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Chevron, Ecuador, and the Interfaith Rush to Judgment

In 2005, religious shareholder activists of various stripes jumped aboard the bandwagon filing resolutions against Chevron for an environmental disaster it allegedly caused. Chevron asserted its innocence, but the activist shareholders put the squeeze on: Chevron’s Ecuador environmental disaster, considered by experts to be the worst oil-related ecological problem on the planet and currently the subject of a high-stakes law suit estimated to cost the company upwards of $6 billion, will be high on the agenda of the company’s 2006 annual shareholder meeting with the filing of three new resolutions asking Chevron’s management to take various steps to protect human rights, the environment and shareholder interests. Continue Reading...

Why Attitudes About Competition Matter

In an excerpt from the splendid PovertyCure series, Michael Fairbanks offers a helpful bit on why our attitudes about competition matter for economic development: I can predict the future of a developing nation better than any IMF team of economists by asking one question: “Do you believe in competition?” When I go to Venezuela and I say, “do you believe in competition?,” they say “competition means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” They say “competition is the unnecessary duplication of effort because you have two firms doing the same thing.” They say “competition is a quaint North American concept that doesn’t apply here.” But when I go to Silicon Valley and I say,“What do you think about the word competition?,” they say, “Well, I love competition, because even when I lose, I learn something. Continue Reading...

Radio Free Acton: Egypt in Transition

As Egypt moves through the process of establishing a new, stable government after not just one but two revolutions, the security of the Coptic Orthodox Christian community in Egyptian society has at times been in doubt. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 03.05.14

The Downside of Inciting Envy Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times It’s safe to conclude that a national shift toward envy would be toxic for American culture. When Income Inequality Is – and Isn’t – a Problem Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics Income inequality can be a red herring. Continue Reading...

McConaughey Oscar Acceptance Begs a Question

By now even many people who didn’t watch the Oscars have seen or heard Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech for Best Actor. The Texas actor thanked God for all the opportunities in his life, thanked God some more (cut to Academy members squirming in their seats), and then he told a story about when he was a teenager and was asked who his hero was. Continue Reading...

How IKEA and Innovation Help Refugees in Iraq

When looking for solutions to humanity’s problems, conservatives and libertarians tend to prefer turning first to free markets rather than government. The reason for such a preference is often misunderstood, and can be difficult to explain since it appears paradoxical: free markets are often better at serving human needs than governments because free markets make it easier to fail. Continue Reading...

Religious Liberty and Business as Culture-Making

Offering yet another contribution to a series of recent discussions about the religious liberties of bakers, florists, and photographers, Jonathan Merritt has a piece at The Atlantic warning that the type of protections Christians were fighting for in Arizona “could come back to hurt the faithful.” “These prophets of doom only acknowledge one side of the slope,” Merritt writes. Continue Reading...