Samuel Gregg: Americans’ ‘Absurd Expectations’ and the Economic Crisis

Samuel Gregg, Acton’s Director of Research and author of the book “Becoming Europe“, says one of America’s real debt dangers is our increasing sense of entitlement from the government. In today’s Investor’s Business Daily editorial, Gregg states our “insatiable appetites” are getting us into the very deep economic trouble that no one, least of all politicians, seems to want to face: …Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker famously lamented in 2007: “We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.” It’s tempting to see this as a peculiarly Western European problem. Continue Reading...

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PowerLinks – 01.15.13

Russian patriarch says religion law must not go too far Alexei Anishchuk, Reuters Any regulatory acts regarding the protection of religious symbols and the feelings of believers should be scrupulously worked through so that they are not used for improvised limitation of freedom of speech and creative self-expression. Continue Reading...

Why Would Anyone Choose Twitter Over Indoor Toilets?

Do most people value electricity and indoor plumbing more than cell phones and the Internet? In his article, Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?, economist Robert Gordon argues that they obviously do, and offers this thought experiment to prove his point: A thought experiment helps to illustrate the fundamental importance of the inventions of [the second industrial revolution] compared to the subset of [computer age] inventions that have occurred since 2002. Continue Reading...

C.S. Lewis on Transcendent Economics

I recently discussed our pesky human tendency to limit and debase our thinking about economics to the temporary and material. Much like Judas, who reacted bitterly to Mary’s outpouring of expensive ointment, we neglect to contemplate what eternal purposes God might have for this or that material good and the ways through which it might be used or distributed. Continue Reading...

Creating a New Class of Young African-American Entreprenuers

Young African American men, especially ex-offenders, face high obstacles to employment. City Startup Labs hopes to help change that by teaching them the skills necessary to become entrepreneurs: This new non-profit was created to take at-risk young African American men, including ex-offenders, and teach them entrepreneurship, while creating a new set of role models and small business ambassadors along the way. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks – 01.14.13

Foreign fighters seek Islamic state in post-Assad Syria Yara Bayoumy, Reuters “Yes, they have the sword and beheading, but only for those people who deserve it,” said Hadi, a bearded rebel who spoke in the corridor of a bombed-out building that served as a gateway to a frontline. Continue Reading...

Heroic Morality is Mundane

In the current Acton Commentary, I take a look at the common temptation to consider ourselves as somehow uniquely beyond the mundane obligations of the moral order. I do so through the lens of the hero of Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, and a particular moral dilemma he faces. Continue Reading...