If He Defunds It, They Will Come: Charitable Giving Under Trump

President Trump’s proposed cuts to the  The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many. Spokespeople on the left predictably jumped to defend these supposedly indispensable programs. After all, if the government isn’t paying for these sorts of programs, who will?

As it turns out, Chance the Rapper has stepped up to the plate by crafting the New Chance Arts and Literacy Fund, benefiting arts education in Chicago Public Schools. And according to the economic theory of the crowding out effect, he probably won’t be the only one.   Continue reading “If He Defunds It, They Will Come: Charitable Giving Under Trump”

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Why Congress Should Not Declare War on ISIS

On March 25th, the New York Times editorial board wrote that Congress must declare war on ISIS.  The Times claims that Congress has refused to do its duty in the fight against ISIS. They went on to say that with the impending invasion of Raqqa, the US involvement in Syria would be questionable on constitutional grounds.

It seems as though the Times has rediscovered the War Powers Resolution after failing to make the same claim about President Obama’s illegal action in Libya.

Notwithstanding, it would be unwise for Congress to declare war on ISIS because the potential cost outweigh the potential benefits.    Continue reading “Why Congress Should Not Declare War on ISIS”

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Reimaging Nationalism, Community, and Place

These days the phase, “America First” is unlikely to produce a purely neutral reaction in anyone polled about it. For some, it is a powerful affirmation of what ought to be our government’s first priorities. For others, it is an isolationist statement, a dangerous signal to our allies, and particularly so as globalization intensifies.

I see merit in the latter view, but given our political climate, productive conversation requires nuance. This isn’t to say populism is always without negative consequences; history is littered with examples of them. However, our cities and towns face nontrivial barriers. The migration of our best and brightest to cities hasn’t come without cost to the communities from which they’re drawn, and the divide between urban and rural areas is increasingly a proxy, among other things, for our political differences. Continue reading “Reimaging Nationalism, Community, and Place”

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The Future Took Your Job- So Let’s Move There

On January 27th, the White House announced a Manufacturing Jobs Initiative as part of the job creation agenda. Fresh off a campaign pledge to create 25 million jobs over the next 10 years, President Trump has made it evident that he intends to keep his campaign promises. Unfortunately, this manufacturing initiative will yield short term results that created long term negative consequences. Continue reading “The Future Took Your Job- So Let’s Move There”

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Why Don’t We Restrict the 1st Amendment?

The hearings to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court have turned many people’s minds toward key and elementary questions about the constitution and the rule of law. So while you may be considering these questions, consider the second and first amendments. Continue reading “Why Don’t We Restrict the 1st Amendment?”

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2 Big Problems With the Republican Replacement

As though waiting to drop the hottest mixtape of the year, House GOP leadership and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) chose to release their new Obamacare replacement plan on Monday evening when everyone was back home watching T.V. And in keeping with Trump’s theme, they’ve titled their plan the American Health Care Act (AHCA),

Unfortunately, this plan would probably see more success as an album than legislation (yes, even if it were just Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) reading over an 808). The fact is, the AHCA may not garner enough support in the House for two good reasons. First, the bill keeps a lot of Obamacare’s regulatory framework that has caused prices to rise and choice to diminish. Second, the law is based on advanceable and refundable tax credits for political reasons, which many argue essentially creates a new entitlement. Both are profound mistakes. Continue reading “2 Big Problems With the Republican Replacement”

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The Death of Fantasy

As humans have increasingly become entrenched in the miasma of science and realism, we have forgotten how we may be whimsical, lighthearted, and explorative. Gone are the days of running around and letting your imagination take you away to somewhere unseen even by the person standing two feet from you. Today we are told we must have our two feet, as well as our heads, planted firmly in the real world — where else could they possibly go?

In his essay “On Fairy Stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien laments that we have removed fairy tales from adult life and adult criticism. Originally, these stories were enjoyed just as much if not more by adults as well as children. But, as Tolkien points out, we have left them in our nursery rooms and — like the furniture and toys which populate those rooms — they have become worn down, tattered, and covered in post-modern slobber. Continue reading “The Death of Fantasy”

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I Love Public Education, Which is Why I Support Charter Schools

Betsy DeVos made history by being the first cabinet nominee ever to require a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President. She is certainly a controversial figure and her confirmation to such a position of power deserves proper examination from both sides. But lost in all the political hullabaloo is a serious discussion of the school choice movement and its effects on public education. It’s true that DeVos, as her detractors would point out, is against the public school system as we currently know it. But her stance by no means undermines the legitimacy of public education. On the contrary, school choice will most likely enhance traditional public schools. Continue reading “I Love Public Education, Which is Why I Support Charter Schools”

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John’s Post-Election Journal (Part 3): After Virtue?

This is the final installment of John’s Post-Election Journal.  We hope you enjoyed! Read parts 1 and 2 if you haven’t had the chance.

By the time November 8th came around the public was still largely distraught by both candidates. The two were far from most people’s first choices and neither seemed to deserve the presidency for their own particular reasons.

As I was driving home from voting on election day, I heard this opinion once again from the DJ on a country station. He admitted that listeners may not like Trump and Clinton, but regardless, he urged everyone to still vote because voting is a part of our freedom, and our freedom is what makes us great. Continue reading “John’s Post-Election Journal (Part 3): After Virtue?”

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