Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Lester DeKoster'

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...

Brains and brawn: Does manual labor belong in the modern economy?

As economic prosperity continues to spread, and as the American economy completes its transition into the age of information, manual labor is increasingly cast down in the popular imagination. When our youth navigate and graduate from high school, they receive a range of pressures to attend four-year colleges and pursue various “white-collar” careers, whether in finance or law or tech or the academy. Continue Reading...

When work as ‘calling’ becomes an idol unto self

Propelled by an expansion in economic opportunity and the resounding cultural calls to “follow your passions,” today’s workers are more easily latching on to the notion of work as “calling,” or a pursuit of “deeper meaning.” Of course, in many ways, it’s a positive development. Continue Reading...

How flipping hamburgers glorifies God

When we think of the intersection of work and calling, many of us think immediately of our long-term career aspirations. Despite most of us beginning our careers in some sort of menial labor, these are not the types of services or stations our culture deems significant or inspired. Continue Reading...