The Minimum Wage: A Denial of Freedom and Duty

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “The Minimum Wage: A Denial of Freedom and Duty,” I look at the concept of minimum wage legislation from the perspective of the employer/employee relationship. In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul sets down a moral principle: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” But Paul’s words seem also to imply the opposite positive principle, something like, “If you will work, you should eat.” Even so, I argue, it does not follow that the government should be the guarantor of this reality. Continue Reading...

The Acton PowerBlog Audience

Want to see where other readers of the Acton Institute PowerBlog are from? Check out the PowerBlog Frappr! map. Join the list of PowerBlog friends today. If the GetReligionistas can do it, so can we! Continue Reading...

Use GoodSearch, Advance Freedom and Virtue

Don’t forget, you can use GoodSearch to direct funds to the Acton Institute. Simply visit GoodSearch.com and type in “Acton Institute” in the “I’m supporting” field. When you click the “Verify” button, all of your searches conducted with GoodSearch will raise $0.01 for the support of freedom and virtue. Continue Reading...

‘The poor people’s God, the sinner’s God’

I’m reading John W. de Gruchy’s Confessions of a Christian Humanist, and despite some rather disagreeable elements to his theology, he does have quite a few valuable insights. Here’s what he says in the context of Nietzsche’s derision of Jesus Christ contained in The Anti-Christ: Christians should not disparage the body, human strength and bravery, or the aesthetic dimensions of life. Continue Reading...

Chimera Nomenclature

Another round of stories are out about the possibility of creating a modern-day wooly mammoth, Jurassic Park-style. The process would include injecting frozen wooly mammoth sperm into an egg of a closely related species. Continue Reading...

The Effects of Federal Unionism

According to figures recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal workers receive on average about double what private sector workers make: $106,579 vs. $53,289. These numbers are based on total compensation. Continue Reading...

‘Beyond Petroleum’ or ‘Big Problem’? UPDATED

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams is asking, “Was the BP pipeline problem preventable?” It seems that BP has allegedly been giving required maintenance to the pipeline short shrift: “Allegations about BP’s maintenance practices have been so persistent that a criminal investigation now is under way into whether BP has for years deliberately shortchanged maintenance and falsified records to cover it up.” BP shut down the Prudhoe Bay oil field earlier this week, after a “spill” resulting from “unexpected corrosion.” While BP shuts down the field to repair 16 miles of pipeline, there are concerns that about 400,000 barrels per day will be taken out of production, and will deprive West Coast refineries of a quarter of their supply. Continue Reading...

GM Bacteria and Malaria

“Scientists have discovered a way to help stop the spread of malaria by genetically altering a bacterium that infects about 80 percent of the world’s insects. Malaria is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites and kills more than a million people every year.” Source: “Genetically Altered Bacteria Could Block Malaria Transmission,” by Lisa Pickoff-White, The National Academies, Science in the Headlines, August 2, 2006. Continue Reading...

Local Help on the Street

We’re working through the meaning of the tenth anniversary of welfare reform, debating important ‘next phase’ issues like marriage and fatherhood and what those mean to helping people leave poverty…permanently. That debate about government’s appropriate role in addressing social need is important. Continue Reading...