Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Foreword by Michael Novak

New Book Examines Pope Francis’s Embrace of Government to Alleviate Poverty, Protect the Environment, and Create a More Caring World
In his 2015 encyclical, Pope Francis called for an open dialogue about poverty and the destiny of what he calls “our common home.” This invitation is the inspiration for the new Independent Institute book, Pope Francis and the Caring Society, edited by Robert M. Whaples. In the deluge of books by and about Pope Francis, we finally have a careful and reliable discussion about many hot topics by renowned experts in religion, history, economics, and related fields. With a foreword by the late Catholic scholar Michael Novak, this book respectfully examines the Pope’s views on poverty, charity and the environment from the intersection of theologians, economists, and environmentalists. 
In this book, you’ll learn that:
  • Friends of human well-being, market-based enterprise, and civil society have a grand opportunity to address widespread misconceptions about the economy, the environment, and charity, thanks to Pope Francis’s call for a worldwide dialogue on these subjects.
  • Allaying Pope Francis’s worries, world poverty is not rising but falling. 
  • Contrary to Pope Francis’s suggestion that capitalism is “the economy of exclusion,” private charitable giving is strongest when economic freedom and private-property rights are strong.
  • Pope Francis links what he calls “the environmental crisis” to the market economy, but most environmental problems result from the “tragedy of the commons” created by governments’ failure to embrace and uphold a key pillar of the market economy that fosters free markets: private-property rights.
  • Pope Francis does not merely offer caution regarding potential pitfalls of the market economy as his recent predecessors did - sometimes he rings the alarm.
  • As Pope Francis and the Caring Society demonstrates, intellectual dialogue need not be discourteous (or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, fawning).
What does one of the most popular Popes in modern history have to say to us about poverty, the environment, and family issues? Does what he says line up with traditional Christian teachings and the social and economic record?
The book’s editor, Independent Institute Research Fellow and Wake Forest University economics professor Robert M. Whaples, says, “There is a clear need for dialogue between Pope Francis and economists because the Pope and many in the economics profession do not see eye to eye at a fundamental level on many issues.”
This fascinating and informative volume belongs in the hands of anyone interested in creating a better, more caring, and prosperous world. It provides an essential historical and cultural context for considering Francis’s views, along with non-bureaucratic solutions for environmental protection, a defense of Francis’s criticism of power and privilege, and the case for market-based entrepreneurship and private charity as essential for fighting poverty and creating human flourishing.
About the Editor: ROBERT M. WHAPLES is a research fellow at the Independent Institute, co-editor and managing editor for The Independent Review, professor of economics at Wake Forest University, and book review editor and former director for EH.Net. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Whaples is the recipient of both the Allen Nevins Prize and Jonathan Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economic History from the Economic History Association. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

When Harry Became Sally By Ryan T. Anderson, PhD

Responding to the Transgender Moment
The transgender movement has hit breakneck speed. In the space of a year, it’s gone from something that most Americans had never heard of to a cause claiming the mantle of civil rights. Can a boy truly be “trapped” in a girl’s body? Can modern medicine really “reassign” sex? What is the loving response to a child experiencing a gender-identity conflict?
In his new book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, Ryan T. Anderson, PhD offers a balanced approach to the policy issues, a nuanced vision of human embodiment, and a sober and honest survey of the human costs of getting human nature wrong. He draws on the best insights from the fields of biology, psychology and philosophy to explore the many contradictions at the heart of the transgender movement.
Anderson reveals a grim contrast between the media’s sunny depiction and the often sad realities of gender-identity struggles. He introduces readers to people who tried to “transition” but found themselves no better off. Especially troubling is the suffering felt by adults who were encouraged to transition as children but later came to regret it.
In When Harry Became Sally, you’ll learn:
·     the many reasons that many regret making the transition;
·     that the most helpful therapies focus not on achieving the impossible - changing bodies to conform to thoughts and feelings - but on helping people accept and even embrace the truth about their bodies and reality;
·     how an ideological school counselor might try to steer a child - unbeknownst to the parents;
·     that the best evidence shows the vast majority of children naturally grow out of any gender-conflicted phase;
·     how new school policies might affect children indoctrinated to believe that they really are trapped in the “wrong” body; and
·     that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender attempt suicide at some point in their lives, and people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.
Analyzing education and employment policies, Obama-era bathroom and locker-room mandates, politically correct speech codes and religious-freedom violations, Anderson shows how the law is being used to coerce and penalize those who believe the truth about human nature. And he shows how Americans can begin to push back with principle, prudence and grace.
When Harry Became Sally is a compassionate, honest and thought-provoking commentary on the often-misrepresented concept of transitioning, the impact of the transgender movement on American society as a whole, and the costs to individuals when we get the realities of human nature wrong. Anderson believes we should be tolerant and, indeed, loving toward those who struggle with their gender identity, but we should also be aware of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized. He warns that activists are not merely asking for tolerance or kindness; they are demanding affirmation, not just from adults but from children and adolescents who are already challenged by the normal process of sexual development.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ryan T. Anderson, PhD graduated with honors from Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame. He is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Anderson’s research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two Supreme Court cases. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Harvard Health Policy Review, the Weekly Standard, and National Review. Anderson has appeared on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and the Fox News Channel.
Watch Ryan T. Anderson on CBN News

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Burn the Business Plan By Carl Schramm

What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do

By Carl Schramm

At the dawning of the era of Trump, new businesses are finally starting to feel the relief from crippling regulations and getting the boost they’ve needed to encourage entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and/or reinvigorate existing businesses. But it’s a whole new world which requires a whole new roadmap toward success. With BURN THE BUSINESS PLAN: What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do, bestselling author and economist, Carl Schramm, applies his decades of experience in the world of entrepreneurship to offer a myth-busting guide packed with tools and techniques to launch any business. Illustrated with stories of real entrepreneurs who started successful businesses, he debunks some of the most commonly held beliefs surrounding startups and business development - starting with the supposed importance of a business plan.

Business schools teach that the most important prerequisite for starting a business is a business plan. Nonsense, says Carl Schramm in BURN THE BUSINESS PLAN, who for a decade headed the most important foundation devoted to entrepreneurship in this country. Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, and hundreds of smaller, lesser known companies all achieved success long before they had business plans.

According to Schramm, entrepreneurship has been misrepresented and glamorized by business books, university and MBA courses, and the media. Much of the advice they offer today is about how to be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg; and while their stories make fascinating reading, their narratives hold few actionable lessons for the more than ninety-five percent of entrepreneurs who are not tech-wizards and who want to start a construction business, manufacture innovative building materials, or develop a franchise. BURN THE BUSINESS PLAN offers lessons that apply to all budding entrepreneurs, including:

·     Why you don’t need a business plan: Many of today’s most successful businesses launched without formal business plans. It’s more important for entrepreneurs to be flexible. Schramm says, “Business is simply too fluid; unpredictable markets set the direction of companies for established giants and small startups alike, not the other way around. Entrepreneurs must learn to dance to the market’s ever-changing tempo and rhythm.”
·     Why you don’t need to be a “kid genius”: It’s a widespread belief that all entrepreneurs are young Silicon Valley software prodigies. But in fact, the average entrepreneur is thirty-nine years old and has worked in corporate America for at least a decade, which is a great advantage. The success rate of entrepreneurs over age forty is five times higher than those under thirty.
·     Why you should work in the corporate world: Schramm argues that people with work experience in the corporate world have several advantages as entrepreneurs. They often have important contacts in the business world who may become customers for their new service or product, and they also have the opportunity to strategize with knowledgeable colleagues and get valuable business advice.

Just in time for those who have resolved to launch a new business in 2018, BURN THE BUSINESS PLAN lays out a motivating path to true success. It dispels the costly, misleading startup myths and offers practical, real-world advice on how to avoid common mistakes, showing what you need to do to put your enterprise on track for success. Schramm believes knowledge, passion, determination, and a willingness to experiment and innovate are far more valuable than financial skill.

When it comes to entrepreneurship, age 40 is the new 20...and always has been