fight-for-15-and-a-union-672x372Sometimes predicting the future is difficult (ask anyone who thought we’d have flying cars by now). But sometimes foreseeing what is going to happen — at least to a high degree of probability — is all too easy.

For example, it’s fairly simple to ascertain that sometime in 2017 or 2018 we will see a huge spike in the unemployment for the working poor and increasing the replacement of low-skilled jobs with automation (i.e., robots). The reason: the $15 minimum wage.

Earlier this year the first and fourth most populous states in the U.S. — California and New York — adopted the increase to $15. Numerous cities have also adopted the higher wage floor. But perhaps the most significant step forward for the “Fight for $15” movement is that it is being adopted by the entire Democratic Party.

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee released a draft of the proposed party platform that includes a number of economically destructive proposals, including a federal minimum wage of $15:
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dekoster

Lester DeKoster (1915 – 2009) | Acton Institute

Overproduction, simply put, is supply in excess of demand. It is the production of more goods and services than those in the market would like to purchase. Overproduction, in a well functioning market economy, should be temporary. In a dynamic market driven by entrepreneurs, resources become allocated towards their most highly valued uses. If some clever entrepreneur makes a million shoes, but only sells two pairs, he will be unlikely to overproduce in the future. This is good, because the overproduction signals to the entrepreneur that there are better ways to use the limited resources that he has.

Multiply this process over an entire economy, and one can see the temporary nature of overproduction, and its undesirability given scarce resources.

Stewardship, according to Kent Wilson, is “the faithful and efficient management of property or resources belonging to another in order to achieve the owner’s objectives.”

In this context, human beings are the stewards of Earth’s resources, which ultimately belong to God.  Using resources wisely, in a way that contributes to human flourishing, is a key concept of Christian stewardship. Overproduction, then, is not “faithful and efficient” management, as it allocates scarce resources to less highly valued ends. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
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How to Lead a New National War on Poverty
Linda Gibbs and Robert Doar, Washington Monthly

When New York City launched its war on poverty in 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg began a city-wide campaign the likes of which no other city, state or the federal government had seen in decades.

Reform Government First, Cut Taxes Later
The American Interest

Enthusiasm for state-level tax cuts is on the wane nationwide as legislators and governors behold the budgetary carnage that doctrinaire Tea Party policies have wrought in Kansas and Louisiana, two states once touted as exemplars of starve-the-beast governance.

The Fining of Black America
Dan Kopf, Priceonomics

Among the fifty cities with the highest proportion of revenues from fines, the median size of the African American population—on a percentage basis—is more than five times greater than the national median.

Majority of Economists Surveyed Are against the Universal Basic Income
Veronique De Rugy, The Corner

When asked if “Granting every American citizen over 21-years old a universal basic income of $13,000 a year — financed by eliminating all transfer programs (including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing subsidies, household welfare payments, and farm and corporate subsidies) — would be a better policy than the status quo,” 58 percent of the IMG Economic Experts panel at Chicago Booth disagreed or strongly disagreed, while 19 percent of them were uncertain, and only 2 percent agreed.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added 92 lectures from Acton University 2016 to our digital download store! You can pick up the evening plenary lectures from Magatte Wade, Vernon Smith, William Allen, and Acton President Rev. Robert A. Sirico for free – and then select audio from a wide variety of speakers on a diverse range of topics from the daily sessions, including addresses by intellectuals and experts like Michael Novak , Kim Tan, and Prof. Peter Kreeft, among others.

AU Crowd

Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith addresses Acton University 2016

On Thursday, June 16th, it was a great pleasure to welcome William B. Allen – Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy and Emeritus Dean of James Madison College at Michigan State University – as a plenary speaker at Acton University 2016, to deliver an address entitled “A Moral Surprise: The Common Foundation of Christianity and Modern Politics.” Allen used his address to argue that true political freedom requires freedom of conscience as its foundation – a freedom of conscience that cannot itself be the product of political freedom, but is rather a divinely ordained gift. You can view his presentation below; Allen has also graciously provided the text of his presentation as well, which you can download here. And after the jump, I’ve included the video of Allen’s 2014 Acton Lecture Series presentation, which he references during his speech.

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Student debt has become a hot issue this election season, with both Democratic candidates — Clinton and Sanders — offering proposals for forgiving student loans.

But what would happen if the U.S. actually forgave student debt? Would the loans simply vanish? Would tuition prices decline?

Economist Don Boudreaux explains what really happens and why “debt forgiveness” merely transfers the debt to others.

The current debate surrounding overcriminalization and juvenile incarceration is often centered around the male prison population. The debate increasingly overlooks the problems that face young girls caught in the prison pipeline to juvenile detention. New data in the past several years has shown that the prison pipeline for girls often includes a pattern of sexual abuse that is not present in cases involving male delinquents.

A 2015 report published by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality found that girls in juvenile detention have a high likelihood of being sexual and physical abuse victims. The reports summarizes new data on the ‘abuse to prison pipeline’ present in the female juvenile justice system. The report found that there is systemic criminalization of victimized girls, often disproportionately girls from minority populations.

Sexual violence against girls is a modern American tragedy, and this sexual abuse is a primary predictor today of a girl’s entrance into a juvenile detention center. Girls that were victims of sex trafficking are often arrested on prostitution charges and put in detention centers to be punished instead of being helped to overcome the trauma of the sex trafficking industry. Ethnic minority girls are increasingly being incarcerated as a result.
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