Category Archives: Poverty

Protectionism, Donald Trump and the Kevin Williamson Blast

It seems this blog overlaps one just published by my colleague Jeff Haymond.  But I will publish mine anyway, since it nicely supplements his. Donald Trump has been saying quite a bit recently about the disappearance of (especially) manufacturing jobs in the South as well as the “Rust Belt,” blaming those lost jobs on the trade policies of both Democrats and “establishment” Republican politicians.  But in addition, an article appeared recently by Kevin Williamson, or at least is scheduled to… Continue Reading ››

Frederic Bastiat as Prophet

I have been reading quite a few articles lately in which the individuals (politicians, bureaucrats and just ordinary citizens) are asked about various issues related to the presidential campaigns.  One answer I have heard quite a bit is simply that “the government” should do something.  Sometimes the issues are even cast in terms of a “crisis,” about which someone ought to take action now (or NOW!).  “Pass a law” is another common response.  While I realize that this is a… Continue Reading ››

A Generous People

Well, for those who think the wealthy are stingy and selfish, a new study seems to disprove that old maxim, which, I hesitate to say it, but must, is most often heard from the lips of political liberals who believe the solution to problems requiring money (almost all problems for them) is money, is government.  Sorry, but they are wrong. Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner of January 19, 2016, “Americans are a charitable group, in fact the most… Continue Reading ››

A New Paradigm for Addressing Poverty

Is there a “poverty industry”?  Is the way we attempt to alleviate poverty wrong, outdated, even harmful?  These are two questions the new documentary Poverty, Inc.  attempts to address.  I had the opportunity to host a screening this video documentary at Cedarville University, sponsored by the Department of History and Government and the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics a few days ago before over 160 students and faculty.  It runs about 90 minutes and consists of narration, interviews with… Continue Reading ››

Global Climate “Lukewarmness”

I have been listening on Econtalk, a podcast production by economist Russ Roberts, to an interview with Matt Ridley, who calls himself a “lukewarmer” regarding climate change (by the way, I highly recommend Econtalk).  To be a “lukewarmer” is to believe climate change is probably man-made, but not dangerous.  Now before I get criticisms for being a climate skeptic, I concede that science is not settled, despite what climate advocates argue.  The two positions on either side of the spectrum… Continue Reading ››

Papal Platitudes, Global Warming and the New Encyclical: Part One

Pope Francis issued his long-awaited encyclical today, entitled, Ladato Si or “Praise to You [O Lord].”  The 183 page document is concerned with the environment and more specifically with global climate change.  I am in the process of making my way through it, but have a few initial comments get things going.  First, the Pope rightly states that theology is crucial to thinking about economics and the environment.  We Protestants might say Scripture is particularly crucial, though many also recognize… Continue Reading ››

Ephesians 6 and Capitalism

Today we heard a sermon on Ephesians 6: 5-9, the text about how Christian slaves and masters should act toward each other and the proper attitudes they should have.  The sermon (and my wife) prompted me to write here on the application of that text to relations in a capitalist-market society.  First, the direct and primary interpretation has to do with master-slave relations.  Slaves are to obey their masters as if they were obeying Christ, while masters are to treat… Continue Reading ››

New Books and More Arguments Against Inequality: Will It Ever End?

There is another new book out on the alleged problem of inequality.  This one is by Anthony Atkinson, a British scholar who wrote Inequality: What Can Be Done?  The book was just released so I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but Richard Epstein, a legal and economic scholar with New York University and the Hoover Institution, has read it and has written a very good piece on the book and the issue in general.  You can read… Continue Reading ››

States Limit Local Regulation: Finally

An interesting development has arisen on the issue of regulation.  It seems that some state legislatures have moved to limit how much local governments will be allowed to regulate businesses and people.  This is quite a development.  In the past usually the states were only too happy not only to regulate directly themselves but to leave it to local governments, especially cities, and particularly large cities, to tax and regulate to their heart’s content.  It looks like some have finally… Continue Reading ››

The Catholic Church and the Pope on Politics and Economics: A Threat?

It began when the current Pope, Francis, succeeded Benedict XVI and proceeded to issue an encyclical dealing with economics.  Many at the time defended him and argued that he could be interpreted in such a way as not to be overly critical of markets and capitalism.  But Francis seems to have continued down an interesting road.  He is from Argentina, known to produce churchmen at least sympathetic to Liberation Theology (Christianity combined with Marxism).  He himself already had a record… Continue Reading ››