Pillar: Business & Economics

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.

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Just Tariff Theory

The notion that tariffs are bad has been supported by world-renowned economists for centuries. Yet we are currently in the midst of a trade war. Maybe what we need is a Just Tariff Theory: a system to weigh the economic harms of tariffs against the political benefits they may have.

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Happy Deficit Day!

Reasonable people can claim that the government of the richest country in human history should provide certain things to its poorer citizens. But reasonable people cannot claim those things come without a price.

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Resisting the Fortress of Solitude: What’s Wrong with First Things’ Anxious Anti-Capitalism

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.

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Social Transformation and the Market Economy: A Reply to Samuel Gregg

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.

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The Consuming Self

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.