By Pedro Schwartz,
Let me start on a personal note and ask myself the question, why have I given much of my life to dealing in ideas? I did at different moments play practical roles both in business and politics, but I somehow I drifted away. This is not an essay in sour grapes: I am happy that life led me into being an academic specializing in policy innovation. So let me put it another way. Why have I often found my engagement with ideas an obstacle to getting on with people who wanted my advice or my collaboration and did not get what they expected? It is as if my scruples made me difficult to accommodate. Well do I remember one of my kinder adversaries in Parliament telling my political friends on my side of the aisle: “Pedro is not dumb: it’s simply that he has convictions”.
By Robert P. Murphy
One of the central features of the market economy is capital. Indeed, the system of free enterprise and private property is often denoted by the term capitalism. Economists, in turn, have always included the concept of capital in their theories and models, going back to the birth of economics as a separate discipline. It is only fitting that, as this article is published, Thomas Piketty’s tome, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is the #1 bestseller among all books on Amazon.
By Anthony de Jasay
Early Christianity was essentially a church of and for the poor and the oppressed. However, it did not seek to rouse them against the rich and the oppressor. Instead, it offered solace by the promise of a life after death, a life of infinitely greater worth, greater reward for the righteous, and greater punishment for the unrepentant sinner than anything the brief passage of earthly existence might bring. In life after death, the first will become the last and the last the first. The rich will find it harder to enter Paradise than the camel to pass through the eye of the needle. Thus will divine justice be done. In this vale of sorrow, charity was due to the suffering poor and the sick, but revolution was not the message of religion. St Peter’s Church was ultimately concerned only with the spiritual and not, or hardly at all, with the temporal.
By Kevin Begos and Jonathan Fahey
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Booming production of oil and natural gas has exacted a little-known price on some of the nation’s roads, contributing to a spike in traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment.
An Associated Press analysis of traffic deaths and U.S. census data in six drilling states shows that in some places, fatalities have more than quadrupled since 2004 — a period when most American roads have become much safer even as the population has grown.
Karl Mehta has made quite a splash in the tech world.
He founded PlaySpan, which sold to Visa for more than $200 million in 2011. He was a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow in the program’s inaugural year. He joined Menlo Ventures in 2013 as a partner to focus on finding and funding interesting and world-changing companies. He’s writing a book called Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid about the best ways to get financial services to poorer people.
By Anne Field
Interest in impact investing continues to increase, even as investors report a shortage of promising opportunities.
That’s according to a recent study of 125 investors managing a total of $46 billion in impact investments conducted by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and J.P. Morgan.
By Melissa Korn
Most business-school students are gunning for jobs in banking, consulting or technology. So what are they doing reading Plato?
The philosophy department is invading the M.B.A. program—at least at a handful of schools where the legacy of the global financial crisis has sparked efforts to train business students to think beyond the bottom line. Courses like “Why Capitalism?” and “Thinking about Thinking,” and readings by Marx and Kant, give students a break from Excel spreadsheets and push them to ponder business in a broader context, schools say.
By Jeff Macke
Despite the creation of two saints and first Pope to retire in 600 years in attendance, there was no question that Pope Francis was the star of the show last Sunday in Vatican City. More than 500,000 gathered near St. Peter’s Square with another 300,000 watching on monitors throughout Rome as the Pope canonized John XXIII as well as John Paul II, then rode through the masses to the Tiber River in his open-top car.
By Devin Thorpe
A team of young social entrepreneurs has created an impact investing fund associated with Columbia University called 118 Capital that will operate as a nonprofit. The founders all have recent degrees from Columbia.
118 Capital will invest in the U.S. and Latin America, focusing on serving underprivileged groups there. The fund will engage students in the process, providing an excellent educational experience for them while providing low cost labor for the fund. The team is fundraising presently on the crowdfunding site Razoo, where the tally shows just over $50,000 donated.
By Phil DeMuth
There was an entertaining article in this Sunday’s New York TimesStyle Section about a gang of rich kids who got to go on a field trip to the White House to “empower” them and let them schmooze about their charitable projects (possibly now to include the DNC?). My favorite line was a description of 26-year-old zillionaire Zac Russell, who wore a “loosely fitting suit without a necktie that contrasted with the stately White House surroundings.” I recall how President Ronald Reagan refused to take off his suit jacket or loosen his tie in the Oval Office even when he was hot because he did not want to insult the dignity of his surroundings with undue casualness. Fortunately, these trustafarians know how to chillax.