Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Pope is Right and Wrong

The Pope recently chided the world for the worshiping of “the God of money.”  The under tone of the comments were a criticism of capitalism. The Pope was right that worshiping money for the sake of money is to have an empty life. But the Pope was wrong when he said “"We don't want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money.” "The world has become an idolator of this god called money," he said. This argument is too simple and could easily be heard by any two bit dictator of the world rousing the people’s ire.

The greatest way to end poverty is to unleash the human desire to take care of one’s self through the creation of products and services to be used by fellow humans. Capitalism is the answer to the world’s woes. To say that the worker is the where we need to focus is wrong. We need to nurture the free exchange of goods and services by individual and every size business. When we nurture business we create jobs. When we create jobs we need workers. To say you support workers but demonize the people that create work is a circular argument that ends the same, no work or workers.

Money is not evil. The pursuit of money is not evil. Money is simply the mechanism used to exchange goods and services in a market. The more money you make the better off your circumstances. The Pope needs money to travel. Nothing is free. So the idea that the pursuit of money is the problem in the world is a really disingenuous argument to create envy among the people. The Pope seems to want to blame capitalism and the pursuit of money as the reason for poverty in the world. The reason for poverty in the world is government control of the economies of the poorest nations. Show me a poor country and I will show you a corrupt government. Socialist, communist, and dictatorships are the cause of poverty. Any attempt to control people and markets smothers the economy.

There are greedy people in the world and they are usually found in those corrupt governments. There are some captains of industry that are greedy but in America most contribute to the many charities and causes that help the less fortunate. It is their choice to do so and that is the way it should be. To take their hard earned money under the guise of “fairness” is the real greed. That is what corrupt governments do.

The Pope needs to be a promoter of capitalism around the world if he really wants to help the workers of the world. To stoke the fire of envy in the world is below the dignity of his position. The Catholic Church has a history of keeping property in the ownership of the Church. One of the many reasons Priests were forbidden to marry has roots in keeping property in the “family.” In the 9th century priests that were married willed property to their wives and in 1123 celibacy was made was made official. Was that dictate out of greed? Why not share the accumulated property of the church? Why not sell the Vatican and its furnishings to give to the poor?

I am not trying to bash the Catholic Church. I was raised catholic and we had family friends that were priests. But the Pope needs to nurture the spirit of the human condition which is fed through freedom, the dignity of work and the ability to be compassionate. The most compassionate people are those that have succeeded through a capitalist economy. The Pope needs to support capitalism and the pursuit of a better life for all and that requires money…


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