profit“Money is often seen as intrinsically bad or perhaps a necessary evil in the world,” says Tom Nelson. “However, we must not forget the important role money plays in wealth creation and in facilitating the efficient exchange of goods and services.”

Money and the trade it makes possible further the common good and greatly enhance our ability to love our neighbors — both local and global. Christian philosopher Dallas Willard reminded us, “Business is an amazingly effective means of delivering God’s love to the world by loving, serving and providing for one another.”

The idea of profit can, at first blush, seem problematic, but upon closer reflection, we can see the importance of profit within an economic system.

When property rights are well-defined and contracts are consistently enforced, profits perform important functions within modern economies. Profits provide rewards for technological innovation and resource efficiency in delivering goods and services. In this sense, profits are important incentives for promoting research and development, enabling enterprises to discover superior products and better ways to meet the needs of people.

Read more . . .

Liberty

Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

In a new article for the Catholic Herald, Philip Booth outlines the next battle in the fight for religious freedom. The professor of finance, public policy, and ethics at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, writes that “liberal elites are paying the prices for sidelining” this important freedom.

He argues that while there are definitely threats to religious liberty in the United States, the rights to religious liberty and freedom of association are in far more danger in Europe. He makes this point with three examples.

A couple in Northern Ireland refused to bake a cake with “Support Gay Marriage” written on it and were charged with discrimination:

The judges stated quite clearly that the couple’s action was direct discrimination against gay people. This was so even though they did not know the purchaser was gay and despite the fact that same-sex marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland. In other words, the law is such that people are required to bake cakes with public policy messages on them.

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Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, December 1, 2016
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A trade policy that wouldn’t leave low-wage workers behind
Edward Conard, AEI

Free-market advocates can find common ground with blue-collar workers.

Affluenza: the sickness of the rich
Tamara El-Rahi, Mercatornet

Privileged youth are checking themselves into a rehab of sorts.

Iraqi Christians returning to villages destroyed by IS
Sally Nabil, BBC

Iraqi Christians who have returned to the village of Qaraqosh near Mosul have spoken of the devastation left behind by so-called Islamic State.

The Federal Idea
Wilfred McClay, The Imaginative Conservative

The concept of federalism has been one of the principal casualties of modern American history. One has to look far and wide to find American historians and political scientists who do not believe, with the smugness and tenacity of dogma, that our federal institutions are lumbering relics of a past we outgrew over a century ago, relics that have been little more than obstacles in the path of national unity and racial justice, and in any event have little or no place in a modern consolidated nation-state.

Blog author: KHanby
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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“An underlying theme in basic economics says, ‘offering a product for free can destroy the local economy’” writes Luis Miranda.  Miranda recently watched Poverty, Inc and since seeing the award winning Acton Institute documentary he has shared some of its lessons in an article at The Indian Economist.  He begins by explaining how often times aid can harm its recipient more than help them.

A farmer in Rwanda goes out of business because he cannot compete against an American church sending free eggs to feed starving Rwandans. A rice grower in Haiti stops growing rice because he is unable to compete against very cheap rice coming from rich farmers in the US who receive huge subsidies. A local cobbler goes out of business in Africa when TOMS shoes land up in the village and are distributed for free.

In all these cases, the donors had honest intentions. The American church wanted to feed starving people in Rwanda. The US government wanted to feed the disaster-stricken Haitians. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, genuinely wanted to help Africans who did not have proper footwear.

Miranda continues to share key takeaways from Poverty, Inc.  Next he shares how although aid can appear to be effective in the short term, it can create negative effects in the long term. (more…)

cuba-hospitalWhen Fidel Castro died last week many on the political left embarrassed themselves by praising the despot. A prime example is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was excoriated for saying that Castro was a “legendary revolutionary and orator” who made “significant improvements” to the healthcare system of his country.

There are few modern myths the have been debunked as frequently yet have been accepted as incredulously as the idea that Cuba has a superior (or even adequate) health care system. Articles have been written since the 1960s debunking the nonsensical claims about health care in Cuba and yet it is invariably the issue that is trotted out to show how socialism can actually be effective.

Although adding one more article to the pile probably won’t make a difference, it can’t hurt to be prepared with arguments in case you’re cornered by a Castro apologist like PM Trudeau. Here are six facts that reveal the truth about the Cuban health care system:
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Global governance ideology is the intellectual stepchild of Marxist materialist thought, says Robert F. Gorman in this week’s Acton Commentary.

The term global governance refers to the political dimension of globalization. Here the question is to what degree governance will be centralized and controlled by international institutions in ways that threaten to diminish national and local governmental capacity. Global governance advocates tend to prefer both transnational regulation of markets and the creation of new human rights norms marked by increased centralization.

In the latter sense, global governance can imply much more than simple international coordination and cooperation, which has existed throughout modern international relations. Now it is also a deeply and widely embedded ideology that seeks global centralization and regulation of wide-reaching areas of international interaction. It is believed and advanced by its devotees with an almost religious zeal.

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

Joe Bartley

Joe Bartley

An 89-year-old Englishman has taken out an ad seeking a part-time job, so that he can experience the dignity and independence of work – and get off of public assistance.

Joe Bartley, a World War II veteran, caught the UK’s attention after he placed the following advertisement in his hometown newspaper, the Herald Express:

Senior citizen 89 seeks employment in Paignton area. 20hrs+ per week. Still able to clean, light gardening, DIY and anything. I have references. Old soldier, airborne forces. Save me from dying of boredom!

Bartley served in the armed forces before going into the private sector. He briefly retired at the age of 70, but within months he took another job, which he relinquished at the age of 83.

Two years ago his wife, Cassie, died, and without family he found himself alienated and bored watching the “guff” on television. He’d rather have a job, “meeting people, making friends” while being productive. “I want a purpose to go out and the pride of having a job to go to five or six days a week,” he said.

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