trump-clinton-debateLast night Chris Wallace moderated the third and final debate of this presidential season. Many commentators have remarked that it was the most substantial policy debate of the year. But because of the interruptions and recriminations, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly what each candidate was proposing.

Below I’ve summarized the actual policy statements made by each candidate about the economy, and included the verbatim text of their remarks from which the summary is taken. In the summaries (the sections in bold), I’ve stripped away the claims made by each candidate about the other and focused solely on the position they advocated or defended.

Clive Staples LewisC.S. Lewis wrote much about the tension between self-interest and selfishness, offering renewed clarity on these topics, says Art Lindsley. To Lewis, there is a huge difference between self-interest and selfishness, and there is a proper place for self-interest in our lives:

When Lewis first came to faith, he did not think about eternal life, but focused on enjoying God in this life. Lewis later said that the years he spent without the focus on heavenly rewards “always seem to me to have been of great value” because they taught delight in God above any prospect or reward. It would be wrong to desire from God solely what he could give you, without delighting in God himself.

Lewis never disparaged the place of heavenly rewards, but he saw that the paradox of reward might be a stumbling block for some. On the one hand, the purest faith in God believes in him for “nothing” and is not primarily interested in any benefits to follow. On the other hand, the concept that we are rewarded for what we do is taught in numerous biblical passages and presumably is a positive motivation for doing what is good.

Read more . . .

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Crony Economy
Robert Verbruggen , The American Conservative

Bipartisan outrage doesn’t stop government picking winners and losers.

Pricing the Poorest Out of Opportunity
Don Boudreaux, Cafe Hayek

Once upon a time the land of Tyrantia was ruled by an evil king who took intense pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering upon the poorest people in Tyrantia. “Ha, ha, ha!” laughed the evil king one night to his evil wife, “I’ve just devised an excellent scheme to cause poor people to needlessly suffer even more!”

Modern slavery is still rampant in the countries that produce most of the world’s goods
Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz

For many in the West, slavery is a far off, historical concept. But a new index shows that consumers all over the world are getting products that at some stage were touched by the hands of modern-day slaves.

How American Capitalism Serves Poorer Nations
Tom Rogan, Opportunity Lives

It’s time the record was set straight: American capitalism is a great servant of poorer nations.

Blog author: KHanby
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

This is a guest post by Philip Booth, Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham; Academic and Research Director, Institute of Economic Affairs. Booth will be speaking in London on Dec. 1 at Acton Institute’s The Crisis of Liberty in the West conference (register here). This post is based on remarks prepared for delivery at the United Kingdom Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office conference on Preventing Violent Extremism by Building Inclusive and Plural Societies, Oct. 19-20.

Economic freedom and economic harmony

 By Phillip Booth

In a free society, persons participate in economic exchange and civil society freely, without interference as long as they do not harm others. Of course, actions such as inciting violence and so on need to be dealt with and possibly prosecuted. But, individuals and families, often working as communities and through civil society organisations are able to go about their life without undue impediment. In such a situation, the government does not have positive powers as such – or at least not many of them – it exists to promote justice, provide for the needy who cannot be provided for in other ways, ensure that there is peace and civil order, and so on. Such a society should be one in which parents can send their children to religious schools of the parents’ choice and where people can worship freely – again, assuming that such schools or religious groupings are not inciting violence and threatening peace.

Phillip Booth

Phillip Booth

When thinking about economic freedom, perhaps we focus too much on the economic efficiency benefits of a free society and do not talk enough about how such a society also promotes peace and harmony.

Business is especially important here. This cannot be stressed enough. There are relatively thick ties within families and within churches and mosques, for example. However, there are often very thin ties between churches, mosques other religious groupings. Business makes those thin ties thicker. It requires people of different faiths to co-operate. People encounter a much greater variety of persons who are different from them in the business world – as customers, employers or suppliers – than they do in any other area of their life. Indeed, in the business world, discrimination is expensive. If I don’t want to be served by a Pole, a Muslim, an Italian or a Chinese person in a restaurant in London, I would probably end up at a very bad restaurant! If I did not want to be driven by a Muslim taxi driver, in some cities I would literally never get a taxi. Business is a mutually enriching activity and so encountering others different from ourselves through business co-operation is very important.

This is a not a relativist position. It is not an attempt to suggest that all religions are equally true. However, co-operation through business is an essential part of a free and tolerant society. (more…)

During tonight’s presidential candidate debate, Trump and Clinton should (but almost surely won’t) address America’s entitlement crisis.

If they need some help to explain it to the public they can use this video, based on Nicholas Eberstadt’s book, A Nation of Takers, which provides a Seussian tale about the dangerous dependency of entitlements and the importance of liberty.

Hillbilly ElegyWhile the federal government’s “war on poverty” achieved some progress towards meeting basic material needs, says Ray Nothstine in this week’s Acton Commentary, it has no answers to the deeper dilemma of dependency and hopelessness faced by many Americans.

One book that highlights the problem and that is receiving considerable attention this year is J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” Vance uses his own story to depict a crisis of culture among the white working class, especially in Appalachia. When President Lyndon Johnson launched his Great Society programs over 50 years ago with an iconic visit to Eastern Kentucky, it produced forlorn images of families in dilapidated shacks. The region remains under siege by poverty.

The problem, in large part, as Vance explains, is wrapped up in cultural and family decay. Vance, who declares, “Poverty was a family tradition,” was able to break free from the cycle and escape a chaotic future by moving in with a grandmother. Stability in the home brought with it a possibility to change’s ones life trajectory.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Another Way Regulation Could Limit Economic Opportunity for Millions
Mollie McNeill, The Daily Signal

Yet again, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act has spawned an out-of-touch regulation that could harm millions of Americans.

The intriguing possibilities of Catholic school reform
Frederick M. Hess, AEI

While in Milwaukee last week, I had the chance to spend some time visiting with the leadership team for Seton Catholic Schools, a network of about two dozen elementary schools enrolling about 8,300 students. As a Jewish kid who always attended (and taught in) traditional public schools, I always find parochial schools innately interesting. What they’re doing at Seton is doubly so.

European Young Conservatives Bring Free Markets Across the Pond
Katrina Jorgensen, Opportunity Lives

The European Young Conservatives (EYC) last weekend held its annual Freedom Summit, a conference for young leaders from center-right political parties across Europe. The group gathers for training, education and networking. This year, the event took place in Porto, Portugal.

The Case for Unilateral Free Trade
Louis Rouanet, Mises Wire

In the 2016 presidential election, Americans have been given a choice between two types of controlled and managed trade