Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'ethics'

Surplus = Happiness, Deficit = Misery

Wilkins Micawber, the namesake for the Micawber Principle.Joe Carter points to a Lifehacker article that sums up two basic equations that lead to the creation of wealth (with what I consider to be a clarifying correction applied in the first formula): Income spending = surplus Surplus x time = wealth Likewise, Wilhelm Röpke, in his A Humane Economy, points to two equations arising from classical literature that connect surplus with happiness and deficit to misery (the Micawber Principle). Continue Reading...

Why Has the Economic Recovery Bypassed Young People?

In his latest column, Tyler Cowen points out that whatever economic recovery we’ve experienced has “largely bypassed young people,” arguing that such a development is bound to have an impact for years to come: For Americans aged 16 to 24 who aren’t enrolled in school, the employment picture is grim. Continue Reading...

Maximizing Labor, Minimizing Wages

For this week’s Acton Commentary, ahead of Labor Day weekend, I write about “working harder and smarter,” lessons we can learn from Ashton Kutcher and Mike Rowe. One of the implications of connecting hard work with smart work is that the difficulty of work on its own does not determine its value in the marketplace. Continue Reading...

The Future is Paranoia

We know the government is listening, watching, gathering information. We know that we’re being told it’s all for our own good; after all, who wants to miss a possible terrorist attack? Continue Reading...

The McDouble and the Minimum Wage

The protests organized by labor organizations to advocate for an increase in the minimum wage have garnered attention, most recently from the NYT, which editorialized in favor of such moves. Over at Think Christian, I weigh in with an attempt to provide some more of the complex context behind the moral evaluation of such mandates. Continue Reading...

D.C.’s ‘Big Box’ Minimum Wage Hurts the Poor

A mere recital of the economic policies of governments all over the world is calculated to cause any serious student of economics to throw up his hands in despair. What possible point can there be, he is likely to ask, in discussing refinements and advancements in economic theory, when popular thought and the actual policies of governments…have not yet caught up with Adam Smith? Continue Reading...

Before Alcoholics Anonymous There Were University Presidents

In a sermon to the class of 1864, Williams College President Mark Hopkins addressed the intimate and inevitable relationship between character and destiny, “Settle it therefore, I pray you, my hearers, once and forever, that as your character is, so will your destiny be.” Within the academy, this basic prescription for earthly happiness, says Lewis M. Continue Reading...

The Middle Way of Work

Over at Think Christian, I reflect on an “authentically Christian” view of work, which takes into account its limitations, failings, and travails, as well as its promises, prospects, and providential foundations. Continue Reading...