Mark W. Hendrickson

Mark W. Hendrickson

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

High resolution photos»

A Free-Market Economist’s Take on Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts”

October 15, 2014 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about Ken Burns’ 14-hour documentary on the three most famous Roosevelts: Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor. I have to confess that I almost didn’t watch it.

There were two reasons for my reluctance. First, I am … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The NLRB’s contribution to Obama’s anti-business crusade

September 15, 2014 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Having written earlier this summer about the whack-a-mole regulatory state running wild under the presidency of Barack Obama, the biggest question in my mind was which of the myriad federal regulatory agencies … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Hats off to all the fathers who are men

June 11, 2014 | by | Topic: Faith & Society, Media & Culture

This isn’t going to be one of those sentimental Father’s Day articles, even though that is what I would prefer. This article will have a bit of an edge to it. Please excuse my bluntness, but fatherhood is serious business, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The ultimate sacrifice: Remembering American heroes

May 21, 2014 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Last year on Memorial Day, my wife, daughter and I were touring Cambridge, England. We took a bus ride three miles out of the city to the U.S. military cemetery there–one of 25 American burial grounds administered by the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Teacher Appreciation Week: Lunch with Mr. Walters

May 5, 2014 | by | Topic: Biography

Last fall I described the apparently miraculous way in which I located the one person in the world I was searching for—my seventh and eighth grade English teacher, Mr. Ted Walters, the man who taught me how to write and … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The might and majesty of the risen Savior

April 17, 2014 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

At Eastertime, Christians rejoice and give praise for the resurrection of mankind’s Savior.

Words often fall short of communicating the full magnificence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me try by offering that he was the most complete package ever … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The politics of St. Paul

April 8, 2014 | by | Topic: Biography, Economics & Political Systems, Faith & Society

In Romans 13:1-7 the apostle Paul writes: “[A ruler] is the minister of God to thee for good” (v. 3); “Wherefore ye must needs be subject…” (v. 5); “…pay ye tribute [taxes]” (v. 6).

St. Paul seems to be saying … More>

Permanent link to this article»

God and Jesus, Politics and Government

March 27, 2014 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Faith & Society

Is God a Democrat? A Republican? Was Jesus a conservative, liberal, socialist, or libertarian? Those are jarring questions. Yet, because faith informs one’s values and values inform one’s political leanings, it is understandable why religion and politics often intersect and overlap. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The war against work and wealth

February 28, 2014 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com

The Congressional Budget Office’s recent analysis of the Affordable Care Act concludes that it will result in the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers leaving the work force to preserve their taxpayer-financed … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Government’s role in charity: A response and an invitation to further dialogue

January 24, 2014 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Faith & Society

Editor’s note: On Dec. 23, 2013, Dr. Mark Hendrickson wrote an op-ed titled, “One of the most powerful Christmas lessons.” A reader of the Stewartville STAR (Minn.) responded with a letter-to-the-editor making the following arguments:

  • “Hendrickson argued
More>

Permanent link to this article»

100 years of the Federal Reserve

January 13, 2014 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

On Dec. 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Owen Glass Act, creating the Federal Reserve. Looking back, what has the Fed accomplished during the last 100 years?… More>

Permanent link to this article»

One of the most powerful Christmas lessons

December 23, 2013 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

The entire country pauses on Dec. 25, as Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, known to Christians as God’s Christ and Savior, and known to many as The Prince of Peace.

The impact of this one special life … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A miracle or coincidence?

December 2, 2013 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Every now and then, something unforeseen and special happens—something that logic or reason would tell you is either impossible or that the odds against it happening are overwhelming. And yet those things … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The unseen scars are often as painful as the ones seen

November 12, 2013 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are not seen. Actions produce some effects that are readily apparent and … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Burglarizing JPMorgan Chase and slapping down Prudential: The new, tyrannical normal

November 1, 2013 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

If there is one truth that became apparent during the financial panic five years ago, it is that Big Government and Big Finance are inseparable. Of course Uncle Sam was going to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“Average Is Over”-rated: Comments on Tyler Cowen’s doom-and-gloom scenario

October 18, 2013 | by | Topic: America: Still the Last Best Hope?, Education & Schools, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Years ago, I thought that if I ever attempted to write a novel, I would describe a future dystopia in which the ruling elite were those who made and understood computers and … More>

Permanent link to this article»

In my native city of Detroit, Atlas has at long last shrugged

July 24, 2013 | by | Topic: Uncategorized

Editors note: This opinion editorial first appeared at Forbes.com

I’m sad. Detroit is my native city. It’s decline from being arguably the world’s richest city to being America’s “first Third Word city” is tragic, politically criminal, and a warning … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Wake Up, Gulliver: The Lilliputians Are Almost Done

June 26, 2013 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This opinion editorial first appeared at Forbes.com.

Jonathan Swift’s classic novel Gulliver’s Travels—and in particular the novel’s first section in which the tiny Lilliputians immobilize Gulliver by binding him with thousands of tiny, threadlike ropes—serves as a literary … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Happy Birthday to a Great President

April 25, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography, Faith & Society

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Sunday, April 28, marks the 255th anniversary of President James Monroe’s birth in 1758.

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading one of Harlow Giles Unger’s thorough biographies of … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Republicans Need To Grow Up About Taxes

April 2, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Republicans are flailing about these days, trying to rebrand themselves before the next election cycle. A certain amount of introspection and internecine debate is inevitable after suffering a stinging More>

Permanent link to this article»

Medicare: Did You Really Pay For That?

March 11, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Last summer, Barack Obama riled a lot of entrepreneurs when he got carried away at a campaign event and told any American who had built up a successful enterprise, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Pentagon Budget as Political Football

February 28, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

The Pentagon’s budget occupies center stage in the sequestration drama. Defense spending comprises approximately 18 percent of the 2013 federal budget, but accounts for 50 percent of federal … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Spendaholics’ Offensive

February 21, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

A primary meme of the Democratic Party in 2013 is that the federal government doesn’t have a spending problem. That is what President Obama reportedly said to House … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Erasing Reagan? The Illiberal War on Truth

February 11, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

The prospect of four more years of Barack Obama in the White House has caused several conservative voices (among them, The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger, Fox News commentator … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Economic Outlook for 2013: ZIRP, Zombies, and the Japanization of the American Economy

January 9, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

I recently indulged in some wistful, year-end nostalgia, but now that 2013 is underway, let’s turn our attention to a time more crucial to our well-being: the future … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Nostalgic New Year’s Look at the ’50s

January 2, 2013 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

New Year’s observances blend recollections of the past, celebrations in the present, and anticipation of the future. For a variety of reasons, I’m feeling nostalgic this year. I’ve been … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Christmas Thoughts, 2012

December 20, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Faith & Society

The gentle spirit of Christmas brings a sense of fresh promise and renewal every year. The remembrances and commemorations of the birth of an innocent baby have a softening effect. Christmas provides a respite, even surcease, from the stresses, bruises, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Compromise or Gridlock in Washington: Two Unpalatable Alternatives

December 11, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

As soon as the elections were over, a wave of commentaries extolling the virtues of compromise appeared in the press. The common theme is that it is time for … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Long Live the Twinkie! (Twinkie Killers, Part 2)

November 29, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Can the Twinkie and other famous Hostess brands be saved? I hope so, and I’ll offer my own two cents’ on one possible way of doing so. First, though, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Blasted Twinkie Killers!

November 23, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Drat! I’m bummed—saddened by the news that the Hostess company, home of the Twinkie and other venerable sugary snacks, is shutting down.

I’ll bet I haven’t eaten more than … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama: The Second FDR Rather Than the Second Carter

November 14, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

I’ve thought a lot over the last few years about an axiom attributed to Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” The question to me was whether … More>

Permanent link to this article»

An Open Letter to Mitt Romney

November 9, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this piece first appeared at USAToday.com.

Dear Mitt,

I have awakened on November 7 to learn that your bid for the presidency was unsuccessful. In the midst of the disappointment that I share with you, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Alex Karras, RIP

October 12, 2012 | by | Topic: Biography, Faith & Society

Alex Karras, the former Detroit Lions All-Pro defensive tackle and later a successful actor, died on October 10. I have vivid memories of him before he ever gained immortality as “Mongo” in “Blazing Saddles” or as the stepdad of “Webster.”… More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Politically Incorrect Billionaire

October 5, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Two news items about “the rich” recently popped up online within a couple of hours of each other.

Story No. 1: Pew Research Center found that non-rich Americans have … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Winners and Losers From QE3

September 19, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

The only doubt about the Federal Reserve’s decision to embark on a third round of quantitative easing was about when it would begin. It was a foregone conclusion that … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama’s Popularity With Young Voters

August 10, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, Americans under the age of 30 favor President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by almost a two-to-one margin. This is a startling … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Book Review of Brian Sussman’s “Eco-Tyranny”

July 30, 2012 | by | Topic: Media & Culture

“Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda will Dismantle America” By Brian Sussman | WND Books (April 17, 2012) | 315 pp. | List Price: $25.95

In “Eco-Tyranny,” author Brian Sussman sounds a timely and important warning: The radical “greens” … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Euro Is a Frankenstein Currency

June 29, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

What do Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the architects of the euro currency have in common? Answer: They both created monsters.

The euro is not “money” any more than the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Question of More or Less Government

June 21, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

Theoretically, the elemental political choice in a democratic system is between more government or less—more government control over our lives and livelihood, or less; more government spending and programs … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Mitt and Me: Romney at Cranbrook—a Personal Glimpse

May 22, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A longer version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com

What interesting timing. I had recently planned a column on my observations about Mitt Romney at Cranbrook. Why? Not because of anything in the news related to Cranbrook—at … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reflections on the French Election

May 11, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

The election of Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande to the presidency of France epitomizes the sorry state of contemporary democracy. By that, I don’t mean to imply that the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Yo-Yo Economics?

April 26, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com.

President Obama recently referred to free-market economics as “you’re-on-your-own economics.” It’s a catchy phrase—rhythmic, alliterative, clever. Too bad it’s bunk.

The only genuine “you’re on your own economics”—let’s call … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Team Obama: Tax Predators On The Prowl

April 19, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Editor’s note: This article was written exclusively for Forbes by the Center’s fellow for economic and social policy.

 Click here to read the article at Forbes.com»

 … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The GOP: A Party in Flux

April 16, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at Forbes.com

With Rick Santorum having dropped out of the race, Mitt Romney is apparently the Republican nominee for POTUS, barring a “black swan” event swooping down out of nowhere.

Why … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Supreme Court Weighs Obamacare: Good Intentions vs. The Constitution

April 4, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, The Law

Editor’s note: This article was written exclusively for Forbes by the Center’s fellow for economic and social policy.

Click here to read the article at Forbes.com»

 … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Election-Year Politics of Energy

March 19, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Realizing that his popularity may decline as the price of gasoline rises, President Obama is barnstorming the country, emphatically insisting that drilling for more oil isn’t the cure for high gas prices and that wind and solar energy represent our energy … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Upheavals in American Education: The Start of Something Big?

March 12, 2012 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Education & Schools

Reform in America’s public schools occurs with seemingly glacial slowness. In the private sector, businesses (including schools) that provide a lousy product quickly lose customers. They either correct their deficiencies or they eventually close. Similarly, if the problem is poor … More>

Permanent link to this article»

People Say the Darnedest Things

March 7, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Media & Culture

Those of you past a certain age may remember the old Art Linkletter show “Kids Say the Darndest [sic] Things.” The one I still remember was when Linkletter asked a little boy if he looked like his daddy. “No,” replied … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Whiff of Privatization

February 24, 2012 | by | Topic: Uncategorized

Three decades ago, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher implemented a policy called “privatization” to rejuvenate the moribund economy of the United Kingdom.

Like the United States today, the cost of a too-large government was sapping the vitality of the U.K.’s economy. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Choice: Bain Capitalism or Solyndra Cronyism

February 9, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This article was written exclusively for Forbes by the Center’s fellow for economic and social policy.

Click here to read the article at Forbes.com»More>

Permanent link to this article»

Economics: The Cheerful Science

February 6, 2012 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Chances are, you’ve heard economics referred to as “the dismal science.” That unflattering description is glib and catchy; it is also 100 percent wrong. Let me set the record straight and explain why economics—far from being dismal—is cause for hope, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The State of the Union: An Inside Report

January 27, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

On Tuesday evening, I had the honor of attending the State of the Union address as the guest of Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-03). Here are my impressions in abbreviated form:

The address seemed more like a rewrite of previous speeches … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Tax Rate Scandal

January 25, 2012 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney casually estimated that his effective tax rate is around 15 percent, progressives immediately pounced on the issue. To this ideological minority with its Ahab-like obsession on class warfare, a rich American paying an … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Sports, Concussions, and Contemporary American Culture

January 12, 2012 | by | Topic: Biography, Faith & Society

If you follow professional sports, and especially if you are a football or hockey fan, you undoubtedly are aware of the rash of concussions that have rendered players unfit to play. Now there’s a rash of lawsuits being filed against More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Five Best Christmas Movies: And the Gift of Grace and Renewal

December 20, 2011 | by | Topic: Faith & Society, Media & Culture

Let’s have a happy debate: What are the five best Christmas movies of all time? Obviously, tastes differ and change over time. Here are my five favorites, the ones I am willing to watch every Christmas season, starting with number … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Barry and the Babe

December 16, 2011 | by | Topic: Biography

Barry Bonds’ Dec. 16 sentencing for obstruction of justice is an anticlimactic addendum to a sterling, though marred, baseball career.

Without a doubt, Bonds was a great hitter who didn’t need performance-enhancing drugs to put up Hall of Fame numbers. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

China’s “Superior” Economic Model?

December 9, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

In a recent piece for the Wall Street Journal, Andy Stern, an Obama insider and one of organized labor’s more aggressive personalities, praised what he called “China’s superior economic model.”

Does China have a superior economic model? That depends: Superior … More>

Permanent link to this article»

When Clarence Thomas Came for a Visit

November 30, 2011 | by | Topic: Biography, The Law

On Tuesday, November 15, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas visited Grove City College. I had a choice to make—whether to meet him or attend to the tons of work I had to finish before several looming deadlines.

I don’t … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Green Fiascoes and Boondoggles

November 16, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

A barrage of news headlines on the Solyndra scandal continue to remind us that President Obama made green jobs one of his administration’s priorities. Those headlines also reveal this initiative to have been a costly mistake.

The bankruptcy of Solyndra, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Veterans: What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen

November 7, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Biography

In economics, the first lesson I teach my pupils is the lesson of things that are seen and things that are not seen. Actions have some effects that are readily apparent and others are overlooked or not perceived.

It’s the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Short-Lived Euphoria in Europe

November 2, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, was a giddy day for European politicians and global investors. European Union officials announced a plan for addressing the EU’s worst financial problems. There would be a partial write-down of Greek sovereign debt—a 50 percent haircut … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Looking Ahead to 2012, 2013, and 2014

October 31, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Whoever takes the oath of office as President of the United States in January of 2013 will inherit an economy facing multiple challenges:

Undoubtedly, still-escalating federal spending will have the government bumping up against the debt ceiling again. By then, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

We’ve Been ZIRPed

October 12, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It isn’t easy to earn interest income these days. Interest rates on government T-bills, banks’ savings accounts, and certificates of deposit are microscopic. You can blame our government and central bank. They have “ZIRPed” millions of American savers. Here are … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Kaline, Colavito & Cash: The Boys of October—and Other Baseball Memories

September 26, 2011 | by | Topic: Biography

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.”
—Terence Mann (played by James Earl Jones), Field of Dreams

For over 100 years, baseball has been a cultural reference point for millions of Americans. Just as certain songs … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Greece on the Brink

September 21, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The Greek government is in a gigantic financial hole and is teetering on the brink of defaulting on its debt. It has been able to limp along since last year only with bailouts from outside of Greece.

According to the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Greece, Germany and the Fate of the Euro

September 12, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

It has been over a year since I have written about the fragile condition of the European Union’s financial system. The financial crisis of a possible Greek default has been papered over since then, but now it is coming to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

President Obama’s Latest “Jobs” Gambit

September 9, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

If you watched President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, you didn’t see anything new. He did what he does best—campaign for re-election and pay lip service to private enterprise and fiscal responsibility while proposing more top-down economic … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Gold’s Meteoric Rise

August 19, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The price of gold has gone on a tear this summer, from slightly under $1500 per ounce to well over $1800 per ounce, and it looks like it wants to go higher. What gives?

Well, if you bought gold last … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Big Deal or No Big Deal?

August 12, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As the August 2 deadline for a debt-ceiling deal drew near, many expected a big deal that would significantly change the direction of federal fiscal policy. After weeks of tumultuous negotiations, partisan bickering, and impassioned histrionics, the agreement that finally … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Bernanke and the Potemkin Economy

August 5, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

On July 11, The Center for Vision & Values posted my article decrying the insulting name-calling directed toward Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke. The very next day, Bernanke made me question my forbearance by telling Congress that a third … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Going to the Brink: The Aug. 2 Debt Ceiling Deadline

July 28, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Some have called August 2 “Financial D-Day.” That is the date, according to Treasury Secretary Geithner, by which either Congress raises the debt ceiling or some government disbursements will cease.

Multiple proposals have been floated for budgetary reforms to be … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Solutions for the “Tax Gap”

July 18, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In 2010, there was a “tax gap”—i.e., the difference between federal taxes owed and those actually paid—of $410–$500 billion.

Some of the gap stems from the complexity of the tax code. Much of it, though, is deliberate­­: self-employed individuals working … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Limits to Bernanke’s Power

July 11, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As chairman of our country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke is expected to put the economy on a sound footing and foster strong economic growth. Unfortunately, Bernanke faces “mission impossible”—partly because the policies implemented by Congress, the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Jefferson Versus Hamilton: The Continuing Contest

June 29, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems, The Law

This Fourth of July marks 235 years since the Declaration of Independence was published. In this immortal document, the Spirit of ’76 was given its fullest, most eloquent expression. The Declaration is a timeless document, espousing eternal principles that, while … More>

Permanent link to this article»

My Congressman’s Tough Job

June 24, 2011 | by | Topic: Biography, Economics & Political Systems

Being a congressman can be a great job. It can be attractive for someone who relishes the ersatz virtue of playing Santa Claus with other people’s money, who finds a year-round routine of fund-raising social events enjoyable, and who covets … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Thanks, Pop

June 15, 2011 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Father’s Day is a poignant occasion for me, as for many. I never knew my biological father, who died in an accident. Mom and I lived near Detroit with her oldest sister and her husband, who were childless. That’s how … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Swindling America’s Youth

June 9, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

We older Americans have saddled our youth with a mind-boggling public debt—over $20 trillion already spent ($14.3 trillion of “official” national debt plus various off-budget expenditures, according to the U.S. Treasury); trillions more of projected deficit-spending over the coming decade; … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The High-Stakes Showdown Over Medicare Reform

May 31, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The trustees of the Medicare system recently reported that the program will go broke in the year 2024—five years sooner than was projected just last year.

The millions of Americans who have been counting on Medicare to be a reliable, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Global Energy Superpower

May 23, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Saudi Arabia has long been the dominant producer of petroleum on the planet. Nature endowed the Arabian Peninsula with gigantic deposits of this vital source of energy. Many of us have lamented the quirk of nature that placed much-needed oil … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Inflation: Food, Fuel, and the Fed

May 9, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As Americans increasingly feel the pinch of higher prices for food and fuel, the Federal Reserve’s QE2 policy of creating more money has been called into question. Asked if the Fed bore some responsibility for these vexing price increases, Fed … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Millionaires in America

April 29, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Recently, CNN’s Money.com posted an article bearing the title, “U.S. Millionaires Population Expanded by 8 Percent in 2010.” According to the article, there are now approximately 8.4 million millionaires in the United States, and last year’s increase was due primarily … More>

Permanent link to this article»

How “Radical” is the Ryan Plan?

April 14, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while increasing Uncle Sam’s … More>

Permanent link to this article»

V&V PAPER — Christian Charity and the Welfare State

April 13, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Faith & Society, White Papers

Editor’s Note: “When government confines itself to protecting each individual’s God-given right to be safe in his or her own person and property, then people are free to go about their business as long as they don’t trespass on the More>

Permanent link to this article»

Imperfect Justice in Snyder v. Phelps

March 25, 2011 | by | Topic: The Law

On March 2, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Snyder v. Phelps that illustrates the difficulty of balancing competing claims to rights and justice in our judicial system.

The court overturned a lower court’s $5 million tort … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Budget Tightening in Pennsylvania—and Around the Nation

March 14, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Pennsylvania’s new governor, Tom Corbett, has submitted his first annual budget to the state legislature. It includes proposals for spending cuts and no new taxes. In some ways, the budget is a model of what must be done nationwide.

Gov. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Tale of Two Union Disputes: The NFL vs. Wisconsin Teachers

March 9, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Education & Schools

There are two high-profile labor disputes in the news these days. One involves Wisconsin’s public-school teachers; the other, the National Football League’s players. I mentioned this to a friend, who responded that the NFL dispute was more troublesome. The very … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Who Objects to Free Speech?

March 4, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Free speech has always been one of our most cherished rights. It has come under attack repeatedly by those who find it to be an inconvenient and unwanted obstacle to the attainment of their political goals. Sometimes, those in positions … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Debt-Ceiling Dance and the Annual Budget Ritual

February 28, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Once again it’s time to talk about raising the statutory limit on the U.S. government’s debt—the so-called “debt ceiling.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has estimated that Uncle Sam will reach the debt ceiling before Tax Day, possibly even before the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Wisconsin Unions vs. Governor Walker: A Battle for the Soul of America

February 22, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: A version of this article was first published by the Christian Science Monitor. 

It is hard to overstate what is at stake in the dramatic showdown between Wisconsin’s teachers and their Republican governor and legislature. The … More>

Permanent link to this article»

America’s Debts: Even More Calamitous Than We Thought

February 14, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Brace yourself. This isn’t going to be pleasant. If you’re in a bad mood or get easily upset, you may wish to pass on reading this article.

The country is in even worse shape economically than we thought. We awoke … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Honoring Reagan’s Memory in the Most Honorable Way

February 8, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

It is fitting that we are pausing to remember President Ronald Wilson Reagan on the centennial anniversary of his birth this February, a month that also includes Presidents Day. There continue to be many poignant remembrances and fitting tributes to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Economics of the State of the Union

February 1, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

The news from Egypt has thrust President Obama’s State of the Union off the front pages. While that news is critical, so is further analysis of the State of the Union, especially from an economic perspective. My previous column focused … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The New-Old Barack Obama

January 27, 2011 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

The 2012 presidential campaign has begun. Not being a political junkie, it gives me no pleasure to report this phenomenon. And no further proof of this assertion is needed than Barack Obama’s tactical shift.

You may recall, during the first … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Hu’s in Town, Time to Talk “Money”

January 19, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

China’s President Hu Jintao is visiting the United States this week. This means we can count on two things: 1) a proliferation of Hu/who jokes (think: Abbott and Costello, “Who’s on first?”); and 2) disputes about the respective monetary policies … More>

Permanent link to this article»

On Reading Aloud in Congress

January 12, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Opening the 112th Congress by having a succession of representatives read the Constitution aloud on the floor of the House was a worthwhile exercise, despite heated criticism to the contrary.

If nothing else, it showed how little respect many … More>

Permanent link to this article»

New Year’s Resolution: Stop the Fiscal Insanity

January 3, 2011 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As we enter the New Year, the financial landscape is littered with essentially bankrupt governments. Governments at every level are in dire financial straits. During the last decade’s governmental spending binge, total state and municipal bond debt has nearly doubled … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Tea Party’s Uphill Challenge

December 22, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The Tea Party movement and its millions of supporters have high hopes that the recent elections will rein in runaway government. While I endorse this objective, accomplishing it will be far more difficult than most people realize.

The Tea Partiers … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Honoring Bill of Rights Day – and Responsibility

December 9, 2010 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

December 15 is Bill of Rights Day. This year is the 219th anniversary of the adoption of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution—the Bill of Rights.

Few Americans notice Bill of Rights Day. That isn’t surprising, since … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Fed Up With the Fed

November 30, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

What happens to a car company that makes crummy cars, a restaurant that serves lousy food, or an insurance company that poorly serves its policyholders? Unless they mend their ways, they lose customers and eventually go out of business. That’s … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Thanksgiving Lesson

November 23, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Every fall in my Econ 101 course, during the last class period before we part for Thanksgiving, I share a lesson from early American history. It is particularly timely, because it deals with those we credit with the first American … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Dead Man Walking: Dealing with Deflation

November 19, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in American Thinker.

To Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, deflation is regarded as Public Enemy Number One.

In the words of New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“Thank You for Your Service”—A Veterans Day Memory

November 8, 2010 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

We Americans tend to look forward to the various holidays on the calendar. Sometimes we pause to ponder the meaning of these commemorative days; often we do not. Perhaps in your own experience you can recall a Thanksgiving, an Easter, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Tough Times Ahead: Gridlock and Quantitative Easing Are Not Enough

November 4, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Now that the elections are over, attention is turning to the economy.

The stock market rose steadily from the end of August up to the elections. Since the stock market tends to be forward-looking, its recent strong and steady rise … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Dangerous Election-Year Demagoguery on Trade

October 27, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As is customary in the days leading up to an election, the campaign rhetoric is getting heated. Here in western Pennsylvania, Democrats have gained points in the polls by adopting an aggressively protectionist ad campaign. Democratic candidates for the House … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Breakdown

October 20, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

You’ve probably seen the headlines about major banks suspending foreclosure proceedings to reclaim houses from borrowers who have defaulted on their mortgages. This has the potential to be hugely disruptive—a milestone development comparable to the failure of Lehman Brothers in … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“I Want Your Money”

October 15, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Today, October 15, the dynamite documentary, “I Want Your Money,” opens at theaters nationwide. The release of this film so close to the midterm elections on November 2 is no coincidence. “IWYM” is a cry of the heart from its … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reflections on the GOP Pledge

September 29, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Last week, 13 Republicans released a “Pledge to America.” What is most surprising to me is its length. At 21 pages, it was many times the length of the GOP’s hugely successful 1994 “Contract with America.” Why ditch a winning … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Understanding “Austerity”

August 20, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s Note: A longer version of this article first appeared in American Thinker.

A couple of years ago, the terms “too big to fail” and “bailout” were the trendy buzzwords. Currently, the “in” word seems to be “austerity.” On both … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Rethinking the Corporate Income Tax

August 9, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It is hard to find anything positive to say about the corporate income (i.e., profits) tax. Economists across the ideological spectrum agree that the corporate profits tax is woefully inefficient:

1) It warps corporate decision making, inducing expenditures made only … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Global Warming—The Big Picture: A Review of Brian Sussman’s “Climategate”

August 6, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

“Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam” By Brian Sussman | WND Books (April 22, 2010) | 240 pp. | List Price: $25.95

Climategate
is thorough, knowledgeable, timely, and very well written. I have been reading about global … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Geithner Versus the Bush Tax Cuts

July 30, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

I’m now convinced that the Obama administration is placing its political agenda above policies that would contribute to the economic recovery that millions of Americans so desperately need. That agenda includes bringing more economic activity under government control, making more … More>

Permanent link to this article»

More Lessons from History: How Obamanomics May Play Out

July 23, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The grand lesson of the 20th century is that Big Government retards economic progress. The evidence of this lesson goes beyond the socialist countries and their dramatic economic failures.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Three Neglected Economic Lessons from American History

July 15, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In most, if not all, states, pupils must pass a course in American history to receive a high-school diploma. Unfortunately, when it comes to our country’s economic history, most students are poorly taught, perhaps wrongly taught. Mythology and error prevail … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Doctrinaire Libertarianism vs. American Sovereignty

July 7, 2010 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

Recently, Bill O’Reilly interviewed John Stossel about the dangerous situation along Arizona’s porous border with Mexico. Stossel is probably my favorite reporter. I admire the way he demolishes popular myths, particularly economic myths. However, on the topic of how to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Economic Information Worth Knowing

June 29, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the bewildering array of economic data, statistics, charts, and graphs floating around. Often, we economists can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s hard to figure out what is truly significant and what is … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Exchange-Rate Mythology and Weak-Dollar Nonsense

June 25, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

If you read the financial press or listen to what politicians say, you have probably heard many times how important it is for the Chinese renminbi (yuan) to strengthen against the dollar. Indeed, it sometimes sounds as though a weaker … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Colombia’s Presidential Election: Not “Too Close to Call” This Time

June 23, 2010 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

The just-completed Colombian presidential election took place in two stages. The first round took place on May 30. There were multiple candidates. Since nobody received an outright majority, the top two vote-getters (Juan Manuel Santos at 47 percent and Antanas … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reservations About a Balanced Budget Amendment

June 14, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Calling for a balanced budget amendment has been a staple campaign issue for conservative Republicans for years. Undeniably, our nation is beset by fearful fiscal woes. However, a balanced budget amendment isn’t the answer.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

America Needs Union Competition

June 3, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

I agree with President Obama that we need more labor unions. However, I disagree with his approach.
Full disclosure: I have been a dues-payer to both the United Auto Workers and the National Education Association unions. My sympathies are heavily … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reflections on the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

May 26, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The explosion that sank British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling vessel/platform in the Gulf of Mexico in April was an unmitigated disaster. The accident killed 11 workers and has caused massive environmental damage, the full extent of which may not become … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Tragedy in Amish Country: Living Levi’s Example

May 24, 2010 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

I first met Levi almost 20 years ago. He was about 12. We had just purchased our land from his parents, Jake and Nancy. Being old-order Amish, Jake and Nancy needed a ride to the attorney’s office, so we drove … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Great Greek Bailout: Debt-Ridden America Chips In

May 17, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The sovereign debt crisis—centered on Greece for the moment, but bound to spread to other heavily indebted national governments—has taken an ominous turn.

The European Central Bank (ECB), the Federal Reserve, and the International Monetary Fund unveiled a trillion-dollar bailout … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Good Cop, Bad Cop: Bipartisan Failure to Control Spending

May 12, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Economic error knows no partisan bounds. Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt both adopted foolish, harmful policies during the Great Depression. Republican George W. Bush’s stimulus plan made no sense, and neither did Democrat Barack Obama’s.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Financial Intrigue in Greece: Should We Care?

May 3, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The intertwined worlds of government and finance are swirling with drama not seen since the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The epicenter of the current crisis is Greece. The Aegean nation’s sovereign debt has been downgraded to “junk” status … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Sen. Dodd’s Financial Reform Bill: The Problem of Leverage

April 28, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Trying to keep up with all the changes in U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial reform bill has been a daunting task. Two weeks ago, it was described in the press as “the 1100-page bill.” Last week, it became “the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The VAT-Man Cometh?

April 12, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Editor’s note: This is one of many articles from The Center for Vision & Values dealing with the topic of our April 15-16 conference on “The Progressives.”Click here for information.

Recently, progressives have made noise about introducing a value-added … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The “Social Justice” Fallacy? Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

April 7, 2010 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Many Christians over many years have been beguiled by the Religious Left’s use of the term “social justice.” This is because Christians rightly love justice and hate injustice. But “social justice”—or, at least, how it’s often used by liberal Christians—isn’t … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Christian Charity: Social Justice and the Good Samaritan

March 31, 2010 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Charity—a loving spirit concretely expressed in unselfish good deeds to one’s fellow man—is a primary Christian duty. Nobody who has read the New Testament can come to any other conclusion.

In his parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), Jesus … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Governing Elite vs. the Rest of Us

March 5, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The truly revolutionary American idea of government as the servant of the people may be fading away. Many of today’s so-called “civil servants” are a protected, privileged class. While Middle America struggles through a difficult recession, a lot of government … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Student Loan Problem

February 24, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

You may have seen the recent story about the 41-year-old doctor who graduated from medical school in 2003 with student-loan indebtedness of $250,000 that has since swelled to more than $555,000. She is now scheduled to pay $990 per month … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“Econoclasts:” A Book Review

February 11, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

“Econoclasts: The Rebels Who Sparked the Supply-Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity” By Brian Domitrovic | ISI Books (August 2009) | 368 pp. | List Price: $27.95

Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history at Sam Houston State University, has written … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Moment of Illumination

January 19, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

We’ve all had those sudden epiphanies where the proverbial light bulb clicks on and understanding comes into clear focus. I had one of those moments over the Christmas holiday season. In this case, the light bulb experience was literal as … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama’s Anti-jobs Policy

January 13, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

High and/or rising unemployment is always a political liability for a president, and so Barack Obama has taken the offensive in trying to persuade the American people that his team can get Americans back to work.

In November, Obama took … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Climategate, Copenhagen and Cap & Trade

January 4, 2010 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

2009 ended with a flurry of important events on the climate-change front.

In November, the Climategate scandal broke. An anonymous whistle-blower released over 1,000 e-mails from key scientists (both British and American) in the alarmist climate-change camp. The e-mails revealed … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Combating Recessions: The Search for the Right Macroeconomic Policy

December 22, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

What should governments do to combat recessions’ In the United States, before the Great Depression of the 1930s, the answer was “very little.” Of course, the federal government was much smaller then compared to the size of the private sector, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Jefferson’s Warnings About Money and Banks

December 17, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy hosted a dinner for 49 Nobel laureates. The occasion provided the opportunity for JFK to display his keen wit in the memorable quote, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Adam Smith’s Timely and Timeless Classic

December 11, 2009 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of Adam Smith’s masterful treatise on ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith, primarily known today for his hugely influential 1776 work on political economy, The Wealth of Nations, was … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Government Intervention and High Prices

December 7, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

What kind of prices do you prefer to pay when you go shopping—high or low? Unless you’re trying to show off for someone by spending a bundle, I’d bet that you prefer low prices. I’ve never met anybody who decided … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Let Us Give Thanks

November 25, 2009 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

As we celebrate our national Thanksgiving holiday in 2009, are you feeling worry, fear, anger, or despair about the direction of our country? Let us instead give thanks.

As we pass through this temporal world of “tares and wheat,” we … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Coming of Caesar

November 16, 2009 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

We have a problem. This could be “the big one”—bigger than coping with theAhmadinejads, Kims, and Chavezes of the world and bigger than our current economic woes. Our republic, our society, may be heading for a crackup. We are bankrupt, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Psyching Out the Stock Market

November 11, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It is usually the stock market that psyches us out, not the other way around.

There’s something about stocks that turns us upside down. For example, normally when something goes on sale, we tend to buy more of it; yet, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Sex, Life, and Death

November 4, 2009 | by | Topic: General

Two summers ago, while passing through an airport, I caught a TV news story: double homicide in Ohio. The victims were a young woman and the nine-month-old fetus she was carrying. The murderer was her lover, the unborn baby’s father.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Cap-and-Trade Update

October 28, 2009 | by | Topic: General

On Sept. 30, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) unveiled their proposal for cap-and-trade (C&T) legislation. The Senate bill calls for a 20 percent reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions by 2020, and an 80 percent reduction by 2050—targets … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Gold, Geopolitics, and the Carry Trade

October 19, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Military & Foreign Policy

The price of gold has recently spurted to a new all-time high in terms of U.S. dollars. I’m neither an expert nor a market timer, but let me offer a few perspectives on this event.

To most people, including gold … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Honduras and the United States: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

October 12, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

As this is being written, Manuel Zelaya, the ousted and exiled ex-president of Honduras, is holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, having been smuggled there on Sept. 21. His followers acted like the anti-capitalist protesters … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The G-20 Meeting is Over (Thank Goodness!)

September 28, 2009 | by | Topic: General

Count me among the cynics when it comes to G-7, G-8, and now G-20 meetings. They seem to involve little more than photo ops and platforms for politicians to bore us with platitudinous pronouncements—at great expense to the taxpayers in … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Truth and Politics

September 18, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Many of us are cynical about promises made by politicians. “Campaign promises are made to be broken” is a venerable truism of American politics. There are “truth-in-advertising” laws against misrepresentation by private businesses, but no such protections apply to political … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Monetary Madness

September 9, 2009 | by | Topic: General

China, Russia, et al. are talking about shifting their monetary reserves out of U.S. dollars. Gold has hit $1000 per ounce, even though wholesale and retail prices exhibit a deflationary bias. The United Nations has called for a new world … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Healthcare Reform Fiasco

August 26, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Barack Obama ran a brilliant campaign for president. Unfortunately for him, that strategic brilliance did not carry over to his campaign for healthcare reform. His push for greater government control of healthcare has struck a majority of Americans as radical, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Trillion Here, a Trillion There

August 17, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

About 50 years ago, Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) uttered his famous quip, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

Today, we’re talking about a trillion here, a trillion there—a thousand-fold increase in the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

We Could Use a Man Like Warren Harding Again

August 12, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

The popular 1970s television series “All in the Family” had a cute theme-song sung by Archie and Edith at the beginning of every episode. One lyric was: “Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.” Well, the show … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Desperate States and Decaying Federalism

July 31, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In the past, I have written about poor governance at the city and national levels (“Detroit: A Glimpse into America’s Future?,” “We’re Broke,” “Into the Fiscal Abyss,” “The End Game,” et al.). But, of course, the “government disease” … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Next Great Depression, Updated

July 24, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

“There is nothing inevitable about another depression. We have a simple choice: We can repeat the errors of the past or we can avoid them.”

Those were my words, Feb. 8, 2008. It’s time for a “depression watch” update.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Remembering July 20, 1969

July 17, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

For those of you above a certain age, do you remember where you were on July 20, 1969? I certainly do. Just as many of us will never forget where we were when we learned about 9/11 or heard President … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Nuts and Bolts of Cap and Trade

July 16, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The purpose of cap and trade (C&T) legislation is to reduce Americans’ consumption of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—and to speed up the transition to alternate forms of energy, such as wind and solar power. The “cap” part would … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Upheaval in Honduras: A Defining Moment for the Obama Presidency

July 8, 2009 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

Quick, what’s the capital of Honduras? Probably fewer than 10 percent of Americans could answer that question prior to the recent news that Honduran President Mel Zelaya was sent packing to Costa Rica by the Honduran military. While it’s too … More>

Permanent link to this article»

No Laughing Matter

June 26, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Who won the Cold War? That’s a no-brainer. The United States prevailed while the Soviet Union collapsed, and the People’s Republic of China dumped Marxism; capitalism (free markets and private property) triumphed over socialism (centrally planned markets and state-owned property); … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Detroit: A Glimpse into America’s Future?

June 16, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, like Ebenezer Scrooge, we could have a preview of the future so that we could change our course if necessary? This can happen in real life. Such a dispensation was granted to me 35 years … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Team Obama’s Auto Coup

June 15, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In assessing Team Obama’s semi-nationalization of the auto industry, a slight alteration of the famous verse by Elizabeth Barrett Browning encapsulates my reaction: “How do I [not] love thee? Let me count the ways.”

1) The government takeover is unconstitutional.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Opening Pandora’s Box: Classifying CO2 as a “Pollutant”

June 8, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

A few days before “Earth Day” (which happens to be the same day as Lenin’s Birthday), America’s ideological greens and reds received a present they have been desiring for many moons: The Environmental Protection Agency—egged on by the U.S. Supreme … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The U.S. Constitution: Living, Breathing Document or Dead Letter?

May 28, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

In the concluding paragraph of my article about President-elect Obama’s constitutional philosophy, I opined: “Our Constitution has been terminal for a long time.” President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court provides a timely opportunity for me to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Closer Look at the IPCC

May 22, 2009 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is widely regarded in the media as the ultimate authority on climate change. Created by two divisions of the United Nations, and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, its pronouncements are received … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Economic Strangulation: The Environmentalist / Democrat War Against Energy

May 15, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The “greens” must be thrilled with the new Obama/Pelosi/Reid (OPR) troika in charge of the federal government. Three times already, the troika has blocked the development of domestic oil resources.

During his first week in office, President Obama rescinded his … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama’s Two Achilles’ Heels

May 5, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

In my recent article “Checkmate,” I  made the case that President Obama’s grand strategy has outfoxed the opposition, dooming us all to a massive increase in the scope and power of Uncle Sam. Is the situation hopeless? Never! If Americans … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Checkmate?

April 29, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Some people I know react with incredulity when they hear television commentators remark on President Barack Obama’s brilliance. “How can he say that?” they expostulate. “He doesn’t understand basic economics, and he relies on a teleprompter even during news conferences. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

FDR: Then and Today (A review of Burton Folsom’s “New Deal or Raw Deal”)

April 24, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents, Economics & Political Systems

Economic historian Burton Folsom’s “New Deal or Raw Deal?” is a truly important book. Thoroughly researched, well organized and fluently written, this reader-friendly study of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal is “the real deal”—a fascinating, illuminating study of the politics … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Two Americas?

April 3, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

One of the favorite refrains of the class-warfare left has long been to lament what it perceives as a division in America between economic haves and have-nots. From the standpoint of egalitarian, socialistic philosophy, the fact that some Americans prosper … More>

Permanent link to this article»

In Praise of Capitalist Exploitation

March 27, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

For well over a century, socialists, progressives, and even many Christians have railed against the capitalist exploitation of workers. They denounce capitalists—whether the Carnegies and Fricks of yesteryear or the Nikes of today—for paying low wages for hard work.

Their … More>

Permanent link to this article»

More Bailouts, More Fed

March 25, 2009 | by | Topic: Education & Schools

In the last week, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve each announced a major policy initiative for the stated purpose of reversing our economic woes. Don’t hold your breath.

The Treasury’s gambit is a proposed public-private partnership to remove … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Anger at AIG

March 19, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

A raw nerve was struck this week. Reports that employees of the insurance giant AIG—the recipient of four federal bailouts totaling more than $170 billion—were now receiving $165 million in bonuses, caused an explosion of public anger, even bloodthirsty rage. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Ghost of John Maynard Keynes

March 13, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) turns out to have been something of a prophet. He once wrote that “practical men,” as opposed to theoreticians, “are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.” Ironically, the defunct economist who is … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Into the Fiscal Abyss

March 6, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The U.S. Treasury recently released its “2008 Financial Report of the United States Government.” In case you had any doubts, our government’s finances are in a terrible mess. According to the report, under generally accepted accounting principles (the ones that … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Three Books for the Current Crisis

March 2, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

When my friend Paul Kengor, the executive director of The Center for Vision & Values here at Grove City College, asked me what three books I would recommend to students if they wanted to broaden their economic education, my answer … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Tough Times for Wise Virgins

February 18, 2009 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

The biblical parable of the 10 virgins (Matthew 25:1-12) is particularly relevant today. As you may recall, the five wise virgins behaved responsibly and prudently, making sure they had enough lamp oil for the midnight arrival of the bridegroom. The … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Team Obama: Ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll

February 10, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Ready for some political and economic rock and roll? It’s happening. In 2008, Americans were rocked by the beginnings of a deflationary credit collapse and Uncle Sam’s extraordinary bailout/nationalization agenda. In 2009, Americans will be rolled. If you think 2008 … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Love That Economic Pain!

February 3, 2009 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

What would you think if you heard a prominent physician being interviewed and the topic of discussion was the breakout of a serious epidemic, and then the physician started enthusing about how great this plague would be for his business? … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Assessing the Presidency of George W. Bush

January 19, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

George W. Bush had the misfortune to become president when two long-term trends that predated his presidency reached historical tipping points: First, decades of militant Islamic ferment culminated in 9/11. Second, a combination of a decades-long buildup of debt, reckless … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“Only Government Can …?”: Parsing Obama’s Speech on the Economy

January 15, 2009 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Last Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama delivered a major speech on the economy. I didn’t know if it had that legendary tingling effect on its listeners, but reading the text in black and white, it reads like a manifesto on central … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Lessons from the Oil Market

December 29, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The longer I study economic phenomena, the more I learn two truths. The first truth is how little I know. This is very humbling. There is just too much information out there for any one human being to process. The … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Problem With Monotheism

December 17, 2008 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

When an author argues that there is no God, that’s his personal business—something between him and the Creator. But when an author, in addition to denying God, asserts that monotheism is a net negative for the human race, a rebuttal … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Dancing with Fred or Frankenstein: Free Markets, Socialism, and the Bailout

December 8, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Washington’s $700 billion bailout plan is making a lot of people unhappy. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 has come to be known, seems to be morphing unpredictably.

Originally, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Big Three: Assigning Blame & an Alternative to a Bailout

November 25, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

I’ve already explained the problematical economics and ethics of a federal bailout for the Big Three (see “A Bailout for Detroit”). The demise of the pillar of metro Detroit’s economy saddens me—I’m from there; in fact, I was once … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Thanksgiving Thoughts 2008: The Challenge of Affluence

November 21, 2008 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Throughout recorded history, most human beings have been poor. Poverty has been the norm and affluence the exception. Given a choice, most of us would rather be affluent than poor, but in this year of jarring financial losses, many of … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The End Game

November 17, 2008 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

If you wanted to turn the United States of America into a socialist country, what strategy would you adopt? Joseph Stalin, the world’s top communist from 1924 to 1953, is reputed to have advocated the following strategy to William Z. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Threat Within

November 14, 2008 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Human nature has a blind spot. We often detect external flaws faster than internal ones—seeing the speck in our neighbor’s eye sooner than the beam in our own, to use the biblical metaphor.

This same tendency exists at the national … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama, FDR, the Constitution, and Rights

November 4, 2008 | by | Topic: The Law

Earlier this year, in “The Next Great Depression,” I noted several parallels between the political economy of the early 1930s and today. Another intriguing parallel between then and now is the striking similarities between Barack Obama and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

Hatred and Politics

October 23, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, Media & Culture

Politics in America is a contact sport. Passions flare and the rhetoric can get heated and nasty. Political parties stoke these fires, playing on people’s fears as a key fund-raising tactic.

Conservative authors have produced books with insulting titles like … More>

Permanent link to this article»

We’re Broke

October 20, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Global stock markets have been plummeting. Where the bottom is, nobody knows. There will be gut-wrenching zigs and hopeful zags along the way; they will be of larger magnitude and—in our digital age of instant response—will occur with greater rapidity … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Dominant Campaign Question

October 15, 2008 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

What issue(s) dominated the presidential campaign two months ago—foreign policy, taxes, health care? That seems like ancient history now. The one question that everyone wants Barack Obama and John McCain to answer now is: What will you do to fix … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Thoughts on “the Big Bailout”

September 30, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The biggest bailout plan (so far) will continue to be revised in an attempt to win approval of a congressional majority. The goal of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 is to put the brakes on the unwinding of … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Blaming the Free Market

September 24, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It’s finger-pointing time, folks. Whose fault is the ongoing financial crack-up that has hurt, angered, and frightened so many people? There is plenty of blame to go around, and the American people deserve to know the culprits. Simple justice, though, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Economic Nonsense

September 22, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It saddens me when I see a member of my profession go over to “the dark side,” that is, to politics. Politics replaces voluntary action with compulsion, private contract with coercion. Government intervention imposes distortions, inefficiencies, and extra costs on … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Another One Bites the Dust

September 16, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

September 15, 2008. Lehman Brothers, the giant Wall Street firm, declares bankruptcy. Merrill Lynch, the most famous stock brokerage company in the country, avoids the risk of eventually suffering a similar fate by being euthanized (i.e., bought and … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Power of the Media

September 4, 2008 | by | Topic: Media & Culture

So powerful are the media that they have been referred to as the fourth branch of government. Indeed, they can make or break reputations. Example: when former Vice President Dan Quayle misspelled “potato” by adding an “e,” the press magnified … More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Bailout for Detroit

August 27, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It was bound to happen. In this “Year of the bailout,” why shouldn’t Detroit get into the act? The financial community has maintained a death-watch over GM and Ford for months as they hemorrhage floods of red ink. Bankruptcy is … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Thank You, Alexander Solzhenitsyn

August 7, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

News of the passing of Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn on August 3 brought me a flood of memories. Although I never met Mr. Solzhenitsyn, he had a profound effect on my life. He also had a great impact on the … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Olympic Anecdotes

August 5, 2008 | by | Topic: Biography

After lying dormant for more than 22 centuries, the modern Olympic Games were launched in 1896. Held in Athens (of course!), the first modern Olympiad attracted the largest crowd ever to have assembled for a sporting event. The athletes were … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Drill Now

July 25, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

High fuel prices have produced a tectonic shift in the United States’ political landscape. Recent polls indicate a strong surge of support for Uncle Sam lifting government restrictions against domestic drilling for oil. Blocking the development of domestic energy resources … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Here We Go Again

July 21, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Every year, Merriam-Webster, the dictionary company, holds a vote for “Word of the Year.” Don’t be surprised if 2008’s word is “bailout.” And if they start a “Phrase of the Year” category, how about “Too big to fail?” We heard … More>

Permanent link to this article»

John Templeton, R.I.P.

July 16, 2008 | by | Topic: Biography

Sir John Marks Templeton passed from this world on July 8. In an extraordinary life of 95 years, John Templeton was one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, most successful investors, most generous philanthropists, and a tireless seeker for spiritual truth.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

A Mid-year Economic Status Report

July 3, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Economic growth in the United States is sluggish, and there are several reasons to be pessimistic about macroeconomic performance in the balance of 2008, if not beyond. The adjective “macroeconomic” is crucial. We should never forget that, even when major … More>

Permanent link to this article»

America’s Debt Problem

June 25, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Thrift used to be a virtue in America. In Asia, thrift remains a way of life—for example, it is estimated that the average Chinese family’s thrift rate is 30 to 40 percent—which helps explain the rapid growth rates there.

A … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Cynical Politics of Global Warming and Its Hobgoblins

June 11, 2008 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

“Cynical politics” may be a redundancy, but it is hard to imagine a mo1re cynical political issue than global warming (GW). In his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, Al Gore called for a “wrenching transformation of society.” Leftists, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Signs of Poor Governance: Is America Becoming One of the Worst?

June 6, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

A recent International Monetary Fund research report listed the countries expected to suffer the worst currency depreciation—that is, the worst inflation—this year. Zimbabwe (a mind-boggling 300,000 percent-plus), Venezuela (25.7 percent), Bolivia (15.1 percent), Nicaragua (13.8 percent), and Argentina (9.2 percent) … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Big Oil vs. Big Congress: Another Witch Hunt

May 29, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In what has become an annual ritual, the wizards of Congress are going after the leaders of Big Oil again. This is political theater at its most cynical. It’s the modern version of the Salem witch hunt. The rapid rise … More>

Permanent link to this article»

El Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2008 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) festivities are to Mexican-Americans what St. Patrick’s Day festivities are to Irish-Americans—a joyful expression of ancestral pride and a celebration of the rich diversity of American culture. Mexican-Americans, like Irish-Americans, migrated to the United … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Colombia and Democracy Under Siege

April 29, 2008 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

These are tough times for Colombia. The international left has the pro-American South American democracy in its crosshairs. Why? Because Colombia recently committed what leftists consider the cardinal sin—not only daring to resist leftists, but actually scoring a significant victory … More>

Permanent link to this article»

More or Less?

April 14, 2008 | by | Topic: Education & Schools

Thank you, Rahm Emanuel! Mr. Emanuel, a Democratic congressman from Illinois and former senior policy adviser to President Clinton, recently published several election-year policy proposals on the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal.

The timing of Emanuel’s article … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The de facto Nationalization of JPMorgan Chase

April 7, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

March 2008 may go down as a major turning point in U.S. financial history. The Federal Reserve crossed a Rubicon of sorts, lending tens of billions of dollars, not to a commercial bank, as has been its historical practice, but … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Atheism Versus the Resurrection

March 25, 2008 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

In recent years, it has become fashionable among secular journals to mark Easter week by publishing articles denying that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the tomb. It seems they can always find someone with the credentials of a Christian minister … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Flash Update: The Continuing Financial Crackup

March 17, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Precarious. Ominous. Dismal. Woeful. Vulnerable. Perilous. These are just a few of the adjectives that describe the current condition of the United State’s financial markets. The crisis that I wrote about in this column last Dec. 27 has continued to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Obama’s Global Poverty Act

March 10, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Senator Barack Obama, the eminently likable possible Democratic nominee for president, has sponsored a “Global Poverty Act” that would require the United States to increase foreign aid by approximately $65 billion per year. If the Senate passes this bill, it … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The United States as Global Citizen

March 3, 2008 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

Many Americans wonder why the United States isn’t more popular on the global stage. Why are our relations with allied countries often lukewarm, at best? After all, we saved the world from fascism in World War II and communism in … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Ranking (and Timing) the Presidents

February 11, 2008 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Are you excited about Presidents’ Day? Neither am I. It’s hard to think of a less inspiring, more perfunctory “holiday.” To most Americans, its only significance is that the banks and post offices are closed on a mid-winter Monday. Yawn.… More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Next Great Depression

February 8, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

No, I am not getting ready to join the ranks of those clever economists and financial prognosticators who periodically cop a book deal by peddling a hyped-up title that feeds our perverse appetite for scary scenarios—Financial Armageddon, Get Rich More>

Permanent link to this article»

Should the Senate Ratify the U.N. Sea Treaty?

January 28, 2008 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

There has been vigorous debate about whether the U.S. Senate should ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST by its critics). The treaty has … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The “R” Word and an Economic Stimulus Plan

January 21, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The dreaded “R” word—recession—is in on the tip of many tongues right now. Are we in a recession? Far be it from me to trespass on the sacred territory of the official keepers of economic data in Washington—those who officially … More>

Permanent link to this article»

“Charlie Wilson’s War”—movie review

January 16, 2008 | by | Topic: Media & Culture

“Charlie Wilson’s War” is a fascinating movie for political buffs. Director Mike Nichols, star and co-producer Tom Hanks, and co-star Julia Roberts are well-known liberals. The U.S. support of the Afghan Mujahedin’s fight against the Soviet invaders in the 1980s … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Good as Gold? What is the Price of Gold Telling Us?

January 14, 2008 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Gold has opened 2008 with a bang. The price of the yellow metal has soared to all-time nominal highs, surpassing $900 per ounce. “So what?” you may ask. “Unless one works for a mining company or a jeweler, gold is … More>

Permanent link to this article»

President, Savior, or Santa Claus?

January 11, 2008 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Let’s consider a simple question: What exactly are we electing when we choose a president of the United States? The traditional answer would be: “Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and the CEO of the executive branch of government.”

Those two … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Anatomy of a Financial Crisis: Part II

December 27, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

There are those who say that the housing market is just one segment of our overall economy and bad loans are just a fraction of the housing market, so there is nothing to worry about. This viewpoint is wrong, because … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Anatomy of a Financial Crisis: Part I

December 27, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The U.S. housing market is hurting, as you undoubtedly know. Home foreclosures are the highest since record-keeping began 35 years ago. 1.69 percent of all outstanding mortgage loans have entered the foreclosure process. The median price of an American house … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Thoughts of Thanksgiving

November 20, 2007 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday. It fuses the secular and the sacred—that special synthesis that forms our national identity. Our celebration of a Day of Thanksgiving underscores both our commonality, as citizens of one republic, and our diversity, as … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Congress to the Energy Rescue?

November 15, 2007 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

Americans are hoping and praying for relief from rising gasoline, oil and electricity prices. We are uncomfortable importing so much of our raw energy supplies from unstable parts of the world. Many of our compatriots, not understanding the minuscule impact … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Movie review: “Hairspray”

October 31, 2007 | by | Topic: Media & Culture

“Hairspray”—the film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name—is trite and formulaic. Some of its key characters are mere caricatures. I can’t remember the words or melody of any of its songs. And on top of that, I … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Illegal Immigration

October 17, 2007 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

Illegal immigration is one of our country’s most divisive, intractable issues. The Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 was supposed to solve it, but illegal immigration has continued to increase. This year’s attempt to craft comprehensive immigration reform legislation blew up in … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The GM-UAW Settlement: Too Little Too Late?

October 5, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Last week, the United Auto Workers union (UAW) called its first strike against General Motors (GM) in thirty-seven years. The strike was over in two days when negotiators approved a new contract between the two parties. The settlement avoids a … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Free Trade: A Threat to America’s Future?

October 4, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Protectionists claim that free trade is bad for America—that increasing imports of goods means increasing exports of jobs, thereby gutting our economy. This notion could only be valid in a zero-sum world with a fixed number of jobs, where one … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Free Trade or Protectionism?

October 3, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

The case for free trade rests on a simple principle: people should be free to buy from whomever they choose, even if the supplier is a foreigner. The opponents of free trade believe that there are legitimate exceptions to this … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Liberal Temptation

September 18, 2007 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

In 2005, the Center for Vision and Values hosted a conference about poverty in the United States and different approaches to alleviating it. During the Q&A session after one of the presentations, a Grove City College student asked what actions … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Challenge for the Liberal Arts

September 6, 2007 | by | Topic: Education & Schools

In a recent column, I warned that private liberal arts colleges must adapt if they wish to survive and thrive in today’s economy. In making the point that they need to repackage the liberal arts curriculum to improve the employability … More>

Permanent link to this article»

On Bridges, Priorities, and Principles

September 4, 2007 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

As the Twin Cities struggle to return to normalcy in the aftermath of the collapse of the bridge along I-35, we will be subjected to the unseemly spectacle of politicians pointing fingers at each other. I am not interested in … More>

Permanent link to this article»

China as Scapegoat

August 24, 2007 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

Recently (“Exchange-Rate Politics,” July 23), I warned that U.S. senators were playing with fire by trying to strong-arm China into speeding up the rate at which the yuan strengthens vis-à-vis the dollar. On August 8, the Chinese responded. In dignified … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The “Libertarian Movement”—An Oxymoron?

August 10, 2007 | by | Topic: American History & Presidents

I first encountered the libertarian philosophy almost 30 years ago. Back then, I had high hopes that the libertarian movement would expand and generate an intellectual, moral, and political reform, rekindling the spirit of liberty in the land and steering … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Critiquing the Libertarian Drug-Legalization Argument

July 31, 2007 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

First, full disclosure: In my youth, I engaged in some serious substance abuse. Today I am a teetotaler, but I do not object to other people consuming alcohol. I hate smoke, but I defend the right of others to smoke. … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Economic Crisis in Higher Education

July 27, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Is a bachelor’s degree in English (or history or philosophy or political science or any other subject in the liberal arts) worth over $30,000 a year? As the sticker price asked by more and more private colleges crosses that threshold, … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Good Old Days of Communism?

July 25, 2007 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

It is said that everything depends on one’s perspective. As one who was a dedicated anticommunist (after a youthful flirtation with socialism) I thought it would be an interesting exercise to make a case positing that the United States was … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Exchange-Rate Politics: Playing with Fire

July 23, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have thrown their support behind proposed legislation that would impose anti-dumping duties—tariffs of around 27 percent—on Chinese imports if the Chinese currency doesn’t get stronger against the dollar. This proposal—advanced by a … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Congress Versus the Price Gougers

July 12, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It’s a dangerous world today. Remorseless men murder their wives and lovers. Terrorists want to bomb humankind back to the seventh century. And now, gas station owners with blood as cold as a reptile are conspiring to charge you outrageous … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Corn-Based Ethanol: Your Tax Dollars at Work

July 6, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

In recent years, the price of gasoline has soared as the supply of crude oil has risen in response to unprecedented global demand. But never fear, Uncle Sam is here! Citing the need to decrease our country’s dependence on foreign … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Rethinking the Property Tax

June 29, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

Property taxes in Pennsylvania appear locked into a long-term uptrend. In recent years, there have been huge increases in the portion of the property tax that finances county government. County officials have levied these increases to pay for the unfunded … More>

Permanent link to this article»

The Unions of Tomorrow

June 26, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

During the second half of the twentieth century, union officials prospered mightily, while millions of rank-and-file union members saw their jobs vanish. Since union policy is set by the bosses, I am not optimistic for significant reforms, but since my … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reflections on Hans F. Sennholz

June 24, 2007 | by | Topic: Biography

Dr. Hans F. Sennholz, economist par excellence, prolific author, dynamic lecturer, legendary Grove City College professor for 37 years, passed away on June 23 at age 85. How does one encapsulate such a long, productive, remarkable life? You may … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Reasons for Leaving Iraq

May 10, 2007 | by | Topic: Military & Foreign Policy

If you are reading this sentence, let me apologize for the somewhat misleading title of this article. I am not arguing for the withdrawal of our military from Iraq; rather, I am asserting that those making that argument owe it … More>

Permanent link to this article»

Casey Goes After the Oil Companies

May 7, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems

It’s time to scrap last year’s carefully crafted campaign image of Robert Casey as a moderate. Barely three months after taking office, the junior U.S. senator from Pennsylvania is launching class warfare in the virulent anti-capitalist tradition. In reaction to … More>

Permanent link to this article»

V&V PAPER — Globalization: An Assessment

March 28, 2007 | by | Topic: Economics & Political Systems, White Papers

Editor’s Note: Reflecting the breadth and depth of top-notch scholarship being pursued by the faculty of Grove City College, The Center for Vision & Values is pleased to release the second in a series of exclusive monthly papers being offered More>

Permanent link to this article»

Questions About Global Warming

February 22, 2007 | by | Topic: Faith & Society

For those who believe in the global warming (GW) theory (i.e., that human activity is heating the planet to dangerous levels) the ace of trump has been played. On Groundhog Day 2007, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) … More>

Permanent link to this article»