Tag Archives: Politics

Cato Institute talks with Jay Richards about Christianity and capitalism

Did you know that the libertarian Cato Institute has a podcast? I like listening to it, even though I am not a libertarian on many issues. But I like their views on economics, government and liberty. I think that they are right on issues like school choice, consumer-driven health care, and global warming skepticism. In the episode of their podcast below, they interviewed Protestant theologian and philosopher Jay W. Richards on the relationship between Christianity and economics.

The MP3 file is here. (10 minutes)

The guy who does these podcasts is named Caleb Brown. Now, with a name like “Caleb”, I always thought that he must be some sort of Christian. Well, it turns out that he is a Quaker. And this is a shock, because Quakers are actually pretty socialistic on economic issues. But it turns out that Caleb is as concerned as I am that Christians are not more inclined towards capitalism. The fit between Christianity and capitalism is much more natural than with secular socialism.

Further study

To learn more about the relationship between Christianity and capitalism, check out this post (the second half is on capitalism).


To understand what capitalism is, you can watch this lecture entitled “Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem” by Jay W. Richards, delivered at the Heritage Foundation think tank, and televised by C-SPAN2.

[…]If you can’t see the Richards video, here is an audio lecture by Jay Richards on the “Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty“. Also, why not check out this series of 4 sermons by Wayne Grudem on the relationship between Christianity and economics? (a PDF outline is here)

And you can listen to Ron Nash’s course on Christianity and economics.

What should Christians believe about economic policy and social justice?

The best resource I know of is this course from Dr. Ronald Nash. (H/T Apologetics 315)

Advanced Worldview Analysis
by Dr. Ronald Nash (24 Lectures) – RSS / iTunes

Here are the individual topics:

  • Lesson 1 – Introduction Play Now
  • Lesson 2 – Liberalism and Conservatism Play Now
  • Lesson 3 – Political Positions Play Now
  • Lesson 4 – Statism and Anti-statism Play Now
  • Lesson 5 – Evaluation of Statism and Anti-statism Play Now
  • Lesson 6 – Justice Play Now
  • Lesson 7 – Capitalism and Socialism Play Now
  • Lesson 8 – Interventionism Play Now
  • Lesson 9 – Defense of Capitalism Play Now
  • Lesson 10 – Economics Play Now
  • Lesson 11 – Marxism Play Now
  • Lesson 12 – Real Accounting Fraud Play Now
  • Lesson 13 – Socialism and Capitalism Play Now
  • Lesson 14 – Money and Wealth Play Now
  • Lesson 15 – Poverty Play Now
  • Lesson 16 – Liberation Theology Play Now
  • Lesson 17 – The Religious Left Play Now
  • Lesson 18 – Representatives of the Evangelical Left Play Now
  • Lesson 19 – Inflation of Rights Play Now
  • Lesson 20 – Legal Positivism Play Now
  • Lesson 21 – Environmentalism Overview Play Now
  • Lesson 22 – Types of Pollution Play Now
  • Lesson 23 – Problems with Public Education Play Now
  • Lesson 24 – A Possible Solution Play Now

This course is most wonderful thing in the world.

And if you like it, you may also like those debates with James Crossley, Richard Bauckham, Michael Bird and William Lane Craig on the historical Jesus. I have been listening to those debates non-stop and I really enjoy listening to both sides. I think it is really interesting hearing James Crossley explain his historical concerns about orthodox Christianity.

Trial lawyer lobby running a 6.2M deficit as economy tanks

Story from the Washington Times. (H/T ECM)


The trial lawyers lobby has been awash in debt and bleeding members – just as it embarks on a national campaign to block any clampdown on medical malpractice lawsuits as part of President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The American Association for Justice, the most prominent group representing plaintiffs’ attorneys, has seen a shake-up in its executive suite and has struggled to deal with what appears to be a mounting budget shortfall. To help it fight congressional efforts to make it harder for patients to sue doctors and lawyers, it recently sent out an extra solicitation to its members, asking them to fork over money for a lobbying campaign.

The most striking evidence of its financial woes is a swift decline in income, which resulted in a more than $6.2 million deficit in its operating budget for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.

The biggest hit to its books was in membership dues, which dropped from $28.6 million in 2005 to $19.2 million in 2008, according to the annual AAJ financial report for that fiscal year filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Trial lawyers raise health care expenses for patients and doctors.

Consider this article from the Weekly Standard.  (H/T The Heritage Foundation)


There are credible estimates that serious tort reform could save the country between $100 and $200 billion annually in wasteful spending, as doctors practice defensive medicine to preempt lawsuits. … Now Obama says he’s going to study the issue. “I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today,” he said.

That would be Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, whose resume includes eight years as director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.

So Obama has chosen a former industry lobbyist to run tort reform.

Why are people cynical about health care reform?

According to Howard Dean, the trial lawyer lobby prevented the Democrats from including tort reform in the health care bill. They helped to elect Obama, and so Obama could not oppose them in his health care bill. The Democrats are a party dominated by special interest groups who contribute nothing to the economy.

Don’t forget that Obama picked a union lobbyist to be in charge of creating manufacturing jobs!


How objective are scientists about their research, given their political views?

Hot Air linked to this Pew Research poll about the beliefs and attitudes of researchers in the scientific fields.


More than half of the scientists surveyed (55%) say they are Democrats, compared with 35% of the public. Fully 52% of the scientists call themselves liberals; among the public, just 20% describe themselves as liberals. Many of the scientists surveyed mentioned in their open-ended comments that they were optimistic about the Obama administration’s likely impact on science.

For its part, the public does not perceive scientists as a particularly liberal group. When asked whether they think of scientists as liberal, conservative or neither in particular, nearly two-thirds (64%) choose the latter option. Just 20% say they think of scientists as politically liberal. However, a majority of scientists (56%) do see members of their profession as liberal.

Most scientists had heard at least a little about claims that government scientists were not allowed to report research findings that conflicted with the Bush administration’s point of view. And the vast majority (77%) says that these claims are true. By contrast, these claims barely registered with the public – more than half heard nothing at all about this issue. Only about a quarter of the public (28%) said they thought the claims were true.

Both scientists and the public overwhelmingly say it is appropriate for scientists to become active in political debates about such issues as nuclear power or stem cell research. Virtually all scientists (97%) endorse their participation in debates about these issues, while 76% of the public agrees.

I think it helps to make the point I was making earlier about the fraudulent science used to support global warming and Darwinian evolution. Many scientists have an agenda. They get paid by the government. The bigger government is, the better they get paid. Therefore, many are Democrats. Scientists tend to be biased in favor of material entities and explanations. Morality is non-material. Scientists therefore tend to resent the idea that moral claims are knowledge. They prefer to have autonomy from non-material moral rules. Therefore, many are atheists.

There are some dissenters of course. But these are rare.

Economist Thomas Sowell explains the housing boom and bust

My favorite living economist!

The links below will take you to streaming videos.

  • Part 1 (7 minutes) The economics of the housing boom.
  • Part 2 (6 minutes) The politics of the housing boom.
  • Part 3 (6 minutes) The origins and unique features of the housing bust.
  • Part 4 (6 minutes) The pitfalls of New Deal thinking.
  • Part 5 (9 minutes) The economic proposals of the Obama administration.

Thanks to ECM for notifying me about these videos!

About Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell has studied and taught economics, intellectual history, and social policy at institutions that include Cornell, UCLA, and Amherst. Now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Sowell has published more than a dozen books. His latest book is The Housing Boom and Bust.

Full bio is here.