Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'government'

Amity Shlaes on ‘The Good Rich’ and the Folly of Philanthropy

In a new book, The Good Rich and What They Cost Us, Robert Dalzell Jr. aims to address “a great paradox at the core of the American Dream: a passionate belief in the principles of democracy combined with an equally passionate celebration of wealth.” In a review for the Wall Street Journal, Amity Shlaes notes that although the book provides an in-depth look at the history of American philanthropy, the author’s own personal prescriptions lend too high a trust to government redistribution: “The Good Rich” starts out like a tour through a portrait gallery, describing rather than judging. Continue Reading...

What is the Purpose of Our Government?

If we asked many of our fellow Americans today “What is the purpose of government?,” undoubtedly, we might be barraged with some vexing or comical answers. But I’m not one to believe that a good deal of our citizens can’t answer this question quite intelligibly. Continue Reading...

The FAQs: What is the Fiscal Cliff?

What is the “fiscal cliff”? The term “fiscal cliff”, which is believed to have originated in Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, refers to the substantial changes to tax and spending policies that are scheduled to automatically take effect in January 2013. Continue Reading...

Have Faith in America: Obama, Coolidge, and Restoring National Confidence

President Obama has been re-elected, and as many commentators point out, he faces a nation even more divided than when he took office. In his victory speech, the President’s message came back to unity, how “we rise and fall together as one nation and as one people.” This comes, I should note, after a campaign that sought to demonize the rich and downplay the efforts of the entrepreneur. Continue Reading...

Do We Belong to the Government or Does that Government Belong to Us?

During the recent Democratic National Convention, the party played a video which stated, “The government is the only thing we all belong to.” Daniel Kelly explains what’s wrong with such claims: That one compact statement raises a question I thought we had settled quite some time ago: Are we a people who has a government, or a government that has a people? Continue Reading...

Big Government’s Belongings?

Last night, there was a moment at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte that may have alarmed some. The line from a video produced by the host city of Charlotte, declared, “government is the only thing we all belong to.” While some have simply used the line as a reference point for partisan purposes, it needs to be widely discussed. Continue Reading...

Why People Prefer Government to Markets

People do not love markets,” says Pascal Boyer of the International Cognition & Culture Institute, “there is a lot of evidence for that.” Sadly, Boyer is right and I suspect he’s right about the cause too: People do not like markets because people seem not to understand much about market economics. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: It Takes a Village to Raise a Business

President Obama’s speech last week in which he asserted to businesspeople, “You didn’t build that,” has been getting some pretty harsh and some pretty hilarious responses. In this week’s Acton Commentary, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Business,” I caution against responses that play into a simple individualist/collectivist dichotomy that underlays the president’s message: We all know at some level that we didn’t get where we are on our own, and that we have an ongoing responsibility and dependence on others for our continuing enjoyment of the goods of human existence. Continue Reading...