Americans today are anxious—not just financially, but socially. We despair even though we are materially better off than at any other time in human history. What happened? How did we get here?
Pillar: Business & Economics
The fifth pillar, business and economics, is built upon concern for the common good and the ways in which the economic order contributes to—or detracts from—human flourishing. Public Discourse examines the ways in which the market is shaped by—and gives shape to—our understanding of the human person, the role of the family, the rule of law, and education and culture.
A full vision of the social structures of human flourishing must include three elements: the economic, political, and moral-cultural.
According to sociologist Mark Regnerus, the birth control pill and the rise of internet porn decreased the cost of sexual access so substantially as to affect a fundamental shift from a world in which sex served higher goods to a world in which sex is the higher good.
How should we understand hierarchies, markets, freedom, happiness, anthropology, and spiritual formation? Three Christian thinkers respond to each other.
Market economies are not inherently hostile to Christian spiritual formation. And expanding the scope of Church authority into the temporal realm is no substitute for traditional spiritual practices such as prayer and fasting.
While the economic arguments for free trade remain compelling, the political rationale requires a long-overdue overhaul.
Leaders should get the facts straight before they start theorizing.
Young people today, especially the ones who are serious about religion and look to the editors of First Things for guidance, must resist the allure of an intellectual Fortress of Solitude where they can sit and feel superior to everyone. Griping about the state of society is a waste of time. Part two of two.
R.R. Reno’s manifesto on capitalism—in which he concludes, among other things, that expanding economic freedom leads to transgenderism—is based on empirically false claims. Part one of a two-part series.
The “real human person” was the persistent subject of Michael Novak’s life’s work. Novak wanted real, gritty, ordinary persons, in ordinary life, and he wanted a political and economic order for those real, gritty, ordinary persons.
Not only are there many forms of capitalism, but intellectuals exert great influence in determining what type of economy we embrace—for better and for worse.
Capitalism in practice is crony capitalism. Profit-minded firms use every trick they can, including pushing for government intervention and protection, to pursue their self interest. Capitalism and liberal institutions are tremendously powerful social forces that operate both with and through the individuals who engage in economic and political activity. One of their primary features is the continuous revolution in values.
More than ever, religiously informed conservatives should underscore the importance of market economies for ordered liberty.
Americans increasingly identify with our consumption. When combined with political tribalism, the result is the increasing refusal to do business with members of other political or cultural groups. In the end, an identity based on consumption will only consume itself.
The AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics is a cautionary tale of what happens when medical ethics are grounded in social policy and personal intuitions rather than timeless, universal, and immutable moral truths.
Nathan Schlueter and Nikolai Wenzel’s book-length conservative-libertarian debate is a helpful tool for understanding an important conversation and provides the basis for a robust defense of liberty in the public sphere.
The happiest, freest, and most prosperous future available to Americans might not be the most egalitarian.
Defenders of capitalism need a more humane anthropology, sensitive to man’s social and communal nature, lest they forget to ask the crucial question of what economics is for.
The relationship between Edmund Burke and Adam Smith underscores a fundamental connection between virtue and liberty.
Bellevue reflects the worst and the best not just of its disadvantaged patients, its physicians, and its students, but of the American democratic project.
A reflection on our nature as “dependent, rational animals.”
For both economic and spiritual reasons, a basic income guarantee isn’t the solution to widespread unemployment due to new technology.
Lasting reform of our monetary systems require serious rethinking of the state’s role vis-à-vis money.
Capitalism enables equalities of participation that would not otherwise be possible, even as it facilitates inequalities of wealth.
There will always be economic inequalities and problems in our country and in the world. In a real economy with real money, though, at least these would be closer to real inequalities and real problems.