day weekend, I write about “working harder and smarter,” lessons we can learn from Ashton Kutcher and Mike Rowe. One of the implications of connecting hard work with smart work is that the difficulty of work on its own does not determine its value in the marketplace. Continue Reading...

The Blessed Business of Beer

A recent story from Catholic News Service highlights an interesting encounter between markets and monasticism, a subject that I have commented on before, this time centered around the Monastery of St. Continue Reading...