Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Business and Society

Fear of the European Union

With France voting NO for the ratification of the EU Constitution, a spotlight now follows the current voting on the same issue in the Netherlands. The world is expecting the Dutch to follow suit with the French, although not necessarily for all the same reasons. Continue Reading...

Sources of African Poverty

This Tech Central Station article, “Saving Africa,” puts some figures in perspective, citing the reason for the poverty of African nations: “Africa is poor because most countries in the region lack the fundamental elements of a capitalist system: property rights, free markets, free trade and the rule of law.” The TCS piece quotes a 1998 Religion & Liberty article by Gary Becker, “Human Capital and Poverty,” It is not the culture that has prevented Africa from growing but the policies governments have inflicted on their people. Continue Reading...

Technology Imperialists at the Forefront

This Wired News article examines the European outrage at Google’s announced plans to digitize the holdings of all the world’s libraries. “There is a growing awareness in continental Europe of the technology gap, even with some of the very good technologies they have had, of companies like Google, like Microsoft, like Apple … which are presented as almost technology imperialists at the forefront,” said Jonathan Fenby, a former Observer editor and author of France on the Brink. Continue Reading...

Book Smarts vs. Street Smarts

Many may know that the season finale of The Apprentice was brodcast last night, with the conclusion being a victory for the “Book Smarts” team (college educated or higher) over the “Street Smarts” team (high school only). Continue Reading...

The Right to Migrate

Dr. Andrew Yuengert, the John and Francis Duggan Professor of Economics at Seaver College, Pepperdine University, discussed the various economic and moral dimensions of the critically important immigration issues facing America today. Continue Reading...

Coldplay Frontman: Buying Our New Album is Evil

From the “biting the hand that feeds you” department: Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin today launched an attack on his record label EMI and the company’s shareholders. It came after EMI, the world’s third-largest music company, warned that profits would be lower because the band took longer than expected to finish their first studio album in three years. Continue Reading...

The Smoking Culture

This story from The Boston Globe (via Arts & Letters Daily) relects on the changing place of tobacco in contemporary American society. The efforts of various municipalities and anti-smoking activists have largely managed to turn the cigarette into a symbol of knavery rather than gentry. Continue Reading...

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Rev. Robert Sirico spoke with Frank Beckmann today on Detroit-based WJR about faith and politics, emphasizing the proper role of religion in society as providing a solid moral foundation with which to approach political, social, economic decisions. Continue Reading...

It’s that Time of Year

Time for the annual spate of “gap between rich and poor increases” stories in the MSM. There are a number of problems with the judgmental assumptions implicit in these kinds of stories. Continue Reading...