PopeWatch: Now He Tells Us

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  1. . His predecessors likewise ventured into social studies…penology …and were able to change by vague generalities the actual meaning of deterrence ( from deterring many future murderers to just deterring the one you caught) with massive agreement of Bishops in the new absurd definition ( not laity ). What Me Worry…from Mad magazine…is the new mantra when a Pope is inclined to be an expert in a secular field. Francis stays in generalities in his scientific/ economic writings just as the 1990’s fragmentary venture into the death penalty did. Modern penology is so secure, you don’t need execution….as New York searched for two maximum security escaped murderers last month and cartel head Chappo Guzman ( twice in max) rode a motorbike through a one mile tunnel that came up into a camera blind spot in his prison shower….in the second largest Catholic population.

  2. If the Pope is allergic to economics and knows it, then he needs to shut his Argentinian Peronist mouth about economics.

  3. The most telling thing may be that he doesn’t seem to know the difference between economics and accounting. You don’t need to have any math or financial expertise in order to grasp basic economic ideas like opportunity cost, say, or comparative advantage, or the broken-window fallacy. The barrier to entry is really very low. But his apparent conflation of the two disciplines might help us to understand the very primitive level of his rhetoric on masters economic.
    (I now have a mental image of the Holy Father brushing up on double-entry bookkeeping in preparation for his American visit, in order to be able to engage the money-obsessed locals in their own language.)

  4. Catholic social teaching has been a work in progress and future Popes, like Fr. Lombardi, will be cleaning up the pee he puts on the rug. I think the problem is less that he knows nothing of economics (including the boundaries of the discipline), but that his worldview is so distorted and disfigured that the idea of autonomous parties co-operating for their mutual benefit is alien to him. He thinks of the wage-earning population as being composed of people who have neither personal agency nor options and he thinks of businessmen as people who have no consequential skills that have a salutary effect on anyone’s welfare.

  5. An advisor reported that changes in US collections are messages in reply to the ubiquitous, amorphous, and undefined poor, who benefit greatly from .gov as opposed to many wage slaves?

    ” … .Francis was also asked about why, during this trip, he had delivered so many strong messages directed to the poor, and also strong, at times severe, messages for the rich and powerful, but had so very little to say to the middle class, “the people who work, pay their taxes, the normal people.”

    He began his answer by recognizing it was true, and saying it was “a good correction.”

    “It’s an error of mine not to think about this,” he said.

    The pope said that society is polarized, with the middle class becoming smaller, and the gap between the rich and the poor growing.

    “I speak of the poor because they’re at the heart of the Gospel,” he said. “I always speak from the Gospel.”

    But the common people, the simple people, the worker, that is a great value, Francis said.

    “I think you’re telling me about something I need to do. I need to delve further into this magisterium,” he said, referring to official church teaching. …”

    That last line: ?!?

  6. In the exercise of “prudential judgment” the virtues of prudence, humility, wisdom and courage lead to a mature and objective consideration of matters upon which you make moral judgments. And yet he feeds us his “judgments” about the evil of free enterprise and about his fascination with Marxist related ideologies—including global warming. In the linked article, the Pope excuses his admission of ignorance by saying that he focuses on the poor not the middle class. So could he not try to understand that freedom in our associations including our polity, our legions of subsidiary charities, our enterprises (and yes those for profit), and our authentic and freely disposed caritas, could and demonstrably and empirically have benefitted the poor. So could someone inform the Pope that many of his predecessors espoused the benefits of property ownership for all (such as Pope Leo XIII) as dignifying to man, the preference for freedom in our polity and commerce (Pope JPII et al), and the cruelty of socialism and communism and their goals of subjugation of free will and denial of God’s goodness (every Pope since at least Leo XIII to B16). It’s not as if this Pope has to reinvent Catholic teaching, rather, he must show the dignity and respect for his high office by at least reading what his forbearers had to say on the very subject upon which he lectures others. Perhaps that is what bothers me more than anything, that this Pope has so little respect for those before him such that he clearly has read none of what they have said about communism, materialism, socialism, freedom and yes even free enterprise, let alone trying through study and hard work to understand anything beyond sound bits fed to him by the global warming marxists. This is a rather remarkable admission but otherwise already known by many. It gives you insight too about his conduct leading to this synod….his lack of care and concern for the teachings of his predecessors.

  7. Quick! Somebody send him a copy of “I, Pencil.” I think there was a comic book adaptation of Road to Serfdom too. Maybe we can find him a copy of that as well.

  8. There’s a fairly short pro-free markets economic primer, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the title. It’s not Hayek (obviously), or Sowell or Friedman (Free to Choose –there’s a title with theological resonance). Maybe I can find it over at Mises.org

  9. You don’t need to have any math or financial expertise in order to grasp basic economic ideas like opportunity cost, say, or comparative advantage, or the broken-window fallacy.

    I know when I went through school– graduated in ’01– we got “The story of the broken window” with no mention of opportunity cost. No discussion, either– it was presented as blandly as the “having a baby ruins your life” stories.
    I’ve been thinking that may be why this Pope gives so many of us hives– not, as people keep charging, because we’re looking at things in a too American format, but because his way of speaking is so strongly formed by communism/socialism/whatever it is this week, and so is that of the left in our country.
    Of course folks react strongly when someone shows evidence of having the worldview of those who do grave harm.

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