David Harsanyi on What the Pope Gets Wrong About Capitalism


Agência Brasil/Wikimedia Commons

You could always detect a pinch of socialistic seasoning in the church's theological stew. But in this case, the pope doesn't simply point out that the wealthy aren't doing enough to help alleviate poverty. He uses the recognizable rhetoric of the political left to accuse free market systems of generating and nurturing that poverty. For starters, it's troubling that the pope fails to make any genuine distinction between Western poverty (terrible) and the poverty of the Third World (unimaginably terrible). But is it really true that "absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation" are the driving reasons for poverty and inequality? David Harsanyi says the Pope should recognize the powerful role that markets have had in alleviating global poverty and furthermore, he should not conflate poverty with inequality.