Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Economics and Social Problems

How ideologues devalue and dismiss economics

Economics is often dismissed as ideological, reductionist, and mendacious. In the United States we see these criticisms increasingly from both the political left and right. This should come as no surprise as the lessons of economics have implications for the prudential decisions that make up much of our political life. Continue Reading...

Why should Christians support free markets?

One of the abiding joys of working at a think tank like the Acton Institute is that interesting people are always asking you big questions. I was recently asked, “Why should Christians support free markets?” The question is large, interesting, and necessitates the answering of a more basic question first, “Why should Christians be interested in economics?” Adam Smith, and his many antecedents, began crafting the analytical tools which we would come to call economics in response to phenomena which they saw in their world. Continue Reading...

Education, efficiency and liberty

Alaska’s university system is currently facing $130 million in funding cuts to an annual budget of $900 million, which included $327 million in state funding last year. These potential cuts have sparked criticism from researchers at other universities, University of Alaska President James Johnsen, Alaskan state legislators, and citizens. Continue Reading...

Is income inequality acceptable?

In the past few weeks, democratic presidential hopefuls outlined income inequality fixes anywhere from $1,000 per month basic income to free college and single payer healthcare. While many operate on the assumption that income equality results in a fair economic system, I do not. Continue Reading...

‘Regulated leisure’, the basis of culture?

Every summer, as I prepare for much needed vacation, I am reminded of my favorite book, Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture. It was written by the neo-Thomistic philosopher who condemned a world of “total work.” The context in which Pieper’s masterpiece was authored is his native Germany in the late-1940s during a furious rebuilding of Europe after the Second World War. Continue Reading...