Republicans Gone [Buck] Wild

I have previously commented on the failure of Republicans in Congress to exert any semblance of fiscal discipline, and have suggested that limited government principles do better when governmental power is divided rather than being dominated by one party, whether Democrat or Republican. Continue Reading...

The Minimum Wage: A Denial of Freedom and Duty

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The Minimum Wage: A Denial of Freedom and Duty,” I look at the concept of minimum wage legislation from the perspective of the employer/employee relationship. In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul sets down a moral principle: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” But Paul’s words seem also to imply the opposite positive principle, something like, “If you will work, you should eat.” Even so, I argue, it does not follow that the government should be the guarantor of this reality. Continue Reading...

Chimera Nomenclature

Another round of stories are out about the possibility of creating a modern-day wooly mammoth, Jurassic Park-style. The process would include injecting frozen wooly mammoth sperm into an egg of a closely related species. Continue Reading...

The Effects of Federal Unionism

According to figures recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal workers receive on average about double what private sector workers make: $106,579 vs. $53,289. These numbers are based on total compensation. Continue Reading...

‘Beyond Petroleum’ or ‘Big Problem’? UPDATED

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is asking, “Was the BP pipeline problem preventable?” It seems that BP has allegedly been giving required maintenance to the pipeline short shrift: “Allegations about BP’s maintenance practices have been so persistent that a criminal investigation now is under way into whether BP has for years deliberately shortchanged maintenance and falsified records to cover it up.” BP shut down the Prudhoe Bay oil field earlier this week, after a “spill” resulting from “unexpected corrosion.” While BP shuts down the field to repair 16 miles of pipeline, there are concerns that about 400,000 barrels per day will be taken out of production, and will deprive West Coast refineries of a quarter of their supply. Continue Reading...

GM Bacteria and Malaria

“Scientists have discovered a way to help stop the spread of malaria by genetically altering a bacterium that infects about 80 percent of the world’s insects. Malaria is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites and kills more than a million people every year.” Source: “Genetically Altered Bacteria Could Block Malaria Transmission,” by Lisa Pickoff-White, The National Academies, Science in the Headlines, August 2, 2006. Continue Reading...

Local Help on the Street

We’re working through the meaning of the tenth anniversary of welfare reform, debating important ‘next phase’ issues like marriage and fatherhood and what those mean to helping people leave poverty…permanently. That debate about government’s appropriate role in addressing social need is important. Continue Reading...

Scarcity and Innovation

“Throughout history, shortages of vital resources have driven innovation, and energy has often starred in these technological dramas. The desperate search for new sources of energy and new materials has frequently produced remarkable advances that no one could have imagined when the shortage first became evident.” So says Stephen L. Continue Reading...

Sew Efficient

US News and World Report has a little feature on a drapery company that has expanded into more distant markets and thereby grown. The article identifies trade agreements and technology as paving the way for such expansion by many small, local businesses. Continue Reading...