Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Effective Compassion

Federal Dorms

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the closing of a federal housing loophole. The full article is accessible only to subscribers, so I’ll summarize. College students for a number of years have been taking advantage of Section 8 (federally subsidized housing) rules to live in “projects” while they go to school. Continue Reading...

How To Kill a Small Charity

With a gracious spirit, let’s say that [url=http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c109:1:./temp/~c109UcVNaR:e173273:]Section 317[/url] of [url=http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:1:./temp/~c109UcVNaR::]Senate Tax Relief Act of 2005[/url] was penned with the intent of fostering honest accountability in the charity world. And, furthermore, let’s graciously allow that the legislation was designed to send the message that the Internal Revenue Service is vigilantly watching over the donation of tax-deductible clothing and household goods. Continue Reading...

The Moral Dilemmas of End-of-Life Care

I’ve written about the narrower problem of generational conflict as it relates to social security policy, here and here. From a perspective that encompasses the broader, related cultural, economic, and moral issues, Eric Cohen and Leon Kass write in Commentary the most thoughtful and thought-provoking piece I’ve read on the matter of intergenerational responsibility and end-of-life care. Continue Reading...

One Man’s Trash…

Sometimes one man’s trash is just trash. “Most people have no clue what’s involved with taking a garbage bag of stuff and getting it to the person who needs it,” said Lindy Garnette, executive director for SERVE Inc., a Manassas-based nonprofit that operates a 60-bed homeless shelter and food bank. Continue Reading...

Wise Generosity II

More evidence surfaces of the necessity of using discretion when giving charitably. Not too many readers of this blog will be surprised that the United Nations is not the most efficient entity in the world. Continue Reading...

Wise Generosity in the Season of Giving

Karen Woods, Director of Acton’s Center for Effective Compassion, reminds us to be wise as we engage in charity: Good intentions are not enough. The most significant giving season of the year is no time to relent in our vigilance to avoid the unintended consequences of hurricane recovery (or in any other social need area either). Continue Reading...

Theroux on African Development

Paul Theroux, a former Peace Corps volunteer, indicts what he calls the “more money” platform, headed by none other than U2 frontman Bono, in a NYT op-ed, “The Rock Star’s Burden.” “Those of us who committed ourselves to being Peace Corps teachers in rural Malawi more than 40 years ago are dismayed by what we see on our return visits and by all the news that has been reported recently from that unlucky, drought-stricken country. Continue Reading...

Results Matter

A Boston-based program operated by clergy and police officers, the Boston Re-Entry, was denied further funding for their ex-convict re-integration program, seemingly and at least in part because they were not forthcoming about their program’s results. Continue Reading...

Self-Interest Run Amok

Anyone familiar with the Acton Institute knows we appreciate the work of economists. But we also object when economists overreach and try to apply useful tools and concepts in inappropriate ways. Continue Reading...

Freedom to Give

The Salvation Army Bell Ringers are now audibly calling us to seasonal charitable giving. But the pleas from multiple organizations for our benevolence—from both unprecedented terrorist attacks and natural disasters to the ever-present needs of our less fortunate neighbors—have been virtually ongoing since 9/11. Continue Reading...