The cramped morality of trade protectionism

“If a product is seen only as the opportunity for work, it is certain that the anxieties of protectionists are well founded.” –Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms Drawing inspiration from a 1847 essay by the inimitable Frédéric Bastiat, economist Donald Boudreaux tackles a popular argument from today’s trade protectionists: namely, “that protectionism is justified if enough consumers or voters are willing to pay higher prices in order to help workers.” The problem, of course, is that such a perspective debases the value of labor to the value of products and vice versa, ignoring the many other relationships and ripple-effects that production and trade are bound to inspire. Continue Reading...

Exulting in the monotony of fatherhood

Fatherhood is a wild ride, yet in my own personal reflections on and around Father’s Day, I’m routinely reminded that amid and alongside all the adventure, the challenges of fatherhood mostly play out in the small and intimate moments of daily life. Continue Reading...

Free trade propaganda from … Communist China?

In the wake of the last presidential election, the American people appear to be fracturing and shifting on the long-held consensus about the benefits of free trade. Meanwhile, state-owned television in the People’s Republic of China is churning out pro-trade propaganda such as this (HT Pethokoukis): Yet the underlying irony is a bit overstated, I’d suspect. Continue Reading...

Vocation vs. occupation: 4 callings in the Christian life

Is there a difference between “vocation” and “occupation”? The term “vocation” comes from the Latin, “vocare” – to call or receive a call. For almost two millennia in Christian-influenced communities and cultures, vocation referred to a religious calling: a monastic order, missionary work or parish labor. Continue Reading...

Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

Aslan’s Song of Stewardship

When we think about “stewardship,” our minds tend to revert to the material and the predictable. We think about money or the allocation of resources. We think about growing crops or creating goods or financial investment and generosity. Continue Reading...