Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Economics and Social Problems

How not to think clearly on faith and economics

Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary, recently addressed a meeting of Evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College and has released a reconstruction of his remarks. It is an interesting address which spends four paragraphs explicitly addressing questions of economics and economic policy. Continue Reading...

A polite rebuke of Pope Francis’ economic confusion

Review of Pope Francis and the Caring Society, edited by Robert M. Whaples; The Independent Institute, Oakland, CA; 2017, 234 pp. Having toiled in the free-market research universe for nearly two decades, perhaps the most common misperception I’ve encountered is “whataboutism.” Readers know of which I write: “What about BP and Deepwater Horizon?” or “What about Enron?” and, perhaps most stridently, “What about the mortgage-lending industry’s complicity in causing the Great Recession?” When this rhetorical strafing fails, there’s always the “What about the poor?” and the “What about the environment?” macro-strategies. Continue Reading...

Is economics an ideology?

Richard H. Spady, research professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins, has recently published a piece at First Things entitled ‘Economics as Ideology’ in which he explores some contemporary trends among economists and their use of economics as a Procrustean bed to reshape society in its own image, A body of thought is “ideological” when it will­fully projects its own first principles on its subject matter and actively seeks, perhaps unconsciously, material changes to bring social realities into conformity with these first principles. Continue Reading...

How managers can help save the world

Why are some countries rich while other countries are poor? A primary reason, as economists have been pointing out for hundreds of years, is productivity—the efficient use of such resources as labor and capital. Continue Reading...

Is Elizabeth Bruenig even a socialist?

Elizabeth Bruenig, columnist for the Washington Post, yesterday published an opinion piece entitled, ‘Let’s have a good-faith argument about socialism’ responding to some critics of her earlier piece, ‘It’s time to give socialism a try’. Continue Reading...

Give socialism a try? Let’s not.

Elizabeth Bruenig, columnist for the Washington Post, yesterday published an opinion piece entitled, ‘It’s time to give socialism a try’. The title is a bit misleading as the piece makes no positive case for socialism but rather chronicles her own and several others convictions that something in our society has gone terribly wrong. Continue Reading...

Herman Bavinck on love, economics, and the reformation of society

When we think about markets, we often think only in terms of mathematics or money. But at a deeper level, markets are simply networks of human relationships. When we participate in economic activity, we aren’t just creating wealth; we are forming communities, cultures, and civilization, partnering with God and neighbor in a divine exchange of gifts, blessings, and love. Continue Reading...

What you should know about Jubilee Years

  One of the earliest economic programs mentioned in the Bible is the Year of Jubilee. In the Jubilee Year, as William Baur explains, all land would automatically revert to its original owner (Leviticus 25:10; 25:13), and those who, compelled by poverty, had sold themselves as slaves to their brothers, should regain their liberty (Leviticus 25:10; 25:39). Continue Reading...