Category: The Economy

Vatican and Global Financial Contexts of Pope's Resignation
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Vatican and Global Financial Contexts of Pope’s Resignation

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Today the Vatican announced that its ability to process credit card transactions, interrupted since January 1 by a decision of the Bank of Italy, had been restored. The renewed access to international financial networks comes one day after Pope Benedict announced that he will step down from his office as successor of Peter on February […]

Learning to Love Sequestration
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Learning to Love Sequestration

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Paul Ryan says it’s going to happen, the sequestration, that is. One can hardly imagine any alternative scenario, in which Democrats and Republicans work it all out, and come out singing Kumbaya with a deal to avert the workings of the automatic cuts, share and share alike, to domestic and defense discretionary spending. Certainly, it would be better a) […]

Distributism and the Local Organic Food Movement
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Distributism and the Local Organic Food Movement

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Great change for the good often comes slowly. It creeps up through the cracks in a broken system, and begins to take the place of its previous forms. Slowly, public opinion, public actions, and individual sentiments begin to be formed in a new way. This is exactly what is happening in America today. The Local […]

The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker
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The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker

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There is a well-known passage in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (book I, chapter 2) that runs thus: It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and […]

America’s Growing Government Class
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America’s Growing Government Class

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The latest unemployment figures are again depressing, but not for the usual reasons. They provide further confirmation of Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, specifically through his creation of a growing government class. The numbers show a massive increase in government jobs created over the last five months—621,000, to be exact, dwarfing private-sector job growth. […]

Government Subsidies Not So Sweet for Health
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Government Subsidies Not So Sweet for Health

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It’s yet another example of the unintended consequences of government meddling in the economy, a new study shows that large amounts of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in national food supplies across the world may be one explanation for the rising global epidemic of type 2 diabetes and resulting higher health care costs. The […]

Welfareship Wordle
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Welfareship: France’s Status Quo, America’s Future?

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Welfare has become a characteristic of President Obama’s domestic policies. There has been a surge in American citizens on welfare over the last four years, including a 50-percent increase in people on food stamps (from 32 to 47 million). It is a form of “welfareship.” As a citizen of France, I know such a society […]

Twinkie Killers, Part 2:  Long Live the Twinkie!
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Twinkie Killers, Part 2: Long Live the Twinkie!

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Can the Twinkie and other famous Hostess brands be saved? I hope so, and I’ll offer my own two cents’ on one possible way of doing so. First, though, I’d like to address two of the criticisms of my previous article—namely, that I confined my comments to the Bakery union and the allegation that I […]

Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism?
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Too Few Capitalists or Too Much Capitalism?

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There is a saying of G.K. Chesterton’s about economics that one finds frequently quoted, but often it seems with little attempt to understand what Chesterton meant or might have meant, especially in the context of his entire economic thought. Now most people know that Chesterton was a Distributist, but since there is some confusion in […]

Blasted Twinkie Killers!
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Blasted Twinkie Killers!

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Drat! I’m bummed—saddened by the news that the Hostess company, home of the Twinkie and other venerable sugary snacks, is shutting down. I’ll bet I haven’t eaten more than three or four Twinkies in the last 30 years, so the demise of Hostess doesn’t adversely impact my lifestyle. It’s just that, for baby boomers like […]

An Inhuman Economic System
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An Inhuman Economic System

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If someone is looking for material for a book with a title like Profiles of an Inhuman Economic System, consider what follows to be a contribution to the cause. It’s about a man I know whom I’ll call Joe. His wife told me his story. Joe is an honest, conscientious guy who, a couple of […]

Two Percent Economic Growth: Real or Apparent?
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Two Percent Economic Growth: Real or Apparent?

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The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has just announced that GDP grew at a rate of 2 percent during the last three months. Keynesians like Paul Krugman should be happy, and the so-called “market monetarists” like Scott Sumner should be happy. When we mistake GDP for the economy, a 2 percent quarterly growth rate […]

Practical Economics Wordle
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Practical Economics: How Things Work, Why There is Room for Morality, Where to Go from Here

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There is a great deal of debate over the economy in the current Presidential election. Indeed, the Republican ticket has focused the election on economic issues, and particularly on government spending, by adding Paul Ryan as its Vice Presidential candidate. This enables the Democratic Party to take shots at Republican economic ideas, in the hope […]

Book Review: Indivisible, by James Robison and Jay W. Richards
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Book Review: Indivisible, by James Robison and Jay W. Richards

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In these final few days of election season, wouldn’t it be a relief to read something informative, constructive, and positive? The political scene this year is filled with negativity and misinformation; yet, we are presented with two very clear choices, at least when it comes to the presidential race. The book Indivisible provides a positive […]

The Politically Incorrect Billionaire
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The Politically Incorrect Billionaire

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Two news items about “the rich” recently popped up online within a couple of hours of each other. Story No. 1: Pew Research Center found that non-rich Americans have ambivalent feelings toward the rich: On the positive side, there was admiration for those “who get rich by working hard” and a sense that rich Americans […]

The Winners and Losers From QE3
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The Winners and Losers From QE3

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The only doubt about the Federal Reserve’s decision to embark on a third round of quantitative easing was about when it would begin. It was a foregone conclusion that Chairman Ben Bernanke’s Fed would resort to more quantitative easing. Under his leadership, the Federal Reserve has become a one-trick pony. Their solution for every economic […]

The Moral Status of Market Competition
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The Moral Status of Market Competition

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One of the main criticisms of the market economy leveled by people of faith is that the market thrives on competition, incentivizing the voracious and oppositional features of human existence. Walter Rauschenbusch captured this concern in his classic exposition of what he called “the law of tooth and nail” in Christianizing the Social Order (1912). “The moral […]

Does Paul Ryan Want to Take Medicare Away From Seniors?
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Does Paul Ryan Want to Take Medicare Away From Seniors?

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A year ago, opponents attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), claiming that his plan to reform Medicare would kill grandma by taking away her benefits. Mitt Romney, who, of course, has chosen Ryan as his running mate, is proposing similar changes to Medicare. Does Ryan want to gut Medicare? To the contrary, Ryan’s intention is to […]

What's In a Recovery?
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What’s In a Recovery?

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Thomson Reuters’ latest survey of Wall Street analysts’ expectations about next quarter’s corporate earnings has prompted some to wonder whether the canary in the coal mine is beginning to feel lightheaded. According to the Wall Street Journal, those in the know are expecting decreased earnings in the third quarter, the first quarterly decline since the […]

Book Review: <em>Eco-Tyranny</em>
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Book Review: Eco-Tyranny

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In Eco-Tyranny, author Brian Sussman sounds a timely and important warning: The radical “greens” are not in retreat. With the defeat of cap-and-trade legislation in 2010 and the increasingly discredited alarmist theory of anthropogenic global warming, the greens may have lowered their public profile; however, with the full cooperation of the Obama administration, they are […]

It Takes a Village to Raise a Business
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It Takes a Village to Raise a Business

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Many conservatives are reacting strongly to a recent speech given by President Obama in which he seems to denigrate the entrepreneurial spirit of American enterprise. “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own,” said the president at a campaign event [the other] week in Virginia.”You didn’t get there on your own,” he reiterated. […]

"Story of Stuff" Videos Aim Stealth Indoctrination at Students
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“Story of Stuff” Videos Aim Stealth Indoctrination at Students

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Yesterday, I noted a sure sign that summer is nearly over: There were commercials on TV for ingredients to make school lunches. Already, the folks at Oscar Mayer are offering suggestions for how to make a lunch that kids will find nutritious and delicious, though they don’t offer any advice in the ads on how […]

A Divided Nation: Is America "Coming Apart?"
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A Divided Nation: Is America “Coming Apart?”

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Best-selling author and controversial social scientist Charles Murray is back in the news. This time it’s because of his new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. In Coming Apart, Murray deftly wields both statistical data and anecdotal evidence to document the wholesale abandonment of the ideals that for two centuries defined the […]

23 Secrets Free Traders Won’t Tell You
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23 Secrets Free Traders Won’t Tell You

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During a presentation of the worldwide financial crisis three years ago, none other than Queen Elizabeth asked the best question “How come no one could foresee it?”  She was not alone; the worldwide economic recession has upended many sacrosanct beliefs about how finance and economics really work. This country is currently in its worst economic […]

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