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Faith and Economics

Author: Gwartney Institute

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In Faith and Economics, economics professors Dr. Russ McCullough and Dr. Levi Russell discuss big issues that impact economic freedom and human flourishing from a Christian perspective. This podcast is an initiative of the Gwartney Institute at Ottawa University.
For more information, contact us at info@GwartneyInstitute.org
70 Episodes
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Russ and Levi interview Dr. Jim Gwartney, our institute's namesake. This is a wide-ranging discussion on Jim's life, experience at Ottawa University, and his opinions on the state of the world economy. Common Sense Economics book
Social media gives third parties power over our online identities. The Gwartney Institute takes a look at how Urbit might provide an alternative platform.
Computer Simulation | #69

Computer Simulation | #69

2020-02-1000:33:26

As technology advances, the line between computers and life becomes thinner giving the Gwartney Institute an interesting topic that will keep evolving. 
With civil unrest growing in Chile due to inequality, the Gwartney team looks to the benefits of Chile's high economic freedom for answers. 
Organ Lottery | #67

Organ Lottery | #67

2020-01-2700:33:35

This episodes sheds new light on utilitarianism by bringing up the option for an organ lottery.  
New Year Resolutions | #66

New Year Resolutions | #66

2020-01-2000:33:17

The Gwartney Institute examines how New Years Resolutions affect different industries and shed a little light on their own resolutions. 
This week the Gwartney Institute tackles how regulations can cause a negative tax on the poor. 
Economics on Everest | #64

Economics on Everest | #64

2020-01-0600:26:59

From Jon Krakauer's autobiography of the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest to the modern day over-crowding at the summit, this episode uncovers the economics of how commercialization has changed the supply and demand in Nepal. 
Moral Hazard

Moral Hazard

2019-02-2500:34:28

In this episode, Russ, Jacyn, and Jacob discuss biblical and financial instances of moral hazard, asymmetric information, and "Too Big to Fail." Show notes: Malcolm Gladwell's TED Talk on David and Goliath David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
This week we discuss the U.S.'s status as a Christian nation. Russ and Levi agree that it currently isn't but arrive at that conclusion from two different angles. The relationship between economic prosperity and religion is a key component of the discussion. Show notes: Socialism Versus the Family - Edward Feser (lecture) The Myth of Religious Violence - William T. Cavanaugh (book) Interview with William T. Cavanaugh on his book
We discuss Malcolm Gladwell's unique take on the story of David and Goliath. What can we learn about markets from Gladwell's perspective on this famous story? Show notes Malcolm Gladwell's TED Talk on David and Goliath David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell Luigi Zingales on social media antitrust at Free Market Forum
Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Income

2019-02-0400:39:54

In this episode we discuss the economics and morality of the Universal Basic Income. A Universal Basic Income would guarantee a minimum income to every individual over the age of 21 in the U.S. If you're looking for a brief primer on the subject, listen to this episode! Charles Murray's UBI proposal Text of a debate on UBI between Ed Dolan and Bryan Caplan UBI debate between Bryan Caplan and Will Wilkinson
Economic Freedom Abroad

Economic Freedom Abroad

2019-01-2800:28:01

Jacyn and Dr. McCullough discuss their recent trips abroad to South America and India. Both talk about their experiences in light of the economic freedom (or lack thereof) in the countries they visited!
In this episode we discuss the implications of the Kingdom of God on politics. Dr. Rachel Ferguson, a philosopher at Lindenwood University, joins us to help us understand the link between Christianity and liberalism. Show notes: Dr. Rachel Ferguson's Website "Jesus of Nazareth" by Pope Benedict XVI "Rerum Novarum" by Pope Leo XIII "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt "Why Liberalism Failed" by Patrick J. Deneen
In this episode we discuss community development and the roles of individuals and governments with Dr. Rebekka Dudensing of Texas A&M University. Show Notes Dr. Dudensing's Website The Little Pink House Documentary What is Community Development? People vs Place-Based Development Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? Do Cities Make Us More Productive? (agglomeration discussion) Article: "Propping up the boonies, Atlanta’s thankless burden" Response: "Part 2: A Reply to 'Propping up the Boonies, Atlanta's Thankless Burden'"
Piety as a Barrier to Entry

Piety as a Barrier to Entry

2019-01-0700:41:25

In this episode we discuss the idea that piety - the activities and procedures often practiced by Christians - might be a barrier to entry to Christianity. Some might be put off by these practices and may not want to become Christian because of that. As usual, Dr. Russell takes the opposing view. Show Notes: Bondage of the Will - Martin Luther https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0030N6DIC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_za.fCbJADQWH0 Five Proofs for the Existence of God - Edward Feser https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0754MJFMG/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_pd.fCbGVY6V6G
Dr. Terry Griffin of Kansas State University talks about his research on the cost farmers incur to attend weekly church services. Dr. McCullough challenges the group to think about physical labor as a way of giving glory to God. Show Notes: The Cost of Being Faithful: What Do Farmers Give Up to Keep the Sabbath? - Rosburg, Griffin, and Coffey https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3286359
In this episode we discuss the origins of Santa Claus and the consumerism of the holidays and how we can address it as Christians informed by sound economics. Show notes: Veggie Tales - St. Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving https://www.amazon.com/Veggietales-Saint-Nicholas-Joyful-Giving/dp/B002FOFX6U The 5 Love Languages - Gary Chapman https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts-ebook/dp/B00OICLVBI/ref=sr_1_1
In this episode we discuss nutritional insecurity and access to food. Our guest, Dr. Brandon McFadden, discusses the state of our knowledge of these issues and how they relate to poverty in the US and abroad. Dr. McFadden fills us in on how we as Christians can help solve food insecurity.
We discuss Hugh Whelchel's book "How Then Should We Work" focusing on Whelchel's notion of a "cultural mandate." Should Christians attempt to influence culture? Should we attempt to use the government to influence culture in Christian ways? Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance http://a.co/d/1JJBxLA Arthur Brooks' TED Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_brooks_a_conservative_s_plea_let_s_work_together How Then Should We Work, Hugh Whelchel http://a.co/d/ahVuoV9
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