Monday, March 24, 2014

Two views of Pope Francis

I haven't had time for my reading of Papal Economics lately. But two recent blog posts about Pope Francis, One suggesting a sign that the Pope really should have over his desk and the other from Economist magazing going in depth into Pope Francis' economic and governmental history in Argentina are most certainly on topic for the discussion, and suggest that maybe, democratic capitalism alone can't save the world. This Pope had a good deal of formation as a Bishop and Archbishop under the vagaries of Peronism. General Juan PerĂ³n was to Argentina what Ronald Reagan would become to the United States- he entirely reformed the economic discussion in his country. Just as another article that crossed my e-mail this weekend suggested that much of American thought about sin, right, and wrong was formed in the "ahistorical" 1960s, so too much of our economic thought in the United States was directly ingrained in the 1980s and all economic thought since then has been in reference to that touchstone. Argentina too, has the touchstone of Peronism- the concept that the state can create social justice by acting as a mediator between the interests of capital ownership and labor.

In reality of course, both these ideals failed. Ronald Reagan's cutting of the top marginal tax rates has resulted in an economics dominated by the rich and a market run for their interests, just as Peron's state investment turned into an indirect class war against the poor.

Many of Pope Francis's more controversial statements come from a backdrop of the Church being the last resort against these forms of fascism where the class war is dominated by an "economics of exclusion". Beyond the insistence that even the greatest sinner is human and deserves the ability to participate in the marketplace, the twisting of these statements in first world press to support the lies of the sexual revolution are only spin; Pope Francis merely wishes us to feed the adulterer and the homosexual dinner, he doesn't want us to suddenly accept cheating and same sex marriage as normal.

And I for one, can go that far.

Now besides this, I saw something *very interesting* in the article on infallibility: Throughout much of the third world, the non-governmental entity, or maybe the governmental entity, providing universal health care isn't the government at all, it's the Church. Given the mass failure that is Obamacare, perhaps we should consider that model again.

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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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