Exploring donor strategies to help the poor join the free-enterprise economy

February 28, 2014

Unemployment, minimum wage, and the collapse of work are big topics in the news right now. Personal responsibility and accountability are notably absent from much of the conversation. At the John William Pope Foundation, we understand the importance of helping the poor, particularly with an eye towards helping them become active parts of the free-enterprise economy. Along those lines, we encourage you to attend an upcoming event sponsored by the Philanthropy Roundtable titled "Getting America Back to Work," which will be held April 9 in Houston, Texas. During the event, they will explore philanthropic strategies to help economically marginalized individuals become employable, find work, and build economic stability: As concerns about poverty and economic mobility mount, one thing stands clear: Work provides the earned income that alleviates a host of poverty-related problems. Yet the unemployment numbers and welfare statistics suggest that it's not always simple to join the...

Piereson: The typical ‘1 percenter’ today works for a salary, and not in the financial industry

February 18, 2014

The Manhattan Institute's James Piereson uses his Wall Street Journal column today to dispel a few myths surrounding the wealthiest 1 percent in the United States. To judge by media reports, most Americans would assume that the wealthiest 1 percent are found mainly in the financial sector and reap most of their income from capital gains. But Piereson writes that "1 percenters" consist "primarily of salaried executives at nonfinancial businesses (30%) and secondarily of doctors (14%), people working in finance (13%) and lawyers (8%). Among the 'super rich' in the top 0.1% (about 110,000 households), the distribution still favors business executives (41%) over people in finance (18%)." These wealthiest Americans depend heavily on salaries, not capital gains: In 2010 the top 1% earned 36% of their incomes from salaries and wages (what the CBO calls labor income), 22% from businesses, farms and partnerships, and just 19% from capital gains. The majority of their income would...

The Fund for American Studies: Internship opportunities in Washington, D.C.

February 17, 2014

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is accepting applications for its summer 2014 academic internship programs held in Washington, D.C. Since 1967, TFAS has been putting students on the path to leadership and influence through its summer and semester "Live. Learn. Intern." programs. TFAS summer institutes include a guaranteed internship placement, courses for credit at George Mason University taught by outstanding faculty, housing in furnished apartments in Washington, D.C. just blocks from the White House, guest lectures, site briefings, professional development activities, and social events. Programs are offered in the following areas of study: Public Policy & Economics International Affairs & Economics Business & Government Affairs Journalism, Communications & Public Relations Community Service & Nonprofit Sector Generous scholarship awards are available to residents of North Carolina through the support of the John William Pope Foundation. ...

Free markets and a clean environment: Can we have both?

February 11, 2014

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on the Property and Environment Research Center: Can the free market solve environmental problems in the United States? Ask the average American on the street, and their answer would be no: Government regulation is needed to ensure that natural resources are preserved. They might even add that a free market and a healthy environment can’t co-exist. But what if freedom, not government, really were the best path to environmental protection? The nonprofit Property and Environment Research Center, known as PERC and based out of Bozeman, Montana, has been making that case for over three decades. In so doing, they’ve shifted the way we talk about markets and the environment in America. PERC’s mission is simple: Show that private property rights, far from being antithetical to the environment, actually are the best way to preserve nature and natural resources for future generations. The nonprofit primarily deals with water use, ocean...

Conservative social justice

February 10, 2014

"Conservatives need a social justice agenda of their own." So writes Arthur Brooks, president of the Washington D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute, in a new article for Commentary magazine. Brooks main question is this: How can conservatives overcome the widespread perception that they care little for the poor, while progressives care significantly? The transformation begins, Brooks writes, by articulating a conservative social-justice agenda: Conservative leaders owe it to their followers and the vulnerable to articulate a positive social-justice agenda for the right. It must be tangible, practical, and effective. And it must start with the following question: What do the most vulnerable members of society need? This means asking the poor themselves. Brooks builds his case on three pillars: Moral transformation: Fostering the values of faith, family, community, and work. Material relief: Encouraging individual charity and building a social safety net that...

[VIDEO] Specialization: Because we can’t be good at everything

February 6, 2014

Check out this instructive and humorous video from LearnLiberty.org on the importance of specialization and trade: ...

Opinion: Government, not the free market, is the barrier to opportunity

February 5, 2014

In this column, University of George economics professor Jeffrey Dorfman makes a compelling case for fostering individual responsibility and tearing down government barriers to success. One of Dorfman's most salient points is that public schools should not only teach the basics of reading, writing, and math, but also expand into instruction in a broad cross section of practical life skills: Education already receives enough funding. The problem is the money is spent on the wrong things. Too much money is wasted on bureaucracy; not nearly enough of the money reaches the classroom to pay teachers and buy supplies. Beyond that, our public schools are not teaching the tools needed for success. We need lessons on time management, study skills, impulse control, personal finance, and other life skills so that students can make the most of what they are being taught and the financial resources that they do have. Then schools should add a course or lesson series on entrepreneurship so...