Indispensable Economics
March 21, 2011
What is a humane economy?
By Dr. William Luckey

When discussing economics, the layman to the field gets bogged down in all sorts of baggage about economics that clutters the view of the subject itself. He brings to the table theories that do not accord with reality; there are religious biases, meaning that because some theologian says something about economics or business, it has to be true. They come with a neo-classical bias given them by mathematical economics that obscures the philosophical and theological bases of economics; they...

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February 25, 2011
Naiveté in Catholic intellectual circles
By Dr. William Luckey

Two recent events struck me as significant in enlightening me as to the status of Catholic thinking regarding government. The first was a seminar I conducted recently with Catholic theology graduate students on Pope Benedict’s social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. The other was an article published in the latest edition of Markets and Morality, a scholarly journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

In the first event, we were discussing the section...

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November 02, 2010
A word you don't hear anymore
By Dr. William Luckey

There are a number of words one does not hear anymore, most of them slang: “twenty-three skidoo,” “boss,” “square,” “daddy-o,” “hip,” and the like. But in a more serious vein, politicians no longer use the word “consensus.” Consensus means to agree together.

One builds consensus by a rational process of gathering the various views on all sides, and coming up with a proposal with which almost all but the most non-compromising holders of views will agree. Of course,...

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October 04, 2010
What's Up with Taxes?
By Dr. William Luckey

I don’t know about you, but I find most of the recent debate about renewing the “Bush” tax cuts disturbing. There is a certain class of liberals out there who frame their discussion on two themes, and when someone challenges one theme, they switch to the other.  Neither themes are well thought out. But the conservative opponents of these tax-a-holics miss the point as well.

Let us look at the two arguments of those who want the tax cuts to expire. They start out by saying that the...

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September 06, 2010
Where's the Recovery?
By Dr. William Luckey

The other day, I was watching the news on television and the news anchor was interviewing an economist who was defending the government stimulus. The conversation was occasioned by the continued bad economic reports we have so learned to expect. The economist was explaining why the stimulus was the right way to go, and then made the following statement with positive excitement: "There is so much liquidity in the system (this means so much cash put in by Federal deficit spending and the...

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In the last article, I attempted to raise the thinking of the reader to the true nature of government as it really exists, using the Scriptures. I would like to continue that meditation now.
There is a substantial difference in how St. Thomas and St. Augustine see government. St. Thomas is a metaphysician. And metaphysics looks “beyond the physical” to the nature of something as created by God. In essence, the nature of government is good, because some authority is necessary to...

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February 22, 2010
Theological Reflections on Government
By Dr. William Luckey

On these pages, yours truly has discussed some of the problems of government from the economist’s point of view. Now I would like to tackle the problem of government from a theological point of view, keeping in mind that, to my knowledge, nothing has been written on this subject in the way I am discussing it.
In St. Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 4: 1-11), after the baptism by John, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4: 1). There, in the midst of...

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December 11, 2009
Aristophanes on Inflation
By Dr. William Luckey

The following article was written by Clifford F. Thies and appeared on the web site of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

It used to be that every economist worth his salt knew Gresham’s Law (or, if he was Polish, Copernicus’s Law): “bad money drives out good.” Narrowly understood, this rule says that when the government requires people to accept different forms of money at an exchange rate fixed by law, the form of money that is overvalued (the “bad money”) will circulate, while...

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December 07, 2009
One Major Source of Our Problems
By Dr. William Luckey

An economist friend of mine, who is a Salesian Brother, recently gave a lecture at Oxford University reminding us of one major problem that is neglected by many economists and by papal writings on economic things. Yet this just might be the biggest problem that we are facing. All attacks on the free market by Catholics saying that it fosters greed, etc., have been shown to be nonsense, and that greed resides in the human heart. I learned this many years ago in the philosophy courses I took...

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November 07, 2009
Where is Pope Benedict coming from?
By Dr. William Luckey

It is interesting that we have been presented with a gift of sorts. This writer stated in another place that Popes do not reveal their sources. In the case of Pope Benedict XVI, we have an indication from what intellectual tradition he approaches economic problems. In 1985, in a symposium in Rome entitled, “Church and Economy in Dialogue,” Cardinal Ratzinger (at the time) gave a talk, “Market Economy and Ethics.[1] Looking at this document gives many insights into the approach he...

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