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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Blog author: jballor
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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Statua chrystus królCourtesy Adrian Vermeule at Mirror of Justice, I ran across a word new to me: Kyriarchy. Given the context and my admittedly limited Greek-language skills, I was able to work out the gist of the idea. As Vermeule puts it, “On November 20, the Feast of Christ the King, a coronation ceremony took place at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow. The President of Poland and the Catholic Bishops officially crowned Jesus Christ the King of Poland.”

Vermeule goes on to wonder what impact, if any, this might have for Poland’s constitutional order: “Is Poland now to be classified as an authoritarian regime? What is Poland’s small-c constitution, if it still has one?”

Off the top of my head, I would point to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament as a precedent, which is perhaps best understood as a constitutional monarchy, first with Yahweh as the heavenly monarch with judges as the main earthly authorities, and later with a human monarchy subsumed and accountable to that divine rule. Torah was the national constitution, and there was a whole apparatus in place holding various institutions and authorities responsible for various duties.

I don’t think it would be right to call such divine lordship merely “symbolic.” And I don’t see why mutatis mutandis something like that couldn’t also be coherently put in place today.

The Dutch theologian and statesman Abraham Kuyper had a lot to say about something that might be understood as Kyriarchy in a broader sense, at least. For that, I recommend his three-volume treatment of the lordship of Christ Pro Rege, the first of which is now available in English translation.

It is, of course, one thing to affirm the lordship of Christ over everything, including particular nation-states, and quite another to work out the particular ways that ought to be reflected in a particular political order. As Vermeule rightly notes, this isn’t merely a technical issue of polity, but a more substantive question of political, and even public, theology.

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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The Ethical Argument for Free Trade – Daniel Hannan on Brexit
Alex Manning and Nick Gillespie, Reason.com

Hannan believes the U.K. should take charge of its own economic destiny. “I want people to be making the ethical argument for free trade as the supreme instrument of poverty alleviation, of conflict resolution and of social justice,” Hannan says.

Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse
Nicholas Casey, New York Times

Venezuela was once one of Latin America’s richest countries, flush with oil wealth that attracted immigrants from places as varied as Europe and the Middle East. But after President Hugo Chávez vowed to break the country’s economic elite and redistribute wealth to the poor, the rich and middle class fled to more welcoming countries in droves, creating what demographers describe as Venezuela’s first diaspora.

Pope Francis: Grace, not money, must guide financial choices of religious
Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

“The hypocrisy of consecrated men and women who live like the rich wounds the consciences of the faithful and damages the church,” Pope Francis wrote to treasurers of religious orders who were in Rome for a symposium on economics and religious life.

Meet the Christian Who Transformed the U.S. Mint
Bethany Jenkins, TGC

In 2006, when Ed Moy became director of the U.S. Mint, employee morale was incredibly low. The Best Places to Work in Federal Government ranked it number 211 out of 217 Federal agencies. No one wanted to work there, and Ed wanted to change that.

Blog author: sstanley
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
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nosaluteLife, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are fundamental rights “asserted in the face of oppression and paid for in blood,” argues Declan Ganley. They “have been the cornerstone not only of American democracy but of western civilization.” In a new article for Prospect Magazine, the chairman & CEO of Rivada Networks says that the West “needs to defend [these] shared values.”

He argues that these fundamental rights are now under attack:

We live in an age where universal values are maligned. During his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of a “dictatorship of relativism” and “an attack on truth” that defined the modern era. This is on display when a candidate with close financial ties to despotic middle eastern regimes can be the flag bearer of liberal feminists, while cultural and religious conservatives line up behind a candidate who brags about dodging sexually transmitted diseases being “his personal Vietnam” and who was recorded boasting about committing sexual assault.

It is now possible to choose media sources so as to never read or watch a news story that challenges one’s point of view. This is a problem that affects both sides of the political divide. Its consequence is first and foremost a devastating loss of empathy in our society—an increased intolerance for dissenting views and voices that is seen in the comments sections of conservative websites and the safe spaces on our college campuses. Fewer and fewer values are viewed as common, shared or universal and this is an urgent danger.

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