Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Economics and Social Problems

Europe’s most pressing problem

“Most urgently of all,” asked George Weigel in The Cube and the Cathedral, “why is Europe committing demographic suicide?” Weigel’s book was published almost fifteen years ago, but his question on Europe’s infertility is as urgent as ever—even more urgent now, in fact. Continue Reading...

Brexit and demophobia

Last night, the UK Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal towards an agreed exit from the European Union that would keep North Ireland part of the EU. And here we go again. Continue Reading...

5 Good news stories from 2018 you might have missed

From mass shootings to terrorist attacks, political incompetence to racial unrest, there has been no shortage of bad news stories in 2018. Death, destruction, and divisiveness tend to dominate the news cycle leading us to despair over the direction our world is headed. Continue Reading...

Demographic decline: Ben Franklin’s two cents

Not one of Benjamin Franklin’s better-known works, but one worth reading nonetheless, is a brief 1751 essay called Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, &c. Franklin covers a lot of ground in just a few pages, and brings up quite a few ideas worth commenting on, but I wanted to highlight one paragraph and its relevance for the “birth dearth” we see in the West today. Continue Reading...

Does social media compromise free will?

In an article for Law and Liberty, Michael Matheson Miller, a research fellow at the Acton Institute, reflects on the book “10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” Written by Jaron Lanier, a “technologist and musician”, “10 Arguments” shares thought-provoking ideas about the dangers and risks involved with social media. Continue Reading...

Brazil’s conservatives mount a counter-revolution

Writing to a friend about his pessimism regarding the future of Western Civilization, Jacob Burckhardt made an interesting observation. The Swiss historian believed that history was not a linear process and that he could see that sometimes that Providence contains some surprises for us. Continue Reading...

Hurricanes lead to broken windows—and broken window fallacies

Hurricanes always leave two things in their aftermath: broken windows and articles endorsing the broken window fallacy. As economist Don Boudreaux wrote six years ago, “Americans will soon be flooded by commentary that assures us that the silver lining around the destruction caused by hurricane Sandy is a stronger economy. Continue Reading...