Sympathy as social virtue: Adam Smith’s solution for disruption

In our dynamic and disruptive economy, we see an increasing cultural anxiety about the automation and outmoding of all things, leading us to increase our focus on technical knowledge and “hard skills.” At the same time, we see increases in social isolation and declines in virtue and communal life, causing many to wonder what might be missing. Continue Reading...

Are children their parents’ property?

John Stossel says, “Yes,” at least according to a recent video at Reason. In the video, “Don’t Be Scared of Designer Babies,” Stossel interviews Georgetown University Professor Jason Brennan, who offers the following unhelpful and patronizing strawman of anyone who objects to the idea of using gene-editing technology to engineer one’s offspring however one wants: When you have any kind of intervention into the body that’s new, people think it’s icky. Continue Reading...

Religious faith: It’s a market?

When a market is mentioned, buying, selling, and everyday business activities usually come to mind. Economists Rachel M. McCleary and Robert J. Barro have a broader focus in their new book, The Wealth of Religions: The Political Economy of Believing and Belonging. Continue Reading...

When the Federal Reserve does too much

Note: This is post #123 in a weekly video series on basic economics. “If you think through all of the variables that shape a country’s economy, it’s no wonder that monetary policy is difficult,” says economist Alex Tabarrok. Continue Reading...

New study exposes career training cronyism

Last week the Mackinac Center — a think tank that focuses on public policy in Michigan — published a new study: “Workforce Development in Michigan.” The study, authored by Hope College economics professor, Acton research fellow, and Journal of Markets & Morality associate editor Sarah Estelle, examines the wide variety of skills-training and employment programs in the state. Continue Reading...

Rev. Robert Sirico on socialism and the religious left in the Detroit News

The Detroit News has published an opinion piece by Fr. Robert Sirico on our increasingly contentious public discourse, socialism, and the religious left titled ‘The dangers of creeping toward socialism’: The popes have traditionally condemned socialism in the strongest possible terms as being incompatible with Christianity, because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth. Continue Reading...

Aldi and the virtues of ‘brutal efficiency’

In recent years, we’ve witnessed a food revolution of sorts, leading to expansive consumer choice and an increasing emphasis on healthy or specialty foods that are locally and ethically sourced. In turn, a flurry of grocery chains have capitalized on such trends, with some stuffing their aisles with countless brands as others focus on “socially conscious” goods at luxury prices. Continue Reading...