The Love That Moves the Sun: Caritas and Capitalism

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 are [...]

Government Debt: Cure or Curse?

The U.S. Treasury announced on its website that, at year end, the national debt topped $14 trillion for the first time. This was an increase from $13 trillion on June 1, 2010, and $12 trillion at year end 2009. When the recession officially began in December 2007, U.S. debt to Gross Domestic Product was about [...]

A New Approach to the Social Concerns Ministry

As I make my weekly trek to Tampa International Airport, I merge onto I-275N in St. Petersburg and pass one of the largest homeless shelters in the area. Actually, "shelter" is overstated; it's really an underpass supported by Catholic Charities, several community and church organizations, and individual volunteers. Because it gets a lot of traffic [...]

A New Economic Direction

At long last, private-sector jobs are growing again. They rose 159,000 in October, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more encouraging are the revisions to earlier surveys, indicating that the improvement in new jobs was not a one-time event. Job gains for August and September were revised up to 250,000 from 157,000. [...]

Theology of the Corporation: A Conversation with Michael Novak

Religious philosopher Michael Novak, cofounder of Crisis Magazine, was the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. According to many observers, Novak's influence played an important role in the drafting of Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II's 1991 encyclical on Catholic social teaching. In particular, Novak's work is seen within the Holy [...]

Why Catholics Don’t Understand Economics

For years I've puzzled over the question of why Catholics have such trouble coming to terms with economics. This problem applies only to modern Catholics, for it was Catholics in 15th- and 16th-century Spain who systematized the discipline to begin with. That was long ago. Today, most of what is written about economics in Catholic [...]

What St. Benedict Can Teach You About Business Success

Mike Garside didn't know what he was getting into. Easing his BMW off the busy main road connecting the boom towns of Reading and Newbury in southeast England, he felt he might be wasting the weekend. He could be spending the time at work or with his family. But here he was, on his way [...]

The Right Stuff

Eighteen months later and billions of dollars spent have not resulted in the new jobs that the stimulus program was intended to create. Private-sector employment has actually declined an estimated two million additional persons since the inauguration of the program. The elusive goal of creating private-sector jobs is the subject of much commentary among economists, [...]

A Few Words From the Management

Welcome to the brand new InsideCatholic! Almost exactly three years ago, we launched the initial version of the site. While we're proud of that effort, it was very much a first step. This is our second. As Deal mentioned in his morning column, we've designed this next iteration of IC to take full advantage of [...]

A Society of Mutual Benefactors

Checking out at the grocery store the other day, I paid for my sack of rolls. The checkout person handed me my bag. "Thank you," I said. "You're welcome," she said. I walked away with a sense that something was wrong. Do checkout people usually say "you're welcome" and nothing else? Not usually. Usually they [...]

Milestones in a Declining Economy

   It helps now and then to revisit past events, especially in the financial industry. Some news items are ascribed momentous importance and considered milestones in our financial history, but beyond the immediate emotional response they evoke, they have no real lasting import. Others, however, hold lessons for the future and should be remembered. Here [...]

The Bad Business of Planned Parenthood

Despite profits of $85 million in 2008, Planned Parenthood is facing serious financial difficulties. According to a recent Harvard Business School case study, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is structured as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with multiple affiliates, each of which is also a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The national entity lobbies on national policy, sets [...]

Baptism Is Not an Economics Degree

I've often heard people talk about their most beloved aspect of our Faith. When asked, "What's your favorite thing about being a Catholic?" some well-instructed souls will cite the Eucharist, while others will speak of their devotion to Our Lady. The pointier heads in the room might cite the Church's rich storehouse of worldly and [...]

Practical Distributism: Looking at the Community Reinvestment Act

Those of us who have argued for alternatives to individualistic capitalism and the bureaucratic welfare state are often told that we are good at pointing out problems but come up short on solutions -- it's a charge distributists hear often. Nevertheless, Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical, Caritas in Veritate,challenges us to overcome the "market-plus-State" model, [...]

The Coming Storm

Years ago when our children were young we had a summer cabin on a lake in the mountains of upstate New York. Every now and then, an idyllic summer day would be interrupted by a violent storm. Typically the storm was preannounced by the sudden appearance of dark clouds that gave way to torrents of [...]

The Minimum Wage and Catholic Social Teaching

When the Democratic Party gained control of Congress three years ago, as part of its "100 Hour" plan it quickly introduced legislation to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. The partisan debate was predictable: Democratic advocates of the raise cited concern for poor and working families, and Republican [...]

Catholic Social Teaching and the Welfare State

It might surprise some to learn that the basic idea behind the "welfare state" did not originate with either Marxist revolutionaries or bleeding-heart liberals, but rather with a head of state usually identified with conservatism: Otto von Bismarck. Faced with a growing threat from the German socialist movement, in the 1880s Bismarck established four programs [...]

The Money Meltdown: A Conversation with Thomas Woods Jr.

The economy is in free fall and we may be facing another Great Depression. In response, the government is scrambling to spend its way back to health. Is this really the best solution? Brian Saint-Paul spoke to Thomas Woods Jr., author of the New York Times bestseller, Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock [...]

The Bust: How It Happened, and Where We’re Heading

For the securities industry to unravel as spectacularly as it did in September, many parties had to pull on many threads. Mortgage bankers gave loans to Americans for homes they could not afford, often based on inflated house appraisals and no documentation of income or assets. Mortgage bankers immediately transferred these mortgage loans to Fannie [...]

Some Advice for Apostolates in a Time of Recession

Deal Hudson spoke with fundraising guru Chuck Piola about what Catholic non-profit organizations can do to survive the current economic crisis. Chuck Piola has been called "The King of Cold Calls" by Inc.Magazine. In 1986, he and his business partner formed NCO Financial Systems. Over twelve years, NCO grew from sixty clients to 80,000; $70,000 [...]