Radio Free Acton: The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke

This week on Radio Free Acton, Michael Matheson Miller takes the interviewer’s chair for a conversation with David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, to discuss the thought of Edmund Burke in the wake of the release of Bromwich’s first volume of what will be a two-volume intellectual biography of Burke. Continue Reading...

Ex-Im Bank and the Unseen Costs of Political Privilege

With its authorization charter expiring at the end of September, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has come under increased scrutiny from rabble-rousers and the hum-drum alike. An otherwise obscure fixture in the grand scheme of federal-government corporatism, Ex-Im finances and insures (i.e. Continue Reading...

A Cultural Case for Capitalism: Part 7 of 12 — What have the capitalists ever done for Wendell Berry!

[Part 1 is here]. In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the ring leader of a little band of first-century Jewish rebels asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” He’s sure the answer is absolutely nothing, but one of the rebels meekly pipes up with “The Aqueduct.” A moment later another rebel squeaks, “And the sanitation.” Then another, “The Roads.” The ringleader grudgingly grants all of this and then tries to wrench the meeting back on track. Continue Reading...

Which U.S. States are the Most Corrupt?

There’s an old saying that corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency. That combination makes state-level governments especially prone to the temptations of corruption. A new study in Public Administration Review, “The Impact of Public Officials’ Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. Continue Reading...

How Enterprise Zones Lead to Cronyism

Barack Obama calls them Promise Zones while Rand Paul calls them Freedom Zones. But when they were first proposed they were called Enterprise Zones. In the 1980s, then-congressman and self-described “bleeding-heart conservative” Jack Kemp became the first lawmaker to popularize enterprise zones, which he supported to foster entrepreneurship and job creation. Continue Reading...