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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:33 am

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Socialism or Feudalism [Book Review, Opinion]
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U.S. dollars. (CNS photo/Lee Jae-Won, Reuters)

‘Capital and Ideology’

The most comforting narrative of contemporary economics is a story of equilibrium and diminishing returns. If a firm becomes too profitable, mainstream scholars tell us, enterprising competitors will undercut it. There are diminishing returns to scale, because no firm can consistently dominate fields remote from its core competences. And even massive fortunes dissipate over time, as heirs proliferate.

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Capital and Ideology
Thomas Piketty
Harvard University Press, $39.95, 1104 pp.


Thomas Piketty rocketed to global prominence with Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013), which told a very different story, one of increasing returns. When the rate of return on investment consistently outpaces economic growth, the rich get richer far faster than the rest. In 2018, Jeff Bezos accumulated roughly $150,000 per minute, as his net worth grew by $78.5 billion that year. While health economists routinely decry doctors’ salaries in the United States, almost no physician earns in a lifetime what Bezos accumulated in one day that year (about $213 million).

[…]

Piketty’s latest book, Capitalism and Ideology, is a prolix yet engaging effort both to contextualize and to defamiliarize agonizing figures like these. The context is an exhaustive survey of the history of inequality and its justifications. Analysis of slavery, feudalism, casteism, colonialism, and far more is balanced with a synthesis that compares these diverse methods of assuring that some human beings permanently enjoy more privileges and power than others. For example, Piketty explains that:
Compared with trifunctional societies, which were based on relatively rigid status disparities between clergy, nobility, and third estate and on a promise of functional complementarity, equilibrium, and cross-class alliances, ownership society saw itself as based on equal rights…. Everyone was entitled to secure enjoyment of his property — safe from arbitrary encroachment by king, lord, or bishop — under the protection of stable, predictable rules in a state of laws, not men.
A shared conception of divine right or natural order legitimized feudalism and caste systems, while ownership society promised a fair set of “rules of the game.”

But by the time we reach contemporary “hypercapitalism,” this simple trajectory of historical progress becomes significantly more complex. Fortunes accumulated in ownership societies have grown to the point that their owners can twist laws to their will. Frank Wilhoit once observed that “conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” Certainly the very wealthy are, in all too many circumstances, one of these “in-groups.” Even worse, the increasing returns on their wealth unleash similar dynamics with respect to their power. They have pushed for lower taxes for decades; they use the gains from this tax-cutting to further influence politicians (a process expertly described toward the end of Capital and Ideology); success there wins further windfalls to underwrite further influence. How many New York elections will be corrupted by the $170 billion real-estate-developer tax windfall tucked into the CARES Act by Chuck Grassley and friends?

Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum recently observed that many United States senators from “red” states do not really “represent their states. They represent, more often, the richest people in bigger, richer blue states who find it more economical to invest in less expensive small-state races” than in their own states. Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election presages an international land grab among oligarchs eager to take advantage of a rotting U.S. electoral system. A famous cartoon from the late nineteenth century titled “China — cake of kings and emperors” depicted Queen Victoria, Wilhelm II, and other leaders carving up land only formally controlled by the Qing Dynasty. In hypercapitalist “democracies,” oligarchs jostle to conquer policy space. It is relatively easy to block change, and when enough interests are aligned, they can knock their taxes down a few more percentage points.

This is where Piketty-style historical parallels are supposed to jolt us into defamiliarization (“Sacre bleu! — are we really that feudal?”), deep disappointment, and a resolve to change. Capital and Ideology’s ambitious agenda for “participatory socialism” is a welcome blueprint for slowing down the conversion of power into money, and money into power. But Piketty also presents another, all-too-plausible path: that more nations will follow the siren song of nationalism and xenophobia to racialize feudal orders. Harsh discrimination and caste boundaries are functional for capitalism: they inculcate the horrific but highly profitable idea that some lives are simply worth less than others, and deserve less pay from firms and care from the state.

The critical question now for those alarmed by hypercapitalism’s massive inequalities is how to rally public support for a more egalitarian social order. Ursula K. Le Guin once remarked, “We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.” I don’t know if Piketty’s stunningly erudite new book will convince the disaffected to resist hypercapitalism’s assertive and extractive royalty. But I do take comfort in the intrinsic importance and interest of this work to anyone seeking to understand how far we have fallen from the most basic standards of social equality and universal material well-being.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:29 am

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The moral stakes of the economic crisis [In-Depth, Opinion]
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Tristan Taylor of Detroit speaks to people gathered June 9 during a caravan protest through Detroit neighborhoods while calling for relief for tenants and mortgage borrowers during the coronavirus pandemic. (CNS/USA Today Network via Reuters/Ryan Garza)

The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration, under pressure from congressional Democrats, have released information about who received federal assistance under the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration, under pressure from congressional Democrats, have released information about who received federal assistance under the terms of the Paycheck Protection Program.

The program allowed companies with fewer than 500 employees to seek government help during the pandemic, and the loans only become non-refundable if certain conditions are met. Most importantly, that the bulk of the money go to payroll expenses and that the companies not terminate employees during the time of the loan.

The program was one means by which the federal government pumped money into the economy at a time when it was contracting feverishly. Most economists predict that the world's economies will actually contract this year, losing as much as 2.4 percent of the value of their GDP.

Behind those numbers are people who are now unemployed or underemployed, struggling to make ends meet, uncertain about the future. For the millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck these are very dark times.

The Paycheck Protection Program, along with other emergency measures, such as increasing unemployment benefits and forbidding evictions, helped to prevent a downward spiral from making the economy worse. The idea was to pump cash into the economy by virtually any means in order to prevent a negative domino effect — a waiter loses his job, so he can't pay the rent, and the landlord is having trouble making ends meet, and she misses her mortgage payment — from making the economy even worse.

[…]

The economic crisis demands that we consider the role of government in our national life, and for some people, this demand is more clamant than others. Many chuckled at the news that among those organizations that had received government loans under the Paycheck Protection Program were Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and the Ayn Rand Society.

I completely support the right of these organizations to participate in the program, and am glad their employees benefited from that participation. But, wouldn't you think that such participation would cause them to rethink their ideological certitudes? Nope.

"It would be a terrible injustice for pro-capitalists to step aside and leave the funds to those indifferent or actively hostile to capitalism," said Ayn Rand Society board member Harry Binswanger. Injustice is made of sterner stuff.

As Catholics, libertarianism is never an option, indeed, it is the modern ideology most antithetical to Catholic social teaching. Surely those who subscribe to libertarianism have found in the pandemic plenty of reason to reconsider their position, both at the level of values and as a practical matter.

Selfishness writ large results only in more infections, more deaths, and more economic hardship. Only the apparatus of government, with its large and cumbersome bureaucracies, can find ways to confront this complex and multi-faceted problem.

Solidarity — as a value and as a governing methodology — will see us through these crises. That is as apparent as the hypocrisy of small government and libertarian ideologues standing at the government trough waiting for their funds.

That these crises are getting worse in America while in Europe they are ameliorating is a fact so appalling the American people should be reaching for their pitchforks by election day.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:14 am

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Argentina's president tells Christian business leaders to recover 'best capitalism' [In-Depth]
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In a file photo, Pope Francis welcomes Argentina's President Alberto Fernández, left, on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Credit: Remo Casilli/Pool Photo via AP)

ROSARIO, Argentina — Closing the XXIII annual meeting of Argentina’s Christian Association of Business Executives (ACDE), the country’s president called for the recovery of the “best capitalism” exemplified by the ACDE’s founder Enrique Shaw, who is being considered for sainthood.

“We have to go towards a more noble capitalism,” said President Alberto Fernández during an online talk followed by over 2,000 businesspeople from Argentina and other parts of the world.

The Argentine president said that after the coronavirus pandemic, the world has a unique opportunity to be better, adding this can be achieved by reviewing capitalism, which before the global health crisis, “it was degrading, and it’s time to put it in its true dimension.”

The president did not challenge capitalism as the best possible economic model but said it must be conducted in a better way.

The annual meeting of ACDE took place on Tuesday and was completely online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The motto of this year’s gathering was “Undertake: Co-create to rebuild.”

Enrique Shaw was born in 1921 into a wealthy family. He joined the Navy at a young age and eventually took several positions of leadership in his family’s companies, with the intention of promoting, and putting into practice, the Catholic Church’s social teaching.

He died from cancer in 1961.

In an interview with a Mexican TV station in 2015, Pope Francis said he’s moving forward with Shaw’s cause for beatification despite defining him as “a rich man.”

“Enrique Shaw was rich, yet saintly,” Francis told Televisa. “A person can have money. God gives it to him so he can administer it well, and this man administered it well. [He did so] not with paternalism, but by fostering the growth of people who needed help.”

[…]

Fernández called Shaw an example of the “best of capitalism, where businessmen like Enrique Shaw invested and gave work for the development of our societies.”

The president also emphasized that “when the financial manager became more important than the production manager, the worst capitalism surfaced. These are the debates that we’ll need to face.”

For Fernández, “Argentina must industrialize to the maximum, because industry is the great generator of work. The agricultural and livestock sector is very important for Argentina in a world that needs food. It is time to put value on that food and stop the export of grains to fatten animals. ”

“I am not the only one who is proposing these things, leaders such as [French President Emmanuel] Macron and [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel supported me at the G-20 meeting,” Fernández added.

He concluded saying: “I don’t think there’s an option for capitalism, but I do believe that it was degrading and it’s time to put it in its true dimension.”

Pope Francis too has had a critical view of capitalism.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:30 am

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UK Catholic leaders join interfaith appeal for debt cancellation for poorest nations
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People take food distributed from a truck by a Haitian government program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 6, 2020, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. UK faith leaders have called on the government to support debt relief for poor nations. (Credit: Jeanty Junior Augustin/Reuters via CNS)

LEICESTER, United Kingdom — Several Catholic leaders have joined an interfaith call for the British government to cancel the debt of the world’s poorest 77 countries.

The call was made in a July 10 letter to the UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. The signatories asked him to urge other G20 countries and the World Bank to also cancel the debt.

“This is a critical and rapid means of ensuring that health workers in developing countries have the best chance of helping to defeat the coronavirus and that countries have the resources at hand to build back from the economic devastation the pandemic has wreaked — including by assisting communities already being hit by the effects of the climate crisis,” the letter states.

“The immediate risks the coronavirus poses to poverty reduction efforts are both clear and shocking. In total, the World Bank estimates that between 71-100 million people risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic. The World Food Program forecasts that around 270 million people around the world will face acute food insecurity by the end of this year, a doubling of the approximately 130 million who suffered severe food shortages last year. The International Labor Organization predicts that up to 340 million jobs could be lost,” it continues.

The letter said to insist on debt repayment in the face of the suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic “would be an affront to the faith traditions” of the signatories, that included representatives of different Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith groups.

The signatories included four Catholic bishops: Bishop John Arnold of Salford, Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell, and Bishop William Nolan of Galloway. Other Catholic representatives included Father Damian Howard, the provincial of the Jesuits in Britain; Christine Allen, the director of CAFOD, the international development and aid agency of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales, and Alistair Dutton, the director of SCIAF, the international development and aid agency of the Scottish bishops.

[…]

“We now ask you to work with your fellow finance ministers at this month’s G20 meeting to cancel, rather than merely suspend bilateral debt payments, as well as to urge the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and private creditors to cancel debt payments owed in 2020 and 2021 by these countries,” the religious leaders write.

“These are not normal times and we must respond accordingly. This crisis has emphasized the need to stand together and debt cancellation represents an urgent and essential means of assisting the most vulnerable communities to withstand the suffering the pandemic will otherwise unnecessarily cause,” the letter continues.

The letter noted that in his Easter Urbi et Orbi message, Pope Francis called for the reduction of the debt that is “burdening the balance sheet of the poorest nations” and said earlier this year that it is not right “to demand or expect payment when the effect would be the imposition of political choices leading to hunger and despair for entire peoples.”

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Wed Jul 15, 2020 11:22 am

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Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 6


Matt Malone, S.J.: The church has no need to apologize for Paycheck Protection Program loans [Opinion]
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U.S. dollars are seen in this photo illustration. Catholic entities that took part in the Paycheck Protection Program said the federal emergency bridge loans translated into rapid assistance for their communities in the early months of the pandemic's economic impact. (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters)

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My late philosophy professor, W. Norris Clarke, S.J., was always telling me to “interrogate the premise” of an argument. He believed that, generally speaking, most conclusions follow logically from their premises; so if an argument is false, it is likely because one or more of its premises is false. I apply this skepticism to news stories published in America and elsewhere. This is important because reporters mostly live in a two-dimensional world. Their task is to record events quickly by reducing complex phenomena to their simplest formulation.

The problem with that approach is that it can distort the very reality reporters are seeking to make clear. A good example is a news story published by The Associated Press on July 10. The lead paragraph was as follows:
The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.
Shocking, no? But is that what happened? All of the facts cited are true. Indeed, as far as I can tell, all of the facts cited in the story are true. But how are those facts related to one another, if they are related at all?

The first claim is true. The Catholic Church received (“amassed” is a loaded word) somewhere between $1.4 billion and $3.5 billon in federal funds under the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal initiative designed to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ordinarily, businesses that employ more than 500 people and all faith-based organizations are not eligible for federal, small business loans. In this instance, however, Congress and the Trump administration waived those rules.

This was, then, as the A.P. story states, “a special and unprecedented exemption.” What the story does not state explicitly — because it would muddy the waters of the narrative — is that the whole paycheck protection program is a “special and unprecedented” response to a special and unprecedented event. The story also initially leads the reader to conclude that these exemptions were carved out specifically for the Catholic Church when in fact all religious groups were similarly exempted.

The A.P. story also states that the money went to “dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.” This is also true. But how, exactly, is it relevant? These federal funds were distributed to every kind of small business, without consideration for whether they had settled lawsuits related to sexual abuse, or environmental damage, or negligence or malpractice. The unspoken premise of the A.P. claim is that the church may have been undeserving of paycheck protection funds because it had settled lawsuits. Yet no other industry was subjected to such a test.

The A.P. story is correct to point out that religious institutions sought and won an exemption from the rule that companies with more than 500 employees are ineligible. The story characterizes this exemption as “preferential treatment,” which sounds terribly unfair. Yet the unasked question in the story is whether it would have been fair to exclude the church because of the 500-employee rule. The church in the United States is not a monolith. It is a network of affiliated but legally and financially independent institutions. There isn’t a parish in the country that employs more than 500 people on its pastoral staff; and it is the parish, not the diocese, that has to make payroll for the parish staff each month.

[…]

America Media will not apologize for joining thousands of other small businesses in seizing this opportunity. This event constituted a national emergency, which was also a family emergency for every one of our workers. Likewise, the church in the United States has no need to apologize, regardless of what The Associated Press implies to the contrary.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:19 pm

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Ahead of G-20 meeting, Caritas urges debt relief for poor countries
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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis and prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is pictured in Rome in a 2018 file photo. Cardinal Tagle said the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic go beyond health care and ultimately threaten the livelihood of already vulnerable populations. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Vatican City — As finance ministers representing the world's wealthiest countries prepare to meet online, Caritas Internationalis echoed Pope Francis' call for debt relief to poor countries reeling from war, poverty and the coronavirus pandemic.

Presenting the organization's annual report at an online media briefing July 17, Aloysius John, secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, said the debt of poor countries "is often paid for by the sweat and toil of the poorest in these nations" who live in dire poverty and are "easy prey to all kinds of health problems."

"Caritas calls for the reduction of debt of the poorest nations and for the reallocation of the funds to reliable organizations who work with these communities, in particular faith-based organizations," John said.

"Only the reduction of debt and its reallocation for development at the grassroots will enable the achievement of the sustainable development goals and ensure the dignity of the poorest," he said.

The secretary-general also called for a global cease-fire, as well as an end to the use of economic sanctions in the Middle East, particularly against Syria.

"The effects of the sanctions as a political tool have proved to be useless, but they have shown enormous power to destroy the lives of poor civilians," he said.

John made the appeal as finance ministers and central bank governors of leading rich and developing nations, commonly known as the G-20, were set to meet July 18 to discuss the global economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[…]

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, president of Caritas South Africa, said the pandemic highlighted "the powerless state of relations between the countries of Africa and the international community."

"That is particularly true of former colonizers of the continent," Napier said.

The South African cardinal noted "a huge gap" in the sharing of information with African countries in order to respond to and fight COVID-19.

"While there is no doubt there has been sometimes exemplary willingness and readiness to share expert knowledge and information about the disease, there is still a huge problem of communicating the requisite knowledge and information to people who are living in a very different social and cultural context," he said.

Napier also said that, in most cases, the relationship between African countries and the international community "has mutated from colonial occupation and control to quasi-freedom which is characterized by near total dependence on the former occupying power for virtually everything."

"For example, most African countries are still occupied by Europe and the West by the one thing that is still holding them back from taking their place in the world community as worthy and equal partners," he said. "That handicap is international debt — which has already been mentioned — which even in the best of times is a severe restraint on Africa's growth and development."

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by JudgeRusty » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:57 am

Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple CEOs to testify today before Congress about out of proportion size of busine$$es.

Sears used to have local catalog stores in small towns with limited inventory and for pick up of orders. Wonder if something like that could work for Amazon to provide jobs without being cost prohibitive.
Doubt it.
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Re: Economics

Post by Craft » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:22 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:57 am
Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple CEOs to testify today before Congress about out of proportion size of busine$$es.

Sears used to have local catalog stores in small towns with limited inventory and for pick up of orders. Wonder if something like that could work for Amazon to provide jobs without being cost prohibitive.
Doubt it.
I believe that some stores such as Wal-Mart do have local pickup as an option for online orders; I'm not sure that Amazon would build a "brick and mortar" store for that alone; maybe they could cut a deal with larger department stores to provide pickup locations in those stores. (Similar to how stores like Wal-Mart have deals with banks and restaurant chains offering locations to customers inside).
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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:22 am


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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:42 am

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Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD": pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10



Inside Pope Francis’ mission to make capitalism work for the common good [In-Depth]
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Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Pope Francis (AP)

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Editor's Note: The Moral Economy is a new series that tackles key economic topics through the prism of Catholic social teaching and its care for the dignity of every person. This is the first article in the series.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

The Vatican has always enchanted princes and presidents, but Pope Francis is the first leader in the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history to engage frequently with a more modern type of ruler: chief executive officers.

More than any previous pontiff, Francis has been lobbied by C.E.O.s to soften his skepticism about capitalism, and he in turn has pressed them to better serve the poor and the planet. Surprisingly, he has joined the debate now in fashion about reforming capitalism, a discussion propelled by the 2008 financial crisis, rising income inequality and climate change. The list of companies whose leaders have made a pilgrimage to Rome reads like a Harvard Business Review index: Apple, Bank of America, BlackRock, Exxon, Facebook, Google, McKinsey and News Corp, to name only a few. The Vatican has also met with pension fund managers to help them invest more ethically, worked on redesigning the curricula of business schools at Catholic universities, and organized roundtables at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Fortune 500’s dance with the Vatican underscores the difficulty of turning the ideal of economic dignity for every human, a cornerstone of Catholic thought, into reality. Any earnest attempt at “reform” risks turning into a glorified public relations campaign. It also raises the question of how much good a church devoted to caring for the poor can do by working with the rich. Of course, the pope and Vatican officials also meet frequently with the poor and the marginalized. But with the global economy shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic, the emergence of a deeper relationship between the Vatican and the Davos crowd demonstrates Francis’ moral currency in a world struggling to find meaning, the church’s grudging but growing respect for the influence of multinational corporations and the emergence of Catholic social teaching as a promising common ground.

[…]

Income inequality has skyrocketed, priming the pump for populist politicians. The move of factory jobs offshore has ravaged thousands of small towns in the United States and Europe. And automation may destroy another 375 million jobs around the world by 2030. “If corporate America doesn’t change on time, we’re headed for a crash,” said the Rev. Martin Schlag, author of The Business Francis Means: Understanding the Pope’s Message on the Economy.

American C.E.O.s have declared their openness to reform. In 2019, 181 members of the Business Roundtable, a lobby group of corporations in the United States, changed their definition of the purpose of a corporation to creating value for “all of our stakeholders,” including customers, employees and communities, instead of focusing exclusively on generating profits for shareholders. The latter had been the consensus, more or less, since the economist Milton Friedman popularized the virtue of profits in a famous 1970 New York Times essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.”

The Business Roundtable’s shift, whether intended or not, nudged it, on paper at least, closer to the teachings of the church. Starting with Pope Leo XIII in the late 19th century, the church has argued for the rights and needs of all workers, while acknowledging a limited right to private property.

The latest incarnation of this argument, in Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti, addresses our lost sense of local identity, how social media networks divide us and the corrosive effects of focusing only on profits. The pope also calls “business abilities” a “gift from God” but adds that they should be “directed to the development of others and to eliminate poverty” by creating “diversified work opportunities.”

Stakeholder (as opposed to shareholder) capitalism is “basically Catholic social teaching,” said Séamus Finn, O.M.I., a former chair of the board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a New York–based coalition that includes pension fund managers, faith-based investors and faith-based institutions like the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, and the Marianist Province of the United States. “It’s saying you’re in business to take care of your employees, provide goods or services to your customers, and take care” of communities and the environment, said Father Finn, who is known as a go-between for C.E.O.s who want to visit the Vatican.

Still, there are limits to what recent efforts to reform capitalism can accomplish. It is good for the Vatican to “engage the powerful, but you also need to tackle the structural issues” of capitalism, especially the way the market dehumanizes people by disconnecting consumers from the impact of their choices, said Vincent J. Miller, author of Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture. In other words, buying fair-trade coffee from Amazon is no help if the delivery driver earns poverty-level wages.

“People high up in the corporate world are good people, but they are subject to the tyranny of the stock market, and God help them if they miss their profit goals,” said Chris Lowney, a former Jesuit who worked at JPMorgan Chase and is the author of a book about applying Jesuit principles to business, Heroic Leadership: Best Practices From a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World.

Francis as Model Chief Executive

[…]

Turning Idealism Into Practice

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:50 am

+JMJ+

Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 6

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD: pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD": pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10



Pope exhorts world leaders: Use pandemic to create fairer economy
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Pope Francis addresses diplomats accredited to the Holy See during an audience in the Hall of Blessings at the Vatican Feb. 8, 2021. (CNS/Vatican Media)

Vatican City — Pope Francis on Feb. 8 exhorted global governments to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic focused on creating a fairer market economy, addressing the rapidly escalating dangers of climate change, and providing basic healthcare to their citizens.

In an annual foreign policy address to the 183 ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, the pontiff said the pandemic had shone a light on five interlocking crises facing the world and "set before us a choice: either to continue on the road we have followed until now, or to set out on a new path."

Among the elements Francis said would mark that new path:
  • "Universal access to basic healthcare."
  • "Equitable distribution" of coronavirus vaccines.
  • An "effective agreement" at the next U.N. Climate Change Conference, being held in Glasgow in November, to curb greenhouse emissions.
  • A rethinking of "the relationship between individuals and the economy."
On the last point, the pope likened the need for changes to the global market system as akin to the 17th-century realization that the Earth revolved around the sun, saying it is time "for a kind of 'new Copernican revolution' that can put the economy at the service of men and women, not vice versa."

Image
Activists hold placards during a protest in Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 1, 2021, after Myanmar's military seized power from a democratically elected civilian government and arrested its leaders. (CNS/Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)

[…]

The pope said the world is facing crises in five areas: in health, on the environment, on economic and social issues, in politics, and in human relationships.

Francis said the crisis in politics is "much deeper" than the other crises, and said it has resulted in "the increase in political conflicts and the difficulty, if not actually the inability, to seek common and shared solutions to the problems afflicting our world."

"This has been a growing trend, one that is becoming more and more widespread also in countries with a long tradition of democracy," he said.

In what appeared as a possible veiled reference to the United States, the pontiff added: "The development of a democratic consciousness demands that emphasis on individual personalities be overcome and that respect for the rule of law prevail."

The pope directly addressed the recent military coup in Myanmar, a country he visited in 2017, calling on the nation's imprisoned political leaders to be "promptly released."

Among other areas of concern, Francis mentioned conflicts in the Central African Republic, Libya, among Israelis and Palestinians, and the recent political instability in Lebanon, sparked by the devastating explosion at the port in Beirut in August 2020.

The pope also specially referenced the ongoing Syrian civil war, which has killed hundreds of thousands and made millions into refugees. "How I wish that 2021 may be the year when the conflict in Syria, begun 10 years ago, can finally end!" Francis said.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:49 am

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Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey: If you need stimulus check, you are ‘screwed’
Image
In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey Solutions later moved to a new corporate headquarters in Franklin. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

(RNS) — Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey advises people to set up a $1,000 emergency fund as one of the first steps toward financial peace.

But apparently, a federal stimulus check is no way to get there.

“Well, I don’t believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already,” the author and radio host told Fox News on Thursday (Feb. 11).

“You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem.”

On his daily radio show, Ramsey doubled down, saying that those who could benefit from the stimulus “didn’t have a life.”

Ramsey’s comments overall were in keeping with the no-debt mantra at the core of the advice espoused by Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” a nine-week program built around his principles for handling money “God’s way” that is taught in thousands of churches in the U.S.

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by Jester » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:55 am

wosbald wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:49 am
+JMJ+

Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey: If you need stimulus check, you are ‘screwed’
Image
In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey Solutions later moved to a new corporate headquarters in Franklin. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

(RNS) — Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey advises people to set up a $1,000 emergency fund as one of the first steps toward financial peace.

But apparently, a federal stimulus check is no way to get there.

“Well, I don’t believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already,” the author and radio host told Fox News on Thursday (Feb. 11).

“You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem.”

On his daily radio show, Ramsey doubled down, saying that those who could benefit from the stimulus “didn’t have a life.”

Ramsey’s comments overall were in keeping with the no-debt mantra at the core of the advice espoused by Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” a nine-week program built around his principles for handling money “God’s way” that is taught in thousands of churches in the U.S.

[…]
Image
FIGHT LAUGH FEAST

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Re: Economics

Post by Jester » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:20 pm

FIGHT LAUGH FEAST

“Liberal Christianity” may be more appealing to the masses than “conservative Christianity,” -TNLawPiper

If you can't say “amen” you gotta say “ouch.” -Voddie Baucham

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Re: Economics

Post by Cleon » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:10 pm

Jester wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:55 am
wosbald wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:49 am
+JMJ+

Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey: If you need stimulus check, you are ‘screwed’
Image
In this July 29, 2009, file photo, financial guru Dave Ramsey sits in his broadcasting studio in Brentwood, Tenn. Ramsey Solutions later moved to a new corporate headquarters in Franklin. (AP Photo/Josh Anderson, File)

(RNS) — Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey advises people to set up a $1,000 emergency fund as one of the first steps toward financial peace.

But apparently, a federal stimulus check is no way to get there.

“Well, I don’t believe in a stimulus check because if $600 or $1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already,” the author and radio host told Fox News on Thursday (Feb. 11).

“You got other issues going on. You have a career problem, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem.”

On his daily radio show, Ramsey doubled down, saying that those who could benefit from the stimulus “didn’t have a life.”

Ramsey’s comments overall were in keeping with the no-debt mantra at the core of the advice espoused by Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” a nine-week program built around his principles for handling money “God’s way” that is taught in thousands of churches in the U.S.

[…]
Image
Oh wow.

He is right. Personal problems have way more affect on why people are financially insecure (poor is overused in the U.S.A.) than anything institutional or systemic (not that the two are totally unrelated), if only for the fact that people can directly change what they do.

I work with financially insecure people in mercy ministry on a regular basis. You can give them all kinds of money and it will not change their life. It might change their circumstances in the short term, but not their life. Most of the time, they will blow a windfall of money of things they want (video games, tattoos, hair extensions, a pet gerbil...) instead of things they need. Then they are back at square one. And most of the time they can benefit from relationships with people who can help them with those "career problems, debt problems, relationship problems, mental health problems", etc. Then things may slowly get better. But there is no quick fix.

Saying "didn't have a life" sounds a little harsh, but he was saying it in the context of having a financially secure life. He said, "If you get $600 or $1,400 and it changes your life, you didn't have a life. You're already screwed." I would go so far as to say it is going to screw you more in the long run. But who is looking that far ahead anymore?

I am against the stimulus packages as designed, as you can tell. I think it's going to hurt everyone in the long run.
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Re: Economics

Post by Del » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:25 pm

Jester wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:20 pm
The micro economics of one's own family is much more important than the macro economics of national and global culture.
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:49 pm

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Jester wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:20 pm
"You Can’t Cancel the Truth About Winning With Money! - Dave Ramsey Rant".

Hmmm … Interesting title. And a rather strawmannish one as well, considering that the issue targeted in the Cancelling-crosshairs is not Ramsey's financial advice (which I assume is — on the main — sensible and operable), but rather, his unwarranted extrapolations regarding "God's Way" of Economics and its subterranean implications of an Undeserving Poor (i.e. those who've failed to implement "God's (Ramsey's) Way".

Given the convo's original context being his principled opposition to Govt. Stimulus Checks, I suspect that the unspoken impetus for Ramsey's outburst is a resentful chafing at the notion that certain Universal Human Rights (e.g. the Right to Life, the Right to Migrate, etc.) supersede Property Rights.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Fri Feb 26, 2021 9:09 am


ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Economics

Post by tuttle » Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:27 am

David Bentley Hart is a knobhead. He's better at Bible translation than arguing for socialism and he sucks at Bible translation.
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Re: Economics

Post by wosbald » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:00 am

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Subject Header: Economic Magisterium/Integral Ecology/Seamless Garment/Fratelli Tutti
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 6 / pg 6

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"Pro-life Bills/Laws": pg 15
"THE CATHOLIC THREAD": pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 119 / pg 150 / pg 150 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 151 / pg 153
"The Climate Change Thread": pg 14 / pg 14 / pg 15 / pg 16
"Biden has done a ['X'] job so far": pg 17 / pg 18 / pg 19 / pg 19
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 65 / pg 121 / pg 121 / pg 122 / pg 127 / pg 128 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 129 / pg 130 / pg 130 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 131 / pg 132 / pg 133 / pg 133 / pg 134 / pg 134
"SCOTUS": pg 2
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 9 / pg10
"THE CHRISTIAN THREAD": pg 8 / pg 8 / pg 9 / pg 9 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 10 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 11 / pg 12 / pg 12 / pg 12 / pg 12
"The Statement on Social Justice": pg 6 / pg 7



Dignity comes from work, not money, pope tells young people
Image
Pope Francis accepts a gift during an audience with representatives of "Progetto Policoro," an employment initiative of the Italian bishops' conference, at the Vatican June 5, 2021. The initiative helps young people, primarily in southern Italy, find work. (Credit: CNS photo/Vatican Media)

ROME — Promoting employment is a key part of promoting and protecting human dignity, especially the dignity of young men and women, Pope Francis said.

“It is a problem of dignity,” the pope said June 5 during a meeting with young people and representatives commemorating the 25th anniversary of the “Progetto Policoro,” an initiative of the Italian bishops’ conference that helps young people find employment.

“The dignity of the person does not come from money, it does not come from the things one knows, it comes from work,” he said. “Work is an anointing of dignity. Whoever does not work is not worthy.”

Founded in 1995 in the town of Policoro by Father Mario Operti, the initiative was meant to be a “concrete response to the problem of unemployment in Italy,” the project’s website says.

[…]

In his address, the pope said the initiative “has been and is a sign of hope, especially for so many territories in southern Italy that either lack work or exploit workers.”

“Sharing, fraternity, gratuitousness and sustainability are the pillars on which to base a different economy,” he said. “It is a dream that requires audacity because the bold are the ones who change the world and make it better. It is not voluntarism: it is faith, because true novelty always comes from the hands of God. This is what it means to animate.”

Young people also must show older generations what it means to “inhabit the world without trampling on it,” he continued.

While many young people might be tempted to move away to find better opportunities, the pope urged them to “love the areas where God has placed you and avoid the temptation to flee elsewhere.”

The pope also noted that the unemployment crisis has led to a demographic “winter” in which many young people, especially women, find themselves denied of employment opportunities if they are expecting a child.

“You have to react against this,” the pope said. “Let young people start to dream, to be parents, to have children. And for that, let them have jobs. Work is a bit of a guarantee of this future.”

Young people must be “passionate” about not only their own futures, but also in helping “other young people to take their lives into their own hands,” he said. “Do not be afraid to lend yourselves, even gratuitously, to uplift the lives of those who are discarded. Go to the peripheries to find the rejected.”

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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