Economists and other social scientists should take into account the integral flourishing of human beings and not just material utility. After doing so, defense of free trade becomes more—not less—important.
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.
Free trade brings with it financial benefits and human rewards. However, it sometimes must be limited if communities and people are to flourish.
Those who favor providing health care to all shouldn’t necessarily oppose the “public option,” but they will be unable to support a bill if it endorses and entrenches the taking of innocent human life through abortion.
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.
Free trade is not only good economic policy, it is a human right that should not be restricted lightly.
Pragmatic concerns (and angry accusations) have dominated the health care debate to date. But what are the principles that should guide efforts for reform?
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.
At a moment of increased government involvement in the economy, the solution we need might be a more independent central bank.
A recent conference at Princeton University asked whether in the midst of current economic challenges natural law philosophy might not provide a better foundation for the practice of economics than the utilitarian account of value that currently underwrites it.
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.
Public transit and walkable neighborhoods are necessary for the creation of a country where families and communities can flourish.
Homeownership has long been part of the American Dream, but current government plans to keep more people in their homes reflect the influence of failed economic policies from the past and may encourage more risky decision making in the future.
If governments do not take moral hazard seriously, their response to the present recession may sow the seeds of a future economic crisis.
Despite the financial crisis, markets deserve a spirited public defense that acknowledges both their virtues and limits.
When surveying the consequences of the recent election we should not think of the market as something disembodied from the rest of society. Its failure indicates a general failure of responsibility
Welfare rights really do exist, and are usually best provided for by voluntary associations. Still, even if states aren’t always the best solution, they do have a role to play.
While this weekend's conference threatens to repeat the failures of Bretton Woods, the work of economist Wilhelm Röpke may recommend a more successful approach.
The author of a recent abortion study answers Michael New's criticisms.
Social Conservatives in America would do well to consider recent events in the U.K.
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.
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.
We must look beyond trust and greed and instead discover thrift. A response to Harold James.
Kevin Jackson calls for moral cooperation instead of government regulation. A response to Harold James.
The current financial crisis may provide an opportunity to build stronger families and communities.
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.