Today’s “Blast from the Past”

“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. Continue Reading...

Beyond the Party: Catholics and Government’s Moral Purpose

In the Acton Commentary this week, Dr. Samuel Gregg examines the “Historic Catholic Statement of Principles” released by House Democrats last week. Following is a brief statement of purpose from the official press release: …Signed by 55 House Democrats, the statement documents how their faith influences them as lawmakers, making clear their commitment to the basic principles at the heart of Catholic social teaching and their bearing on policy – whether it is increasing access to education for all or pressing for real health care reform, taking seriously the decision to go to war, or reducing poverty. Continue Reading...

Aid and the Mystery of Capital

Bono and the One Campaign want us to sign a petition encouraging the government to spend 1 percent of the U.S. budget for aid to developing countries. The One Campaign states that this would “transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation of the poorest countries.” Now I admire the intentions of Bono to fight against poverty and he puts his money where is mouth is. Continue Reading...

Texas Justice

If you think the justice system lacks a sense of humor, you better reappraise that thinking. Exhibit A: the 2-page opinion in a recent bankruptcy court motion in San Antonio (PDF). Continue Reading...

Opposing Viewpoints on Democracy

A past commentary of mine was featured in a recent book, Democracy: Opposing Viewpoints, published earlier this year by Greenhaven Press, an imprint of Thomson Gale. My contribution appears as part of Chapter 2: What Should Be the Relationship Between Religion and Democracy? Continue Reading...

Spurning the ‘Supernatural’

In a recent post on the evangelical outpost, Joe Carter makes the case for discarding, or at least severely restricting, the use of the descriptive term supernatural by Christians. He notes that in using the term to refer, for example, to angels and demons, “we are implying that they belong on the same plane or realm of existence as God.” One source of this implication is due to the fact that “we buy into the modernist notion that all of creation is physical and that angelic beings must necessarily exists on a ‘supernatural’ (i.e., nonphysical) plane separate and distinct from the material cosmos. Continue Reading...

Dueling Mommies

In her Townhall.com column this week, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Acton senior fellow in economics, takes Linda Hirshman, a retired professor at Brandeis University, to task. Hirshman has been making the news circuit touting her claims about negative trends among working women. Continue Reading...

Offshoring Spurs Productivity

Here’s a brief note about a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Service Offshoring and Productivity: Evidence from the United States.” According to the NBER digest, “service outsourcing is doing more than fueling an economic boom in the tech-savvy provinces of India. Continue Reading...

A Time of Flux for Electrolux

An interesting news story on local Grand Rapids television last night concerning the long awaited closing of an Electrolux plant. While the story was fair and optimistic, I got a bit of a kick out of soundbite from Chicago writer Richard Longworth who said: “A wonderfully decent way of life is now just being undermined by productivity, by the global economy.” Now, losing a job can be a terrible thing (its worth noting, though, that one of the workers in the story seemed glad to have the chance to “do something new” with his life–so sometimes change can be good as well). Continue Reading...