Acton Commentary: The Unseen Good of Technology

For this week’s Acton Commentary, I examine the unseen good of technology and automation:

To circle back to manufacturing, more machinery does mean some less human work … at those factories … maybe. What people don’t see is that that machinery comes from somewhere. It represents entirely new industries that have been created and that employ many people of their own. That machinery needs to be maintained by people with the skill and expertise to do so. At the same time, because automation reduces the labor cost of production, it enables companies to lower prices to consumers while still increasing profits. What is a loss for the few is a win for the many.

Read the full essay here.

Powerblog: Millennials, Entrepreneurship, and Hope

Today at the Acton PowerBlog, I note a recent article at FEE by Zachary Slayback (who I will give my 2016 award for most badass last name) on the decline in entrepreneurship among those under 30, emphasizing the importance of Christian hope:

Slayback argues that our education system discourages this sort of thinking. I don’t disagree, but I would add the benefit of Christian hope to the need for education reform. Indeed, while I’m sometimes skeptical of the claim, many say that Millennials are less religious and less Christian as a generation, a decline that would correlate with the decline in entrepreneurship among the young as well.

Whether that is due to a common factor is an open question, of course. But if, despite such anti-entrepreneurial education, a person truly believes that Jesus Christ overcame death by his death and created the Church out of a bunch of quarrelsome fishermen — a big risk! — then perhaps she would be more likely to imagine that the risks of enterprise are not too much for her and that earthly failures are not the end of a truly heavenly life.

Read the whole post here.