"For Love of Neighbor" is a new documentary film offering a hopeful vision for Christian engagement in politics. Click here to learn more.

Friday Five: International Development, Walmart, and More

On Fridays, we bring you the best of our blog and the best of the web. This week’s roundup includes thoughts on international development, a look at Walmart’s real impact, sacrifice in free markets and more. 1. Rockstar Capitalism in the Developing World: Greg Lane announces the upcoming V&C event about entrepreneurship in the developing world with Michael Gerson of the ONE Campaign, Chris Horst of HOPE International and Andrea McDaniel of the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative.
On November 12, in a speech at Georgetown University, U2’s Bono (quote #1) discussed the role of enterprise and capitalism in alleviating global poverty. For a rock star whose travels to developing nations and advocacy of foreign aid are well known, this recent focus on commerce has surprised many observers—and apparently the man himself:
2. Sacrifice and Self-Interest: Jordan Ballor distinguishes how self-interest, rooted in the family, often leads more to sacrifice than selfishness.
In a very real sense, then, when we act in the marketplace we are not acting as abstracted individuals, but rather as human persons embedded in a deep social and moral reality. We act in our callings as representatives of the interests of others.
3. The Miracle of the Supermarket: Wesley Gant shows how perusing the shelves of a supermarket can make us aware of the benefits and wonders of capitalism.
Learning about economics completely altered the way I see the world… I now know that behind every technology we use and every opportunity to better our life, there is a complex history of individuals adding ideas to ideas, creating solutions in order to help one another and to earn a living. And this was all possible because of property rights, which forms the foundation for capitalism. Without capitalism, the world as we know it would be fantasy.
4. The Future of International Development: Leah McMillan reviews Roland Hoksbergen’s recent book “Serving God Globally: Finding Your Place in International Development,” praising how it offers both practical and theoretical advice to students pursuing work in international development.
While faith can be an important motivating factor for wanting to help the world’s poor, such faith must be coupled with a robust understanding of the complexities of international development to be as effective as possible.
5. A Conservative Case for Walmart: Joe Carter tells about his personal experience with the benefits and opportunities Walmart brought to his rural town.
I was in high school in Clarksville, Texas the year Walmart opened in our town in the mid-1980s. The impact on our community was immeasurable and only slightly less disruptive than when the Kalahari bushman found a Coke bottle in The Gods Must Be Crazy. Life in our small town would never be the same. The biggest change was that we now had choices.