Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'economics'

Economic Facts: More Gut-Wrenching Than ‘Fun’

The Gateway Pundit gives us a list of “fun” facts about the economy. Of course, “fun” is used in an ironic way, which become clear when you look at just how dreary these facts are: $1.8 Trillion: Cost Of ObamaCare’s Coverage Provisions From 2014 To 2023 (CBO, 7/30/13) $1 Trillion: The Total Student Debt Held By Americans. Continue Reading...

Is Econ 101 Conservative Propaganda?

Is the teaching of basic microeconomics — opportunity cost, supply and demand curves, incentives, etc. — a form of conservative propaganda? Most people, including almost all economists whether liberal or conservatives, would obviously say “no.” Yet many educators, as well as the general public, believe it’s true. Continue Reading...

How to Prove That Everyone Knows Raising Minimum Wages Increases Unemployment

Yesterday I mentioned that translating economic principles into intuitive concepts is one of the most urgent and necessary tasks to prevent such evils as harm to the poor. Today, William Poole provides an excellent example of what is needed with his “common-sense thought experiment” on minimum wage increases: Suppose Congress were to enact a minimum wage $50 higher than the current one of $7.25 per hour. Continue Reading...

Detroit’s ‘Get out of Bankruptcy Free’ Card

Aaron M. Renn’s reflections on the implications of Detroit’s bankruptcy are worth reading, especially as relate to the DIA, a topic of some previous interest over the last year or so: In the case of the DIA, the city owns the museum and the collection. Continue Reading...

Trickle-Down Welfare Economics?

Over at NRO, Thomas Sowell takes on what he calls the “lie” of “trickle-down economics.” Thus, writes Sowell, “the ‘trickle-down’ lie is 100 percent lie.” Sowell cites Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama as figures perpetuating the “lie,” along with writers in “the New York Times, in the Washington Post, and by professors at prestigious American universities — and even as far away as India.” But we should also note that “trickle-down theories” get a mention in Evangelii Gaudium, too: “some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” In the midst of his discussion, Sowell asks the following penetrating questions: Why would anyone advocate that we “give” something to A in hopes that it would trickle down to B? Continue Reading...

A Letter on Work and Worth

The following is a letter written in response to a post from my friend Brad Littlejohn on the topic of the minimum wage.  Dear Brad, Thank you for your thoughtful and substantive engagement on the question of the minimum wage. Continue Reading...

A Living Wage for a Living Tree?

The Ballors went with a live tree this year. We bought it at Flowerland and I do not know the name of the farm whence it came. Over at the American Conservative, Micah Mattix reflects on the Christmas tree market, which in his neck of the woods is “notoriously unstable.” In Ashe County, North Carolina, says Mattix, a dilemma faces the small tree farmer: “It is not sell or starve, but it is sell or go without a new septic tank, a repaired roof, a mended this or that.” Although not specifically about Christmas trees, the difficult choice faced by the poet in the Robert Frost poem Mattix engages at length is also reminiscent of the dynamic of poverty in Winter’s Bone. Continue Reading...

Reduce Inequality By Redistributing Innovation

Inequality in consumption used to be a matter of acreage. Throughout most of history, economic value was chiefly found in land or personal property. The divide between the rich and the poor was therefore between those who owned property and those who did not. Continue Reading...

Obamacare: ‘Eat The Young’

On some snowy winter afternoon, bored with everything in the house, you probably tried to build a house of cards. From this experience, you know you have to build a large base, and work your way up to a smaller and smaller peak. Continue Reading...