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...

Called to the coalfields: How an Appalachian church is spurring economic action

Due to a rapidly changing economy and a range of excessive regulations from the federal government, the American coal mining industry is facing serious challenges. For states like West Virginia, the effects are particularly painful, as mining towns and communities struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs in recent years, leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

Gospel as Oasis: Bringing Economic Flourishing to Urban Deserts

“The Bible has a rich desert theology…He will cause rivers to flow, even in desert conditions.” –Christopher Brooks Pastor Christopher Brooks and Evangel Ministries have demonstrated a unique model of urban ministry in Detroit, focusing not just on meeting immediate needs through traditional channels, but on fostering a vision of long-term, whole-life discipleship. Continue Reading...

Will That College Diploma Get You A Job?

Does having a college diploma mean you are ready for the workforce? It depends on who you ask. If you ask those involved with higher education, almost 75 percent say, “yes.” However, both students and employers are less sure: less than 60 percent of those groups feel college grads are well-prepared for a professional career. Continue Reading...

The Poison of Anti-Immigration Protectionism

As the number of Republicans vying for the presidency reaches new levels of absurdity, candidates are scrambling to affirm their conservative bona fides. If you can stomach the pandering, it’s a good time to explore the ideas bouncing around the movement, and when necessary, prune off the poisonous limbs. Continue Reading...

Mike Rowe And The ‘Propaganda’ Of Work

Mike Rowe, the “Dirty Jobs” guy, makes an occasional appearance here on the PowerBlog. Why do we like him? Because he appreciates hard work, honest work, just as we do. It’s surprising how many people don’t share that appreciation. Continue Reading...