Today, a group Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders have released a statement in defense of the religious freedom of private colleges and universities in California. Current legislation pending in the California State Senate threatens to strip some private colleges and universities of an exemption that protects them from lawsuits and allows them to function as faith-based organizations. The effort, spearheaded by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, includes signatures from 145 religious leaders.

Here is the full text of the statement along with a list of leaders who have signed the statement. You can also add your name to the document here.


Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

California bill threatens religious freedom, minorities and the poor
Archbishop José Gomez and Bishop Charles Blake, Crux

Current California law exempts religious schools from nondiscrimination laws in cases where applying them violates their beliefs. A new bill on higher education, however, would force faith-based institutions to choose between compromising their deeply held beliefs or risking an endless wave of costly litigation.

The Strivers Punished by Marriage Penalties
David Lapp, Family Studies

Marriage penalties do prevent some couples from marrying, but they aren’t a factor for most.

Why It’s So Hard To Regulate Payday Lenders
Astra Taylor, The New Yorker

Georgia’s experience shows that even the most robust and well-considered regulations of the payday-loan business don’t always have the desired effects.

The Biblical Definition of True Happiness
Hugh Whelchel, Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics

The Bible talks about happiness, but defines it differently than our culture. When the Bible mentions happiness, it is speaking of something that is self-contained. The happiness the Bible advocates isn’t dependent on circumstances.

Note: This is the first in a series examining the positions of several third party and independent presidential candidates on issues covered by the Acton Institute. A previous series covered the Democratic Party platform (see here and here) and the Republican Party Platform (see here and here).

evanmcmullinCandidate: Evan McMullin

Party: Independent candidate

Age: 40 (born 1976)

Religion: Mormon

• Bachelor’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy from Brigham Young University (2001)
• Master’s of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2011)

• Deckhand on a commercial fishing vessel (1997)
• Mormon missionary in Brazil (2001)
• Volunteer refugee resettlement officer in Amman, Jordan, on behalf of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2001)
• Operations Officer with the CIA’s National Clandestine Service (served in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia) (1999 – 2010)
• Investment Banking Associate, Goldman Sachs (2010-2013)
• Senior Advisor for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (2013-15)
• Chief Policy Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference (2015-2016)

Position on the Issues:


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

In a recent interview with MercatorNet, Samuel Gregg explains why the integration of markets is not in itself a bad thing.  Gregg starts out by explaining why Brexit does not contradict economic globalization, but why it is actually beneficial to the global economy.  Hey says:

But Brexit is also quite compatible with economic globalization. Economic globalization is rendering trade blocs such as the EU increasingly irrelevant. Britain now can choose to trade freely with whoever it wants, instead of waiting for every single member of the EU to agree.

The interview continues to talk about Gregg’s 2013 book Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future and what exactly is America trying to avoid by not becoming Europe.  He explains: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 8, 2016

rationalityAre people smart enough to run their own lives? Probably not. Are other people smart enough to direct everyone else’s lives? Definitely not.

So if no one is smart enough, what then can we do?

“Individually, we may not know much,” says Steven Horwitz, “but together, with the right institutions, we can learn from each other and, collectively, know a lot.”


Blog author: jcarter
Monday, August 8, 2016

Protectionism Will Not Relieve the Plight of the Working Class
Cathy Reisenwitz, FEE

A recent study showed that 85% of the job losses in manufacturing from 2000 to 2010 resulted from productivity growth, not outsourcing. The Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University found that in that period 5.6 million factory jobs disappeared, but trade accounted for just 13% of those job losses.

Forget Everything You Were Told About Poverty
Israel Ortega , Opportunity Lives

What if everything we think we know about poverty is wrong? And what if the way we are addressing poverty is only making things worse? These are just but a couple of the many provocative questions raised in the landmark poverty-fighting book, “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself.”

What makes governments resistant to coups? Transparency with voters.
James R. Hollyer, B. Peter Rosendorff and James Raymond Vreeland, Washington Post

While social media are sufficiently new, and coups sufficiently infrequent to assess this claim, there’s another way to look at the link between coups and access to information.

Jobs Report: Needs To Be Reported Correctly

Ed Butowsky, Chapwood Capital

Ed Butowsky, top wealth manager in Dallas, Financial Advisor, and managing partner of Chapwood Investment Management, discusses the jobs report numbers and why it is so important to this country.

Earlier this year the Obama administration announced the publication of a new Department of Labor rule updating and expanding overtime regulations (here’s an explainer article on what it is and means). There are numerous ways to show how this policy which was intended to help workers will actually hurt them. But sometimes the best way to make a point is with an illustration.

Prager U has a new video that shows how this regulation can prevent people from becoming salaried employees or even limit the number of hours they can work.