25 June, 2015

Acton Institute criticises Francis' encyclical: “Its underlying assumptions are imprudent” - Vatican Insider

Acton Institute criticises Francis' encyclical: “Its underlying assumptions are imprudent” - Vatican Insider

1 comment:

  1. A very wise Russian Professor of Economics at the University I attended in the 1960s pointed out that there are basically only two ways of making economic decisions: the market or the government. So far, man has not invented a third way which is not, basically, a variant of one of those two methods. This Professor was the author of a notable book about the Soviet economy. Remember the Soviet economy? It was a brilliantly successful model for all countries to follow, wasn’t it? The Chinese tried it and what are they doing now? The East Europeans tried it and what are they doing now? Ah, but the North Koreans have maintained it and so we should follow them. My point is that all the people who are going about criticising markets have yet to come up with a better system. Yes, there is such a thing as market failure. Markets are not perfect in solving life’s economic problems but as somebody said about democracy: it’s the least bad system invented yet. What I would like to see from those who criticise markets is what they are suggesting instead. I see a lot of criticism in the Pope’s encyclical of markets but what I don’t see is what he is proposing instead. Remember that every government intervention in the market is a step in the direction of state control. That’s not to suggest that the the government should never intervene in the market but it is a question about how far people want to go in state intervention. The Pope’s encyclical is really long. As has been pointed out, Pope Francis is a bit of a waffler. He takes several pages just to say that we need to care about the poor. But his encyclical would have been much improved if he had included even one actual positive specific suggestion as to how he thinks the problems he talks about should be solved. Too long on the causes of our problems; too short on the solutions. For example, if he thinks that we should cut back on our use of fossil fuels, what's his proposed method for achieving that? Thankfully he rejects carbon trading but what's his alternative? We are none the wiser.

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