Dueling Mommies

In her Townhall.com column this week, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Acton senior fellow in economics, takes Linda Hirshman, a retired professor at Brandeis University, to task. Hirshman has been making the news circuit touting her claims about negative trends among working women. 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

Richard Longworth 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...

God and GM Foods

In the latest issue of Science & Spirit magazine, Acton director of research Samuel Gregg is interviewed about the ethical aspects of the genetic engineering of food. In “God and the New Foodstuffs,” author Trey Popp writes about the opposition to such endeavors: Some scientists and environmentalists fear GM crops may have unforeseen consequences. Continue Reading...

Economic Advice Pro Bono

An interesting piece in Tuesday’s Financial Times (registration req.) by Jagdish Bhagwati, economist at Columbia University. In the form of a letter to U2 front man Bono, Dr. Bhagwati offers a (I think) stinging criticism of attempts to save Africa through appeals for more governmental spending. Continue Reading...

He Said It

Yesterday I recommended Professor Plum’s EducatioNation, and I’ll do so again today. Here’s a tidbit from a recent post titled “We Need More Unions” on Prof. Plum’s blog: “Once again, America’s teachers unions reveal that all their blather about being child centered, about being stewards of America’s children, and about social justice and diversity, is nothing but a disguise for their real interest—which is self-preservation via monopolistic control of the means of education.” Prof. Continue Reading...

Ancient Wisdom for an Old Problem

Washington lawmakers are falling all over themselves to pass legislation aimed at curbing corruption in high places. But, as Kevin Schmiesing points out, the most effective solution to the problem has been known for hundreds of years: limited government and moral restraint. Continue Reading...

Beginning “The End of Poverty”

Bono and Sachs: Does The Edge feel left out? Although I am a year behind here, I have just started reading Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, paperback just released by Penguin (with a foreword by Bono!). Continue Reading...

The Cartwrights and Cowboy Compassion

I was watching my favorite rerun on TV Land the other day, Bonanza. If you don’t know Bonanza, you should. It’s perhaps the classic TV western, and I was watching episode #68 from Season Three, “Springtime.” One of Ben Cartwright’s friends, Jedidiah Milbank is injured during a roughousing mud-wrestling match between Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. Continue Reading...