Ok, now that I've placed my thought process in the book, on to an insight I have had from my position in the lay order, Knights of Columbus.
At present time, the church, especially the last 120 years worth of Popes, have been calling us to specific actions in the economic realm. Three separate potential actions for any individual stand out, and I'm going to list them in order of what I feel is their importance:
But what does this all have to do with decentralized government? And why can't welfare replace these three items (as the Western Democracies are attempting to do with adding welfare to capitalism)? The missing ingredient that makes subsidiarity necessary is that all three of these need an intimate knowledge, an intimate friendship, with the receiver of the common good. All three are dangerous- all can create a dignity-destroying sense of dependency. But when given in Truth and Love, in Charity and Truth, they create a relationship- a relationship between giver and receiver, and when that relationship becomes reciprocal, it creates a more just society, one in which it is easier to trust others- which is always more profitable in the long run. ----Edits above. One discussion on the Frontline PBS website reminded me of another "Preferential Option for the Poor" activity for governments and banks.