Thomas Sowell on the Origins of Prosperity

By Joseph Sunde “The mundane progress driven by ordinary economic and social processes in a free society becomes dramatic only when its track record is viewed in retrospect over a span of years.” –Thomas Sowell In a recent edition of Uncommon Knowledge, economist Thomas Sowell discusses his latest book, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, which provides a comprehensive argument for the origins of prosperity. “There’s no explanation needed for poverty. The species began in poverty,” Sowell says. “So what you really... Read more

Politics, Character, and Competition

By Jordan Ballor The renowned economist F. A. Hayek once observed that “the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” Many Americans and other observers are waking up today and perhaps, like me, they are thinking that politics has something to teach us about how little we know as well. In fact, economics has something to teach us about what we might get from a political... Read more

The 6 Elves of Capitalism

By Joseph Sunde In “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, a cobbler and his wife struggle to survive, barely making enough to eat (never mind investing in the future of their business). One morning, however, they wake to find that their last scraps of leather have been turned into a remarkable pair of shoes. Not knowing the source of such craftsmanship — and apparently incurious — the cobbler sells them off at a higher price,... Read more

Lessons in Humility from the Christ Child

By Evan Koons As Christmas approaches, let us remember and rejoice. The Savior has been born! Strangers and friends, pay attention and live out the Christ-Child Memory. Curious about what that means? Hint: it doesn’t mean swapping your mattress for hay. Check it. We have to be present. We have to show up. We have to dwell in the darkness and come to know it. Jesus was present in the world, and usually silent, before he was anything else. This Christmas,... Read more

Lessons on Christian Vocation from ‘Chewbacca Mom’

By Joseph Sunde “It doesn’t matter how talented, how anointed, how gifted, how passionate, or how willing you are if you’re not fit to do the things that God has called you to do.” –Candace Payne Candace Payne, now widely known as “Chewbacca Mom,” became an internet sensation thanks to a spontaneous video in which she joyfully donned a toy mask of the beloved Wookiee. Having now broken multiple records for online views, Candace is now appearing on talk shows and at... Read more

Are Christianity and Communism Mutually Exclusive?

By Sarah Stanley Did Pope Francis just publicly endorse Communism? Recent comments have prompted many to suggest he has. During an interview with Eugenio Scalfari, they had the following exchange: [Scalfari:] You told me some time ago that the precept, “Love your neighbour as thyself” had to change, given the dark times that we are going through, and become “more than thyself.” So you yearn for a society where equality dominates. This, as you know, is the programme of Marxist socialism... Read more

What Christians Can Learn from Adam Smith’s ‘Paradox of Value’

By Joseph Sunde In a new video from TED Ed, Akshita Agarwal provides a quick lesson on Adam Smith’s “paradox of value” and the differences between “value in use” and “value in exchange.” For Christians, there’s a crucial lesson here about the best way to meet human needs in the economic order, whether through trade policy, reducing price controls, or any number of other areas. Discerning “economic value” is a tricky thing, and free economies are a handy tools for working through these things in peaceful and productive ways.... Read more

Technology Seen and Unseen

By Dylan Pahman I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. Well, not really – mainly because we don’t actually face the threat of Skynet anytime soon. And thankfully neo-Luddites – those who argue for rejecting modern technology – are relatively few these days. Nevertheless, they are not entirely absent, and less extreme but no less incorrect adherents, such as the novelist and poet Wendell Berry, still exert considerable influence in some circles. In reality, however, technological progress has meant progress... Read more

Help People, Not Banks: Reflections on the 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics

By Victor V. Claar The 2016 Nobel Prize in economics was jointly awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström on Monday for their shared contributions to our understanding of contract theory. Taken together the work of Hart and Holmström has allowed all of us to understand more clearly what a “good” contract might look like – even when both parties face an uncertain future. The economics prize is not one of the original awards endowed by Alfred Nobel. Instead the... Read more

How Economic Freedom Leads to Human Flourishing

By Joseph Sunde In a special report and symposium for the Washington Times, the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics has organized an array of diverse perspectives on economic freedom, human flourishing, and the church. Authors include familiar Acton voices and partners such as Michael Novak, John Stonestreet, Christopher Brooks, Jay Richards and Ismael Hernandez, as well as leading figures such as Senator Tim Scott, Arthur Brooks, and Dr. Albert Mohler. The report also includes Acton’s very own Rev. Robert Sirico and Trey... Read more
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