Category: The Economy

Carter to Obama: Same Old Story on Energy Policy
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Carter to Obama: Same Old Story on Energy Policy

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As spring bloomed, the president addressed the nation on energy. The president told us, “Without our planning for the future, it will get worse … The oil and natural gas that we rely on for 75 percent of our energy is simply running out.” Unless profound changes are made in the next decade, the president […]

Energy: Pennsylvania's Choice, America's Model
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Energy: Pennsylvania’s Choice, America’s Model

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We can’t drill our way to energy independence. Or so proclaims the president and many of his supporters. Here in Pennsylvania, the proclamation rings hollow; we are in the midst of a historic natural gas boom. Pennsylvania has an abundant supply of natural gas locked up in the geology of the Marcellus Shale, thousands of feet below two-thirds […]

Book Review: <em>All the Devils Are Here</em>
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Book Review: All the Devils Are Here

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All the Devils Are Here, by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, is a fascinating look at the principle players who brought about the financial crisis of 2008. It reveals the motives and mistakes made over the course of a decade by those who were entrusted with running the largest financial corporations of the world as […]

A Whirlwind Tour of the Supreme Court’s Commerce Clause Jurisprudence
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A Whirlwind Tour of the Supreme Court’s Commerce Clause Jurisprudence

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There is a widely held view that Congress has virtually unlimited power to legislate, especially concerning economic matters. Consider, for example, the passage of the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act two years ago. While Congress’ power to regulate the economy is not completely unbounded, it is very far-reaching indeed. However, it was not […]

Who Gives a Hoot About the 1%?
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Who Gives a Hoot About the 1%?

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Before they decamped for winter, the Occupy Wall Street folks were promoting the idea of redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. Although the income of super-rich in America has soared in the last two decades, such a blueprint would achieve neither justice nor economic growth. America has always been a land where creative […]

The Triumph of Greed
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The Triumph of Greed

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Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith made headlines last week with a public letter of resignation from the legendary firm.  Smith’s letter chronicled the ethical decline that led to his departure, and has sparked renewed interest in the culture of unmitigated greed that animates the world of high finance.  In his letter, Smith refers to a […]

Corrupted Capitalism and the Housing Crisis
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Corrupted Capitalism and the Housing Crisis

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To say that our public discourse today stands in need of some improvement is undoubtedly an understatement, but perhaps no area of our common life requires more careful consideration than our political speech. All too often we find public discussions of political economy cast in stark terms, such as “socialism” versus “capitalism.” Very often these […]

At What Price Life?
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At What Price Life?

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It is no secret that in life, our values tend to guide our decisions.  The things we hold dear, the things that are priorities to us, our principles… these are the factors that influence how we live our lives, from who we associate with to how we spend our time and how we spend our […]

Corn Subsidies at Root of U.S.-Mexico Immigration Problems
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Corn Subsidies at Root of U.S.-Mexico Immigration Problems

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America’s immigration debate will never be adequately addressed until we think clearly about the economic incentives that encourage Mexican citizens to risk their lives to cross the border. In fact, if we care about human dignity we must think comprehensively about the conditions for human flourishing so that the effective policies promote the common good. […]

A Whiff of Privatization
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A Whiff of Privatization

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Three decades ago, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher implemented a policy called “privatization” to rejuvenate the moribund economy of the United Kingdom. Like the United States today, the cost of a too-large government was sapping the vitality of the U.K.’s economy. The private sector was staggering under the heavy tax burden needed to fund the public […]

Gradually, Then Suddenly
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Gradually, Then Suddenly

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It is not often that one sees Ernest Hemingway cited in an article on the federal budget and fiscal situation. But that is what GOP House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Committee, did in a recentWashington Post op-ed on President Obama’s last budget of his first term. […]

Playing Politics with Unemployed Veterans
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Playing Politics with Unemployed Veterans

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Getting the U.S. economy back on a path to solid growth and the job creation engine jumpstarted is dominating the headlines, talk shows and policy debates in Washington right now. Many of the legislative prescriptions focus on the dismal unemployment woes of newly separated military veterans, whose rates outpace the civilian population. The troubling figures […]

Industry: A Distributist Solution Part II
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Industry: A Distributist Solution Part II

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The family’s limited participation in the manufacturing of medium to large-scale goods appears to present us with a challenge. Large-scale industry is needed to accommodate the production of heavy machinery, automobiles, and other technologies we use everyday. To the skeptic, Distributism seems unresponsive to these needs and incapable of fitting into our modern framework. In […]

Europe in Demographic Denial
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Europe in Demographic Denial

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If there is one word that captures many Europeans’ response to the continent’s financial crisis, it is denial. Witness the description by the editors of France’s newspaper-of-record, Le Monde, of France’s S&P credit-downgrade on January 13 as “un non-événement financier.” The fact that this “non-event” will increase France’s borrowing-costs (not to mention those of the EU’s own bailout […]

Cheerleader-in-Chief
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Cheerleader-in-Chief

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I was asked for my initial reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, and the handsomely redesigned Think Christian posted them last night, “Jobs, Steve Jobs, and the State of the Union.” As I point out, the president’s protectionist posturing is belied by the realities experienced by companies like Apple. The president is essentially telling companies: Ask […]

From Teacher to Farmer: Why I Went Back to the Land
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From Teacher to Farmer: Why I Went Back to the Land

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A little more than a year ago, I quit my job as a theology teacher at a Catholic high school to become a full-time organic farmer. I like to call myself a “Catholic farmer”, because I am striving to live out the Church’s teachings on marriage and the family, as well as Catholic social teaching, […]

Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 4
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Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 4

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I would like to wrap up this series with an examination of a few more types of taxation. Keep in mind, that this series is not intended to be exhaustive. It is intended to open the door to discussion by presenting ideas for consideration. (See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) I do not pretend […]

Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 3
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Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 3

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In Part 1 and Part 2, I mainly discussed the different schools of Capitalist thought (Keynesian and non-Keynesian) and how Distributism differs from them in regard to the role of government in stabilizing the economy and the use of taxation in doing so. Before I begin discussing the different methods of taxation, I should also […]

Should the World Powers Embrace the Vatican’s Financial Outline?
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Should the World Powers Embrace the Vatican’s Financial Outline?

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A financial reform plan released by the Vatican in October is filled with optimism and hope for sustained economic justice. The plan makes prudent and timely recommendations that would apply moral and ethical principles to alleviate the accelerating world financial crisis – now wider in scope than the Great 1930’s Depression. The document called, “Reforming […]

2011's Economic Conundrums Continue into This Election Year
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2011’s Economic Conundrums Continue into This Election Year

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Editor’s note: Just before the holiday season, both secular and religious, got under way at the end of last year, the mainstream media and the blogosphere were exercised by a document released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace addressing the world’s dire and confounding economic problems. Since this is an election year and since […]

Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 2
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Justice, Fairness, and Taxation, Part 2

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In Part 1 of this article, I pointed out that a purpose of the Keynesian redistribution of wealth was to keep the engine of Capitalism working. Its adherents advocate it from a sincere belief that this is the best way to help everyone. It sustains the poor and maintains the wealthy. The conservative and libertarian […]

The Paramount Issue of 2012
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The Paramount Issue of 2012

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Spending and taxes will be center stage in the 2012 presidential election, but at the heart of those pivotal issues is one that is paramount in terms of America’s future: cascading mandatory spending on entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. Erskine Bowles, co-chair of President Obama’s bipartisan reduction commission, the one he ignored, recently described the […]

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