Explainer: President Obama’s FY2017 Budget

What is the President’s budget? Technically, it’s only a budget request—a proposal telling Congress how much money the President believes should be spent on the various Cabinet-level federal functions, like agriculture, defense, education, etc. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What You Should Know About School Choice

In honor of the sixth annual National School Choice Week, here are some facts you should know about school choice in America. What does “school choice” mean? The term “school choice” refers to programs that give parents the power and opportunity to choose the schools their children attend, whether public, private, parochial, or homeschool. Continue Reading...

The Odds are Never In Our Favor

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I take a look at “The Moral and Economic Poverty of the Lottery.” I take a look at the main parties involved: the winners, the players, and the government, and conclude, “Far from a force for good, lotteries are a danger to society.” The problems with lotteries and gambling more generally are various and sundry. Continue Reading...

Cultural Stewardship and Institutional Scrutiny

In today’s Acton Commentary, I have some further reflections on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The basic thrust of the piece is to encourage institutional thinking. We should expect that humans are going to institutionalize their goals because humans are natural institution builders, or culture makers. Continue Reading...

How Can We End Hunger in America?

What does it mean to be hungry in America? And how do we solve the issue of domestic hunger? To answer those questions, Congress created the bipartisan National Commission on Hunger, a group tasked with providing “policy recommendations to Congress and the USDA Secretary to more effectively use existing programs and funds of the Department of Agriculture to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity.” The commission recently released a report on their findings and recommendations. Continue Reading...

There is No Free Lunch—or Free Red Tape

It was once a common practice of saloons in America to provide a “free lunch” to patrons who had purchased at least one drink. Many foods on offer were high in salt (ham, cheese, salted crackers, etc.), so those who ate them naturally ended up buying a lot of beer. Continue Reading...

Facebook and the Institutional Forms of Social Good

Over at Think Christian, I take a look at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and derive a lesson from Jesus’ interaction with the rich young man in Mark 10. A basic lesson we can take from the decision to organize the initiative as an LLC rather than a traditional non-profit corporation is that pursuing social good is possible in a wide variety of institutional forms. Continue Reading...