Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economic theories in critique of inequality

Using sharply worded phrases, Francis decried an “idolatry of money” and warned it would lead to “a new tyranny.” And he invoked language with particular resonance in the United States, attacking an economic theory that discourages taxation and regulation and which most affiliate with conservatives.


This astounding document should be a clarion call to Catholics of all political stripes. The exhortation reaffirms the right of life for the unborn, all the while encouraging Catholics to support struggling mothers. He attacks the false worship of money in our consumeristic culture. There is so much more within that I am exhausted with joy thinking of it.:smiley:

Republican Catholics and Democratic Catholics should feel a sense of change with their secular affiliations after this papal message.

They most certainly should, but will they. Peace, Carlan

The bottom 50% of this country pay little to no taxes and are the ones who make-up the vast amounts receiving government benefits. Just how much does the Holy Father suggest we should raise the tax level to prevent the middle class/wealthy from living comfortably while maximizing the amount given to those who do not contribute? Ever since Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, this country has spent over 16 *trillion *dollars and the poverty rate has only decreased marginally.

France, Italy, Spain and Greece have been spending money like drunken sailors on social programs and now that the bill has come due, cannot afford to pay it. Is this what the Holy Father recommends? We were told that in the past 20 years, the extreme poverty rate in the world was cut in half because of a thriving economy. Apparently, a rising tide *does *raise all ships. Like it or not, rich people are the ones with the capital and the means to make things work. Hitting them with crippling taxes is not going to be the solution to eliminating poverty in the world. And I think it naive of the Holy Father to think that governments, who are the reason for the economic troubles of recent, are the ones to make things right. Pope Francis should keep in mind that his experiences with massively corrupt third-rate South American countries doesn’t extend to the entire world.

*Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, **“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” *And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:13-21

The Holy Father’s message is simply to think of others and put their good ahead of our own. That’s not so hard to do, but we seem to find ways to complicate it anyway. :blush:

when does prudential judgement become Protestantism :confused:

This is a clear clear message to all those Catholics that think they can support the Church on abortion and gay marriage all the while ignoring every other aspect of Church social teaching. Radical consumeristic capitalism is simply not acceptable. A just economic system is not optional.

Also glad to see the Pope’s reaffirming the dignity of the unborn.

Though the Pope might be of the bent of mind to favor such socialistic systems (who knows), he hardly says much more than condemn consumerism greed and the idea that ‘tickle down’ economics solves problems in itself from what I can tell of his Exhortation.

At any rate, the most effective economic systems are largely a matter of prudence (not faith and morals) even if he did say much on the best system based on economic science. Condemning specific moral problems in the system, however, is more commanding.

Of course I just know we are going to start hearing stuff from those eager for rash compromises and foolish ‘moderateness’ like: ‘see, conservatives are promoting evil just like pro-choice politicians’; as if taking temporal sides is always wrong…

And the prudential means of balancing the many public goods involved in such a system is a matter of prudence which faithful Catholics can largely disagree on. Obsession with money (especially at the expense of others) is not allowed morally, but a more capitalistic approach may be. The two do not necessitate the other. The former (greed) is a defective moral character. The latter is an approach to the use (or lack thereof) of the violent force of the State.

I believe Pope Francis was no doubt referencing the corporates and the rich who escape taxation with the use of copious loop holes and I think also of those such as oil companys who unashamedly collect corporate welfare.

You should be very cautious of getting your Catholic news from an atheistic, pro-abort source like the Washington Post.

That isn’t what the quote from the pope says, atleast as quoted. It implies that there should be higher taxes and more regulation. I agree with Timothysis’s post.


I do not think that this quote affirms your position:

“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” Francis wrote in the papal statement. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

Even if it did, what good would come of branding corporations - such as oil companies - as something less noble than desired? Is it better to stymie a corporation that provides a basis of employment for thousands than to let it be successful and take a fair tax from its success? Is it better to place a “crude and naive trust” in government that continually spends more than it takes in?

Actually, his message is a critique of a certain economic system that, in his opinion, does not provide for all. Critiquing lower taxes as a means to spur economic growth is far more than simply telling us to "think of others and put their good ahead of our own." Other than being a champion of the poor and marginalized, I don’t see the point of what he said. Crippling taxes imposed on the wealthy and successful are not going to bring about a change in “income inequality.” I also find it odd that the Holy Father would use a term that is mostly used by political liberals - the same who support abortion and gay marriage - as something sought by the Church.

Who wouldn’t believe that quote? Think logically. What in there necessitates a condemnation of economic policies of people like Reagan? All that it necessarily implies is that a hands off approach does not solve poverty and prevent horrendous corruption amongst the rich. Clearly it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean there is a better system, or that the evils outweigh it, just that we shouldn’t become silly disciples of Ayn Rand.

Please explain the definition of a “just economic system” and provide any examples from the past.

i’ll be durn’ed ,da Popes CATHOLIC ! :bigyikes:


I like his prayer:

My response was to the statement that "The Holy Father’s message is simply to think of others and put their good ahead of our own."

The Holy Father says this is regard to “trickle-down economics;”* This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”*

That doesn’t sound like an endorsement to me. And if “trickle-down economics” instills “crude and naive trust,” then I can only think that there has to be something better.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.