money

Football and Money

  In the great scheme of things — greater things than worldlings imagine on a trip to the mall — it doesn't matter a bit that Texas A & M and the University of Texas are winding up their celebrated Thanksgiving Day, football rivalry. What matters — maybe more than a little bit — is [...]

Goodbye UNESCO

A trigger provision, buried in U.S. laws since 1990, quietly took effect at the end of October. The U.S. taxpayers' annual donation of 22 percent to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's budget was summarily terminated when UNESCO voted 107 to 14 (with 52 abstentions) to approve full membership for Palestine. The cutoff [...]

Web and Debates Change Rules of Presidential Race

  We are in the midst of the 11th presidential nominating cycle since party commissions and state laws made primaries the predominant method of choosing national convention delegates in 1972. Over the years, politicians and journalists develop rules of thumb to describe how these things work. In this cycle, some of those rules seem to [...]

Why the Euro Can’t Work

Watching the Euro melt has confirmed what only a handful of people had predicted -- and had done so against the expectations of the entire European and American establishment, for whom the creation of this single currency was the achievement of a lifetime of planning. The whole European currency scheme was both brilliant and crazy. [...]

Europe’s Crisis Lies Beyond Finance

Everyone is wondering about the next disaster to befall Europe. Italy is one focus; Spain is also a possibility. But these crises are already under way. Instead, the next crisis will be political, not in the sense of what conventional politician is going to become prime minister, but in the deeper sense of whether Europe’s [...]

An Amendment Isn’t the Answer

  When I graduated from college in 1976, I got a job in Washington with the National Taxpayers Union, which was working to get a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. Someone graduating today could sign up there and pursue the same goal. The balanced-budget amendment has never gone away and never come [...]

Should the Rich Be Condemned?

  Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb, the phonograph, the DC motor and other items in everyday use and became wealthy by doing so. Thomas Watson founded IBM and became rich through his company's contribution to the computation revolution. Lloyd Conover, while in the employ of Pfizer, created the antibiotic tetracycline. Though Edison, Watson, Conover [...]

Put Tax Breaks for Mortgages, Local Taxes on Table

  Supercommittee members Sen. Pat Toomey and Rep. Jeb Hensarling are taking flak from some conservatives for proposing a deal including increases in "revenues," and a Washington Post reporter had some fun insinuating that they were backing a tax-rate increase. As this is written, no one knows what the supercommittee will do (or not do), [...]

Catholics and “Usury”: A Tragic History

  This piece is paired with another view of usury from a distributist perspective, also running today. What makes “social teaching” different from the faith-and-morals magisterium of the Catholic Church? Most of the latter was settled early in Church history, with developments coming over time as subtle elaborations and careful applications of eternal truths. Social [...]

Bankrolling Beauty

A review of Money and Beauty; Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities, an exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence—September 17, 2011—January 22, 2012   In our current global economic crisis, what could be more timely than an exhibition of art that concentrates on money? The Strozzi Palace Foundation in Florence, Italy, currently has [...]

Will Republicans Blow It?

  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said that a good catch phrase could stop thinking for 50 years. One of the often-repeated catch phrases of our time — "It's the economy, stupid!" — has already stopped thinking in some quarters for a couple of decades. There is no question that the state of the economy can [...]

Working for Fun Is No Laughs in Market Capitalism

  Some of my friends in the conservative blogosphere have been ridiculing a New Yorker named Joe Therrien. I want to put in a good word for him. Therrien appears in the lead paragraph of a story in The Nation on Occupy Wall Street. He's an example, writer Richard Kim wants us to know, of [...]

Look at What the Government Has Done with Your Money

  The federal government has lost another 72 million of your tax dollars. Here we go again. The feds have gambled with your money again, and they've lost it again; this time with a company called Beacon Power. You've probably never heard of this company. Candidly, before the announcement of its bankruptcy filing this week, [...]

What Destroying Marriage Costs Us

Most Americans are unaware that about $700 Billion a year of federal taxpayers' money is handed out to non-taxpayers allegedly below a poverty line (in addition to $250 Billion a year given out by the states). After Barack Obama became President, he increased federal welfare spending by a third because, as he promised during his [...]

The New Vatican Document on Finance: Right Diagnosis, Deadly Cure

Let’s say you go to the doctor with a pain in your gut, and the doctor very astutely discovers that you have been poisoned. He knows how and when it happened. He knows the precise kind of poison that victimized you. Then he gives your prescription: more poison in higher doses. You would be at [...]

Pitting Us Against Each Other

President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have led increasingly successful efforts to pit Americans against one another through the politics of hate and envy. Attacking CEO salaries, the president -- last year during his Midwest tour -- said, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." Let's look at CEO salaries, [...]

The Spiraling Euro Crisis

With Europe and the regional Euro currency teetering on the edge of a cataclysmic crisis, politicians and central bankers are scrambling desperately to save their cherished dream of the European Union. All the supposed rules have already been broken as the continent's rulers prepare ever-greater bailout packages for bankrupt governments and big banks. EU leaders [...]

Romney Buoyed by Good Luck — and Hard Experience

Napoleon is supposed to have said that the quality he most valued in his generals was luck. In the current race for the Republican presidential nomination, Napoleon's favorite would clearly be Mitt Romney. One lucky break after another has helped Romney maintain front-runner status or something close to it in polls of Republican primary voters [...]

Numbers Don’t Lie

  President Obama’s effort to enact a $447 billion stimulus bill was derailed by rejection of the plan in the U.S. Senate. The administration and Democratic leaders have vowed to resubmit it later in various pieces, a strategy designed to wring political favor from the tragedy of high unemployment while avoiding any culpability for an [...]

Congress, Governors Nix Obama’s High-Speed Trains

Dead. Kaput. Through. Finished. Washed up. Gone-zo. That, I think, is a fair description of the Obama administration's attempt to build high-speed rail lines across America. It hasn't failed because of a lack of willingness to pony up money. The Obama Democrats' February 2009 stimulus package included $8 billion for high-speed rail projects. The Democratic [...]

MENU