Regulation and 'the Right Ordering of Economic Life'

What libertarians can learn from Catholic social doctrine


Since the first papal encyclical on modern economic questions, Rerum Novarum, was promulgated in 1891, Catholic pontiffs have had harsh words for "unbridled capitalism" and "philosophical liberalism." In Quadragesimo Anno (1931), Pope Pius XI wrote that "the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching." In Octogesima Adveniens (1971), Pope Paul VI argued that "structures" should be set up "in which the rhythm of progress would be regulated with a view to greater justice."

The upshot—that a capitalist system cannot be trusted automatically to produce what the Church views as morally acceptable outcomes—may seem to require Christians to support a robust central government. If society is to be oriented to the common good, surely some person or body needs to have enough power to do the orienting. What, besides the state, can regulate the market?

But when Pope John Paul II gave an audience to the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association in 2001, he offered a different, orthogonal answer: "As presidents of the major automobile companies of Europe," he told them, "you have important responsibilities, not only in guiding the growth of your own industry, but also in ensuring the right development of an increasingly globalized economy. The process of globalization, while opening up new possibilities for progress, poses urgent questions regarding the very nature and purpose of economic activity. It calls for ethical discernment aimed at protecting the environment and promoting the full human development of millions of men and women."

The Church's surprising lesson for partisans of big government is that the best tools for correctly ordering economic life are found in the choices of individual market actors. Because those choices are based not only on their preferences but also on their convictions, people's moral sensibilities—the extent to which they believe they have ethical obligations to each other—have a powerful and unavoidable effect on the shape of the economy. Contrary to what you might expect, Catholic social teaching suggests that this, not public policy, performs the first and most important regulatory function in a free society.

The popes of the last century have been clear that when they speak out against unregulated liberal capitalism, they're referring to a system in which all involved are concerned solely with their own material advantage and will happily sacrifice others in the pursuit thereof. Per the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable."

The encyclicals paint a grim hypothetical picture in which our moral obligations are subordinated to, if not obliterated by, a dictum of wealth and power uber alles. Blessedly, that picture bears little resemblance to how modern market economies actually function. All around us, thousands of times a day, human beings act in ways that confound simple self-interest.

Sometimes that involves charitable giving and other explicit do-goodery: When you drop a few dollars into the Salvation Army's red kettle, you're altering, however slightly, the level of poverty produced in the market. But consider as well the young father who turns down a promotion because it would involve weekend travel and he wants to spend that time with his kids. Consider the employer who accepts a lower salary for herself in order to afford more generous health insurance for her staff. Consider both the activists who organized a boycott of Chick-fil-A upon learning the company's owner had spoken out against same-sex marriage and the Colorado baker who turns away business if it would require him to decorate a cake with a message that runs against his religious convictions. Consider everyone who's ever paid extra for fair-trade coffee.

In all these cases and countless others, individuals and groups make choices that reflect their values. But if unregulated capitalism is defined as a system in which men and women are profit-maximizing automata, then every time people depart from the Homo economicus script, they're behaving as a check on the system.

Given this reality, the idea of "unregulated" capitalism begins to seem nonsensical. The choice is never between markets that are constrained and those that aren't; it's between markets shaped by participants with this and that set of beliefs and commitments. The British political philosopher H.B. Acton put it well in 1972, when he observed that "moral standards come into operation mainly at the level of demand, so that a drunken and profligate population will demand one type of thing and a sober and chaste population another."

Here is where libertarians—and other opponents of excessive government regulation—have something to learn. Because the free market is a marvelously efficient method of allocating finite resources, it can be tempting to insist that any and every outcome produced by a free market is equally good. Yet it's clear that a capitalist system in which people care deeply about their neighbors' well-being will look different from a capitalist system featuring all the same legal rules but a cultural norm of selfish disregard for others.

The distinction may manifest itself in whether soup kitchens are well-stocked or in the rate of suicide in a community. There's no reason we can't look at such outcomes, no reason we can't make a judgment about which type of society is morally preferable, and no reason we can't work to shape the underlying culture accordingly.

That's not to say that less-than-ideal outcomes justify top-down intervention. As Acton pointed out, "Moral principles are inculcated through their upbringing under the influence of parents, schools and churches. If in a democratic society these agencies fail, there is nothing to be gained by transferring the function of education to government, since this will be elected by the same people who have failed to inculcate the right moral principles or have not been brought up to act on and respect them."

Trying to impose our vision of morality on others through force of law, then, is nearly always a futile endeavor. Fortunately, the free market leaves open to us a better option: Nurture good habits and beliefs, and then use social pressure and persuasion to transmit them to others. Work to solve problems through private institutions such as churches, charities, and labor unions. Learn from the wisdom of the ages, and hold fast to truth when you find it.

For more than 100 years, Roman pontiffs have held that individuals voluntarily working together have primary responsibility for solving social problems. Government may be necessary as a backstop—but only when all other options for addressing grave injustices have failed.

"Employers and workmen may of themselves effect much…by means of such associations and organizations as afford opportune aid to those who are in distress," Pope Leo XIII wrote in Rerum Novarum. "Among these may be enumerated societies for mutual help; various benevolent foundations established by private persons…; and institutions for the welfare of boys and girls, young people, and those more advanced in years."

Future encyclicals went further, fleshing out the concept of subsidiarity: the proposition that decisions should be made and problems solved as close to the individual person as possible. Or as Pope John XXIII put it in Mater et Magistra (1961), "it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to a community what private enterprise and industry can accomplish."

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  1. Familiarity with extensive history — or merely with recent events — would cure any reasoning person’s appetite for moral pointers from the Catholic Church.

    1. Open wide!

    2. If they’re right about something then they’re right about something.

      I’m sure Ted Bundy said some things that were thoughtful and correct. If Ted said, “In the event that you discover that you are on fire your best option is to stop what you’re doing, fall to the ground, and roll around” I can imagine people burning to death so their peers don’t catch them listening to Ted. Not a helpful mindset to have.

      This current fiasco of theirs could be helpful in the long run. I think the Catholic Church is going to evolve to the standpoint of allowing gay butt sex as long as you give to the church. It’s something. Progress. Maybe.

      1. Ah yes, the genetic fallacy. It is the most popular argumentation tactic employed in this comment section each and every day.

      2. I’m trying, but I can’t imagine a single piece of genuinely good advice where Ted Bundy or the Catholic Church would be the only ones giving it.

        If it’s worthwhile advice, there will be a better source. Cite them instead.

    3. On the other hand, I was edified to see that Slade referenced Acton.

    4. “Familiarity with extensive history — or merely with recent events — would cure any reasoning person’s appetite for moral pointers from the Catholic Church.”

      Still sore from the ass-kicking the progressives took on the whole eugenics thing, I see.

      1. Well, eugenics is in fact 100% scientifically correct… There is NO flaw in the thinking of eugenicists. It’s simply a matter of most ways of implementing eugenics in the real world are rather immoral. I always hate when people talk about eugenics as if it isn’t scientifically valid, when it clearly is. The laws of heredity effect humans the same as every other living creature.

        Offering bribes for idiots to not breed via a private charity or something might be moral, but not so much with mass sterilization or outright murder.

    5. You clearly don’t possess an ‘extensive’ familiarity with ‘history’ when it comes to Christianity.

      You’re just an ignorant, illiberal jack ass.

  2. But is the Pope still Catholic? Last I saw, he was criticizing capitalism for not solving the problem of poverty without noticing that capitalism has done a hell of a lot more to reduce poverty than socialism or the Catholic Church.

    1. Commie pope is from Latin America, a place where “capitalism” is essentially feudalism. This is why they fall for the socialist nonsense time and time and time again.

    2. People who in one era were considered faithful Catholics – indeed, doing the minimum required of a faithful Catholic – are branded by the current Pope and his cronies as neo-Pelagians, Jansenists, Pharisees, and Americans (all of which are opprobrious epithets).

    3. The pope calls on government initiation of force to stop noncommunist electrical power production because creative science with fake data prophesies Misanthropic Global Warming.

  3. I really liked this gem of an essay. Deserves to be read carefully.

    1. Good related reading is the Reason articles where John Mackey, Milton Friedman, and T.J. Rodgers debated whether companies should be socially responsible or simply maximize profits:

      1. I think that conversation would’ve looked really different if they had it today (and, y’know, if Friedman were still alive). There are so many companies now with explicit moral stances, and even some of the older ones which were previously neutral have been pressured into taking positions.

        I actually thought that the “profit maximization” line is the correct one, simply because of what this article details; profit maximizing companies in a market with demand for compassionate behavior will act compassionately, purely for selfish reasons. Provided you care about the outcomes rather than the purity of intentions, amoral companies are the best way to allow the morals of their customers to be expressed in the market. But I’m not adverse to someone founding a company with an explicit ethic – they’re free to do so, after all. I think it’s likely to be more of a niche appeal sort of thing, though, where the more profit driven companies would adopt stances that reflect a broader consensus across its consumers.

  4. The upshot—that a capitalist system cannot be trusted automatically to produce what the Church views as morally acceptable outcomes—may seem to require Christians to support a robust central government.

    Why doesn’t it seem, rather, to require Christians to trust God to produce outcomes?

    1. The upshot—that a capitalist system cannot be trusted automatically to produce what the Church views as morally acceptable outcomes

      Capitalism must be without sin or error! All capitalists must be angels!

      Socialism can be trusted to produce unacceptable, even horrific, outcomes, however.

    2. Equivocation is nationalsocialists calling mercantilism laissez-faire, and nationalsocialists who do not follow the altruist Beatitudes –attributed by hearsay to an imaginary Christ who never wrote anything and was only quoted 150 years later–christians. The four things cited have nothing in common. Laissez-faire is non-aggression, not mercantilism, and Congresswoman Omar is closer to practicing the teachings of Jesus than any soi-disant christian barking for coercion in the name of the LP.

      1. Libertarianism – and specifically the non aggression principle – would be impossible without the Christian ethics on which it was built. The whole idea of the sanctity and worth of each individual is a most Christian value.

  5. “The upshot—that a capitalist system cannot be trusted automatically to produce what the Church views as morally acceptable outcomes—may seem to require Christians to support a robust central government.”

    Another reason libertarians should claim to support no more than a free market rather than a particular type. But too many libertarians are still caught in the left-right paradigm of socialism versus capitalism

    1. We can argue about capitalism vs. free market once we finish re-stomping communism.

      1. The idea will never die so long as there are people out there who feel entitled to the product of another’s labor. I think we’re going to be fighting this battle forever.

  6. “a drunken and profligate population will demand one type of thing and a sober and chaste population another.”

    A mixed population will demand mixed things, which capitalism can provide. However, it’s nice to be kind.

    1. “a drunken and profligate population will demand one type of thing”

      Quit horning in on ENB’s beat.

  7. I’ve never really got the “You’re not allowed to give any other considerations to anything other than profit.” in business mindset. In a lot of ways I think the shift that direction in major corporations has caused a lot of the problems we have in the 1st world. People used to care about their country and countrymen back in the day. Very few businessmen would have done business in the USSR in the 60s even if there had been money to be made.

    That said, business shouldn’t be ALL about social good or other crap either. But I don’t think it’s wrong to balance things out… Especially not privately owned businesses. It’s a little more fuzzy when there are shareholders etc.

    Any which way I do a number of things that aren’t the most profitable in my business, like buying supplies and such made in America instead of cheapo Chi-com things when I can.

    1. The assumption is that all capitalists are heartless automatons. Aren’t you?

      This is simply another projection of the worst characteristics onto the entire population.

      1. “I’m not heartless, and I don’t run a big corporation. Therefore, people who run big corporations are heartless.”

        1. Or Chinese companies making “cheapo Chi-com things” according to vek, the small business owner.

          1. Well, lots of shit from China IS cheapo. But China has now got to the point where they make some decent stuff too… But it’s still Chi-com shit whether it’s crappy or well made IMO.

            I prefer to buy stuff made in America to support the American economy, but I also gladly buy stuff from other civilized 1st world nations. The truth is the working class in the 1st world has got kicked in the nuts pretty bad by globalization, and it’s kind of like a little bit of private charity on my part. Also, many things made in 1st world nations DO tend to be higher end products, which I often prefer. The American made packing tape I use for sending packages is far better than cheap tape I’ve used from China in the past. I’m sure some more expensive Chinese made tape is good too, but they can fuck right off, because that isn’t the point.

            As for specifically hating on China… That mainly has to do with them being the most ruthless, totalitarian dictatorship on earth… Who ALSO has designs to become the global hegemon. Although I’ll still usually lean towards buying American etc, I don’t have a huge moral issue buying something made in Mexico, India, etc.

            To me buying shit from China is akin to buying shit from Nazi Germany in 1940 before we were actively at war with them, or buying from the USSR in 1961… It’s just fucking stupid to be supporting a nation that is clearly your enemy and that has it out for you.

            If the Chinese ever overthrow their tyrannical government, my inclination towards buying their shit will go up 1,000 fold… But as it stands I will really only buy something made in China if there is ZERO alternative I can track down.

        2. In all fairness Rich, to properly run a business, you really can’t afford to be as much of a soft brained, soft hearted person as your typical bleeding heart liberal. BUT you don’t have to be evil or ruthless either.

          I was telling somebody just the other night that you can’t be ultra altruistic in business, but you can and should be “tough but fair” in all your dealings. And honestly that’s what most businesses do. They don’t bend over backwards to do stuff to help others at their own expense, but do trade value for value, and negotiate in good faith most of the time. I see no moral issues in that, and neither should any other sane person.

      2. To be (un)fair, publicly traded companies have a fiduciary duty to be “heartless automatons”. A CEO putting anything before the bottom-line can, and has, been seen as failing their duty to the shareholders.

        Privately-owned companies are allowed to have souls. Publicly traded ones are legally prohibited from such.

        1. Indeed, hence that line I put in there. As much as I HATE the dirty hippie mentality of the people pushing it, that whole concept of a legal business entity that allows the business to consider other things besides bottom line should become more of a thing. I forget what the dumb phrase they were using to describe their new proposed business entity type, but it was something lame and hippie sounding IIRC.

          The bounds of that kind of stuff needs to be laid out clearly before shares are sold, but I see no issue with a company that explicitly states that they will abide by XYZ moralistic practices, even if it is at the cost of their bottom line. People should be free to do as they like without the SEC jumping up their ass! If people want to invest in a company that explicitly states that kind of stuff up front, I have no issue with it.

        2. A CEO putting anything before the bottom-line can, and has, been seen as failing their duty to the shareholders.

          That is much less common than whacko shareholders pushing the company to disengage with fossil fuels or support open bathrooms. How are those CEOs and Boards held to account? I can’t think of a single incident.

          1. That’s actually true… And sad.

            Shareholders should start suing companies that engage in SJW/Lefty bullshit that hurts their bottom line! The reason the activist left wins so much is because they’ll actually DO shit like that, and sane libertarians/right wing people won’t. When they go low, we should go lower! Until we win anyway.

    2. It’s none of your damned business what businesses do, unless it’s your business.

      Problem solved for you, them, everybody — if you and everybody just mind your own business.

      1. Well, that’s not entirely true. I think people are perfectly free to shit talk businesses with practices they don’t agree with.

        Progtards should be free to shit talk gun manufacturers as much as they want… And I should be free to shit talk big companies than donate to anti-gun efforts as much as I want.

        The problem is that one group is trying to use the government to force their opinion on a lot of things. Typical conservatives of course want to do this too. Proper libertarians generally don’t want government force used no matter what their position on something is… But shit talking, boycotting, etc is all perfectly fine for a libertarian to support.

    3. If we’d done more business with the USSR instead of less, arguably the Cold War wouldn’t have been quite so frosty. There’s a relevant quote here: “When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.”

      (The attribution of this one to Bastiat seems to be apocryphal. It does sound like something he’d say, though. The actual originator appears to be Otto Mallery from his book “Economic Union and Durable Peace.”)

      1. It’s a BS theory that’s been debunked.

        It’s a nice thought… And I do believe it gives people a LITTLE more pause in the consideration phase… But doing business with people has NEVER stopped them going to war if there were other more important things at stake.

        It’s a very purist libertarian mistake to think that dollars and cents are the most important thing objectively… And that most people consider them such.

        I’m a total capitalist pig, yet I put other values above directly making/saving money all the time. Communist China can go fuck itself because of the type of government they have. India? They’re fine by me.

  8. This article points out the basic fact that capitalism in itself has no mechanism to address economic and social problems. Capitalism is focused on making profit. A well developed economic system relies on external forces to address problems. They can come from within the private sector, guided by personal religious beliefs. But if the private sector is not supplying or does not wish to supply them, you will get calls for government intervention. Current calls for programs with socialist components (health care and college) show that private sector is not supplying as much as people feel is necessary.

    1. Health care and colleges both exist in abundance in this country, supplied by the private sector.

    2. Wrong again! How do you think “capitalism” makes profits? By responding to demand. If “people” truly feel something is necessary, they will be willing to pay for it. If they want it for free, it must not be that important.
      It is no different than saying I feel like I need a better car. And my neighbors are going to pay for it.

      1. You may not be getting my point. Capitalism responds to demand, but that demand may not cover all needs or cover needs effectively. Medications are a good example. There may be drugs that are in high demand but a not really essential ED drugs for example. These offer a high potential for profit. But some diseases are rare and there is limit incentive in capitalism to develop drugs for these diseases. Here external forces must apply here to say we need to develop these drugs to help out affected people without regard to profit.

        1. I get what you are saying. But, it doesn’t change the fact that what you define as “all needs” or “cover needs effectively” are subjective.
          In addition, the very areas of concern you mention (health care and college) have both been heavily distorted by government programs.
          Of course, capitalism (or let’s say the free market) isn’t “perfect”. There is no perfect. But, the freedom to do business how you want, with whom you want, when you want has lifted more people from poverty than all the government mandates, programs, etc. put together.
          And if in a truly free market for medicine your daughter has a rare disease that can only be treated by an expensive medication, it isn’t “society’s” job to take care of her. It is your job to convince others that they should help. In a free market, there would probably be some doctors or hospitals that could use the publicity by helping a child.

          1. I do not disagree with your comments. I just point out that there are things external to capitalism that are necessary in a truly functional economy. As you point out some help to a family with a rare disease. This can come from voluntarily. But when voluntary help fails you will likely see calls for the government to help.

        2. So, get out there and develop these drugs yourself. Opportunity calls.

      2. Capitalism makes profits by responding to the demand of people with money.

        Food-banks, homeless shelters and foster-care programs are basically always in demand. And they only turn profits through fraud.

        1. The thing with blaming homelessness (or general welfare users) on society or capitalism is a bunch of BS… The truth is most of those people are defective people for one reason or another. Largely they were just born to lose. Extremely low IQs, other mental health problems, etc. People don’t like to admit that.

          There’s a reason I have never been homeless, and never will be homeless… It’s because I’m not a defective person.

          The question is how to deal with it. In the olden days, our more “tough love” society used to basically tell them to get a job or starve REALLY sternly… And the funny thing is most just got their shit together JUST enough to feed themselves and scrape by. The few who were still too messed up got fed by churches etc, or thrown into work gangs. OR you can destroy civilization with socialism… Personally, I prefer the tough love approach as it seems to work out best for everybody in the end.

      3. We want it all but we want it free!

        Go Bernie!

    3. Monarchic-papal mercantilism is an 18th-Century museum piece, granted, and not so different from Russian Imperialism before and after 1918. But with enough Faith you can kid yourself into believing that the Christianizing of Africans with the knout is NOT the initiation of force. That accomplished, you swagger into a libertarian forum with mercantilism baaad, equals libertarian platform, ergo libertarian baaad, Holy Inquisition goood! Quod Erat Demonstratum.

  9. Ms. Slade, have you been pressing the other Reason people to let you cover David Daleiden, the whistleblower who’s being prosecuted for exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of dead-baby parts?

    He’s the Edward Snowden of the prolife cause, though unlike Snowden he didn’t flee to Russia but stayed in the USA to face the music.

    1. Ah! Another warrior for the babies, male, like all the rest. So how many physicians did this one murder to earn the respect of his male companions, Eddy?

  10. “All around us, thousands of times a day, human beings act in ways that confound simple self-interest.”
    I am not an objectivist. But some of the examples:
    father wants to stay home instead of take the promotion,
    Business owner forgoes salary for health care of employees,
    People who pay extra for “fair-trade” coffee.
    These aren’t choices that are against their self-interest!!! Unless you define self-interest in the narrowest way possible. The father would RATHER have time with the kids than work more.
    The business owner wants to keep good employees and wants to stay competitive and so CHOOSES to provide better health care.
    (The fair trade coffee people are idiots, but they CHOOSE to because it is more important to them than the extra buck).
    Life is full of choices, and it isn’t against one’s self-interest to make different choices.

    1. Defined that narrowly, what *does* count as “altruism” from a Randian (Randy?) point of view?

      Because Rand thought there was such a thing as altruism, and that it was bad. So there have to be *some* examples of people doing this bad thing.

      1. **Disclaimer**
        I am not a Objectivist, nor do I play one on TV.
        It is a fair question. From what I remember, I believe she would say that altruism is more of a thing some people believe OTHER people should do. In other words, some people believe we should take a vow of poverty and help the poor like Mother Theresa. Except, that she didn’t act against her self-interest. Her self-interest was that her spiritual well being was more important than her physical well being.
        Rand’s point is that when someone behaves in a way that we might call “altruistically,” they are in reality behaving in their self-interest. Self-interest doesn’t (necessarily) equal material wealth.
        “Altruism” as a general approach is bad, because it makes people think that they should act opposite to their self-interest.

        1. Exactly! One usually does something altruistic because it makes them feel good to do so. And feeling good is in one’s self interest.
          In fact, one might say it is the very basis of self interest.

        2. Yup. I just spent all weekend volunteering at a community event I have been doing for over a decade… In theory I could have worked, and made more money. I could have done a lot of things that seemingly would be more to my benefit… But I have fun doing it, and also get a warm fuzzy feeling. There’s nothing wrong with doing things against your financial interests if you think that thing will make you happier/better off overall.

      2. Herbert Hoover, men with guns enforcing altruistic prohibition laws and helping Aldolf Hitler to office with his moratorium on brains. That’s two examples.

      3. The Sermon on the Mount and Beatitudes were taken to task by Nietzsche (Mencken, 1907), then Rand (1957). indexes what she actually wrote, and the definitions there are clear to anyone who looks them up. Hitler’s 25 Points and Enabling act speech also make a case for mystical values, altruism and the initiation of force against selfishness.

  11. why would anyone make references to catholic doctrine or dogma…they are a counterfeit church created by the left overs of the roman empire through constantine….

    what does the libertarian party have to do with catholicism….???….nothing…in fact it is obvious that stephanie slade has not done her homework….communism was created by the catholic church to over throw the russian czars for protecting the eastern orthodox church’s which rome was jealous of and wanted take over to add to their submission of authority….

    since socialism is communism light… should be no surprise to know that libertarianism is the enemy of catholicism….

    catholicism hates libertarians because they choose to be separate from any authority both secular and religious….

    the world is not aware that the take over of individual rights by every government in the world is actually the goal of the vatican to implement the new world order…and you cannot implement a new world order when you have a world full of sovereign individuals who want no part of it…

    they have to destroy freedom….and liberty and any kind of independence to accomplish their goal of world domination of all peoples to implement their goal of submission and obedience to the mark of government (beast)…


    BE WARNED….!!!

  12. Another case of not separating objective and subjective morality. Of you put money in the kettle that’s subjective morality and I don’t care. If you force me to put money in the kettle that’s objective morality and I care a great deal.

  13. Stephanie points to slaveholding mystical monarchic mercantilism and uses the Marxist term capitalism to describe it, like many others. But if quoting the pope who got Mussolini to make government schools mystical, why not quote the U.S. President’s words in 1931: “The idea that the Republic was created for the benefit of the individual is a mockery that must be eradicated at the first dawn of understanding.” (Hoover 1930 1976 p89)

  14. Good, timely article.

    I’ve been getting reacquainted with Christianity’s role in Western culture.

    Buried below first the secular rejection of it during The Enlightenment and then the outright hostility to it from progressives and its socialist/Marxist/communist cousins, are some fascinating facts and truths about the positive force it had on our collective Western heritage on the principles of free markets to free thought and logic, science and progressive politics.

    Many of the claims made by progressives on social issues actually have their source in the Christian church.

  15. “Catholic pontiffs have had harsh words for “unbridled capitalism” ”

    Another reason for libertarians to support free markets only – and not capitalism per se

  16. Why yes, it does make sense to take business advice from men who have taken a vow of poverty.

    1. Business advice? No.

      But seeing as those men who have taken a vow of poverty often live in the lap of luxury, grifting advice might be worth considering.

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