The sharing economy: How do we maintain a culture of ownership?

As we survey the modern economy, individual ownership appears to be on the demise. We see an increasing preference for access over ownership and collaborative consumption, from the streaming- and cloud-centric features of the latest technology to the increasingly “share-happy” habits of American consumers amid a burgeoning “gig economy.” On the surface, such a shift would seem to bring endless benefits: more options, more flexibility, better quality, cheaper prices, fewer risks, and (presumably) more freedom. Continue Reading...

Sentimentalism in the Church: a modern epidemic

Involvement in the Christian Church should never be characterized by self-centeredness. Christianity, by definition, is a religion that emphasizes sacrifice and selflessness. However, a recent shift towards religious sentimentalism raises questions about the desire for truth in the modern-day. Continue Reading...

How Michigan’s licensing laws hinder the disadvantaged

Proponents of greater government intervention often argue that some freedoms are well worth sacrificing for greater social stability or public health and safety. Such is particularly the case with occupational licensing and other micro-regulations, where the government routinely imposes barriers with the stated aims of “protecting consumers” or “stabilizing industries.” But while such regulations may overly technical and practical, the cost of the corresponding freedoms is far from abstract. Continue Reading...

Business Matters: Meaningful Work in the Modern Age

Like everything else in 2018, business has an emotional and often polarizing effect in our society. There are, of course, legitimate stories of business behaving badly. One high-profile example: the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle that thrust the social media giant into the spotlight with a data breach affecting 87 million users. Continue Reading...

How garbage collectors thread the fabric of civilization

In a short film from StoryCorps, sanitation workers Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves reflect on their time spent sharing a garbage route in Manhattan’s West Village. Their story offers a striking portrait of the dignity, meaning, and transcendent value of work done in the service of neighbors. Continue Reading...

Against job-shaming: ‘Cosby’ actor reminds us of the dignity of work

After a decades-long career in film, theater, and education, actor Geoffrey Owens decided to take a part-time job as a cashier at Trader Joe’s. When customers and news outlets began posting photos of the actor bagging groceries, the resulting comments included a mix of mockery and what Owens describes as “job-shaming.” Fortunately, according to Owens, “the shame part didn’t last very long.” “It hurt…I was really devastated,” Owens explained on Good Morning America, “but the period of devastation was so short.” Owens soon received countless messages of praise and celebration—many from fellow actors—encouraging him and affirming the value of his work. Continue Reading...

Where criminal justice reform meets the redemptive power of work

According to a recent study by the Rand Corporation, “more than 2 million adults are incarcerated in U.S. prisons,” with roughly 700,000 leaving federal and state prisons each year. Of those released, “40 percent will be reincarcerated.” It’s a staggering statistic—one that ought to stir us toward greater reflection on how we might better support, empower, and equip prisoners in connecting with social and economic life. Continue Reading...

The folly of ‘following your passion’

If you’re a young person in America, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded by calls to “follow your passion,” “pursue your dreams,” or “do what you love and love what you do.” But do these sugary mantras truly represent the path to vocational clarity, economic abundance, personal fulfillment, and human flourishing? Continue Reading...

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