Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Using sharply worded phrases, Francis decried an “idolatry of money” and warned it would lead to “a new tyranny.” And he invoked language with particular resonance in the United States, attacking an economic theory that discourages taxation and regulation and which most affiliate with conservatives.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”
“Meanwhile,” he added, “the excluded are still waiting.”
While Pope Francis has raised concerns before about the growing gap between the wealthy and poor since becoming pontiff in March, his direct reference to “trickle-down” economic theory in the English translation of his 50,000-word statement was striking.
The phrase has often been used derisively to describe a popular version of conservative or Republican economic philosophy that argues that allowing the wealthy to run their businesses unencumbered by regulation or taxation bears economic benefits that lead to more jobs and income for the rest of society. Liberals and Democratic officials have rejected the theory, saying it is contradicted by economic evidence.
The papal statement, known formally as an apostolic exhortation, is the first to be written entirely by Francis and discusses a wide range of topics, including the need for “broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.”
Pope Francis, who was elected to lead the church in March after the resignation of Pope Benedict, hailed from Buenos Aires and became the first non-European to lead the church in more than a millennium.
Since then, he has been the subject of fascination and attention among many Catholics, political leaders and people all over the world as he has taken a decidedly more populist approach to the papacy.
He has adopted a softer tone toward gay people, eschewed lavish features of the papal lifestyle, washed the feet of convicts and repeatedly urged greater effort to lift up the world’s poor.
Pope Francis’s focus on the subject is especially notable given dramatic changes in the world economy.
Many of the world’s richest countries are experiencing historic levels of income inequality, with the quality of the life for workers in the middle no longer improving.
Then again...I've said this before...All of this...
And even in the developing world, there are emerging concerns about inequality and whether workers will benefit from their countries’ increasing prosperity. In China, for instance, officials have made repeated promises to tackle the country’s widening income gap.
For my part... my mouth is hanging at Pope Francis' denounciation of bogus "trickle down" economic policies. I'm amazed and impressed.Now Fox News...Run and tell that!