Faith and Economics

When is Coveting Legal Plunder?

An episode of Faith and Economics

By Gwartney Institute
In Faith and Economics, economics professors Dr. Russ McCullough and Dr. Levi Russell discuss big issues that impact economic freedom and human flourishing from a Christian perspective. This podcast is an initiative of the Gwartney Institute at Ottawa University.
For more information, contact us at info@GwartneyInstitute.org
More places to listen

More places to listen

Randall Holcombe on Political Capitalism | #34
Russ and Levi interview Dr. Randall Holcombe of Florida State University. Dr. Holcombe discusses the concepts in his recent book Political Capitalism. Do we live in a free market economy? How does the government interact with the profitability of businesses in the U.S.? Check out our interview and Dr. Holcombe's book for more information!
42:41
June 10, 2019
Jim Gwartney on His Faith and Economics | #33
Russ and Levi interview Dr. Jim Gwartney, our institute's namesake. This is a wide-ranging discussion on Jim's life, experience at Ottawa University, and his opinions on the state of the world economy. Common Sense Economics book
41:33
June 3, 2019
Vernon Smith on Adam Smith | #32
Russ and Levi interview Dr. Vernon Smith, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. Dr. Smith discusses his faith and its impact on his views on economics and social behavior.
40:20
May 27, 2019
Dr. Anne Bradley on Income Inequality | #31
Dr. Anne Bradley of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics joins us to discuss income inequality. What should Christians think about income inequality? Is it a pernicious threat or an inevitable and benign characteristic of a free society?
27:45
May 20, 2019
Why Not Federalism? | #30
Russ and Levi discuss the economic and political costs and benefits of federalism in our own time. We draw on the Christian concept of subsidiarity to examine the ethical implications of devolving Federal power to the states!
34:30
May 13, 2019
Christian Ethics of Tariffs | #29
Russ and Levi discuss tariff policy and the costs associated with recent tariffs designed to protect American jobs. How should we evaluate the costs and benefits of tariffs? 
33:18
April 29, 2019
The Universal Destination of Goods | #28
Levi and Russ discuss the concept of the universal destination of goods. What are the limits of property rights? How do we understand moral obligations to help others financially? Show Notes Faith and Economics - Federal Food Programs: Efficiency and Ethics Faith and Economics - Universal Basic Income The Religious Roots of Modern Poverty Policy Lecture by Edward Feser Blog article by Jacyn Dawes
30:23
April 29, 2019
Creighton University Humanomics Event: Adam Smith - Moral Sentiments and the Wealth of Nations | #27
Drs. Maria Pia Paganelli, Derek Yonai, and Michael Thomas join us to discuss Adam Smith's body of work and its implications for the place of economics in social science today.
38:42
April 22, 2019
Government Debt | #26
We dig into the mailbag for this episode! How do economists understand government debt? Can this understanding inform our ethical views of debt? Show Notes: US Debt Clock Dr. Bob Murphy on Intergenerational Debt Burdens
35:52
April 15, 2019
YangBucks | #25
Russ, Levi, and Jacob discuss one of the most popular proposals for a Universal Basic Income. Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang's proposed "Freedom Dividend" was recently criticized by the Acton Institute. We provide important commentary on his proposal and Acton's response! Show notes: Acton Institute Blog Post Yang Platform - UBI Universal Basic Income - Faith and Economics Podcast Great Stagnation - Tyler Cowen
30:58
April 8, 2019
Monasticism, Care for the Poor, and Capitalism | #24
We discuss the origins of capitalism in the west. What did early monasteries have to do with it? Were they early entrepreneurs? Show notes: How Caring for the Poor Led to the Beginnings of Capitalism How Progressive is the US Tax Code?
31:13
April 1, 2019
Inflation and Middle Class Life | #23
We discuss an interesting graph of changes in the cost of products and services over the past few decades. Does the increasing cost of health care and education make a normal, prosperous middle class life more difficult? Does the reduction in cost of other things offset this pernicious effect? Show notes: AEI inflation chart Acton institute blog article From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State by David Beito Atlas MD American Association of Physicians and Surgeons
35:22
March 25, 2019
Democratic Socialism and AOC
We discuss the notion of Democratic Socialism and its relationship to Christianity. Should Christians embrace Democratic Socialism? Is this political philosophy, advocated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex and Bernie Sanders, a coherent way forward?
28:44
March 18, 2019
Economic Freedom and Happiness
This week we talk with Professor Jeremy Jackson of North Dakota State University about his research on the relationship between economic freedom in the U.S., happiness, and social capital. Are residents of more economically free states happier? Do they form more tight-knit communities? Show notes: Professor Jackson's website Free to be Happy: Economic Freedom and Happiness in US States Economic Freedom and Social Capital
33:03
March 11, 2019
When is Coveting Legal Plunder?
We discuss the concept of legal plunder, first proposed by French philosopher and economist Frederic Bastiat in his tract "The Law." Is there a way to tie this concept to coveting?
39:00
March 4, 2019
Moral Hazard
In this episode, Russ, Jacyn, and Jacob discuss biblical and financial instances of moral hazard, asymmetric information, and "Too Big to Fail." Show notes: Malcolm Gladwell's TED Talk on David and Goliath David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
34:28
February 25, 2019
Is the U.S. a Christian Nation?
This week we discuss the U.S.'s status as a Christian nation. Russ and Levi agree that it currently isn't but arrive at that conclusion from two different angles. The relationship between economic prosperity and religion is a key component of the discussion. Show notes: Socialism Versus the Family - Edward Feser (lecture) The Myth of Religious Violence - William T. Cavanaugh (book) Interview with William T. Cavanaugh on his book
37:01
February 18, 2019
Economics of David and Goliath
We discuss Malcolm Gladwell's unique take on the story of David and Goliath. What can we learn about markets from Gladwell's perspective on this famous story? Show notes Malcolm Gladwell's TED Talk on David and Goliath David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell Luigi Zingales on social media antitrust at Free Market Forum
35:46
February 11, 2019
Universal Basic Income
In this episode we discuss the economics and morality of the Universal Basic Income. A Universal Basic Income would guarantee a minimum income to every individual over the age of 21 in the U.S. If you're looking for a brief primer on the subject, listen to this episode! Charles Murray's UBI proposal Text of a debate on UBI between Ed Dolan and Bryan Caplan UBI debate between Bryan Caplan and Will Wilkinson
39:54
February 4, 2019
Economic Freedom Abroad
Jacyn and Dr. McCullough discuss their recent trips abroad to South America and India. Both talk about their experiences in light of the economic freedom (or lack thereof) in the countries they visited!
28:01
January 28, 2019
Kingdom Theology and the Liberal Order
In this episode we discuss the implications of the Kingdom of God on politics. Dr. Rachel Ferguson, a philosopher at Lindenwood University, joins us to help us understand the link between Christianity and liberalism. Show notes: Dr. Rachel Ferguson's Website "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict XVI "Rerum Novarum" by Pope Leo XIII "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt "Why Liberalism Failed" by Patrick J. Deneen
58:43
January 21, 2019
Economic and Moral Considerations for Community Development
In this episode we discuss community development and the roles of individuals and governments with Dr. Rebekka Dudensing of Texas A&M University. Show Notes Dr. Dudensing's Website The Little Pink House Documentary What is Community Development? People vs Place-Based Development Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? Do Cities Make Us More Productive? (agglomeration discussion) Article: "Propping up the boonies, Atlanta’s thankless burden" Response: "Part 2: A Reply to 'Propping up the Boonies, Atlanta's Thankless Burden'"
35:20
January 14, 2019
Piety as a Barrier to Entry
In this episode we discuss the idea that piety - the activities and procedures often practiced by Christians - might be a barrier to entry to Christianity. Some might be put off by these practices and may not want to become Christian because of that. As usual, Dr. Russell takes the opposing view. Show Notes: Bondage of the Will - Martin Luther https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0030N6DIC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_za.fCbJADQWH0 Five Proofs for the Existence of God - Edward Feser https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0754MJFMG/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_pd.fCbGVY6V6G
41:25
January 7, 2019
Opportunity Cost of Keeping the Sabbath Holy
Dr. Terry Griffin of Kansas State University talks about his research on the cost farmers incur to attend weekly church services. Dr. McCullough challenges the group to think about physical labor as a way of giving glory to God. Show Notes: The Cost of Being Faithful: What Do Farmers Give Up to Keep the Sabbath? - Rosburg, Griffin, and Coffey https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3286359
34:24
December 31, 2018
Consumerism, Santa, and Christmas
In this episode we discuss the origins of Santa Claus and the consumerism of the holidays and how we can address it as Christians informed by sound economics. Show notes: Veggie Tales - St. Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving https://www.amazon.com/Veggietales-Saint-Nicholas-Joyful-Giving/dp/B002FOFX6U The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts-ebook/dp/B00OICLVBI/ref=sr_1_1
30:36
December 24, 2018
Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty
In this episode we discuss nutritional insecurity and access to food. Our guest, Dr. Brandon McFadden, discusses the state of our knowledge of these issues and how they relate to poverty in the US and abroad. Dr. McFadden fills us in on how we as Christians can help solve food insecurity.
33:05
December 17, 2018
Christianity's Cultural Influence
We discuss Hugh Whelchel's book "How Then Should We Work" focusing on Whelchel's notion of a "cultural mandate." Should Christians attempt to influence culture? Should we attempt to use the government to influence culture in Christian ways? Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance http://a.co/d/1JJBxLA Arthur Brooks' TED Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_brooks_a_conservative_s_plea_let_s_work_together How Then Should We Work, Hugh Whelchel http://a.co/d/ahVuoV9
25:43
December 10, 2018
Christianity and Capitalism
Russ, Levi, and Jacyn discuss Russ's recent appearance on the Virtue in the Wasteland podcast. Is capitalism compatible with Christianity? What do Millennials and iGen think about this? Can markets be relied on to deliver moral results? Virtue in the Wasteland Episode featuring Russ: http://www.virtueinthewasteland.com/episodes/2018/11/1/ep-311-live-from-here-we-still-stand-2018 Capitalism vs Corporatism: https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardsalsman/2011/12/07/capitalism-is-decidedly-not-corporatism-or-cronyism/#7241f87c65e5 Prof. Adrian Vermeule's Lecture on the Invisible Hand and Morality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVFc5dnz7Cw Externalities (Potato chips): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljrBEdg-QU4 Contestable Markets: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/contestablemarket.asp
34:55
December 3, 2018
Economics of a Call To Work: Be Fruitful and Multiply
In this episode we continue our discussion of "How Then Should We Work" by Hugh Whelchel of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. You can purchase Hugh's book at the link below. amzn.to/2PGZtBE Contact us: info@gwartneyinstitute.org Note: This is a re-upload of a previous episode after some needed edits were made.
39:51
November 26, 2018
Federal Food Programs: Efficiency and Ethics
In this episode we discuss federal food programs and non-profit efforts to alleviate hunger in the U.S. Our guest, Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, helps us understand the most recent data on the effectiveness of federal food programs. Show notes: Follow our guest on Twitter @DorfmanJeffrey Econtalk Episode on Food Banks http://www.econtalk.org/canice-prendergast-on-how-prices-can-improve-a-food-fight-and-help-the-poor/ Contact us: info@GwartneyInstitute.org
35:50
November 19, 2018
Biblical Success, Economics, and the Culture
We discuss the definitions of a successful life and how economics can inform those definitions. We also discuss Christianity's appropriate role in defining the culture. Show notes: Lenore Skenazy's Website http://www.freerangekids.com/ How Then Should We Work? by Hugh Whelchel http://a.co/d/7KhD0H9 Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen http://a.co/d/ao9TyF4 Milton Friedman and the Ford Pinto https://youtu.be/lCUfGWNuD3c Contact us: info@gwartneyinstitute.org
30:26
November 12, 2018
Poverty vs Poverty of Spirit
As we are fond of saying here at the Gwartney Institute, Poverty Sucks!. It sucks the life and dignity out of people keeping them from being able to lead lives that flourish. We also have to keep in mind, though, that we are called to poverty of spirit. What does that mean? In this episode we explore this distinction focusing on economic themes such as poverty alleviation and wealth. Show notes: Atlas Shrugged https://amzn.to/2Rw8MFj Into Great Silence https://amzn.to/2OlX6Tk Contact us: info@gwartneyinstitute.org
31:41
November 5, 2018
The Economics of Common Grace vs Saving Grace
In this episode we continue our discussion of "How Then Should We Work" by Hugh Whelchel of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. You can purchase Hugh's book at the link below. amzn.to/2PGZtBE Contact us: info@gwartneyinstitute.org
32:49
October 31, 2018
Shopping Religions? Economics of Checking Out Christianity First
In this episode we discuss the first part of "How Then Should We Work" by Hugh Whelchel of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics. You can purchase Hugh's book at the link below. https://amzn.to/2PGZtBE Contact us: info@gwartneyinstitute.org
40:27
October 29, 2018
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