Pope Francis has the noble goal of ending poverty. But the Pope has the wrong solution; spreading socialism. In his first “position paper” as the Pope, he attacks the free market calling it a “new tyranny.” This Pope may be popular but his thoughts on how to create the best opportunity for the poor is dangerous.
This Pope has grown up in an area of the world that is rich in resources but poor in access to those resources. The government in the name of “helping the poor” is doing the exact opposite. What socialists like the Pope fail to realize is the absolute truth of the Bible story “Teach a Man to Fish.” Socialism is about punishing success. It takes away an individual’s incentive to work hard because no matter how hard you work under socialism (unless you are a politician); you make the same as the guy who doesn’t work at all.
Compassion is a great trait to have but not at the expense of other people’s individual right to keep the harvest of their labor. It is easy to feel bad for the poor but it is exactly that feeling that destroys the poor’s incentive to help themselves. Compassion should be measured by how many people can take care of themselves - not how many people the government supports through re-distribution programs.
The Pope talks about the unhealthy pursuit of money. But it is not money people pursue; it is the lifestyle that having money provides for the people that have money. Human nature is proven through history and a billion studies. Human nature defines the actions we take to survive and thrive. When we are incentivized with rewards, have the ability to create and keep wealth, we as humans then can focus on helping others. The United States is (although we are slowly losing the opportunity) the best example of compassion. Because we value individual wealth creation, our nation boasts of being the most charitable nation in the world. It is because of excess that we can be charitable. If our wealth is confiscated by governments, our ability and will to be charitable is diminished.
This Pope would do well to understand why people have been leaving his church in droves, especially in the United States. The lack of women in the priesthood, the bureaucracy and the lack of connection with the way the world works today are just a few of the reasons. I believe tradition is important but the tradition of who is allowed to lead in the church is a tradition that should end. It can’t be defended and is the ultimate “good ol boys club.” The patriarchal nature of the Catholic Church is a stumbling block to connecting with more and younger people. That is where the Pope should spend his time. But this is hard work and disruptive to the Church’s empire. It would also help with his socialist message to divest of the wealth of the Vatican and all of its holdings by giving them directly to the poor.
I know it is easier, and accepted, by many progressives in the world to denounce capitalism, greed, and wealth but it is the wrong message to send. This Pope seems to like the role of playing the “regular guy” and God Bless him for getting out into the real world. But if he really looks around at the real world what he will find is the enemy of the poor is not money, capitalism, or wealth creation. It is an ignorance of the economic realities that create the greatest opportunity for the poor.
This Pope should be out there spreading the word that government creates more poor, socialism creates more poor, and the answer is individual accountability and opportunity that is the path to a healthy life. “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for life.” Give the poor the wealth created by others and they soon become incapable of creating wealth for themselves. That serves no one, especially the poor…