Monthly Archives: September 2015

What Pope Francis probably does not know about capitalism

Start with this from Cafe Hayek’s Don Boudreaux:

No institution in history comes close to capitalism’s success at inspiring multitudes of strangers, from different countries and with different talents, to cooperate for the betterment of humanity and of the natural environment.

Add this:

The production and distribution of the very encyclicals in which Francis criticizes capitalism are capitalist achievements. They require the efforts of tree farmers (perhaps in Germany), of paper-mill workers (perhaps in Slovenia), of ink producers (perhaps in Canada), and of printers (perhaps in Italy).

And this:

And each of these suppliers relies upon countless delivery vehicles (perhaps made in Japan), investors (perhaps in New York), insurers (perhaps in London) and designers of computer hardware (perhaps in China) and software (perhaps in Seattle).

Sum it up with this:

A true marvel of capitalism is its continual weaving together of the efforts of billions of individuals from around the world into a unified global economy, with each person — as producer and as consumer — more free than under any other economic system to choose just how to participate.

And this:

This process is peaceful, stupendously productive and requires no commands issued by any overseeing strongman or politburo.

To which, being a fervent Catholic, I say let us pray he comes to know this and other nuggets about how the world works.


Off with heads, if possible, of the people who caught Planned Parenthood on candid camers

The nation’s biggest abortion millers do not play beanbag.

CHICAGO – Planned Parenthood supporters in positions of government power are looking to jail and financially destroy the producer of the undercover sting videos that have brought attention to the abortion giant’s illegal practices, a pro-life lawyer claims.

Go Thomas More Society.

How about a vicar for Latin mass?

Every diocese could have one, even if not a full-time job. New Liturgical Movement strikes an encouraging note here.

Some prelates fear diversity in this arena, however, have bigger fish to fry, etc.

Same for programs geared explicitly to help LGBT people to do the right thing. Courage comes to mind.

Prelates are often not so sure about this operation either. Low profiles are preferred. But this Courage site has a raft of video presentations, including a July 30 sermon by Archbishop Cupich of Chicago at the opening of the 2015 Courage Conference at Mundelein Seminary, and a moving one at that. His predecessor Cardinal George also welcomed the Courage group to the seminary on one or more occasions.

For Pope Francis, people are more important than ideas | Crux

If I were the pope, I’d object to a headline like the one above on grounds the copy editor is making me look like a nitwit.

As to the story, it opens like this:

ROME/BUENOS AIRES — As Pope Francis prepares to visit the United States, it’s telling that many Americans are still trying to get a political read on him. Some are convinced he’s a leftist reformer, some see him as a conservative in sheep’s clothing, and many are just a little bit confused.

Actually, for some who consider it muy dangerous to separate thinking from loving one’s neighbor, it seems the Holy Father is confused.

I’ll be darned. The archbishop’s a Democrat!!

And he’s not even Irish!

Church, meet state (and its handmaiden Labor). You’re gonna make a lovely couple. And the public unions will be the collective best man.


How I swerved away from conservatism as a young Jesuit . . .

From Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968:

Studying scholastic philosophy in the mid-50s,

we were a potentially influential group, which is why one group sought our membership in a mailing. This was the newly established Intercollegiate Society of Individualists (ISI) – free-marketers who wanted to convert us Jesuits to the cause.

At least two popes had got there first, however, Leo XIII and Pius XI, in their encyclicals which rejected “rugged individualism.” As a papist of the first water, I couldn’t buy what ISI (still existing, newly named with same initials) was selling. I responded to their pitch, quoting the popes, and they took me off their list. This was too bad. I could have used some free-market thinking in the years ahead. Indeed, I am more inclined to think these days that the popes were victims of bad advice, as by German Jesuits working for Pius XI who were unduly influenced by German political theory.

In any case, thus died a free-market tinge to my socio-political mentality. A few years later, I fumed at William F. Buckley’s dismissal of John XXIII’s “Mater et Magistra” – “Mater si, magistra no” – in which Catholic “social doctrine” (actually social “advice” or exhortation) was reiterated and expanded. How dare he? He had no heart. Worse, he had no obedience to go with his Catholicism.

His dissent represented something of an advance in the independence of lay people, but I was part of no such advance. As a loyalist and in my way a company man, I rejected conservatism anew and bought the liberal (better “neo-liberal), near-statist option, though involving salubrious hostility to Marxism, of course, as corrective. In any case, to endorse a position was to act on it. A religious-motivated conversion to social liberalism was a call to action, if I may use a phrase that became a Catholic (neo-)liberal rallying cry, then a conference, then a Chicago-based national organization of many decades standing, even to this day.

Openly secularistic White House, openly hostile to Pope Francis, has Vatican on defense path

Invitations to transgender activists, first openly gay U.S. Episcopal bishop and activist nun to White House event prompt pushback

Are markets moral? Is the Pope Catholic?

Sure, but does he know economics?

It’s one thing to conclude that markets are immoral after learning how markets work and what life would be like in their absence.  Such a conclusion is intellectually defensible because it would reflect an informed – if, in my view, bizarre – value judgment.  But the conclusion that markets are immoral typically reflects – as it surely does in the case of Pope Francis – utter ignorance of the logic and history of markets (and of the logic and history of governments).

Not hardly.

Voting with one’s feet for a better life

Freedom rings and people answer the bell.

The greater the economic freedom, the wealthier and happier the people. From minimum-wage laws to higher progressive taxation to greater unionization to larger welfare programs to more regulation, left liberals demand a stronger and more economically active central government.

Advocates of laissez-faire, on the other hand, favor smaller government, less regulation, lower taxes, and greater individual opportunity and property rights.

But which economic policy approach actually yields the best results?

Read on, my friends, read on.

New rule for reporters: Do not cover Bernie Sanders when he bashes Obama’s economy

They do his crowds but send you to You Tube for the message,

There is little to no curiosity among our media elite about how a Democratic candidate for president is able to campaign on a shrinking middle class, record highs of unemployment, record lows of workforce participation, record wage stagnation, and record entitlement dependency, while a Democratic president simultaneously travels around the country touting his economic success on all counts. How is it allowed to go unnoticed that this candidate suggests that economic growth was better under Richard Nixon than under Barack Obama?

How indeed?

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