The Politics of Prudence: A Review

Valley Gardens, I., Herrogate, England
[Detail of image from Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division: LC-DIG-ppmsc-08423]

I have just finished Russell Kirk’s “The Politics of Prudence,” and found it to be in keeping with much of what I study and admire in Western culture. His book comprehensively defines modern American conservatism provides a history of conservative thought, and describes historic and contemporary challenges to conservative preservation of a Christian society. Read more on Landmarks of Liberty

E. Wesley – Mackinac Center Intern

The Good Life, No. 1: Gratitude

This post is part of a new series which explores the freedom-loving mindset and the pursuit of a classically liberal lifestyle in Michigan. Comments are welcome. 

I’ve been learning a lot about gratitude recently, and in a particular way from two  of conservatives’ favorite books, Hannah Coulter and Love and Responsibility. Both of these books discuss giving thanks and the importance of doing so. This message resonates a little more today, given that we observed Memorial Day yesterday.

Horton Camp, Michigan

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Michigan Unemployment Decreases

The unemployment figures for the month of May recently decreased throughout Michigan from 14% to 13.6%. The administration and michigan legislators are pointing to these numbes as proof that intense government action, in the form of stimuli and bailouts, actually improves our standards of living. But nothing could be further from the truth and it is insulting to the intelligence of every Michigander.

The truth is that the numbers are decreasing despite the harmful actions of both the federal and state government, thus illustrating the force of markets and government’s inability to contain them.

If lawmakers both state-wide and federal want to have a more significant impact in encouraging a speedy recovery they would abandon their activist efforts and embrace free market solutions, namely lower taxes, less regulations, and more economic freedom.

Conservatives Should Adopt Free-trade Policy

The following is a letter submission I made to the Detroit Free Press in regards to the recent debate over immigration.

Since the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, Americans have split into two distinct groups, namely those who acknowledge the benefits and moral obligations of open immigration and those who clamor over the increased size of the welfare state. Ultimately however, it is an erroneous assumption to conclude that immigration controls improve the economy. In actuality, additional labor increases economic productivity and therefore everyone is made more prosperous.

Also, conservatives should not abandon their belief in Ricardo’s theory of free-trade, especially as it pertains to labor markets. Immigration control is a barrier to entry and acts as a protectionist policy. Furthermore, opponents of free-entry should consider that border controls unfairly punish the geographically disadvantaged. No one should be discriminated against based solely on nationality. Nationalism holds little difference than racial prejudice. True believers in civil liberties and free-markets should endorse open borders, while still rejecting the welfare state.

— Clint Townsend
Mackinac Research Intern