Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'wealth'

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...

Are slums a sign of human creativity and potential?

As humans, we are made in the image of God. We are co-creators, fashioned to produce and create, contribute and collaborate, give and receive, trade and exchange. Yet far too often, in our approaches to fighting poverty, we subscribe to a fundamental distortion of this reality, treating humans as mere consumers and “drains” on wealth and resources. Continue Reading...

Thomas Sowell on poverty, politics, and the origins of prosperity

“The mundane progress driven by ordinary economic and social processes in a free society becomes dramatic only when its track record is viewed in retrospect over a span of years.” –Thomas Sowell In a recent edition of Uncommon Knowledge, economist Thomas Sowell discusses his latest book, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, which provides a comprehensive argument for the origins of prosperity. Continue Reading...

‘Riches do not bring freedom’

The contrast between the treatments by David Bentley Hart and Dylan Pahman of the question of the intrinsic evil of “great personal wealth” this week pretty well established, I think, that in itself wealth is among the things neither forbidden nor absolutely required. Continue Reading...

Surrendered Unto Stewardship: Darrell Bock On Money That Matters

What is the purpose of money? Is it for our survival? For our status, significance, or success? Is it for the service of ourselves or for the service of others? In a talk for the Oikonomia Network, theologian Darrell Bock sets out to answer the question, drawing from the numerous treatments of money in the book of Luke — from the rich fool and Lazarus’ wealthy neighbor to Zacchaeus and the widow’s mite. 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...