Inequality as the root of social evil?

The Pope sent out a tweet that set forth a curious moral teaching:  “Inequality is the root of social evil.”   Twitter as a genre for theological discourse has its limits, but, as Grant Gallicho points out, Pope Francis said much the same thing in his encyclical Evangelii Gaudium.   Do you think he is right?  If he is, what does that do to Roman Catholic hierarchies? [Read more...]

Moralistic consumerism

Methodist minister Morgan Guyton has written a post entitled “Six Ways that Capitalism Fails the Church.”  His main point has to do not so much with free market economics as with the way the marketing and consumer mentality is distorting how churches operate.  I don’t agree with a great deal of what he says, but after the jump, I quote him on what he calls “moralistic consumerism.” [Read more...]

IRS may go after underwater homeowners

Homeowners who were underwater on their homes but who took advantage of mortgage relief programs face the prospect of the IRS calculating the amount by which a portion of their loan was forgiven as income. [Read more...]

Less cash, less crime

Cash is portable, hard to trace, and universally-accepted, no questions asked.  Which makes it a good thing to steal.  There may be a relationship between the decline in the crime rate and the rise of debit-cards and other electronic means of exchange.  A study suggests this is the case in poor neighborhoods, ever since the welfare system replaced cashable checks with debit cards. [Read more...]

Corporations with “values”

Liberals are generally deriding Hobby Lobby’s claim that its religious freedom is being violated by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.  How can a corporation, they ask, have a religion?  But companies liberals love–such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and Whole Foods–make a big point of asserting their “values” (being “sustainable,” helping the environment, treating people with respect, etc.).  So how can a corporation have “values”?  True, corporations cannot have faith and go to Heaven.  But surely corporate entities, even if they are for-profit, can make “values” part of their missions.  Hobby Lobby’s corporate values include being pro-life, just as Ben & Jerry’s include being pro-environment.  Trevor Burrus argues that corporations do indeed have “rights of conscience” that need to be protected by law. [Read more...]

Higher taxes if you had wealthy parents

Taxing the wealthy isn’t enough, some are saying.  Let’s tax people who had wealthy parents.  Since children of affluent parents have all kinds of advantages when it comes to educational accomplishments and social mobility, so, the reasoning goes, when they grow up, it’s only fair that they pay higher taxes.  [Read more...]


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