Category: Video

On December 1st, Acton welcomed Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies Ilya Shapiro to the Mark Murray Auditorium to speak on the role of the federal judiciary in the growth of government. The lecture, delivered as part of the 2015 Acton Lecture Series, emphasized the importance of judges’ both having the right constitutional theories as well as the willingness to enforce them. Shapiro argues that too much judicial “restraint” — like that of Chief Justice John Roberts in the Obamacare cases — has led not only to the unchecked growth of government, but also toxic judicial confirmation battles in the Senate and even our nation’s current populist moment.

We’re pleased to share Shapiro’s full presentation below.

Few questions loom as large for parents and students these days as the question of how to afford a college education. College costs have been rising for decades, and all too often, students rely heavily on student loans and graduate with significant debt loads that they spend years paying off.

Alex Chediak, professor of engineering and physics at California Baptist University, has tackled this question and provided parents and students with an invaluable guide in his book Beating the College Debt Trap, and on November 21st he joined us at the Acton Institute’s Mark Murray Auditorium to share his insights.

We’re pleased to share the video of his presentation below.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 6, 2017
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When it comes to government programs for redistributing income, nothing is quite as malevolently effective as state lotteries. Every year state lotteries redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans (who spend between 4-9 percent of their income on lottery tickets) to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers.

This video by Cracked shows what a lottery ad would be like if the government-run business was forced to be honest: “The only reason it stays legal is because the government is the profiteer of your hopeless dreams.”

“A lot of doom and gloom types say we’re living in dark times. But they’re wrong,” says economist Donald J. Boudreaux. “While there are real problems, the world has never been healthier, wealthier, and happier than it is today. Over a billion people have been lifted from dire poverty in just the past few decades.”

As we enter into a new year here at Acton, we still have some items from 2016 to share with you. On October 3rd, we were pleased to welcome Karl Zinsmeister, Vice President of Publications at the Philanthropy Roundtable, to speak on the importance of philanthropy in the United States.

Philanthropy in America is a bursting, bubbling impulse that has vital effects on almost every sector of our society. Private action to solve public problems is one of the practices that most distinguishes the U.S. from other nations, and continues to play a crucial role in keeping our communities healthy and our economy burgeoning. Zinsmeister shares the inspiring story of American philanthropy drawing from the recently published Almanac of American Philanthropy, which he was instrumental in compiling.

You can watch the presentation below.

Every year we hear the same laments about Christmas presents. Economists are fond of saying gift-giving is inefficient and wasteful, while many Christians complain that it is driven by commercialism.

But how did the tradition start? How did the idea of gift-giving at Christmas move from the marketplace to the home? In this short video, Ryan Reeves explains the history of Christmas presents.

Trusting strangers not only makes our lives easier, it makes our country more prosperous. As economist Tim Hartford says, “One of the underrated achievements of the modern world has been to develop ways to extend the circle of trust by depersonalising it.” How do we create and extend these “circles of trust”?

In this video, Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, talks about the basic elements of trust and how to build trust.