The Growing Backlash against Globalization

Actonites know about all the benefits of globalization. Most of these benefits are economic but also have much greater and often unseen social impact as well. Increased international trade in goods and services promotes division of labor and an efficient use of scarce resources, resulting in lower-priced, higher-quality products. Continue Reading...

Fair Trade Futility

I was intereviewed for this article in yesterday’s New York Times, but I apparently didn’t make the cut. Nevertheless, in “Fair Prices for Farmers: Simple Idea, Complex Reality,” Jennifer Alsever does an excellent job bringing to light some of the dangers that are inherent with external and artificial adjustments to the price mechanism. Continue Reading...

Offshoring Spurs Productivity

Here’s a brief note about a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States.” According to the NBER digest, “service outsourcing is doing more than fueling an economic boom in the tech-savvy provinces of India. Continue Reading...

A Time of Flux for Electrolux

An interesting news story on local Grand Rapids television last night concerning the long awaited closing of an Electrolux plant. While the story was fair and optimistic, I got a bit of a kick out of soundbite from Chicago writer Richard Longworth who said: “A wonderfully decent way of life is now just being undermined by productivity, by the global economy.” Now, losing a job can be a terrible thing (its worth noting, though, that one of the workers in the story seemed glad to have the chance to “do something new” with his life–so sometimes change can be good as well). Continue Reading...

The ‘Ecumenical’ Alternative

If you’re looking for more insight on, or perhaps simple confirmation of, the economic agenda of the ‘ecumenical’ movement (the World Council of Churches [WCC] the World Alliance of Reformed Churches [WARC], et al.), here’s an insightful little tidbit from Ecumenical News International: Pacific islanders are a source of hope for other Christian communities seeking a culturally-based communal economy based on sharing and cooperation, participants at a global church gathering have heard. Continue Reading...

Aid Does Not Equal Growth

The traditional formula for understanding the relationship between the developed and the developing world is the following: Aid = Economic Growth. That is, foreign aid spurs economic development in poorer nations. Continue Reading...

“Brain Drain” Reconsidered

A while back I mentioned a new book coming out questioning conventional wisdom on the “brain drain” problem caused by emigration from developing nations. The book will not be out for a while yet, but the author, Michele Pistone, has a long post on Mirror of Justice describing her findings and how they relate to traditional moral concerns raised by Catholic social teaching. Continue Reading...

Perusing Peru

Fr. Philip De Vous, chaplain of Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, KY and an adjunct scholar of public policy at the Acton Institute, writes of a recent trip to see operations of the Doe Run Company in Lima, Peru. Continue Reading...

Petrol-Socialism

Predictions, anyone? Chavez continues to flex his socialist muscles as he has now given ExxonMobil an ultimatum: either give him the controlling interest in their company, or lose their Venezuelan operation altogether. Continue Reading...

Respect My Food Sovereignty!

Much attention is on the World Trade Organization summit in Hong Kong. Here are a couple of ENI briefs on the WTO: Food, agriculture, subsidies grip faith groups as well as WTO Hong Kong (ENI). Continue Reading...