Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Economic inequality'

Capital Then and Now

Speaking of Thomas Piketty, here’s a very helpful and revealing interview with Matthew Yglesias, “Thomas Piketty doesn’t hate capitalism: He just wants to fix it.” (HT: PEG) A few highlights with some comment: On the need for a historical perspective in economics: Thomas Piketty: … It’s not only economists’ fault. Continue Reading...

The Forgotten Sin of Covetous Envy

Modern rhetoric of income inequality is driven by covetous envy, says Russell Nieli. Caritas, humility, gratitude, and goodwill toward others are a healthy society’s answer to the ancient curses of envy and pride: The problem of the chronically poor is that they are chronically poor, not that some people make a lot more money than other people and bring about “inequality.” The fact that some fail to earn enough to live at a decent level is a genuine social problem. Continue Reading...

Why Attitudes About Competition Matter

In an excerpt from the splendid PovertyCure series, Michael Fairbanks offers a helpful bit on why our attitudes about competition matter for economic development: I can predict the future of a developing nation better than any IMF team of economists by asking one question: “Do you believe in competition?” When I go to Venezuela and I say, “do you believe in competition?,” they say “competition means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” They say “competition is the unnecessary duplication of effort because you have two firms doing the same thing.” They say “competition is a quaint North American concept that doesn’t apply here.” But when I go to Silicon Valley and I say,“What do you think about the word competition?,” they say, “Well, I love competition, because even when I lose, I learn something. Continue Reading...

The 1%: Who Are They Really?

The much-maligned 1%. Websites are devoted to getting them to spread their wealth. They are called self-pitying, greedy…just all-around bad folk. Really? In today’s Wall Street Journal, James Piereson says the 1% are actually hard-working people like the rest of us. Continue Reading...

Has ‘Income Inequality’ Become Code For ‘Envy?’

There are, according to Christian teaching, 7 deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Unchecked, these dark places in the human heart will lead to the ultimate death of Hell (yes, some of us still believe in that.) There is much discussion today about “income inequality.” President Obama has declared it the most important issue of our time. Continue Reading...

What Every Christian Should Know About Income Inequality

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama has signaled that income inequality will be his domestic focus during the remainder of his term in office. The fact that the president considers income inequality, rather than employment or economic growth, to be the most important economic issue is peculiar, though not really surprising. Continue Reading...

Let’s Define ‘Income Inequality’

The saga of “income inequality” stretches on. The young people of the Occupy Wall Street movement now have a website, and President Obama has proclaimed it the “defining issue of our time.” But what IS it exactly? Continue Reading...