Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

ATMs, bank tellers, and the automation paradox

In September 1969 the Chemical Bank branch in Rockville Center, New York opened the first automatic teller machines. The first ATM was only able to give out cash, but by 1971 the machine could handle multiple functions, including providing customers’ account balances. Continue Reading...

The real reason the economy is ‘rigged’

shutterstock/cnnmoney Vox recently published an article claiming that Charles Koch is right and Bernie Sanders is wrong about how the economy is rigged. Both agree that there are laws that unfairly favor some financially over others. Continue Reading...

Elon Musk on the Problem with Regulators

“Most of economics can be summarized in four words: ‘People respond to incentives,’” says economist Steven E. Landsburg. “The rest is commentary.” When governments create a regulation, they are creating an incentive for individuals and businesses to respond in a particular way. 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...