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.

unemployment-3Series Note: Jobs are one of the most important aspects of a morally functioning economy. They help us serve the needs of our neighbors and lead to human flourishing both for the individual and for communities. Conversely, not having a job can adversely affect spiritual and psychological well-being of individuals and families. Because unemployment is a spiritual problem, Christians in America need to understand and be aware of the monthly data on employment. Each month highlight the latest numbers we need to know (see also: What Christians Should Know About Unemployment).

Positive news is marked with the plus sign (+) while negative employment data is marked with a minus sign (-). No significant change is marked by (NC).

Overview: While most of the metrics were positive, few jobs were added and a large number of Americans dropped out of the labor for, making this one of the worst jobs report in years.

Blog author: jcarter
Friday, August 5, 2016

Is Global Warming a Sign of the End Times?
Ronald Bailey,

The folks over at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication conducted a poll of 1,200 or so Americans regarding their religious and climate beliefs. It turns out that not insignficant percentages of Americans think that global warming is definitely or probably a sign of the approaching End Times.

Manny Pacquiao, Championship Boxer, Has a New Opponent: Philippine Poverty
Andrew Johnson, Christianity Today

From street kid to world boxing champion to national hero and global icon, Pacquiao, 37, will continue his unlikely career trajectory by pursuing a new vocation: that of evangelical politician.

How Washington Is Regulating American Indians To Death
Ramona Tausz, The Federalist

U.S. policies have turned Indian reservations into ‘small third-world countries,’ Naomi Schaefer Riley claims in her latest book.

The Anti-Human-Trafficking Crusader
Sharmilla Ganesan , The Atlantic

Agnes Igoye is building a law-enforcement system to protect Uganda’s girls.

Photo from Wikimedia

In a recent article published for The Catholic World Report Samuel Gregg highlights some similarities between Pope Francis and the former president of Argentina, Juan Perón.  Gregg asks: “Does a long-deceased Latin American populist provide us with insight into Pope Francis?”

Juan Perón served as the president of Argentina from 1946-1955, while Pope Francis was just a teenager, and again from 1973-1974.  According to Gregg, the economic views of this potentially influential leader on Pope Francis are:

“best described as a mixture of economic nationalism, extensive wealth-redistribution, efforts by the state to coordinate different groups from the top-down (also known as “corporatism”), and a suspicion of markets. This resulted in heavy tariffs on foreign products, subsidies for domestic businesses (especially those close to government officials), and nationalization of key industries.”


tvmNote: This is the latest entry in the Acton blog series, “What Christians Should Know About Economics.” For other entries in the series see this post.

The Term: Time Value of Money

What It Means: The time value of money (TVM) is the concept that because of potential earning capacity, money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount at a future time.

Why It Matters: Would you rather receive $100 today or $100 one year in the future? You probably don’t have to consider the question too long before deciding the obvious answer is that you’d prefer the money today. But why is that the case? Because even if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, you likely have an intuitive understanding of the time value of money.

Money is more valuable today than tomorrow for two reasons: inflation and interest.