On Thursday, June 16th, it was a great pleasure to welcome William B. Allen – Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy and Emeritus Dean of James Madison College at Michigan State University – as a plenary speaker at Acton University 2016, to deliver an address entitled “A Moral Surprise: The Common Foundation of Christianity and Modern Politics.” Allen used his address to argue that true political freedom requires freedom of conscience as its foundation – a freedom of conscience that cannot itself be the product of political freedom, but is rather a divinely ordained gift. You can view his presentation below; Allen has also graciously provided the text of his presentation as well, which you can download here. And after the jump, I’ve included the video of Allen’s 2014 Acton Lecture Series presentation, which he references during his speech.
Student debt has become a hot issue this election season, with both Democratic candidates — Clinton and Sanders — offering proposals for forgiving student loans.
But what would happen if the U.S. actually forgave student debt? Would the loans simply vanish? Would tuition prices decline?
Economist Don Boudreaux explains what really happens and why “debt forgiveness” merely transfers the debt to others.
Acton University is a unique conference, a fact noted by Nobel Economics Laureate Vernon L. Smith, who used his appearance on Wednesday, June 15 as an opportunity to “speak on a topic that my fellow economists would never have asked me to speak on”: religious faith and its compatibility with modern science.
We’re pleased to present Smith’s lecture below.
Trump promises he’ll be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” And Sanders says he’d spend $18 billion to create jobs. But can the president actually create jobs? And if so, do we want the government to do so?
In this brief video, economist Don Boudreaux discusses what happens when the government takes tax money from some businesses to create jobs in others.
With Great Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union, media outlets have been looking for commentary to explain the motivations for the move and the likely consequences, and Acton’s experts have risen to the challenge.
Acton’s Director of International Outreach Todd Huizinga – author of The New Totalitarian Temptation, which provides a great deal of insight and background on the European Union – joined BuisnessWeek contributor Eric Schiffer on Newsmax Prime on Friday evening to discuss the vote and its aftermath, and Director of Research Samuel Gregg – author of Becoming Europe, another fine resource for those interested in the problems faced by the EU (and the US) – joined host Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio’s Kresta in the Afternoon to share his thoughts on the move and the likely economic consequences of Brexit for Britain and the rest of the European Union. Video and audio are posted below.
Americans produce a lot of trash — about 7.1 pounds per person per day. Out of that, less that one-quarter gets recycled. Should we be recycling more?
As scholar Daniel K. Benjamin explains, it depends on the item being recycled. For some trash, recycling uses up more resources than would creating the material from scratch. In this brief video, Benjamin provides some helpful rules of thumb about when you should and should not bother to recycle.
During her evening plenary presentation, Magatte Wade asked the audience to raise their hand if they cared about poverty alleviation; hands went up all over the room. She followed up by asking how many in the room had checked the doing business index recently; far fewer hands went up.
It’s easy to forget that the most powerful poverty alleviation tool is a job, and that jobs are more plentiful in those parts of the world where it is easier to do business. Wade, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Tiossan, used her time on the stage of Acton University to show the power of entrepreneurship to change perceptions and lift up the poor. You can view her presentation below.