Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Effective Compassion

Are You an Athlete or a Spectator?

Today at Ethika Politika, I caution against the sort of scapegoating that justifies ideologies at the expense of human effort: Do you support capitalism? Socialism? Distributism? Something else? Wonderful. What does that look like among the mess of market forms that actually constitute the economy you participate in every day? Continue Reading...

Notes on the Question of Inequality

French economist Thomas Piketty This summer’s issue of The City, which includes an article by myself on Orthodoxy and ordered liberty, opens with a symposium of five articles on “The Question of Inequality.” These include two articles on Pope Francis, two on French economist Thomas Piketty’s recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and one on the Bible. Continue Reading...

Happy Money

In his August 24, 2014 syndicated column Scott Burns tells of a study by Dunn and Norton who give five principles for having “Happy Money.” Buy experiences not things: go to Chicago rather than buy a new stuff. Continue Reading...

Which Inequality? Trends Toward Equality in Lifespans and Education

Earlier this month, I wrote a two part article for the Library of Law & Liberty, critiquing the uncritical condemnation of income inequality by world religious leaders. In part 1, I pointed out that “while the Pope, the Patriarch, the Dalai Lama, and others are right about the increase in [global income] inequality, they are wrong to conclude that this causes global poverty—the latter is demonstrably on the decline. Continue Reading...

When the Church Was the Center

This summer I made a visit to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and on a tour of churches, I heard a fascinating explanation of how society functioned when the church was the place where the poor had their material needs met, not the government. Continue Reading...

Every Market Form in a Single Chart

Reading through the German economist Walter Eucken’s work The Foundation of Economics (1951), I came across one of the most helpful charts for economic analysis I have yet to find. In it, Eucken gives every possible form of market in a single table: The Foundation of Economics, p. Continue Reading...

Progressivism Gone Awry

Saul Bellow is a writer who has affected me profoundly before. I have recently found a pair of essays given by him as part of the Tanner Lectures under the title, “A Writer from Chicago.” They are substantive and serious, and occasionally pithy. Continue Reading...

Audio: The Crucible of Poverty

Stuart Ray, Donn Weinberg, and Anielka Munkel discuss solutions to poverty – July 17, 2014 On July 17th, the Acton Institute hosted a panel discussion titled “The Crucible of Poverty: Perspectives from the Trenches.” The discussion examined the issue of poverty, with a focus on what strategies for poverty alleviation have worked, what strategies have failed, and how we can better help the most vulnerable among us. Continue Reading...