Family breakdown: The economic and cultural impacts

October 30, 2013

Dr. Peter Frank, the Free Enterprise Fellow for the Jesse Helms Center and an economics professor at Wingate University, has authored a new report on the consequences of family breakdown in the United States (PDF download here): Researchers from multiple disciplines have investigated the impact of family breakdown on society. The effects on children have garnered attention as research examines the psychological impact of one versus two parent families, the incidence of teenage pregnancy, juvenile crime rates, a drop off in educational attainment, and declining birthrates in advanced industrial countries. Additional research indicates family breakdown has economic consequences in terms of increased poverty which often manifests in significantly lower income for female single-headed households. While both the definition of marriage and family and the economic impact of family breakdown remain fundamental policy issues, two principal questions require further consideration: 1. What...

How can anti-poverty programs encourage people to work?

October 17, 2013

Oren Cass, Gov. Mitt Romney's domestic-policy advisory during the 2012 presidential campaign, outlines the inherent tension between welfare and work in this article (subscription required) for National Review: By some measures, the War on Poverty has already succeeded. If the goal is simply to guarantee that every American has access to food, providing an average of more than $3,000 of food stamps each year to households in need is a nearly unqualified victory. If the goal is access to medical care, a Medicaid program spending an average of $7,000 each year for a family of three represents extraordinary progress. Indeed, counting the full range of federal benefits as “income” to low-income households leads to a substantial reduction in the poverty rate. But simply transferring enough resources to someone so that he is no longer “poor” treats only the symptom; it does not move him toward self-sufficiency or a foothold at the bottom of an economic ladder that could lead to...

Fall 2013 Pope Lecture: Was Jesus a socialist?

October 16, 2013

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism will host two distinguished scholars — Robert P. George and Ron Sider — on Nov. 7 for a discussion and Q&A. The topic: "Was Jesus a socialist?" The event is free and open to the public. George (left) is Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has been called "America's most influential conservative Christian thinker." Sider (right) is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at the Palmer Theological Seminary. His book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger was lauded by Christianity Today as being among the top 100 books on religion in the 20th century. Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Place: Self Auditorium in the Strom Thurmond Institute on the Clemson University campus....

Ken Starr to universities: Regain your soul

October 8, 2013

Colleges and universities must return to a “classical view” of higher education built on religion, morality, wisdom, and knowledge. That was the argument proffered by Baylor University President Ken Starr during a speech Oct. 3 in Cary, North Carolina. Sponsored by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, the talk covered a range of topics. But Starr, an attorney and former federal judge best known for leading investigations surrounding President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, focused on three main steps to revitalize higher education: educating with a rigorous curriculum, educating for wisdom, and educating for freedom. “Higher education needs to be a transformational experience aimed toward the good life, the virtuous life, the wise life,” Starr said. To underscore the need for a more rigorous academic environment, Starr cited statistics showing that today's college students spend an average of 27-hours per week studying outside the classroom, compared to an average...

Pope Foundation, N.C. Free-Market Groups Honored With Network Award

October 2, 2013

State Policy Network, a national group that strengthens free-market think tanks in the states, has honored the John William Pope Foundation and other liberty-oriented groups in North Carolina with the second annual Network Award....

Bringing freedom to the murder capital of the world

September 25, 2013

Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Guillermo Peña Panting, a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, widely considered the most dangerous place on Earth outside of a war zone: What would convince a talented, promising young man to forsake a life of ease in the United States and Europe and return to his home country — a country that’s currently considered the murder capital of the world? For Guillermo Peña Panting, the answer is simple: freedom. Gullermo’s home country of Honduras is enduring a season of drug-induced crime. With a murder ratio hovering around 86 homicides per 100,000 in population, Honduras typically tops charts of the most dangerous countries in the world. And Guillermo’s hometown, San Pedro Sula, is widely regarded as one of the most perilous locales outside of a war zone. Gang warfare and the drug trade have destabilized the country, particularly following a coup in 2009 that deposed the Honduran president. The country is a major drug...

Compassionate, fair, and conservative?

September 4, 2013

The American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks is well known for trumpeting the morality of free markets. Writing in The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin uses a recent monologue by Brooks to underscore the importance of conservatives talking about helping the poor and bringing greater fairness to society: I’ve written about Brooks’s view, namely that to win the public debateconservatives need to hook into the values of compassion and fairness shared by nearly a hundred percent of the electorate. This doesn’t mean changing conservative views; it means explaining why conservatives’ views are more compassionate and fairer than the liberal welfare state. The implications of Brooks’s argument (essentially, tell voters that you are for them, not the things that you are against) are both philosophical and pragmatic. As for the latter, it’s no secret that Mitt Romney lost the “cares about people like me” question in the 2012 campaign by a 20 to 80 margin, or that his...