Archived Posts April 2013 - Page 6 of 19 | Acton PowerBlog

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, April 22, 2013

Electric Cars and Crony Federalism
Rich Tucker, The Foundry

The bottom line is that governments shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to push certain products or technologies.

Business, Entrepreneurship, And A Vatican Think Tank
Alejandro Chafuen, Forbes

Today, most of the topics dealing with economics and free enterprise are handled by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Its work is conducted in consultation with experts from different social disciplines.

What’s behind the funding of the welfare state
George Will, Washington Post

The regulatory, administrative state, which progressives champion, is generally a servant of the strong, for two reasons.

Economics: Part of God’s Created Order
Taylor Barkley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

The market economy we live and participate in everyday here in the United States is impersonal. It is often derided because of that characteristic. However, there are many impersonal rules in the universe that are part of God’s created order. The market economy is no different.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) was one of the key architects of Obamacare and one of the legislation’s greatest champions. But now he fears a “train wreck” as the Obama administration implements its signature healthcare law. In a recent hearing he asked Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for details about how the Health Department will explain the law and raise awareness of its provisions, which are supposed to take effect in just a matter of months:


Blog author: jcarter
Friday, April 19, 2013

What does it mean to see like a State? “In short, to see like the state is to be myopic,” says Brian Dijkema. “This myopia views geography, people, their customs and traditions in a way that “severely brackets all variables except those bearing directly” on the state’s interests of revenue, security, and order.”

An example from the institutional point of view of schools illustrates the point well. Education, and the shape of the schools that provide it, is one of the most contentious issues in Canadian and American public debate. While there are notable—and hopeful—examples to the contrary, both countries tend to view education, and therefore schools, as being in the service of the state and its goals. Both tend to see schools as being at the service of the economy and the state. Don’t believe me? Listen to recent Canadian debates about education in the trades, or consider the size of Harvard’s endowments and the culture that has grown up around America’s elite schools. It is a rare occurrence indeed to hear a politician speak of schools as places of character formation or of the deepening of wisdom. Instead, they are training grounds for the modern economy. Where deeper questions about the purpose of education are asked, they too are posed with a view to the interests of the state. Where Canadian schools—usually religious schools—attempt to maintain their freedom from central state schemes, they have faced the full brunt of the coercive power of the state. The same fate has befallen other religious institutions that attempted to work outside of the directives of the state in America.

Read more . . .

There is a saying that going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car. Apparently, the good folks of Freedom From Religion Foundation and the 7th US District Court aren’t clear on this…and they are making a federal case of it.mustang_gt_fastback-1965

According to Robert P. George in The Washington Times, the Freedom From Religion Foundation can’t bear the thought of a public high school graduation being held in a church, even though the only reason it’s being held there is for convenience sake:

The case began in 2009, when a secularist organization sued the Elmbrook School District in Wisconsin for its decade long practice of renting a church auditorium for graduation. The district chose the church auditorium at the request of its students, who complained that the prior venue the school gymnasium was cramped and uncomfortable, and lacked adequate parking, air conditioning and seating. It is undisputed that the district selected the auditorium for purely secular reasons namely, the convenient location, ample seating, free parking, air conditioning and low cost and that the graduation events were devoid of prayer or any other religious references.


There are arguably two forces that may be destroying the ethics of journalism today. The first is the competition for rankings and advertising that drives the obsession to report something “first” in a 24-hour news cycle. The second is that social media exacerbates the first. These two forces make journalists vulnerable to poor, unethical reporting. We are seeing this play out in what could easily be considered unethical coverage of the tragedy in Boston by CNN and other news platforms.

On Wednesday CNN’s John King reported from law enforcement “sources” that the suspect was a dark-skinned male.

I recently argued that although vocation is important, there is a certain something that goes before and beyond it. As Lester DeKoster puts it, “The meaning we seek has to be in work itself.”

Over at Think Christian, John Van Sloten puts forth something similar, focusing on our efforts to work for the common good— something not altogether separate from vocation:

There’s a lot of talk in faith/work circles about the idea of working for the common good – for the good of your neighbor, city, company, classmate, family member, environment and world.

It’s a good idea and an integral part of a balanced vocational worldview. But I think it falls short. And it’s not all that work is meant to be. In fact, sometimes it gets in the way.

Sometimes working for the common good is an impediment to what is work’s primary purpose: a real-time knowing and experience of God. Sometimes working for the common good becomes a works-based means of vocational salvation. And life with God becomes something that’s based on what we do for God as opposed to who we are before Him…

…Work must first be a gratitude-based response to a grace-filled encounter with our co-working God. It must be a place where we experience the presence of, are swept away by the creativity of, are enthralled by the beauty of, are humbled by the service of and are blown away by the mind of … God. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, April 19, 2013

Ambition Explains America: From Benjamin Franklin to Ronald Reagan
Rich Danker, Public Discourse

As an essential part of our character and a reason for our nation’s exceptionalism, ambition in America has been portrayed both as a sentiment to be contained and a virtue to be cultivated.

Material Problems Have Moral Solutions
Nicholas Freiling, Values & Capitalism

Is material prosperity the key to moral improvement? For Marxists, the answer is yes (as explained in my last post). In fact, according to Marx’s narrative, the moral and social ills of society are directly attributable to their material poverty. The only way to improve moral life, then, is to first improve economic conditions. But history tells a different story.

What Can Jesus Teach Us About Our Work?
Andrew Spencer, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Jesus clearly demonstrated what life was supposed to be like. In terms of the four-chapter gospel, he gave us a foretaste of the restoration for which we long. Jesus also gave us a picture of what a heavenly citizen would do.

The Right Way to Reduce Inequality
Seth Mandel, Commentary

The most recent Gallup poll, which shows a majority of Americans believe that some of their neighbors have too much money and that the government should therefore confiscate and redistribute some of it, is likely to please the president, who based his reelection campaign on class resentment.