To Remain Infallible, the Pope Should Listen to God not Piketty

The Pope waded into the debate raging over the Piketty book with his tweet: “Inequality is the source of social evil.” PopeDonkey Hotey.CreativeCommons.FoterThis is a rich statement coming from the head of the most hierarchical organization on the planet.

Setting aside that irony, there isn’t much evidence for the Pope’s claim that inequality in America and the West is all that evil. In poor countries like India, it's another matter, suggesting that not all inequalities are equal.

 I note in my Washington Examiner column:

[T]he rap against rising inequality is that it slows economic growth and leads to bad health and social outcomes for the poor. But Harvard University’s Christopher Jencks found little impact of inequality on the poor’s standard of living, life expectancy, violent crime, political participation or even happiness.

Consumers in America, the most unequal of all Western countries, he found, “do better than their counterparts in other large democracies.”

Indeed, after looking for all the ills that liberals attribute to rising inequality in Western countries for over a decade, he has come up with so little that he has abandoned his book plans, he told New York Times' Eduardo Porter last week. (He feared headlines like, “Professor Doesn't Know What he is Talking About.”)

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  • Swiss Servator, Gnomes FTW!||

    Fun part of being Protestant - I can watch what the Pope says with detached amusement, rather than in anticipation of taking orders.

    He seems a good and earnest fellow, but coming from a distorted, South American economy his view of the Dismal Science is a bit...off.

  • ||

    It's not just him - they're all very keen on social justice, which apparently means taking money by force from one person and giving it to another.

    But at least Pope JPII had a better record against murderous regimes

  • wareagle||

    taking from one to give to another pretty much defines any term that includes the word "justice."

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, considering just about every asshole spouting bullshit about "[blank] justice", bases their assessment on conditions rather than processes, I'd say they do't really have much understading of what the word justice even means.

  • sarcasmic||

    Justice means fairness and fairness means equality and equality means forced wealth transfer via government theft, therefore justice means theft.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    ...and fairness means equality...

    Says who? A fair game has often has winners and losers. That's a pretty unequal outcome, wouldn't you say?

    Or am I missing the sarcasm?

  • sarcasmic||

    Please report to Room 101 to have your sarcasm detector recalibrated.

  • CAB||

    You kidding? This baby is off the Charts!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSy5mEcmgwU

  • Bill Dalasio||

    You have a gift for understatement. I'd have gone with something to the effect of "...his view of the Dismal Science is that of a retarded five year old. Or a Salon columnist. But, I repeat myself."

  • Jon Lester||

    15 years ago, I did my DUI community service at the local soup kitchen, hosted by one church, and staffed by a rotation of several other churches' volunteers. I don't know definitively that it was all Protestants, or if some of the (Franciscan-leaning) local Catholics were on board, but be that as it may, this was service given by the community to at least feed the hungry, regardless of what the beneficiaries were doing with themselves. I think even Sun Yat Sen, who believed in a right to "a basic living," would make clear distinctions between this sort of thing and how today's socioeconomic issues are framed for debate. All the same, the Church of Rome has had plenty of time to ponder this. They certainly had a fair chance to watch the 1968 film, "The Shoes of the Fisherman," when it was timely.

  • Restoras||

    Is God a libertarian?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Since he gave us freewill and has followed the NAP for more than 2000 years, I will say yes.

  • SusanM||

    Without poverty where would Shikha find a domo who'd work 100-hour weeks for 20 cents a day? Bad idea to treat the monocle-polishers like they're people, yanno....

  • Pro Libertate||

    Commie pope. Who'd have thunk it?

  • SusanM||

    That's like a racist owning a basketball team.

    Seriously, it's not all that farfetched. The church is basically the biggest crony going. As long as they get their cut and get favors from those in power they don't really care who's running things.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not really that shocking, esp considering the Latin American background. The Catholic Church hasn't experienced communism head-on like, say, the Orthodox have. Of course, you'd think Cuba and their own scriptures (Exodus 20:17, anyone?) would have been enough...

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "the Catholic Church hasn't experienced communism head-on"

    Poland? Slovakia? The Catholic minority in Vietnam and China? Etc., etc.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yeah, that was an overstatement. Even more reason for the Church not to be promoting nonsense about inequality on those lines.

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't have economic growth without capital accumulation, and capital accumulation is the source of the wealth inequality that these socialist fucks bitch about. The logical implication is that economic growth is evil. Equality is the lowest common denominator.

  • wareagle||

    that quest for equality has always worked out so well for the countries that pursued, too, didn't it?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Very well-written article. There is a huge difference in the meaning of income inequality in the US vs. poorer countries. In the US I think it's just a matter of envy. "I have one car, one house, and one 50 inch TV. That guy has three cars, two houses, and three 70 inch TV's. NOT FAIR!" That's a lot different than, "I have not eaten in 3 days, have no clean water, and no medicine for my sick children. That guy lives in a mansion with servants."

    In the US, many of us have gotten comfortable and lazy and are just looking for something to bitch about.

  • The Last American Hero||

    This is exactly where Picketty and Friends fail. It's not about inequality, it's about economic mobility. In a dictatorship or oligarchy where the rich stay rich at the point of a gun or in India where there is a caste system - inequality is problematic. Also, check out this survey of the 1 percent from Barrons:

    - 67% grew up in a middle class or poorer household.
    - 85% made their wealth in their lifetime.
    - 76% describe themselves as “Middle Class” at heart.
    - 3% is the sum total of their assets that they inherited.

  • sarcasmic||

    Income mobility results in some people getting rich while others do not, which is unequal. Therefore income mobility is a bad thing unless it's equal for everyone. Perfect equality is total poverty.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    "I have not eaten in 3 days, have no clean water, and no medicine for my sick children. That guy lives in a mansion with servants."

    The ONLY time the above situation is "not fair" is if the guy in the mansion obtained his money nefariously.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    True, but it's also not 'bitching' to want a piece of the action.

    In addition to being unjust, the demands of pampered leftists are exactly what the term 'bitching' was tailor-made for.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    “Inequality is the source of social evil”

    Then quit selling heaven, you gigantic fool.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Here I sit, in my palace of gold, gazing down at the scrabbling starving suckers below.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Do you wear your crown upon a troubled brow?

  • Tony||

    What a rigorous look at the issue.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What an idiot.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Speaking of suckers.

  • Jordan||

    There is no income inequality in North Korea. Kim Jong Un is only fat because he has a glandular condition. He's actually on the same treebark and rice starvation diet that the average peasant is.

  • RG||

    “Inequality is the source of social evil.”

    Errr, no. It's the jealousy of others who have more than you.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Let them eat pabulum.

  • Sevo||

    The Late P Brooks|5.2.14 @ 10:48AM|#
    "Let them eat pabulum."

    Not in the US:
    "Walmart to Sell Organic Food, Undercutting Big Brands"
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04......html?_r=0

    In the US, the poor as well as the rich can afford food fads!

  • Raston Bot||

    Mr. Jencks describes the state of the debate between friends and foes of inequality in these terms: “Can I prove that anything is terrible because of rising inequality? Not by the kind of standards I would require. But can they prove I shouldn’t worry? They can’t do that either.”

    What's that expression about proving the null hypothesis to a pants wetting jackanape?

    That, alone, is enough to spur action. “Something that looks bad is coming at you,” he said. “Saying that we shouldn’t do anything about it until we know for sure would be a bad response.”

    More banal do-something authoritarianism. Bring on the unintended consequences!

  • Sevo||

    ..."But can they prove I shouldn’t worry? They can’t do that either.”"...

    So when you run into an imbecilic comment like this from one of the chattering class, do you presume idiocy, or is the slimeball hoping to slide one through without being caught?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Can't it be both?

    Slimeball in that he wants to steal other's shit.

    Idiot in that he doesn't realize the stealing of other's shit will be his undoing.

  • Raston Bot||

    For NYT's Eduardo Porter, sheer idiocy. For Jencks, who studied inequality for a decade only to determine the consequences were not compelling enough to sell his book, he's obviously dropping that tired cliche to cover his ass so he's not blacklisted.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I've got nothing against church
    Or the people who go there and show there
    Plain ignorant they don't understand
    At congregation at weekends will change their behaviour
    So many people are weak enough
    To have to seek answers from pedlars of hope
    I should know I used to go there myself
    That's the day I became antipope

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Pope waded into the debate raging over the Piketty book with his tweet: “Inequality is the source of social evil.”"

    I've got a bible quote for the Pope:

    "Thou shalt not covet".

    I know popes think they can (and did) rewrite the Ten Commandments--since, you know, once people started learning to read for themselves, they found out that crossing yourself in front of statues and worshiping on the day of Apollo was specifically verboten by God's own hand...

    But for goodness' sake! You split "Thou shalt not covet" into two commandments to make up for the ones you nixed to keep an even ten--which makes "Thou shalt not covet" twice as important in Catholic Ten Commandments 2.0, doesn't it?

    The pope's not going to rewrite the ten commandments AGAIN, is he?!

    And it's not just that "Thou shalt not covet" was God's way of outlawing Socialism; it's that class envy is truly unbecoming in a pope.

    We need a pope to tell all the lazy, covetous slobs out there to get a job.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and on the list of richest people in the world, where does the Pope fit in?

    Pure liquidation value, with all that real estate and priceless stuff in the Vatican? He's gotta be richer than Bill Gates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_Museums

    His secret? Keep your overhead low.

    "Compared to other religious leaders, Catholic priests were paid the least, with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Ohio) indicating they pay their priests a $26,884 base salary."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....04870.html

    Some of their monks don't make any money at all, and that's fucking outrageous!

    So while the pope's sittin' his ass on a gold plated toilet in the Vatican pontificating about how wage disparity is the root of all evil, maybe he should review the Vatican's own compensation packages. This is worse than Ariana Huffington criticizing people for buying SUVs during her twice weekly, cross country flights on her private jet.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Inequality can be good or bad. When someone works harder or smarter than another person, or just provides something more valuable, then any result other than inequality would be unjust.

    However, inequality due to accident of birth strikes me as morally concerning. That concern does not override the NAP, but it is there.

    Of course inequality resulting from coercive measures is of course immoral.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Of course inequality resulting from coercive measures is of course immoral."

    Equality resulting from coercive measures is likewise immoral.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree, in fact they strike me as worse.

  • sarcasmic||

    What is morally concerning about parents passing their wealth to their children?

  • Ken Shultz||

    It undermines their children's reliance on the government.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The result.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    So I'm sure that, as someone deeply concerned with inequality, you will pass down none of your wealth and experience to your children and instead bequeath all of your possessions to a random assortment of impoverished peasants.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And as someone deeply concerned about liberty, you will refuse to drive on government roads created by theft, and forbid your son to do the same.

    I would expect a little better argument from you than that, IT.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Less snarkily, every time someone who has children gives to charity it can be said that he has taken something he could have bequeathed to his children to a 'random assortment of peasants.' The fact that undeserved inequality is morally concerning does not trump all other duties.

  • ||

    'random assortment of peasants.'

    Most institutional charities are anything but that. They have a specific mission and specific conditions beneficiaries must meet. Kind of the complete opposite of what you said.

    Oh and the part where one voluntarily gives to charity versus has one's wealth confiscated by the state through inheritance taxes seems to have missed your moral compass too.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't see anything wrong with government roads, and the dogmatism required to view them as wrong is one reason why I don't consider myself libertarian. Besides that, taking advantage of a wrongful act on the part of a third party is a bit different from perpetrating a wrongful action ('increasing inequality of the non-hard work variety', according to you).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think people providing for their children is generally a good thing. The result of others not providing can create the inequality I am concerned about, but the redress might just be that I can take extra time or money I have to help those others, rather than not doing the first thing at all.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What result?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A child having much less than another for no other reason than that the parents he was born to were (fill in the blank).

    The view IT and others here is pushing is that one can take a look at one of these kids I work with, whose mother has had substance abuse issues forever and whose father is locked away, whose uncles have been teaching him the worst things imaginable for all of his life, and someone like me whose parents were fairly well off, educated and took time up with me, and say that the fact that I am a year away from graduating law school and this kid is two years behind reading level is 'just.'

    To the extent that libertarians insist that their philosophy requires one to conclude that is not only a necessary evil, but a morally good thing, they will be running counter to most people's natural moral intuitions. That's a real shame, because nothing in traditional libertarianism commands that from us.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    What the fuck are you blabbering about?

    Are you claiming a right to the wealth obtained legally by others?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Something can be morally concerning without establishing a right.

    Again, think about the fact that contrary to most liberal stereotypes, libertarians often give generously to charity. Now I can bet you that very few of them think the recipients of the charity have a right to that money, rather they give because they find the ill the charity addresses to be morally concerning.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And what does it have to do with inheritance?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not sure what you are asking. I've said a few times here that I would not restrict inheritance, it is a good thing generally for parents to love their children especially and want to provide for them.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    sarcasmic|5.2.14 @ 11:55AM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    What is morally concerning about parents passing their wealth to their children?
    Bo Cara Esq.|5.2.14 @ 11:59AM|#|–|filternamelinkcustom

    The result.

    Inheritance doesn't result in poverty or victimhood of any kind.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The RESULT, in this situation has nothing to do with inherited wealth. It stems from the kid's parents being shitbags.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree. The injustice did not occur because a good parent took up time and money with their kid, it occurred because a terrible parent did not. The terrible parent has done wrong here, the child of that parent is the victim. But just in noting that kid as the victim we recognize that something unjust has happened.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    But just in noting that kid as the victim we recognize that something unjust has happened.

    A ridiculous assertion.

    1. He is NOT a victim.

    2. NOTHING about the situation is unjust. If you must lay blame, lay it at the feet of his shitbag parents for bringing a child into the world under such circumstances. The fact that others act responsibly has nothing to do with it.

    Everyone is born with their own set of circumstances. Some are challenging. Overcome them or be a shitbag.

  • Sevo||

    "But just in noting that kid as the victim we recognize that something unjust has happened."

    Lemme guess: This "something" is a kid born with better looks? A higher IQ? A talent for music?
    All those, by your reasoning, are unjust, and Bergeron deserved to be shot.

  • paranoid android||

    Even if it was concerning, what could conceivably be done about it? Outlaw inheritance, and have the state seize your assets upon death? Well, not only does that sound a lot more ethically problematic than inheritance, to say nothing of the perverse incentives it creates, it would only result in dying people "gifting" all of their assets to their heirs before death. And if you outlaw doing that, then you're saying people have no right to dispense their own property as they see fit.

    So even if birthrights are "morally concerning", and I'm not convinced they are, it is most certainly a wicked problem in which every conceivable solution only creates further injustice.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "what could conceivably be done about it?"

    Charity.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I honestly believe that if the government's heavy burden lain upon productive people were to be taken off there would be a flowering of charity in this country like people would not believe.

    And charity almost always involve acts to lessen inequality. The people here who say inequality is not just a necessary evil, but something good and great, have to conclude that voluntary charity is not just I guess. And that is a pretty warped view.

  • sarcasmic||

    The people here who say inequality is not just a necessary evil, but something good and great, have to conclude that voluntary charity is not just I guess.

    Can you say "non sequitor?" I knew you could.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    When someone works harder or smarter than another person, or just provides something more valuable, then any result other than inequality would be unjust.

    This is well said. Of course, the fundamental problem is the notion that a just outcome can be judged by the outcome alone without consideration of the process that produced that outcome.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    A problem there strikes me as what level of generality you judge the process. I work with kids who just happened to have been born to drug addicted, terrible parents. I guess at a very high level of generality you could say 'they compete against me under the same rules, both of us are free to ply our trade or wares, so the fact they are very poor and I am not does not make this morally concerning.' But that seems like the old saw about the poor and rich being equally forbidden to sleep under bridges.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Baloney, Bo. Barring some scheme of parental redistribution where you have to spend a number of your formative years being raised by they same crappy parents they did, the logical conclusion is that the process produced a better person, at least for certain ends and purposes, in your case than theirs. The argument you're making easily extends to "Why should I be doomed to having a crappy life because my genetics and formative environment left me stupid, willfully ignorant, lazy, and slovenly?"

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The problem with calling 'inequality' a problem is that there is a natural tendency towards it (including the Bad Kind where parents bequeath to their children wealth and the skills to acquire more of it), even (especially?) when the process for acquiring said wealth is entirely proper. There is nothing wrong with a rich entrepreneur using his skills to make money, or with his leaving it to his children -- leaving people like Bo to say that what's wrong is "the system, man".

    Unfortunately for Bo, his libertarian ethics don't really provide an answer as to why "the system" is wrong or what should be done about it; his leftist friends do. That is why leftists will win a debate on inequality every time for people who are concerned with such; it really is the only game in town providing a framework for identifying inequality as a problem and providing a "solution" while sympathizers like Bo twaddle around and squawk "charity" or "free market" at what is supposedly a great social injustice.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "That is why leftists will win a debate on inequality every time for people who are concerned with such"

    This does seem to be the view of many libertarians, and even non-libertarians such as yourself, that if we concede some inequality is morally concerning then the jig is up and the leftists win, because only they can appropriately address the concern.

    Now THAT is twaddle, as long as one is mature enough to see that there are lots of things worthy of moral concern and that they do not always point in the same direction.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Here is what I find interesting.

    When we talk about things like immigration some here will argue 'well, of course it might be a technical NAP violation to restrict people, but since we have this welfare state we have to compromise principle here or else take an overall dip in liberty.'

    What I wonder is, why don't some other cafeteria libertarians say 'well, of course many measures to combat inequality are NAP violations, but given we have this welfare state we have to compromise principle here or else take an overall dip in liberty' (because if too many become too poor, they will just swell the welfare rolls).

    Of course, our cafeteria libertarians tend to choose deviations from the menu pretty exclusively from the, er, right side of the cart. Interesting, that.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yeah, look at the guy claiming that the fact that people with favorable qualities have better lives than those with unfavorable qualities an "injustice" calling everyone else "cafteria libertarians".

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    In the Catholic *Catechism,* paragraphs 2437 through 2442, we see that the kind of inequality which bothers the Church is the inequality between rich and poor nations. The rich nations should be in solidarity with the poor nations and work to "*reform* international economic and financial *institutions.*" The problem of indebtedness of poor nations (generally incurred for prestige projects which don't help the population) is mentioned, and there's skepticism of foreign aid (except for disaster relief).

    More significantly for our purposes is this, which emphasizes the limits on the role of the Pope and the bishops in this area:

    "It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity "to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice.""

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    So His Holiness and the clergy and episcopate lay down general principles, but for the most part, the question of *how* to help the poor (internationally and nationally) is for the laity, working with other concerned citizens, including libertarians.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/.....s2c2a7.htm

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Like Dalmia, the Pope is from a poor country, and also like Dalmia, he is aware of the unacceptable form inequality takes in poor countries. Maybe His Holiness inappropriately conflates Western inequality with the kind found in the former "Third World," but he only moved to the West very recently!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Nobody does apologia better than a Catholic ;)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Maybe His Holiness inappropriately conflates Western inequality with the kind found in the former "Third World""

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Eddie, you can't marry Catholicism and Libertarianism here, there was a Constitutional Amendment about that or something.

    You will just have to wait for some activist judge to fix it.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "you can't marry Catholicism and Libertarianism here"

    *facepalm."

    Again, "Maybe His Holiness inappropriately conflates Western inequality with the kind found in the former "Third World""

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Apologists gotta apologize.

    With this Pope around you're going to be quite busy :)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

  • Fluffy||

    The view IT and others here is pushing is that one can take a look at one of these kids I work with, whose mother has had substance abuse issues forever and whose father is locked away, whose uncles have been teaching him the worst things imaginable for all of his life, and someone like me whose parents were fairly well off, educated and took time up with me, and say that the fact that I am a year away from graduating law school and this kid is two years behind reading level is 'just.'

    If justice is an aspect of the moral relationship between two parties, unless you had some hand in what happened to that kid it's neither just nor unjust. It's null.

    The two events you describe are utterly disconnected morally. They have no relationship to one another at all, and therefore you cannot evaluate the "justice" of the situation.

  • TimothyZ||

    Fluffy, you demonstrate that this is a moral argument rather than a strictly logical argument when you write:

    "If justice is an aspect of the moral relationship between two parties, unless you had some hand in what happened to that kid it's neither just nor unjust. It's null."

    To a Catholic, the benefit of our neighbor is a critical moral imperative. To some secular libertarians, it's crucial that we, by default, pay it no mind and praise ourselves effusely because we are SO beneficent as to do what neither the state nor morality obliges.

    How we choose to help others is a determinant of what kind of society you end up living in: As a libertarian Catholic, I have a hard time imagining what is worse; A world where people feel no moral obligation to help the disadvantaged, or a world where people feel someone else should held at gunpoint to help whomever the bandit sees fit.

  • sarcasmic||

    The only possible way to fix inequality is to violate the right to private property.

    Violating the right to private property is by definition injustice.

    If government is supposed to respond to injustice, how can it fix inequality if doing so requires committing injustice?

  • Fluffy||

    BTW, no discussion of "growing inequality" would be complete without my pointing out, once again, that stagnant US median household incomes since 1970 are utterly and completely a statistical illusion arising from decreasing household size over the same period.

    If the median US household still contained the same number of persons it contained in 1970, real median household income would have continued its 1945- 1970 rise without a break.

    Median household income APPEARS to be stagnant, because people are voluntarily dispersing into more households. People are foregoing additional household income to get away from a spouse, parent, or adult child who is a fucking asshole. This is not something that is "concerning" at all.

  • sarcasmic||

    Income is a crappy measure because money is not wealth.

    A better measure is to look at how many hours of labor it took to purchase something.

    I can guarantee that it takes the average person less hours to purchase an air conditioner, a television, or a frozen dinner; and that ignores things that are common today that didn't exist back then.

    Even if incomes have stagnated, we're all a heck of a lot wealthier than we were in the 70s.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    this

  • Fluffy||

    That's a good measure of human well-being, but in this specific instance the progs are in a dither about nominal statistical inequality.

    Even if they conceded that everyone is materially better off for the reasons sarcasmic describes, they'd still insist that inequality is rising because the nominal incomes of the wealthiest households are rising faster than that of the median household.

    I'm just trying to reiterate that the demographic cause for that statistical disparity is easy to find.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progs can always be counted on to do two things. First off they appeal to emotion, not logic. Second, they are willfully ignorant of all things related to economics.
    This whole inequality argument encapsulates both of those things. It plays on emotional reactions to some having more stuff than others, and it plays on economic ignorance by focusing on dollars instead of what those dollars can buy.

  • LibertyMark||

    I used to be a Protestant, and now I'm a Catholic. One of the biggest misconceptions I had about the Pope, and one that Dalamia shares, is that Catholics believe the Pope is "infallible" as in he can't make a mistake or is perfect.

    I know many people are not Christians of any stripe, or atheists, and so don't give a rat's ass, but I wanted to set the record straight.

    The official doctrine of the Catholic church is that the Pope is a sinful man and needs salvation like everyone else. The church only considers him infallible in very narrow and specific circumstances: when he is proclaiming official doctrine of the church (speaking ex cathedra). This springs from the belief that the church itself is infallible in its doctrine and will always go forward and be protected by God. I think the Lutheranism I was taught also believes the church is infallible.

    There have been a lot of really bad Popes over the centuries, but they have been so busy having sex with their mistresses and moving their armies around Europe to damage the actual doctrine of the church.

    There is plenty to on which to bash the Catholic Church, but exaggerated claims of "infallibility" isn't one of them.

  • logical_atomist||

    "This is a rich statement coming from the head of the most hierarchical organization on the planet."

    No kidding. It takes a truly special talent in hypocrisy for the most pampered person in the world, living in the most opulent mansion ever seen, to whine about inequality

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