The ‘end’ of work

In the Q&A part of a session I led at last month’s Acton University on Abraham Kuyper and Leo XIII (based on this recent volume), I was asked about specific areas where the two figures have something concrete to contribute today. Continue Reading...

Why truly free trade is also truly fair

Throughout our political discourse, we continue to hear critiques of free trade from left and right, each of them ultimately aiming to prod us closer to an abstract notion of so-called “fair” or “fairer” trade. Continue Reading...

The fruit of toil

In an Acton Commentary two years ago, I wrote about the significance of toil: In the midst of the now-common Christian affirmation of all forms of work as God-given vocations, the image of Sisyphus, vainly pushing his boulder up a hill in Hades, only to watch it roll back down again, might serve to remind us of the reality of toil, the other side of the coin. Continue Reading...

Are You Pro-Union or Pro-Minimum Wage?

During CNN’s Democratic debate, presidential candidate, senator from Vermont, and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders promised that if elected he would work to “raise the [federal] minimum wage to $15 an hour.” From an economic point of view, this policy would run the risk of sparking a wage/price spiral, where wages are tied to a cost-of-living index and their increase, in turn, raises the cost of living, sending inflation out of control and ultimately working against the intended goal of helping low-wage workers. Continue Reading...

Overcoming ‘Anti-Foreign Bias’ in Trade and Immigration

Many conservatives exhibit a peculiar tendency to be pro-liberty when it comes to business, trade, and wages, but protectionist when it comes to the economic effects of immigration. It’s an odd disconnect, and yet, as we’ve begun to see with figures like Donald Trump and Rick Santorum, one side is bound to eventually give way. Continue Reading...

The Rise and Fall of a Detroit Neighborhood

If you want to see what happens when a government fails its basic responsibilities of maintaining law and order, read this fine and saddening piece by Detroit Free Press columnist John Carlisle, “The last days of Detroit’s Chaldean Town.” In it you’ll encounter the fraying of the town’s social architecture built around faith, family, work, and government. Continue Reading...