16 December, 2019

Payday Lending

As we approach Christmas, the great feast of our Lord's Nativity, many people are thinking about gift giving. But for many Americans, those with limited incomes and limited savings, gift giving can be an occasion more for anxiety than for joyful anticipation. With little money, some of these people might resort to an extreme form of borrowing to pay for their Christmas giving: payday lending.

25 November, 2019

How Do the Joneses Keep Up?

by Dana Krull

The following article is reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 newsletter of the Holy Family Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, a ministry of Holy Family Catholic Church in Columbus, Ohio.

17 October, 2019

Three Questions on Distributism

Practical Distributism would like to thank Joseph L. Grabowski for permission to republish the following article. It was originally published on his own blog, which can be found here.

07 October, 2019

What is an embedded economy?

Probably nearly everyone would assent to the statement that the economy is meant to serve society, not the other way around. But despite the verbal acquiescence that would most likely be given to this statement, it is my contention that in fact for capitalist modernity most often the very opposite is true: society in fact serves the economy. As it has been expressed, "society itself becomes an `adjunct' of the market."[i] This claim applies most fully to the United States, the place where capitalism has been able to develop most freely and completely, where there are the fewest legal or cultural restraints on the operation of capitalism, and where capitalist ideals and motivations are most taken for granted and lauded.

19 September, 2019

That Old Time Religion

One of the frequent laments heard since the Second Vatican Council is that Catholics have forgotten their centuries-old heritage, and as a result, that heritage has not been transmitted to new generations of the faithful. Things that Catholics took for granted in the 1950s and earlier, such as knowledge of basic doctrine, familiarity with forms of prayers, such as the Rosary, and with sacramentals such as the brown Scapular or the Miraculous Medal - so many younger Catholics know little or nothing of these and hence have been robbed of so much of their religious heritage. And this is a lament that I fully agree with. But there is another aspect of the Faith and its practice which we contemporary Catholics have also largely forgotten. This is the Church's commitment to the social apostolate, championed so boldly by the popes since Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, but now, in the dreary culture war that afflicts the United States, either lost sight of or even labeled as socialistic. Our Catholic forebears were not socialists, but as supporters of the social doctrine of the Church they were often radicals, and we have forgotten just how radical they were.

05 September, 2019

The Homeless

The issue of the homeless in society is starting to get more attention in the news in the United States. Unfortunately, I suspect that this is only because of the upcoming presidential election. It would be unfair to say that this issue gets no attention at other times, but it does seem to me that the level of attention has increased as a topic of interest for our federal elections. While any public attention to this issue is welcome - it is a real issue that needs to be addressed - it does seem that the form of attention and the ways of addressing it leave a lot to be desired. I think this is true from both a general perspective as well as a specifically distributist one.

21 August, 2019

What They All Get Wrong About Tariffs

When President Trump chose to impose tariffs on China, there were various reactions. Some economic schools praised him because they believe tariffs will improve the American job market in those industries currently heavily outsourced to Chinese labor. Free market libertarians, typically representing the Austrian school of economics, berated him because they believe tariffs are terrible and hurt the American economy. However, Trump said he was doing this as an economic sanction because China was stealing US intellectual property.

15 April, 2019

George Weigel Shifts the Goalposts

It can be tedious to untangle a web of misrepresentations, and I'm afraid that what I am about to write here may be tedious to some. But if we are to uncover the continuing misrepresentations made by George Weigel on Catholic social teaching, this will be necessary even if it is somewhat tiresome. Catholic social teaching, however, is important enough that a little tediousness is well worth enduring to reach the truth.

25 March, 2019

Site Update - March 2019

Dear Readers,

A lot has been going on in my life over the last 15 months which has prevented me from pursuing more articles. I am, of course, grateful to the other contributors who have been able to submit articles during this time so that the site was not completely inactive over that time. I am happy to be able to tell you that things have been working out and that I hope to be able to resume publishing articles in the very near future. I am also getting the chance to continue working on a new book, which I hope to get published before the end of the year.

I am also happy to be able to report to you that, despite the sparse amount of articles over the last 15 months, the site has managed to maintain a higher amount of visits than I would have expected. Many of these seem to be from searches about distributism, which means that interest does still seem to be growing out there.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

David W. Cooney, Editor
25 March, 2019