Pope Francis on Capitalism as Idolatry
Pope condemned globalized markets as alleged “idolization of money” — so government doesn’t idolize money? They sure seem to take a lot of it. Also, is there no idolization of political power in the name of ‘security’ in the form of a welfare state?
““Where there is no work, there is no dignity,” the Argentine pontiff said after a week in which some western stock markets hit record highs. “It is not a problem of Italy and Europe…It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money.””
This is kind of a confused look at how economies work. Every economic system in the world, with the exception of primitive barter, uses money in the center of exchange. Every economic system in the world has human beings–people–engaging in those exchanges, so humans are the center. The difference between the systems of free-market exchange and the system of central planning is which people are in the center. Under a market system, the individual or family is in the center. Under the planning system people who work for the state are in the center. Over history, it is the state, not the individual who has most frequently been elevated to the status of idol. Francis’ predecessor, St. Peter, was not murdered by some lone individual; he was executed by the state.
Jesus and Peter were crucified by the state because the most effective power manipulators in the world, rightly, saw him as a threat to the power of the state. How strange it is when Peter’s successors shed the role of threats to state power and put on the role of Caesar’s cheerleaders.
Jerry Bowyer is a Forbes contributor, contributing editor of AffluentInvestor.com, and Senior Fellow in Business Economics at The Center for Cultural Leadership.
Jerry has compiled an impressive record as a leading thinker in finance and economics. He worked as an auditor and a tax consultant with Arthur Anderson, as Vice President of the Beechwood Company which is the family office associated with Federated Investors, and has consulted in various privatization efforts for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He founded the influential economic think tank, the Allegheny Institute, and has lectured extensively at universities, businesses and civic groups.
Jerry has been a member of three investment committees, among which is Benchmark Financial, Pittsburgh’s largest financial services firm. Jerry had been a regular commentator on Fox Business News and Fox News. He was formerly a CNBC Contributor, has guest-hosted “The Kudlow Report”, and has written for CNBC.com, National Review Online, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as many other publications. He is the author of The Bush Boom and more recently The Free Market Capitalist’s Survival Guide, published by HarperCollins. Jerry is the President of Bowyer Research.
Jerry consulted extensively with the Bush White House on matters pertaining to the recent economic crisis. He has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, The International Herald Tribune and various local newspapers. He has been a contributing editor of National Review Online, The New York Sun and Townhall Magazine. Jerry has hosted daily radio and TV programs and was one of the founding members of WQED’s On-Q Friday Roundtable. He has guest-hosted the Bill Bennett radio program as well as radio programs in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Jerry is the former host of WorldView, a nationally syndicated Sunday-morning political talk show created on the model of Meet The Press. On WorldView, Jerry interviewed distinguished guests including the Vice President, Treasury Secretary, HUD Secretary, former Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice, former Presidential Advisor Carl Rove, former Attorney General Edwin Meese and publisher Steve Forbes.
Jerry has taught social ethics at Ottawa Theological Hall, public policy at Saint Vincent’s College, and guest lectured at Carnegie Mellon’s graduate Heinz School of Public Policy. In 1997 Jerry gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Robert Morris University. He was the youngest speaker in the history of the school, and the school received more requests for transcripts of Jerry’s speech than at any other time in its 120-year history.
Jerry lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Susan, and the youngest three of their seven children.