Maximum wage

Journalist Michael J. Totten visits Havana to see how things are going in still-Communist Cuba:

In the United States, we have a minimum wage; Cuba has a maximum wage—$20 a month for almost every job in the country. (Professionals such as doctors and lawyers can make a whopping $10 extra a month.) Sure, Cubans get “free” health care and education, but as Cuban exile and Yale historian Carlos Eire says, “All slave owners need to keep their slaves healthy and ensure that they have the skills to perform their tasks.” [Read more...]

The best food source in human history

What is “the cheapest, most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history”? [Read more...]

The free market vs. conservatism

Conservatives tend to support the free market.  But the free market doesn’t necessarily support conservatism.  Companies have to make money, so business interests are opposing sanctions against Russia and treading lightly in other countries when it comes to promoting democracy and liberty.  So says liberal columnist Harold Meyerson.  He could have added that businesses are also finding it in their economic interests to support gay marriage, hedonism,  and our decadent entertainment industry.  Historically, the free market has been an engine of “progress,” undermining conservative values.

Consider Meyerson’s argument, after the jump.  How could you answer him?  Or does he have a point?  [Read more...]

Global poverty is plummeting, but no one believes it

Thirty years ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.  Now only 21% do.  There is lots of other good news about economic progress in the developing world, including declines in child deaths.  But 84% of Americans are unaware of this progress, and 67% think that world-wide poverty has increased.

So says a Barna study, which expresses a concern that Western attitudes are becoming fatalistic–”nothing can be done about it”–which can stymie efforts to address the very real problems of the 21%, even though they may be quite solvable.  Or is the lesson that global economic progress is happening of itself by market forces apart from outside help, especially governmental help?

[Read more...]

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...]


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