July 22, 2014

The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise [VIDEO]

hot-dog-stand

The words happiness and free enterprise don’t usually appear in the same sentence. But Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, shows that the two are intimately and profoundly connected. The free enterprise system not only creates wealth, it creates the best chance we have to achieve personal satisfaction. Source: Prager University … [Read more...]

Archbishop of Canterbury Opens Trinity Wall Street Economics Conference

Institute of Religion and Democracy

BREAKING NEWS! John Couretas has an excellent analysis over at the Acton Blog with video. Back to our report... I don't want to turn this into beat up on the Anglicans day but, as long as we are discussing the presumptuousness of religious professionals, here's another. Amid the backdrop of an ongoing economic recession, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams gave the keynote address at the annual conference hosted by the Episcopal Church’s affluent Wall Street outpost. “Building An Ethical Economy: Theology and the Marketplace” was the 40th annual event hosted by Trinity Wall Street’s Trinity Institute. [...] While Williams warned against materialism's dangers, his respondent, a former Wall Street Journal editor, warned against theologians who ignore the moral need for wealth creation. According to Lee, theologians, especially on the left, tend to emphasize the distribution of wealth – how fair it is – economists tend to emphasize the generation of wealth – how … [Read more...]

Defining Capitalism and Some Thoughts for the Church

An interesting post on First Things by Michael Novak, “ Caritas and Economics.” Novak discusses the different understandings embodied in the six different Latin words for love. In anticipation of some of my own work looking at private property in light of the tradition of the Orthodox Church, my attention was drawn to Novak's definition of capitalism. I think he is correct in his assertion that, “ Especially in Europe, capitalism is a term supposed to be spoken with faint—or not so faint—moral disapproval.' He continues that, at least among those who are self-appointed and anointed right thinker, “It is what all are supposed to be opposed to, not only by Marxists, who spent more than a century vilifying (and misdefining) the term, but also by humanists, poets, playwrights, churchmen, journalists, and all sensitive spirits.” The key to his criticism of the critics is, I think, the charge that most of those who reject it do not understand capitalism. While he doesn't say this, in my … [Read more...]

Orthodox Christianity and Capitalism — Are They Compatible?

Kevin Allen, host of The Illumined Heart podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, interviews writer, attorney, and college professor Chris Banescu, an Orthodox Christian, about the economic, moral and spiritual issues surrounding the market economy. Kevin asks: Does the capitalist system serve "the best interests of Christians living the life of the Beatitudes?" Listen to Chris Banescu on Orthodox Christianity and Capitalism: Read "A Primer on Capitalism" on Chris' personal Web site. He also runs the ONet Blog. … [Read more...]

Roepke was right

Wilhelm Roepke

In my Winter 2007 article on economic globalization for AGAIN Magazine, I quoted economist Wilhelm Roepke: Economically ignorant moralism is as objectionable as morally callous economism. Ethics and economics are two equally difficult subjects, and while the former needs discerning and expert reason, the latter cannot do without humane values. In light of all that has happened with the U.S. economic meltdown in the last few months, I continue to subscribe to the following statement from the same article: ... there is no real understanding of "social justice" without an understanding of basic economic principles. These principles explain how Orthodox Christians work, earn, invest, and give to philanthropic causes in a market-oriented economy. Economic questions are at the root of many of the problems that on their face seem to be more about something else -- poverty, immigration, the environment, technology, politics, humanitarian assistance. I remain a convinced … [Read more...]