Capitalism destroys poverty but people who fight against capitalism destroy the poor.
Pope Francis has made it clear that he will use his office to promote Leftist weather scams and prefers input from pagan pantheists to skeptical climate scientists. It is quite obvious this Christian leader hates cultures of freedom, trade, entrepreneurship, and private charity. He prefers societies dominated by corrupt and totalitarian governments. He is an ambassador for turning the few islands of prosperity left on the planet into the same hellholes we find in the rest of the Third World.
So recently he went on a tirade:
This system is by now intolerable: farm workers find it intolerable, laborers find it intolerable, communities find it intolerable, peoples find it intolerable. The earth itself – our sister, Mother Earth, as Saint Francis would say – also finds it intolerable.
Some of us, Pope Francis, think your lies are intolerable.
Ricardo Hausmann wrote a reply to the Pope and attempted to reason with his followers. (I mean those who agree with his economic philosophy. Not all Roman Catholics do.) Hausmann teaches at Harvard, which makes me suspicious. But his article is quite helpful.
But are the problems that upset Francis the consequence of what he called “unbridled capitalism”? Or are they instead caused by capitalism’s surprising failure to do what was expected of it? Should an agenda to advance social justice be based on bridling capitalism or on eliminating the barriers that thwart its expansion?
The answer in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia is obviously the latter.
As Rafael Di Tella and Robert MacCulloch have shown, the world’s poorest countries are not characterized by naive trust in capitalism, but by utter distrust, which leads to heavy government intervention and regulation of business. Under such conditions, capitalism does not thrive and economies remain poor.
The Pope’s faith is completely without evidence. Poverty stalks the lands farthest removed from capitalism. When nations embrace the free market, to the extent that they do so, they experience rising standards of living.
It isn’t like this is some hidden secret based on obscure statistics. It is simply the record of history.
Many people, the Pope included, act as if poverty has to be explained. If some people are poor, they must have been robbed. So we can assume the nearest rich people must have hauled off all their stuff.
Robbery does happen through corruption in politics and banking, but that isn’t real capitalism. The fact is that, in general, poverty is the natural condition of humanity. Poverty doesn’t need to be explained; prosperity is the incredible thing that requires an explanation. The legal order of freedom along with the cultural value of honest work and respect for the ownership of property is that explanation.
If the Pope wants to see less poverty, he should start rebuking theft and envy rather than making up complaints to justify those vices as virtues.