Many people believe laws to protect ownership and private property primarily favor the wealthy. But as Prof. Dan Russell explains, lack of property protections can lead to abject poverty.

(Via: Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics)

asian familyPresident Obama has called income inequality the “defining challenge of our time,” but is it strictly about paychecks? Ari Fleischer thinks there is definitely more to it; he believes it’s about the breakdown of the family and American rejection of marriage.

“Marriage inequality” should be at the center of any discussion of why some Americans prosper and others don’t. According to Census Bureau information analyzed by the Beverly LaHaye Institute, among families headed by two married parents in 2012, just 7.5% lived in poverty. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty level jumps to 33.9%. (more…)

A new study by Grand Valley State University professors Leslie Muller and Paul Isely suggests that the Affordable Care Act has already cost West Michigan 1000 jobs. Muller summarized the results in a Wood TV story:

“Firms are actually holding off on hiring or their reducing their hiring that they were thinking they were going to be doing because of the ACA,” said Muller.

The 1,000 jobs lost does not include the number of workers in West Michigan that have lost hours to ensure that they are kept as part-time employees. Nearly one-third of companies said they have cut employees’ hours.

“We’re talking about a thousand jobs in West Michigan that would have been here absent the ACA,” Muller said.

The study found lower-skilled jobs tend to be suffering the most.


Blog author: jcarter
Friday, January 17, 2014

Climate Theology
Steven Hayward, Powerline

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse thought he could discredit Spencer not by arguing science, but by essentially asking Spencer “Are you now or have you ever been a believing Christian?”

Money: An Instrument for Blessing, Not an Indicator of It
John Onwuchekwa, 9Marks Blog

I was in college. I was a young Christian. And I remember walking past my pastor’s luxury car into the church office one day, and was greeted by a sign on the door that read, “We are no longer accepting requests for benevolence due to budgetary constraints.”

The Chief Cause of the Wealth of Nations is Not Material at All, but Knowledge and Skill
Matt Perman, What’s Best Next

This is why helping the poor is about far more than giving fruit baskets at Christmas. Aid, while it has its place and is essential in emergency situations, does not go to the root cause of poverty and that’s why it will never provide the ultimate solution.

9 Things You Should Know About Poverty in America
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the ‘war on poverty’ an attempt to harness the power of government to help the poor. Here are nine things you should know about poverty in America.

The_Moon_Is_A_Harsh_Mistress_fIt was once a common practice of saloons in America to provide a “free lunch” to patrons who had purchased at least one drink. Many foods on offer were high in salt (ham, cheese, salted crackers, etc.), so those who ate them naturally ended up buying a lot of beer.

In his 1966 sci-fi novel, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein used this practice in a saloon on the moon to highlight an economic principle:

“It was when you insisted that the, uh, young lady, Tish—that Tish must pay, too. ‘Tone-stopple,’ or something like it.”

“Oh, ‘tanstaafl.’ Means ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.’ And isn’t,” I added, pointing to a FREE LUNCH sign across room, “or these drinks would cost half as much. Was reminding her that anything free costs twice as much in long run or turns out worthless.”

“An interesting philosophy.”

“Not philosophy, fact. One way or other, what you get, you pay for.”

While the phrase “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” didn’t originate with Heinlein, he did help to popularize the concept. Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman even used a variation for his 1975 book, There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. Economist Campbell R. McConnel claims the phrase is the “core of economics“:

Judge Nap Headshot 7-13The focus of Acton University is scholarship: the participants spend their days learning from a faculty that is wide-ranging, accomplished, and masters in their chosen fields. The Acton Institute is pleased that Judge Andrew Napolitano, currently a Fox News Senior Analyst, will be joining us to teach “Freedom of Conscience and the Constitution.”

Judge Napolitano, author of numerous books including It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom and Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom, was the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey.  He sat on the bench from 1987 to 1995, when he returned to private practice. Napolitano also taught law for 13 years. Now, he appears daily, Monday through Friday, on the Fox News Channel. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Thursday, January 16, 2014

Barack_Obama_signature_and_pen (1)On Tuesday, in his first cabinet meeting of the year, President Obama indicated he is prepared to use executive actions more frequently to advance administration goals. “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we are providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama told his Cabinet.

Over at First Things, Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, provides a blistering reply to the President’s “I’ve got a pen . . . ” remark: