Is big government a near occasion of sin?

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New York City ideologues get indigestion over Chick-fil-A

America’s fastest-growing food chain has come to New York City. But as Hunter Baker notes in this week’s Acton Commentary, the “company’s success sticks in the craw of some who find it to be an alien presence due to the Christianity of the family who owns the company and their traditional values.” A recent New Yorker piece refers to the Chick-fil-A expansion as a “creepy infiltration” of the city. Continue Reading...

A polite rebuke of Pope Francis’ economic confusion

Review of Pope Francis and the Caring Society, edited by Robert M. Whaples; The Independent Institute, Oakland, CA; 2017, 234 pp. Having toiled in the free-market research universe for nearly two decades, perhaps the most common misperception I’ve encountered is “whataboutism.” Readers know of which I write: “What about BP and Deepwater Horizon?” or “What about Enron?” and, perhaps most stridently, “What about the mortgage-lending industry’s complicity in causing the Great Recession?” When this rhetorical strafing fails, there’s always the “What about the poor?” and the “What about the environment?” macro-strategies. Continue Reading...

Is economics an ideology?

‘Ludwig von Mises’ by Ludwig von Mises Institute CC BY-SA 3.0 Richard H. Spady, research professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins, has recently published a piece at First Things entitled ‘Economics as Ideology’ in which he explores some contemporary trends among economists and their use of economics as a Procrustean bed to reshape society in its own image, A body of thought is “ideological” when it will­fully projects its own first principles on its subject matter and actively seeks, perhaps unconsciously, material changes to bring social realities into conformity with these first principles. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 04.18.18

Econ Majors Graduate With a Huge Knowledge Gap Noah Smith, Bloomberg View What’s needed is a mandatory course on ethics and the limits of knowledge. You Can’t Cut the Flower of Freedom Off from its Divine Roots Jonathan Leeman, Christianity Today Patrick Deneen claims our political order has a deficient understanding of man. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 04.17.18

Hard-Won Homeschooling Freedoms Are Under Threat and Must Be Defended Kerry McDonald, FEE Our modern homeschooling freedoms come with the responsibility to protect those freedoms. US doctors are offering free tax preparation for low-income families right in the waiting room Anne Quito, Quartz The Boston-based pediatrician branched out to accounting after learning that a large fraction of her low-income patients were losing thousands of dollars because they didn’t file the tax-season paperwork to receive money they were eligible to collect from the government. Continue Reading...

Explainer: House GOP proposes changes to ‘food stamp’ program

What just happened? Last week the House Agriculture Committee introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly known as the Farm Bill. The new Farm Bill makes significant changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the “largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.” What is SNAP? Continue Reading...