Kuyper, The Problem of Poverty

Readings in Social Ethics: Abraham Kuyper, The Problem of Poverty. References below are to page numbers. With next week’s reading of Rauschenbusch in view, here’s how Kuyper evaluates Christian socialists: “Socialists constantly invoke Christ in support of their utopias, and continually hold before us important texts from the Holy Word. Continue Reading...

Evaluating the New Sanctuary Movement

Across America a group of Christians have banded together to promote a movement to protect illegal aliens from deportation. This is not a new phenomenon at all. What is a little different, at least about some aspects of this renewal of an older movement, is that it has now focused primarily on protecting Mexicans, who are living illegally in the U. Continue Reading...

Japanese Comics and Cultural Economics

A few weeks ago I was listening to a very engaging American RadioWorks documentary, rebroadcast from last October, “Japan’s Pop Power.” The show focused on the increasing cultural imports to America coming from Japan, which by some estimations will soon dwarf industries typically associated with American-Japanese trade like automobiles, technology, and electronics. Continue Reading...

The New (Green) Robber Barons

What do you call titans of industry who influence governmental regulation to provide them with tax and subsidy incentives to make a business venture profitable? They used to be called robber barons…now apparently they’re “eco-millionaires.” The NYT piece gives a brief overview of four such figures: Bruce Khouri “did not found Solar Integrated until 2001 once tax and subsidy incentives made the market more attractive.” Pedro Moura Costa says he “saw the carbon market could be big business and the Kyoto Protocol confirmed my views.” According to David Scaysbrook, “tax breaks, subsidies and emissions caps had prompted even more conservative investors ‘to finally move off their perch.'” And “Neil Eckert, chief executive of Climate Exchange, which runs the main European exchange for carbon trading, has shares worth about 18 million pounds ($36 million). Continue Reading...

John Wesley, ‘The Rich Man and Lazarus’

Readings in Social Ethics: John Wesley, “The Rich Man and Lazarus.” References below are to page numbers. A warning on the dangers of riches: “‘There was a certain rich man.’ And it is no more sinful to be rich than to be poor. Continue Reading...

Confessing Evangelical Economics

A number of comments have been floating around the blogosphere related to the news coming out of Colorado last week that a professor at Colorado Christian University was terminated because “his lessons were too radical and undermined the school’s commitment to the free enterprise system.” Andrew Paquin, who taught global studies, reportedly assigned texts by Jim Wallis and Peter Singer. Continue Reading...

STAND on ‘Wristband Activism’

STAND, the Student Anti Genocide Coalition, is discussing Kaylin Wainwright’s Acton commentary about Darfur and campus activism on its blog. STAND, which says it has founded 700 chapters, answers Kaylin’s criticisms about campus “slacktivism” by pointing to its effective engagement on the Darfur issue. Continue Reading...

CARE Says ‘No’ to Federal Money

From today’s NYT: “CARE, one of the world’s biggest charities, is walking away from some $45 million a year in federal financing, saying American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help.” “If someone wants to help you, they shouldn’t do it by destroying the very thing that they’re trying to promote,” said George Odo, a CARE official who grew disillusioned with the practice while supervising the sale of American wheat and vegetable oil in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. Continue Reading...