Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'economics'

How the IRS Killed Bitcoin as a Currency

“For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property.” With those ten words, the IRS has made it more difficult — if not impossible — for bitcoin and other virtual currencies from gaining widespread, mainstream acceptance as a currency for commercial transactions. Continue Reading...

Crony Capitalism’s Favorite Trick

Many who reject capitalism in favor of some “third way” do so because they often mistake it for government-corporate cronyism, says Jonathan Witt in this week’s Acton Commentary. But in countries that have begun extending true economic freedom to the masses, capitalist activity has already lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. Continue Reading...

The Forgotten Sin of Covetous Envy

Modern rhetoric of income inequality is driven by covetous envy, says Russell Nieli. Caritas, humility, gratitude, and goodwill toward others are a healthy society’s answer to the ancient curses of envy and pride: The problem of the chronically poor is that they are chronically poor, not that some people make a lot more money than other people and bring about “inequality.” The fact that some fail to earn enough to live at a decent level is a genuine social problem. Continue Reading...

How Debit Cards Can Fight Street Crime

When bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he is (mis)quoted as having said, “Because that’s where the money is.” Turns out that is also why there is more street crime in poorer neighborhoods: because that’s where the cash is. Continue Reading...

Lorde, Poverty, and Envy

At Reason Thaddeus Russell argues that Macklemore and Lorde embody a kind of progressive cultural critique of capitalism, captured in the attack on “conspicuous consumption” made famous by Thorstein Veblen. Russell traces the “progressive lineage” of this critique: “Their songs continue a long tradition, rooted in progressivism, of protests against the pleasures of the poor.” Having never listened to him, I have no opinion about Macklemore. Continue Reading...

Visualizing ‘The Forgotten Man’

Amity Shlaes – Graphic Novelized! In November of last year, we had the privilege of welcoming bestselling author Amity Shlaes for a visit here at the Acton Building while she was in Grand Rapids to speak about Calvin Coolidge at Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Continue Reading...

Bill Gates on Poverty and Inequality

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Bill Gates — the richest man in the world — shares his thoughts on poverty and inequality: Should the state be playing a greater role in helping people at the lowest end of the income scale? Continue Reading...