3 Modern Economic Lessons from an Ancient Tax on Windows

King William III of England needed money, so in 1696 he decided to implement a new property tax. To make sure the tax was progressive (i.e., affected the rich more than the poor), the parliament devised a seemingly clever idea: they’d use the number of windows as an index for the value of a house. Continue Reading...

Welcoming the Refugee: Living in the Tension of Christian Hospitality

As debates about the Syrian refugee crisis bubble and brim, we continue to see a tension among Christians between a longing to help and a desire to protect. As is readily apparent in BreakPoint’s wonderful symposium on the topic, Christians of goodwill and sincere Biblical belief can and will disagree on the policy particulars of an issue such as this.  Continue Reading...

Will the Earth Ever Have Too Many People?

At the beginning of human history, God gave mankind a mandate to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Sometime later—around the 19th-century—people started wondering, “Is the earth close to being filled with humans?” Continue Reading...

Gertrude Himmelfarb ‘Threads the Needle’ on Lord Acton Biography

Biographers suffer from a myriad of temptations. Gertrude Himmelfarb, in her bibliography to the newly republished Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics, recalls how Acton’s first biographer, Ulrich Noack struggled mightily to reconcile contradictions and tensions in Acton’s thought and in doing so lost much of the man himself. Continue Reading...

John D. Rockefeller’s Special Gift to the World

Whether derided as a devil of modern industry or hailed as a saint of modern philanthropy, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller remains a controversial figure. Although the reality of the man is surely complex, those who attack his legacy tend to indulge in more than a few historical errors and economic myths, painting him as a supreme symbol of all that is wrong with industrialization and capitalism. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Fear and Loathing Stalk the West

Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg, writing for The American Spectator, looks at the telltale signs of a great civilization in decline. Many of us think of civilizational failure in terms of a society’s inability to withstand sudden external encounters. Continue Reading...

Acton University Lecturer: Islam’s Fatalism

Longtime Acton University lecturer (and author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”) Mustafa Akyol discusses the recent tragic deaths at Mecca in The New York Times. More to the point, Akyol talks about the fatalism which seems inherent in Islamic theology. Continue Reading...