Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

Google and surveillance capitalism

Business Insider reported last week that Google failed to disclose the existence of a microphone in their home security system, NestSecure. This came as a surprise to many Nest customers who complained that they were not informed that the security system even had a microphone. Continue Reading...

First Reformed: The toxic mess of syncretism

There’s a lot to process in Paul Schrader’s latest film, “First Reformed.” The first half of the film sets up as a powerful, even brilliant, study of spiritual desolation and the cross-currents of modern idolatry and traditional religion. Continue Reading...

North Korea and the Trump-Kim summit: Don’t ignore human rights

The changes in U.S.-North Korean relations over the past year have been drastic enough to give any casual observer whiplash: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump have gone from openly exchanging threats of nuclear war to agreeing to the first ever meeting between a North Korean head of state and a sitting U.S. 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...

Riding the net neutrality see-saw

This week, I was one of several commenters consulted in Nicholas Wolfram Smith’s article “FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality Leads to Lively Fight” for the National Catholic Register. I think Smith did a fine job conveying my primary concern: But according to Dylan Pahman, a researcher and managing editor of Acton Institute’s Journal of Markets & Morality, one of the problems with the 2015 net neutrality regulations was that it gave the government far too much regulatory power over ISPs. Continue Reading...

Financial deregulation expands opportunity

The Dodd-Frank Act became law in 2010, adding more regulation to a banking industry that was already heavily regulated.  The main purpose of this 2,300 page act was to give consumers protection against big profit seeking banks but the unintended consequences prove to be much greater.  Continue Reading...

Love is the Truth

This ad perhaps captures Deirdre McCloskey’s observation that “love runs consumption” better than anything I have yet seen. Coca Cola – What Goes Around comes Around from THE APA on Vimeo. Continue Reading...

‘You are the spring that puts all the rest in motion’

“You are the spring that puts all the rest in motion; they would not stir a step without you.” John Wesley (1703–1791) was talking about the slave trade and was impugning the buyers and owners of slaves as equally culpable as those who captured and sold them, those who “would not stir a step” without buyers for their wares. Continue Reading...