In a radio address on July 24, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to the 100-day session of the 73rd United States Congress between March 9 and June 17, a session that produced a record-breaking volume of new laws.

Despite the fact that the 100 days referred to a legislative session and not the beginning of a presidency, the term has become a metric for what a new president can accomplish and how effective they will be during their term. For this reason, president-elects often lay out a proposal for what they hope to accomplish during the early days after the Inauguration.

During a speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania last month, Donald Trump laid out his own plan for what he’ll do in his first days. Below is a summary of all the actions related to economics that Trump has promised to tackle in his Hundred Days.
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Blog author: dpahman
Thursday, November 10, 2016
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In his best-selling book The Black Swan, probabilist Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns against the need for easy narratives to explain the unexpected. Given how unexpected the result of this Tuesday’s election was, it is worth taking some time to review what Taleb calls “the narrative fallacy.”

According to Taleb,

The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship, upon them. Explanations bind facts together. They make them all the more easily remembered; they help them make more sense. Where this propensity can go wrong is when it increases our impression of understanding.

Yesterday, I reviewed New York Times exit polling data to try to look at what we actually know about who voted for president-elect Donald Trump or Sec. Hillary Clinton. The results, as I noted, were often surprising.

The reason they are surprising is precisely because of what Taleb gets at here: we have a tendency to want everything to fit into neat-and-tidy narratives. But reality rarely works that way, especially in the case of unexpected events. Donald Trump’s win was a Black Swan event to many.

By nearly every poll, Hillary Clinton was the favorite to win (and, of course, it appears she did win the popular vote). The most cautious index I saw was FiveThirtyEight, where to their credit they stressed the probabilistic nature of their forecast. They basically put the odds at 2-to-1 in favor of Clinton, and they even said that her chances were not as good as President Obama’s reelection in 2012. Even so, they too have been reeling at the inaccuracy of, again, basically every poll.

So Trump won. It wasn’t outside the realm of possibility (obviously now), but it was certainly unexpected to most, even some of those who gave him a better chance than others. How did it happen? (more…)

816bkjgz2xLThe church has recently awakened with renewed interest in the intersection of faith and work, leading to a widespread movement in congregations and seminaries and a constant flow of books, sermons, and other resources (including a hearty bunch from the Acton Institute).

In a new NIV Faith and Work Bible from Zondervan, we gain another valuable tool for expanding our economic imaginations, weaving a rich theology of work more closely with the Biblical text.

Edited by David H. Kim, Executive Director for the Center for Faith and Work, and including a foreword by Tim Keller, the Bible offers a range of pathways and commentaries to assist Christians in connecting the dots between their daily work and the Biblical story.

Kim describes the Bible as a “unique and exciting combination of doctrine, application, and community experience,” with the goal of developing a theology of work that “will hopefully rewire the way you understand the gospel and how it has everything to do with your work.”

To accomplish this, the Bible includes, among other things, (1) specific introductions to each book that highlight key lessons and applications to work and economics; (2) a “storylines” feature that serves as an introductory study for those new to the Bible); (3) essays on doctrine as it relates to stewardship (e.g. dominion in Genesis); (4) historical writings written after the Bible; and (5) real stories of application in daily/modern life. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, November 10, 2016
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Can Cities Sue Banks Over Predatory Loans? Supreme Court Will Decide
Adam Liptak, New York Times

The Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed whether cities can sue banks under the Fair Housing Act for predatory lending, even if foreclosures that stem from such loans affect a city only indirectly.

Leveraging the workplace for greater good
Diane Paddison, Washington Times

As the former COO of two Fortune 500 and a Fortune 1000 companies and now founder of 4word, the only global nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting, leading and supporting Christian women in the workplace to achieve their potential, I often get asked which model is the better model for philanthropy.

Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington Appear Set to Increase Minimum Wages
Avianne Tan, ABC News

Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington approved ballot measures to increase their state’s minimum wage, ABC News has projected based on vote analysis.

Pope calls out apathy, greed fueling human trafficking
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

While progress has been made to combat human trafficking, Pope Francis said Monday, “much more needs to be done on the level of raising public awareness and effecting a better coordination of efforts by governments, the judiciary system, law enforcement officials and social workers.”

As, no doubt, many readers are getting flooded on social media with think pieces and hot takes (not to mention apocalyptic worry or celebration), the point of this post is simply to look at what the data seems to indicate about those who voted for President-elect Donald Trump and his opponent, Sec. Hillary Clinton. I’ll add a few thoughts at the end, but I am mostly just fascinated with the result, which shows more diverse support for each candidate than I had expect. However, I am also, like many, disappointed at the passions, particularly anger, that motivated some voters and which will remain with us, no matter what our party preferences, if we do not make a point to address them.

That said, there is a temptation, especially as of late, to paint supporters of either candidate with broad brushes (often unfavorably but sometimes overly flattering too). Neither serves the virtues of wisdom, prudence, or love, which ought to be at the forefront of any Christian social engagement. So, with the encouragement of those virtues as my goal, lets look at that some of the most interesting demographic groups this year.

I’ll be using New York Times exit polling data throughout. You can view it all and compare with past elections here. (more…)

Blog author: jballor
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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In today’s Acton Commentary, I offer a brief reflection on the results of Election Day in the United States, “Politics, Character, and Competition.”

I’ve heard a lot of wisdom and a lot of foolishness in the hours since the final results were announced. The initial speeches have now been made, and we are in that in-between time, the pause of sorts between the election and the inauguration of a new president.

It’s a good chance to take a breath and exhale, to get away from the helter-skelter of a truly historic and dizzying campaign. But it is also a good chance to think hard about where we are and how we got here. Once we have an idea about those things, then maybe we can have a better idea of where we ought to be going.

What happened yesterday was important, but it is easy to exaggerate its importance in the heat of the moment. Politics remains downstream from culture even as there are feedback loops. Reform is certainly necessary, but all true reform begins with ourselves.

presidential-transitionThe peaceful transition of power from one chief executive to another is one of the most enduring and cherished legacies of the American government. But it’s also a complicated process. There is a lot that has to happened in the 75 days between Election Day and Inauguration Day.

Here is a brief outline of some of the steps that have to be taken in the transition from President Obama to President Trump.
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