The Common Good

Economics

Catholic and Libertarian? Pope's Top Adviser Says They're Incompatible

Taking direct aim at libertarian policies promoted by many American conservatives, the Honduran cardinal who is one of Pope Francis’ top advisers said Tuesday that today’s free market system is “a new idol” that is increasing inequality and excluding the poor.

“This economy kills,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, quoting Francis frequently in a speech delivered at a conference on Catholicism and libertarianism held a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The pope, Maradiaga said, grew up in Argentina and “has a profound knowledge of the life of the poor.” That is why, he said, Francis continues to insist that “the elimination of the structural causes for poverty is a matter of urgency that can no longer be postponed.”

“The hungry or sick child of the poor cannot wait,” the cardinal said.

+Continue Reading

Values & Capitalism On Campus: Gordon College

Date: April 22, 2014
When Gordon College last hosted Values & Capitalism visitors, a public debate between Arthur Brooks and Jim Wallis drew sharp contrasts in differing visions about the role of capitalism in society, and its ability to help the poor.

Selling Sodas: A Cure for Human Bondage

Intending it as a compliment, a friend described my work in in Kiev last weekend as selling sodas in Ukraine. 

Hes right. I was in the embattled city to represent a company I helped co-found and our Southern California energy drink brand in meetings with more than 10,000 Ukrainian independent business owners. 

It was as simple as that and also so much more. 

Like Bono, I believe free enterprise is a cure for all sorts of poverty  economic, political, and spiritual.

+Continue Reading

Study: Protestant Work Ethic Isn't Just Protestant Anymore

America’s vaunted Protestant work ethic is getting a makeover: Now it might be more of an atheist work ethic.

A new study has found an inverse relationship between the religiosity of a state’s population and its “productive entrepreneurship.” That’s professor-speak for “entrepreneurial investment responsible for real economic growth.”

In other words, the less religious a state’s population, the more likely it is to have a healthy economy.

The study, titled “Religion: Productive or Unproductive?” by economists Travis Wiseman of Mississippi State University and Andrew Young of West Virginia University, was published in the March edition of the Journal of Institutional Economics.

In the study, Wiseman and Young find that the “measure of total Christian adherents is robustly and positively correlated with states’ unproductive entrepreneurship scores” in a given state.

+Continue Reading

Pope Francis: An Imitation of Christ

Pope Francis is TIME's Person of the Year. But that is only because Jesus is his "Person of the Day" — every day. 

Praises of the pope are flowing around the world, commentary on the pontiff leads all the news shows, and even late night television comedians are paying humorous homage. But a few of the journalists covering the pope are getting it right: Francis is just doing his job. The pope is meant to be a follower of Christ — the Vicar of Christ.

Isn’t it extraordinary how simply following Jesus can attract so much attention when you are the pope? Every day, millions of other faithful followers of Christ do the same thing. They often don’t attract attention, but they keep the world together.

+Continue Reading

Sojo Authors Have the Right Stuff for Under Your Tree

As you make your winter reading list or shop for gifts, consider these 2013 books from Sojourners magazine staff and contributors. Or, buy yourself a gift for 2014.

+Continue Reading

Church Leaders Pray, Push For UN To Hit Millennium Goals Targeting Global Poverty

Date: September 27, 2013
World Vision partnered with Micah Challenge, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Sojourners, the World Evangelical Alliance and Bread for the World to gather leaders from across the U.S. to not only pray that more would be done in achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals, but also advocate for ways in which churches, Christians and nonprofits can engage and get behind the U.N.-brokered initiative.

Clinton Joins Call For New Social Covenant

Source: The Hoya
Date: September 20, 2013
Jim Wallis advocated a “wisdom-based economy.” “Let’s not have a values seminar every year at Davos and then go back to our places of work and not see anything change,” he said. “I’ve learned most about the world from being in places I wasn’t supposed to be or with people I wasn’t supposed to ever meet.”