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Friday Five: Christians and "Good" Art, Harnessing Behavioral Science in Public Policy, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes reasoning for why Hollywood needs “good” Christian art, behavioral science solutions for public policy, and more. 1. What We Can Learn From Margaret Thatcher on Income Inequality: In case you missed it, Jacqueline Otto reminds us of Margaret Thatcher’s insight on how to deal with income inequality.

…we need to move past meaning well and actually do well. It is vital that as Christians, we do not advocate for policies the end results of which are that the poor are poorer, provided that the rich were less rich.

2. Is the Constitution Failing Us?: Promoting Michael Greve’s new book, “The Constitution: Understanding America’s Founding Document,” Values & Capitalism’s recent video explores the history of America’s Constitution and asks how its principles can inform present day issues. 3. Young, Entrepreneurial, and Pursuing Good Art in Hollywood: RJ Moeller, writing for the Acton Institute, shares his thoughts about culture formation; explaining why Hollywood needs Christians who are interested, most of all, in making “good art.”
We don’t need all of these trailblazers to be gun-toting, flag-waving Republicans with life-size cardboard cutouts of Ronald Reagan in their rooms. (I’ve got those departments covered already.) And we don’t need hacks churning out more sub-par films and slapping “Christian” or “Conservative” on them because they know Christian moms will buy a bunch of copies of the DVD. We need talented people, with better values, making worthwhile and entertaining art.
4. How Do Markets Handle Sin and Human Nature?: Dr. Anne Bradley of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, discusses why humanity’s fallen nature means that institutions, such as government and the market, are both helpful and inadequate at bringing about human flourishing.
As Christians, we should consider how markets and other institutions can bring about higher levels of flourishing, despite their limitations and our own fallen human nature. Understanding our own limitations, we must learn to use the gifts we are given to serve others and create hope for the world around us.
5. Nudging Conservatives to Harness Behavioral Science: The American’s Rich Thau and Celeste Gregory offer compelling ideas for how conservatives can use behavioral science to form effective policies.
A growing body of compelling research shows that sometimes we follow the “Homer Simpson” in our minds, as Ariely likes to say. In fact, we very often behave irrationally, but in predictable ways. According to Ariely, if we recognize where we fall short and make mistakes in our rational thinking, then we can improve the world.