Category: Video

On February 18th, the Acton Institute was pleased to welcome Jay Richards and Joseph Pearce to our Mark Murray Auditorium for an exchange on two distinct ideas on economics: Distributism vs. Free Markets. The gentleman’s debate was moderated by Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico.

Joseph Pearce, writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, and Director of the college’s Center for Faith and Culture, argued in favor of distributism; Jay Richards, Assistant Research Professor School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Executive Editor of The Stream, defended free markets. It was a lively exchange, and we’re pleased to present the video of the event below.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, March 11, 2016
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What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? The definition is rather straightforward: GDP is the market value of all finished goods and services, produced within a country in a year. But that’s not very useful in trying to understand the concept.

In this video by Marginal Revolution University, they recommend thinking ofthe economy as a giant supermarket, with billions of goods and services inside. At the checkout line, you watch as the cashier rings up the price for each finished good or service sold. What have you just observed?

The 2016 Acton Lecture Series continued on March 3rd at Acton’s Mark Murray Auditorium with an address by Acton Research Fellow and Producer of Poverty, Inc. Michael Matheson Miller. Miller’s topic for the day was “Technocracy and The Global Political Consensus.”

Many of our current political and social challenges center around the fundamental question of what it means to be a human being, and our understanding of what it means to live an authentic human life. The answers to these questions will have profound consequences for liberty, for the family, and for the kind of society we create. We’re pleased to present Miller’s examination of these vital questions via the video player below.

Since the era of Adam Smith economists have been asking, “What creates wealth?” One key answer is specialization and trade. On a timeline of human history, the recent rise in standards of living resembles a hockey stick — flatlining for all of human history and then skyrocketing in just the last few centuries.

As economist Don Boudreaux explains, without specialization and trade, our ancient ancestors only consumed what they could make themselves. How can specialization and trade help explain the astonishing growth of productivity and output in such a short amount of time—after millennia of famine, low life expectancy, and incurable disease?

There is something about an election season that tends to focus the mind on the problems in the world and, for many of us, cause us to feel uneasy. We may try to blame this anxiety on the state of the world, but there must be something more to it. We have a sense that something is truly wrong, as if objective standards are being violated.

In a BBC broadcast from August 1941 (which would later become a chapter in the book Mere Christianity), C.S. Lewis explains why we have reason to be disturbed: because there exists a Moral Law, because there is a Mind behind this Law who expects us to act in a particular manner, and because we have all fallen short of meeting this expectation.

On February 11th, the Acton Institute welcomed Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon senior research fellow in American principles and public policy at The Heritage Foundation, to discuss the vitally important issue of religious liberty as part of the 2016 Acton Lecture Series. Anderson is the author of Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom; in his lecture, he lays out the challenges and opportunities faced by religious Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision which judicially redefined marriage in the United States, and proposes strategies by which believers might respond to the new legal and social environment they now face.

Anderson’s lecture is available via the video player below; after the jump, you can listen to Anderson’s interview on a recent edition of Radio Free Acton as well.

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Blog author: jcarter
Friday, February 26, 2016
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Why are some countries rich and others poor?

The answer to that question is complex – and hotly debated. But economist Alex Tabbarok outlines several key ingredients to consistent economic growth -productivity, incentives, institutions – and explains how they are combined with factors such as a country’s history, ideas, culture, geography, and even a little luck.