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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Constitutional Questions About Health Care Reform

Debates over health care reform have focused almost exclusively on policy. Few have considered whether Congress even has the constitutional authority to enact its proposed reforms. Fundamental constitutional issues—such as the scope of the commerce power, the right of individuals to religious liberty, and the different natures of federal and state authority—must be recalled in order to have a more fruitful debate.

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Rethinking Economics in the Post-Crisis World

In the wake of the financial crisis, we need an economics with greater humility about its predictive power and an increased understanding of the complicated human beings who, when the discipline is rightly understood, lie at its center.

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The Welfare State and the Meaning of Life

Faced with Charles Murray’s argument that the welfare state makes everything too easy, a socialist could ask: Should everything therefore be made more difficult? How can Murray say the welfare state is bad for making life easier while praising other state functions that make life easier, like the police? Only a moral perspective can oppose socialism while affirming legitimate state functions.

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TABOR on the Line . . . Again!

Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) has the reputation of being America's best and most effective fiscal limit. However, it is under attack once again. On Election Day, Colorado residents will vote on Amendment 59 which would permanently nullify TABOR's revenue limit by requiring that all surplus revenues be spent on schools. This is an important election for fiscal conservatives. If Amendment 59 wins, TABOR will likely be reduced to a historical footnote. A defeat of Amendment 59, however, would have implications that will be felt well beyond Colorado. Indeed, a revitalized TABOR could give fiscal conservatives something that they have lacked--an effective model that can be used in other states.

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Does Increased Welfare Spending or Pro-Life Legislation Reduce Abortion?

Catholics in Alliance recently released a study questioning the effectiveness of pro-life legislation and arguing that greater spending on welfare programs was a better strategy for reducing abortion. Unfortunately, their study is seriously flawed. Rigorous analysis of their own data indicates that increased welfare spending only has little to no impact on abortion. Public funding restrictions and informed-consent laws, however, are effective at reducing abortion rates.

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Thinking About Greed

Beginning in the time of Aristotle and leading up to the current financial crisis, greed and trust have played important yet shifting roles in the structure of the world's economies. One of the reasons we face the current crisis is our failure to deal with either properly.