free market

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Looking at Laudato Si’ in Theory and Practice

Ronald Reagan once said that an economist is someone who sees something happen in practice and wonders if it could work in theory. The new book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, appears like a team of economists forced to study the encyclical Laudato Si’ in theory and then wonder if it might work in [...]

Catholic Investor Advises Graduates on the Meaning of Wealth

As a private equity manager and venture capitalist, Frank Hanna knows about how to succeed at business and how to create wealth. But his new book, A Graduate’s Guide to Life is no Art of the Deal-style book about how to get ahead and beat the competition. In fact, almost the opposite: “Competition is not [...]

The Latest Debate Over Catholic Social Thought

Pope Francis' statements about economics (and related questions, such as environmentalism and "fracking") have caused much consternation among conservative Catholics in the United States. The Holy Father's comments on the "greed" of capitalism and his seeming belief that capitalism causes income inequality rather than providing explosive growth and increased prosperity historically seem without nuance at [...]

Why Dawson Opposed Our Bourgeois Mind

 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6:24). This Gospel passage provides us with proper framework to evaluate Christopher Dawson’s controversial essay, “Catholicism and the Bourgeois [...]

The Controversy Over Evangelii Gaudium

I’ve reached the point where I cringe a little every time I hear the name “Pope Francis” at a social gathering. No hard feelings, I hope, your Holiness. I understand that you have a big world to worry about, and can’t anticipate how your words will be heard in every single corner of it. So [...]

Source of Obamacare Woes: Economic Ignorance

It seems that every day new revelations emerge regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Supporters of the ACA are now starting to distance themselves from it as we hear reports of insurance companies dropping subscribers, households subscribing on the exchanges in unexpectedly low numbers and insurance costs higher than promised. Even the liberal New York [...]

Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government

We are familiar enough with left-of-center Catholics, like Catholics United and the professors who publicly opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s honorary degree from The Catholic University of America in 2011, beating the drum for governmental—especially federal government—“solutions” to problems. We also witness it, however, from some Catholics known for being committed to the orthodox teaching [...]

A Catholic Defense of Freedom

For a generation, some Catholics in America believed that the Gospel injunction to help the poor meant to help them through government.  Joined to that was a distaste for the WASP-dominated business culture of postwar American prosperity, even though Catholics had enjoyed the fruits of that prosperity along with other Americans.  The long tradition of [...]

The Love that Moves the Sun

  In one of the two greatest lines of world poetry, Dante bows gently toward "The Love that moves the sun and all the stars." Many moralists speak of love as the one fundamental and universal moral principle, the golden rule honored in all traditions. But what do we mean by love? In English we [...]

Economics: The Cheerful Science

Chances are, you’ve heard economics referred to as “the dismal science.” That unflattering description is glib and catchy; it is also 100 percent wrong. Let me set the record straight and explain why economics—far from being dismal—is cause for hope, joy, cheer, and optimism. Thomas Carlyle, a 19th-century Scottish essayist, coined the phrase “the dismal [...]

Is Greed Good?

  What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It's really a silly question, because the answer is so simple. It turns out that it's human greed that gets the most wonderful things done. When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other [...]

Brave Newt World

  If you've been watching cable television regularly, you've heard from many analysts who know Newt Gingrich personally. They either call him the smartest man in the room or they tell us Gingrich believes he's the smartest man in the room. Gingrich has always been a government ideas man, and whenever he says something odd, [...]

China’s “Superior” Economic Model?

In a recent piece for The Wall Street Journal, Andy Stern, an Obama insider and one of organized labor’s more aggressive personalities, praised what he called “China’s superior economic model.” Does China have a superior economic model? That depends: Superior to what? Mr. Stern, who headed the Service Employees International Union, cited Andy Grove, founder [...]

Profits are for People

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are demanding "people before profits" -- as if profit motivation were the source of mankind's troubles -- when it's often the absence of profit motivation that's the true villain. First, let's get both the definition and magnitude of profits out of the way. Profits represent the residual claim earned by [...]

Libertarianism as Social Ethic

A common argument against libertarianism -- heard mostly in conservative circles -- is that no moral society can be a free-for-all, devoid of moral content. A social order worthy of the name must be based on certain ethical principles that extend beyond selfishness and individualism. These principles form the basis of culture, which is ultimately [...]

Free Market, Not Government Policy, Drives Energy Boom

There's an awful lot that's stale in the debate on government energy policy. Some stale arguments are nevertheless valid: It's dangerous to depend heavily on Middle Eastern oil. Others have increasingly been seen as dubious: that global warming caused by human activity will result in catastrophe. There's stale talk about federal and state laws that [...]

There Is No Third Way

Catholic discussion of economic policy usually takes place on a ridiculous level of abstraction. What is fairness, and can the market accomplish that? Shouldn't the civic order bear responsibility for the health and well-being of its members? How can we balance the demands of social equality and individual ownership? These are all very high-minded questions, [...]

Millionaires in America

  Recently, CNN’s Money.com posted an article bearing the title, “U.S. Millionaires Population Expanded by 8 Percent in 2010.” According to the article, there are now approximately 8.4 million millionaires in the United States, and last year’s increase was due primarily to rising stock prices, following a 27-percent decline in the number of millionaires in [...]

A Modest Conservative “Revolution”

From Tom Woods, Jr.'s introduction to ISI's new book of essays, Back on the Road to Serfdom: The Resurgence of Statism: When we argue that the winds are blowing in the direction of an ever-larger role of the state in American life, we must be careful not to imply that prior to 2007-8 a broad [...]

OK, How Is This Legal?

I was just told about www.spokeo.com, a new "white pages" service costing (I believe) $2.95 annually.  For free, I accessed my own name, approx. age, address, map location, house photo, phone number, and family members' names (two of them, anyway), as well as how long I've lived in my house.  If I were to pay the [...]

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