Angus Deaton schools Italians on economics

But was anyone listening? That’s my question after attending the 2015 Nobel-prize-winning economist‘s talk last night in Rome at the Vatican-sponsored Cortile dei gentili (Court of Gentiles). Like the other speakers, Deaton voiced his concerns about income inequality. Continue Reading...

The financial mess of the Vatican

The finances of the Catholic Church, and more specifically of the Vatican, are quite the mess. When Pope Francis was elected, he recognized this problem and appointed Australian Cardinal George Pell as the inaugural Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy.  Continue Reading...

Mike Rowe interviews Charles Koch on work, cronyism, and criminal justice reform

Mike Rowe was recently criticized for his new partnership with Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, whose philanthropy for conservative and libertarian causes routinely garners controversy, despite its tremendous fruits. Rowe, himself an increasingly provocative figure, recently interviewed Koch on their core areas of collaboration, including work, the trades, cronyism, higher education, and criminal justice reform. Continue Reading...

Nintendo, Economic Development, and Asceticism

Today marks the 20th birthday of the Nintendo 64 (N64) gaming console. Don Reisinger offered a great tribute at Fortune: On this day in Japan 20 years ago, Nintendo introduced the gaming system, among the first consoles to create realistic-looking 3D worlds filled with monsters, soldiers, and blood. Continue Reading...

Why Do You Need a License to Braid Hair?

There are numerous forms of crony capitalism, but one of the most subtle and damaging to the economically vulnerable are occupational licensing laws. For millions of Americans, occupational licensing continues to serve as a barrier to work and self-sufficiency. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg on David Bentley Hart and Murderous Markets

Is the dominant economic system we have today, the market economy or capitalism, compatible with Christianity? Orthodox Christian theologian David Bentley Hart in a June 2016 First Things article titled,”Mammon Ascendant: Why global capitalism is inimical to Christianity,” is skeptical. Continue Reading...

Understanding Trump: The Deal-Maker as Redistributionist

[Note: This is the second in an occasional series evaluating the remaining presidential candidates and their views on economics and liberty. You can find the first article here.] In the previous article in this series I explained that the key to understanding Donald Trump’s economic policies is the recognition that, for him, policy and principle are secondary to process. Continue Reading...

Where Billionaire Crony Capitalists Live

It’s never easy becoming a billionaire, but the path to achieving a 10-figure level of wealth is smoother when you have the government as a business partner. Crony capitalism is a general term for the range of activities in which particular individuals or businesses in a market economy receive government-granted privileges over their customers or competitors. Continue Reading...

Bernie Sanders Loves to Decry ‘Casino Capitalism,’ But What About Economic Freedom?

In last Tuesday’s Democratic debate, Senator Bernie Sanders stayed true to his famed aversion to capitalism, proclaiming the fanciful virtues of “democratic socialism.” Yet when prodded by Anderson Cooper — who asked, “you don’t consider yourself a capitalist?” — Sanders responded not by attacking free markets, but by targeting a more popular target of discontent: Wall Street and the banks. Continue Reading...