Research Fellow, Acton Institute. Director, Poverty Inc.
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Writings by Michael Matheson Miller
Poverty, Justice and Christian Love
Published in Legatus Magazine. Concern for the poor is at the heart of Christianity. Saint John Paul II called poverty one of the greatest moral challenges of our time, and to ignore the plight of the poor has consequences for our eternal souls. Pope Francis addressed poverty in Evangelii Gaudium: “Almost without being aware of […]
Mente Para Los Pobres
La preocupación por los pobres está en el corazón del cristianismo. San Juan Pablo II llamó a la pobreza uno de los mayores desafíos morales de nuestro tiempo, y hacer caso omiso de la difícil situación de los pobres tiene consecuencias para nuestras almas eternas. El Papa Francisco trató a la pobreza en la Evangelii […]
Free Markets, Poverty and the Pope
Published in the New York Post As President Obama prepares to meet the pope this week, the dominant theme from the White House will most likely be the two men’s supposedly shared vision for fighting poverty and inequality. While Pope Francis’ exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, generated excitement from the left and consternation among free marketers from […]
Pope Francis, Social Justice & Pure Religion
Do orthodoxy and social justice have to be mutually exclusive? St. James wrote that “pure religion is this, to care for the widow and the orphan in their distress and to keep ourselves unstained from the world.” Here is a piece I wrote on the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy: Pope […]
The Love of Saint John Paul II
Published in the Catholic World Report. As I crossed the Tiber early last Sunday morning, the crowds were so thick and pushing that it took more than an hour to move the last 50 yards to turn the corner onto Via Conciliazione and a view of St. Peter’s Basilica. There were pilgrims from all parts […]
Does Capitalism Destroy Culture?
Published in the Intercollegiate Review One of the most enduring critiques of capitalism is that it is morally and culturally corrosive. Even if we grant that capitalism is more efficient than planned economies, the question remains: are the economic gains worth the cultural cost? Now if the critique came only from a handful of Marxist […]
The Shift from ‘Alleviating Poverty’ to ‘Creating Prosperity’
Published in QIdeas. We see poverty in the developing world and we ask—what can I do? So we send food, water, clothes. We sponsor children, build wells, start schools and go on mission trips; we wear wristbands, we sign petitions, we advocate. But what if the question that animates our activity is the wrong one? […]
Poverty, Social Justice, and the Role of Business
by Michael Matheson Miller What role should the business leader and the entrepreneur play in helping the poor and promoting social justice in the developing world? As Legatus celebrates its 25th anniversary and looks forward to the future, this is an important question for reflection. When we look at the reality of poverty in the […]
Vengo a Salvar al Banco Mundial
ContraPeso.info presenta una idea de Michael Matheson Miller. Agradecemos al Acton Institute el amable permiso de publicación. Recientemente, el profesor Jeffrey Sachs hizo una solicitud pública para ser el próximo presidente del Banco Mundial, en un artículo de opinión en el Washington Post, titulado “Cómo Dirigiría el Banco Mundial.” Yo no sabía de que estaban […]
Here I Come to Save the Day: How I Would Lead the World Bank
Here is my piece on my (now failed) candidacy for the President of the World Bank at the American Spectator. Recently, Professor Jeffrey Sachs made a public application to be the next president of the World Bank with an op-ed in the Washington Post titled “How I would lead the World Bank.” I was not […]
The Invisible Sources of Entrepreneurship
by Michael J. Miller There is great enthusiasm for entrepreneurship these days. There are social entrepreneurs, intellectual entrepreneurs, educational entrepreneurs and even intra-preneurs (entrepreneurs within their own companies). Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are held up as model citizens. Magazines like Entrepreneur and Fast Company highlight a culture of entrepreneurship. President Obama even […]
Corporate Social Responsibility
by Michael Miller Voltaire once remarked that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman. A similar thing could be said about the popular business ethics model of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): It’s neither about business nor ethics. Popular CSR models neither appreciate the moral and social value of business nor do their emotivist […]
Dealing with Society’s Four Crises
It seems that society is moving from one crisis to another lately — a breakdown of morality in business, an enormous financial crisis, social and familial breakdown, the scandal of abuse in the Church and an ever-growing government taking a bigger role in our lives. Our time and its troubles are not unique. Every age […]
Gli Atleti Olimpici si Comportano Male
Non c’è nulla di più comune nello sport di un cronista che continua a parlare di come un atleta sia una brava persona. Di come lavora duro, sacrificato per il suo sport, di come è rispettato dai propri compagni di squadra e del volontariato che fa per i bambini. A noi piace il rispetto della […]
Olympians Behaving Badly
Almost nothing is more common in sports than to hear a sportscaster going on about how some athlete is a fine young man or young woman. How they work hard, sacrificed for their sport, are respected by their teammates, and volunteer with children. We enjoy the thrill of athletic competition and rejoice in a game […]
Pope Benedict’s Defense of Authentic Equality
Once again the mild-mannered but intellectually fierce Pope Benedict XVI has provoked criticism over remarks that challenge the secular establishment’s provincial understanding of the world. In his speech to the bishops of England and Wales in Rome last week, during their ad limina visit, the Pope encouraged them to fight against so-called equality legislation. He […]
Victory of Socialism?
The Economist marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with the headline “So much gained, so much to lose.” As we celebrate the collapse of Communism, who would have imagined that in less than one generation we would witness a resurgence of socialism throughout Latin America and even hear the word socialist being used […]
After the Berlin Wall — the Enduring Power of Socialism
The Economist marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by observing that there was “so much gained, so much to lose.” As the world celebrates the collapse of communism, who would have imagined that in less than one generation we would witness a resurgence of socialism throughout Latin America and even […]
Does Fair Trade Help the Poor?
Fair Trade coffee is touted as a way to help the poor. It’s billed as a win-win for anybody with heart. For only a slight premium on our coffee, we help poor farmers while sitting in the comfort of a café. Many Christian organizations — Catholic Relief Services, Presbyterian Church USA and Lutheran World Relief […]
Davos Capitalism: Adam Smith’s Nightmare
In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith warned, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” The shenanigans of business leaders over the last year, which led to a serious loss of faith […]
Morality and Meltdown
Who would have imagined 20 years ago with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of socialism — or in the 1990s when so many made their fortunes in the new economy — that now in 2009 capitalism would be under heavy fire. The Cardinal of Westminster, Cormack Murphy O’Connor, reportedly went as […]
The End of Capitalism?
Who would have imagined 20 years ago — when the Berlin Wall fell and we celebrated the death of socialism — that capitalism would begin 2009 under heavy fire. The Cardinal of Westminster, Cormack Murphy O’Connor, reportedly went so far as to say that, as 1989 marked the end communism, 2008 was the year when […]
Business is Social
There’s a lot of talk lately about social entrepreneurship and social business — the idea that business should be more focused on society and less on profit. Just this year, Nobel Prize winner and founder of the microcredit Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, published a book arguing for a social business model to fight poverty in […]
Is the Pope Green?
Written by: Kishore Jayabalan & Michael Miller If the past is any predictor, we should be braced for some outrageous headlines about Pope Benedict XVI in the coming days. His arrival in the US this week has already prompted wide-ranging speculation about what he might say and what impact his presence might have on US […]
Hearts and Minds for the Poor
President George W. Bush and Irish rocker and Live Aid promoter Bob Geldof seem an unlikely pair. Yet Geldof has praised Mr. Bush for his compassionate commitment to the people of Africa and his pledge of increased aid, saying he “has done more than any other president so far,” and without any self-serving motivation. This […]
The Missing Link: Religion and Economic Freedom
Written by Michael Miller & Jay Richards. If we’ve learned anything in the 2008 presidential primaries it’s that the predicted demise of the “values voter” had been greatly exaggerated. Religion and its impact on social issues remains the lodestar for many voters. But Gov. Mike Huckabee’s defeat in Florida last night along with losses in […]
The Big Picture on Microfinance
Among those concerned about economic development for the marginalized, few things have inspired the imagination and generated such excitement as microfinance. Secular and religious organizations alike tout it as force to fight poverty and empower the poor, especially women. While microfinance can play a role in helping people become independent, free them from the vicious […]
Does Fair Trade Help the Poor?
Fair trade coffee is touted as a way to help the poor provide the necessities of life for their families. It is billed as a win-win for anybody with heart — for only a slight premium on our coffee we get to help poor farmers while sitting in the comfort of a café.
Who’s Afraid of Free Trade?
The late economist Friedrich Hayek was suspicious of conservatives because he worried that when push came to shove they would tend toward state intervention in the economy to ensure security. While Hayek’s analysis misses the mark when it comes to committed conservatives such as Ronald Reagan, a recent survey of the views of likely Republican […]
Praying and Paying: Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man
In my high school U.S. history class, I often argued with my teacher about the legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. My youthful contention was that FDR had expanded the scope of government beyond the intent of the founders and harmed the economy. My teacher took the conventional view of Roosevelt as a hero who got […]
Population and Poverty
Amid the hoopla surrounding the resignation of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, few noticed another battle going on within the World Bank on the question of population. According to press reports Bank Managing Director and former Finance Minister for El Salvador, Juan Jose Daboub, came under fire for a memo he sent allegedly directing that […]
The Dividends of Social Capital
Why have so many countries been unable to fully adopt a market economy? The answer is complex, but there are certain basic conditions that must be met for an economy to become free and prosperous. Two that are non-negotiable are private property and the rule of law. Without these a market cannot exist. An educated […]
French ‘Security’ and Economic Reality
French students took to the streets again this week in a show of solidarity with themselves. These are the Gallic rites of Spring — protests and demonstrations. Student unrest comes and goes, but the disturbing thing about the student demonstrations this year is that they represent deeper and wider problems that extend far beyond a […]
Why Johnny Can’t Compete with Sanjay
Almost invariably, when we hear talk of economic growth in China and India, the question of education arises. There is considerable worry about the state of American education in comparison with the Chinese and Indians. And well there should be.