In defense of free trade

As we’ve blogged about, both candidates are campaigning against free trade.  Texas Tech economist Benjamin Powell defends free trade, examining the complaints both candidates are making.  He concludes that importing goods from abroad and even trade “cheating,” such as China subsidizing its steel industry, makes Americans wealthier.

Is Prof. Powell right?  Does he leave out some considerations? [Read more…]

What to say about the debate?

It’s being called “the ugliest debate in American history.”  And I missed it! Due to one thing and another, I ended up missing this historical event.

So how was it?  How effectively did Donald Trump deal with that videotape?  How effectively did HIllary Clinton deal with Trump’s videotape and her own leaked e-mails?  What impact do you think this debate will have on the race?

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The drama around Sunday’s debate

The second presidential debate will be held Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET, to be covered by all major networks.

This one will have a Town Hall format, with ordinary Americans who have been identified as uncommitted voters in close proximity and asking half the questions.  This can induce cringeworthy moments.  Candidates will also get to move around, which seldom goes well.  (Remember Al Gore trying to be the alpha male by invading George W. Bush’s personal space?  It was just embarrassingly awkwardwith Bush ruining the whole effect with his bemused expression, getting the audience to laugh at him.)

Trump has not done many Town Halls, preferring to speak at huge arenas with thousands of cheering fans.  A big test will be if he can restrain himself from unloading on an ordinary American who asks him a hostile question.

He can be sure that he will be asked about the video just released from 2005 of him making incredibly lewd and lecherous remarks about women, including bragging about an adultery attempt and how he gets to grope women sexually because he is a “star.”  (Some are saying this will doom his campaign.  Do you think it will?)

I don’t like to blog on Sundays, so I won’t be liveblogging this debate.  (You can comment on it as it unfolds here at this post, if you want.)  But I do intend to watch it, so we can discuss what happens on Monday. [Read more…]

In defense of small churches

Most churches throughout history and throughout the world have been small.  Today more than one billion Christians worship in small congregations.  Christianity Today author Karl Vaters has written a series of five blog posts on the subject “The Astonishing Power of Small Churches,” urging that contemporary Christians move away from the megachurch ideal and realize the unique value of small congregations.

Get started reading the first post after the jump, then follow the link for the other four.

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Men who won’t work

Nearly a third of American men aren’t working.  These include the unemployed, men who can’t find jobs.  But there are two-and-half times more men who aren’t even trying to find a job.  Because their lack of work is voluntary, they aren’t counted in the unemployment rate.  But the number of men between 25 to 54 who are “economically inactive” is soaring.

This has nothing to do with educational attainment, the business cycle, or the availability of jobs.  Many men just don’t feel that traditional masculine impulse to work for a living.  Instead they are living off of government benefits, family members, and girl friends.  (Women, by contrast, are working in vast numbers.  But the men who don’t work tend not to be the marrying kind.)

After the jump, an excerpt and link to George Will’s review of Nicholas Eberstadt’s book on the subject, Men Without Work:  America’s Invisible Crisis.

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Michael Barone says that many in our cultural and political elite follow the tenets of “Lennonism.”  Not “Leninism,” but the philosophy of John Lennon in his song Imagine:

“Imagine there’s no countries. . . .Nothing to kill or die for. … Imagine all the people living life in peace. … And the world will be as one.”

“And no religion too.”  But Barone defines Lennonism as the desire to eliminate distinct nations.  Thus the impulse for global government, a global economy, unlimited immigration, and multiculturalism. [Read more…]