Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Friedrich Hayek'

Why Attitudes About Competition Matter

In an excerpt from the splendid PovertyCure series, Michael Fairbanks offers a helpful bit on why our attitudes about competition matter for economic development: I can predict the future of a developing nation better than any IMF team of economists by asking one question: “Do you believe in competition?” When I go to Venezuela and I say, “do you believe in competition?,” they say “competition means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” They say “competition is the unnecessary duplication of effort because you have two firms doing the same thing.” They say “competition is a quaint North American concept that doesn’t apply here.” But when I go to Silicon Valley and I say,“What do you think about the word competition?,” they say, “Well, I love competition, because even when I lose, I learn something. Continue Reading...

The Book of Revelation is Hayekian

“When you read the Book of Revelation,” says Gregory Alan Thornbury, president of The King’s College, “it’s about not giving in to tyranny when it comes to economics. I don’t know why we don’t talk about that in church.” In an interview with Jerry Bowyer at Forbes, Thornbury expounds on how the revelation to St. Continue Reading...

What Economics Can’t Explain

Tyler Cowen has an interesting column in last Sunday’s New York Times, arguing that despite run-of-the-mill objections to “cold” and “heartless” economic analysis, economics is, as a science, “egalitarian at its core”: Economic analysis is itself value-free, but in practice it encourages a cosmopolitan interest in natural equality. Continue Reading...

Would Hayek Have Supported Obamacare?

“You can be for markets without being against redistribution,” says Erik Angner, a philosophy professor at George Mason University. Angner argues that the Nobel-winning economist Friedrich Hayek offers an alternative to contemporary liberals and leftists on the one hand and conservatives and libertarians on the other. Continue Reading...

Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Why do the wicked prosper? This plaintive query is a consistent cry from the psalmist and the prophets. As Jeremiah puts it, “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?” The concern in large part has to do with injustice; why do those who are so morally and spiritually bankrupt enjoy such great temporal blessings? Continue Reading...

Bono, Babel, and the Myth of Economist as Savior

Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of charity-group ONE, recently offered some positive words about the role of markets in reducing global poverty and spurring economic development (HT): The Irish singer and co-founder of ONE, a campaigning group that fights poverty and disease in Africa, said it had been “a humbling thing for me” to realize the importance of capitalism and entrepreneurialism in philanthropy, particularly as someone who “got into this as a righteous anger activist with all the cliches.” “Job creators and innovators are just the key, and aid is just a bridge,” he told an audience of 200 leading technology entrepreneurs and investors at the F.ounders tech conference in Dublin. Continue Reading...

More on Constitutions and Culture

As noted already at the PowerBlog today, Sam Gregg has a fine piece on the complex relationship between law and morality, or constitutions and culture, over at Public Discourse. As a follow-up (read the piece first), I’d like to point to an interesting aspect of James Buchanan’s advocacy of a balanced-budget amendment. Continue Reading...