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...

Orthodoxy and Economic Liberty

In the most recent issue of The City, I have an essay on Orthodoxy and ordered liberty. I argue that Orthodox theological anthropology, which distinguishes between the image and likeness of God and two forms of freedom corresponding to them, fits well with the classical understanding of ordered liberty. 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...

Some Thoughts on Economic Patriotism

Sic semper tyrannis, eh? The Burger King acquisition of Tim Hortons and the resulting plans to move the corporate headquarters under the taxing authority of the Canadian government is being derided by some as unpatriotic. 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...

The City Mouse and the Country Mouse

Over at the Federalist, Gracy Olmstead wonders “what happens when people bring the country to the city?” She goes on to argue that “urban farming could have conservative implications and outworkings—and we should encourage these endeavors as much as possible, in our efforts to bring traditional principles back to urban environments.” Is there a way to bring the city mouse and the country mouse together? 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...

Platitudes Make For Poor Policies

A platitude is a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound. Politicians love platitudes, which is why we have laws with names like the Clean Air Act, the Pure Food Act, the Fair Sentencing Act, and the Anti-Puppy Kicking Act (okay, I made up that last one). Continue Reading...