Sprawl Not So Bad

Robert Brueggman of the University of Illinois-Chicago offers a contrarian take on suburban sprawl in US News and World Report. I’m not as relativistic as Brueggman is with respect to the aesthetic question: A lot of suburban shopping centers, highways, and neighborhoods are ugly—or at least boring—and don’t deserve to be preserved in the longterm. Continue Reading...

Super-Size Government

“The political left in America is emerging victorious,” writes Patrick Chisholm, and its true because “the era of big government is far from over. Trends are decidedly in favor of that quintessential leftist goal: massive redistribution of wealth.” Over the past two decades, “Republicans’ capture of both Congress and the White House was, understandably, a demoralizing blow to the left. Continue Reading...

A Catholic Alternative to Europe’s ‘Third Way’

Proponents of social democracies claim that a large role for the state is important in tempering the profit motive of capitalism and creating a more humane and cultured state. Free markets, they argue, result in an inhumane and disintegrated society, while the social democracy models of Europe protect the weak and create social cohesion. Continue Reading...

Everyone is Valuable

An excellent post by Bryan Caplan at EconLog examines the intentions of eugenics against the actual effects of the implementation of such policies. His point? “Even if genetics explained ALL differences in success, many policies that raise average genetic quality would backfire.” The reason is the Law of Comparative Advantage, or the reality that “trade between two people or groups increases total production even if one person or group is worse at everything.” Read the whole post for his proof, using a hypothetical case of Brains vs. Continue Reading...

Discerning Threats to Marriage

Bill Robinson at The Huffington Post says that the real “enemies of marriage” consists of “those who treat it as a commodity, a temporary merger, a corporate buyout,” citing the impending fourth divorce of billionaire Ron Perelman. Continue Reading...

Feel-Good Hybrid Hype

Subsidize this! Richard Burr has an excellent commentary in the Weekly Standard on the growing — and for some reasons puzzling — popularity of hybrid vehicles. Puzzling because these things don’t get the promised gains in fuel economy and don’t seem to work very well. Continue Reading...

Armstrong on Government and Charity

John H. Armstrong tackles the question, “How Should Government Deal with Poverty?” He writes, “A regular argument made, at least from some evangelical political voices from the political left, is to cite numerous Old Testament texts about poverty and then suggest that one of the central concerns of a just government is to solve the problems associated with poverty.” He cuts to the heart of such fallacious reasoning, recognizing “No one who has an ounce of compassion disagrees that Christians should care about poverty and its associated social ills. Continue Reading...

The Church as ‘Hinge Point’

A couple of weeks ago, I noted the amazing “just do it” outpouring of compassion in response to the wildfires in the Central Plains. My small home town in Oklahoma was among those areas burned or seriously damaged by the fires. Continue Reading...

Christ and the Culture Wars

Mark your calendars: The Institute for the Study of Christianity and Culture at Michigan State University is hosting a conference on April 7-8 with the keynote address to be given by Dr. Continue Reading...

Does American Charity Cheat the Tax Man?

A Stanford expert on philanthropy argues that tax-deductible American charity is actually a government subsidy and that philanthropy is not ‘redistributive’ enough. Acton’s Karen Woods points out (obvious to most) that helping the needy is not the exclusive domain of the state. Continue Reading...