Category Archives: Economics


by on June 5th, 2014

The role of economic liberty in contributing to human flourishing and the common good remains deeply underappreciated, even by those who are dedicated to religious liberty.

by on May 14th, 2014

A low but predictable inflation rate is sound, just policy.

by on April 2nd, 2014

If a society regards governmental manipulation of money as the antidote to economic challenges, a type of poison will work its way through the body politic, undermining justice and the common good.

by on March 24th, 2014

Modern rhetoric of income inequality is driven by covetous envy that betrays America’s tradition of applauding those who succeed. Caritas, humility, gratitude, and goodwill toward others are a healthy society’s answer to the ancient curses of envy and pride.

by on January 23rd, 2014

All truly voluntary exchange should be allowed without state interference. But many exchanges that are not fully voluntary should be allowed, too. It is immoral to restrict the ability of market processes to create a space where right action is rewarded and immoral actions are punished.

by on January 21st, 2014

The morality of the market, important as it is in a free society, is not the only kind of morality that matters in common life.

by on January 8th, 2014

Government may be able to provide material assistance, but it has failed to address the deeper causes of poverty. Worse, it has discouraged the most important defenses against poverty in America—work and marriage.

by on January 7th, 2014

Every economic system is based upon an implicit vision of the human person. Maciej Zieba’s new book provides an introduction to Catholic social thought that examines the anthropologies of Catholicism, liberal democracy, and the free-market economy.

by on December 11th, 2013

The association of Protestantism with capitalism, famously articulated by Max Weber and now widely accepted by many, is theologically dubious, empirically disprovable, and largely incidental. An edited excerpt from Gregg's new book, Tea Party Catholic.

by on December 4th, 2013

Constitutional amendments requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget are unrealistic and doomed to fail. It would be more effective to combat deficit spending by requiring the president to submit a balanced budget.

by on November 4th, 2013

In most cases, Catholic social teaching provides the correct principles for resolving complex social and economic questions, not specific policy requirements. Nathan Shlueter reviews Sam Gregg’s new book in the voice of Paul Ryan.

by on October 25th, 2013

Supporting crony capitalism weakens the appeal of social conservatism; it is difficult to hold the moral high ground on abortion and marriage while defending exploiters of the poor and oppressed.

by on September 16th, 2013

We all have a moral obligation to use our surplus wealth to help those in need, but we should do so in a way that is effective, fair, and in accordance with our own vocations.

by on August 8th, 2013

Private, not public, law enables healthy dependencies by carving out space for communities of people to deliberate together about what to do with the resources available to them.

by on August 7th, 2013

Entitlement reform cannot succeed by eliminating dependence. Instead we should aim to promote healthy dependencies.

by on May 24th, 2013

Natural law does not demand capitalism, but we can deduce from natural law that some institutions that are key to market economies are normally just, while practices key to socialist arrangements are usually unjust.

by on May 22nd, 2013

Aristotelian-Thomistic moral philosophy doesn’t imply that every economy should be capitalist.

by on May 9th, 2013

Conservatives need to stop shying away from principled, as opposed to merely utilitarian, defenses of economic freedom and its associated institutions.

by on May 1st, 2013

There is no right to lose oneself in a game of chance for the state’s benefit, and more than that there is no good in it. Video keno contracts liberty and virtue while accelerating the state’s colonization of civil society.

by on March 15th, 2013

While there is something noble in economists’ assumption that social life is based on mutually beneficial exchange, rather than coercion and plunder, this fails to account for what philosophy, theology, and literature reveal to us about the true substance of marriage.

by and on March 13th, 2013

Good public policy can meet the needs of all Americans without redefining marriage.

by on February 6th, 2013

Family, church, and school are the three basic people-forming institutions, and it is no wonder that they produce the best results—including economic and political ones—when they cooperate.

by on October 9th, 2012

Economic liberty is necessary for achieving the real, non-economic goods of individuals and associations in civil society. Not the collectivist “we” of government, but the many “we’s” of civil society are the true ground of a just, and good, society.

by on September 28th, 2012

A pilot program in New York City to give minors emergency contraception in school without telling their parents is an ineffective response to a non-existent “epidemic” of teen pregnancy.

by on September 24th, 2012

Constitutional law has often been used to shape economies, but there are limits to the law’s ability to influence economic culture, especially when societal priorities no longer accord with constitutional principles.

by on September 20th, 2012

Is inequality the cause of our worst social ills?

by on August 15th, 2012

Work is at the core of our humanity, and our ownership of what we produce precedes laws demanding that we give it back to “community” in the abstract.

by on July 25th, 2012

Close attention to particular decisions by European institutions and governments before and during the present economic crisis suggests that many have significantly infringed the rule of law.

by on April 24th, 2012

Libertarians and conservatives should not allow their differences to impede political cooperation against the common adversary: egalitarian liberalism.

by on April 19th, 2012

Has the Supreme Court rediscovered the institution of property? In a recent unanimous affirmation of property owners’ rights, the Court gives us reason to hope.

by on April 16th, 2012

The Occupy Movement should be an occasion for the American left to rethink its own moral crusades, which turn out to be morally corrosive and hence incompatible with any serious commitment to social justice.

by on April 12th, 2012

Libertarianism offers the best defense of individual rights that government can employ.

by on April 11th, 2012

Conservatives value individual liberty as much as libertarians, but they deny that freedom from coercion is the only form of liberty.

by on April 10th, 2012

Social activists opposed to the use of HEK-293—a kidney cell line derived from an aborted baby—in PepsiCo products should not respond with shareholder activism, because it wreaks political and economic havoc.

by and on March 30th, 2012

The negative side-effects of contraception are often ignored in our public discourse, but a truly free decision to use or not use them—and whether to use government to promote them—depends on a frank acknowledgement of their costs along with their alleged benefits.

by on March 27th, 2012

Conservatism is misguided, arbitrary, inconsistent, and ultimately inimical to liberty and human flourishing. Libertarianism allows for human flourishing and harmony from respect and cooperation.

by on March 26th, 2012

Libertarianism and conservatism are often lumped together, but there are fundamental differences between the two philosophies that make them incompatible.

by on February 2nd, 2012

Neither liberal nor libertarian, a principled conservative way of helping the poor.

by on February 1st, 2012

It’s time to end the corporate income tax: it strains job-creating businesses, punishes workers rather than capital owners, encourages wealthy companies to find loopholes in the tax system, and allows some of the richest among us to pay strangely low personal income tax rates.

by on January 27th, 2012

A successful account of social justice must affirm the primacy of communities, and institutions directed by communities, over both the individual and the state in promoting human flourishing.

by on January 20th, 2012

The Obama administration’s efforts to regulate the cellular-phone service market through a decades-old trust-busting ideology is at odds with the courts’ more recent “new learning” approach to market competition. And there are lessons here for pro-lifers.

by on January 6th, 2012

Economic, political, and ethical principles that encourage limited government must interact in our effort to secure long-term economic stability.

by on December 9th, 2011

The eurozone’s current crisis is an opportunity for Europe to explore new monetary options that challenge the hitherto dominant vision of the European Union’s economic future.

by on November 7th, 2011

Conservatives shouldn’t ignore or attack social justice, but must articulate sound principles of social justice.

by on October 26th, 2011

Rawlsian “public reason” approaches to human capabilities are insufficient bases for social justice.

by on October 25th, 2011

Private property should be preserved and protected because of its deep contribution to human well-being.

by on September 19th, 2011

Growing national debt-to-income ratios need not become a threat to American solvency or a long-run impediment to implementation of our social policy choices. Historically-based approaches to social objectives can be improved through advances in economics.

by on August 24th, 2011

Candidates in the 2012 presidential race should champion two principles for reviving America’s economy: the Adam Smith principle for limiting government and the subsidiarity principle for regulating government intervention.

by on August 1st, 2011

The attempts by both the right and the left to politicize our Constitution must be firmly rejected for the sake of our nation’s health and prosperity.

by on July 22nd, 2011

Five suggestions for how our nation can regain a healthy marriage culture and the economic prosperity and personal flourishing that comes with it. The second in a two-part series.

Featured


by Ryan T. Anderson on October 13th, 2008
An introductory letter from the founder and editor of Public Discourse.
by Mark Regnerus on December 20th, 2012
Young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and fairness. It may be, in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.
by Ryan T. Anderson on December 18th, 2012
How successful can a “new conversation on marriage” be when its leaders can’t even say what marriage is?
by Sherif Girgis on February 15th, 2013
Marriage as a human good, not marriage law, has an objective core whose norms the state has an interest in tracking and supporting—in a way that respects everyone’s freedom.
by Robert Oscar Lopez on February 11th, 2013
Whatever same-sex marriage is, that’s not what gays are after. They are after a symbolic vehicle that can make them equal to people who can do something they cannot—procreate.
by Patrick Fagan on February 6th, 2013
Family, church, and school are the three basic people-forming institutions, and it is no wonder that they produce the best results—including economic and political ones—when they cooperate.

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