Barbarians at the Gate

Despite an unparalleled level of widespread affluence in the west and the highest standards of living in human history (even for the ‘poor’), socialism in America is increasingly popular and not just among millennials and liberals…even some self-described Christians are calling for increased government intervention in the form of wage and price regulation, higher taxes and outright seizure and redistribution of private property. Why? Because their greatest devotion is to the ideology of Karl Marx:

“As Bukovsky put it in a very recent interview with Epoch Times, “The Western elite is socialist. They were never serious about fighting Soviet power.” That is why Communism has made such a comeback in recent years, even in the United States, which rests on a foundation of capitalist success. Our current generation of emerging leaders speak openly and enthusiastically about Communism and socialism: “The absence of leadership is frightening. Our so-called elites became rotten. In the past, in history, the elites would be periodically wiped out in revolutions. In our time, it does not happen. We are too civilized.”

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You Are Likely Richer Than John D. Rockefeller

If you are an average American, European or Australian reading this blog post, you are likely materially richer than John D. Rockefeller was 100 years ago today.

Consider the following which you likely enjoy which even billionaires 100 years ago lacked:

Radio & Television
Inexpensive, effective painkillers
CDs & DVDs
Safe, Timely transportation
Computers
Air-conditioning
Cheap, on demand International food
Smart phones
A high likelihood of surviving infancy
LASIK, Contact lenses & easy cataract correction
Widely available, cheap antibiotics
Dental care
World-class basic medical care
On demand access to classical literature and reference books
The Internet

And yet, the Marxists are gaining in power once again, not just on the Left, where they’ve always found a home, but with educated religious people.

I would not trade my lifestyle in 2019 for $1 billion and a life in 1919; would you?

Gratitude to God, not envy of worldly goods, is the certain human path to temporal happiness. Read the rest

The Economic Errors of the Pope (and other Statists)

Catholic statists (including the Pope), like to lecture about “just” wages while they all but ignore issues that are a) real, b) causing great harm to families and c) can be fixed without violating Catholic doctrines on subsidiarity and private property rights. Mention this uncomfortable truth and you’ll be cursed, libeled and then blocked (as I was by Comrade Shea over the weekend).

If you are a Catholic (or even just a person of goodwill) and you are interested in practical ways to fix economic inequalities, why not start with the single largest real threat to wages and private property?

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The Staggering Cost of Economic Illiteracy

Over the last five years the Bishop of Rome has made manifest his ignorance of (or opposition to), Church doctrine on moral issues. Now he has chosen to demonstrate to the world another area in which he is ignorant; history, finance and economics.

We are naturally sad at the latest humiliation for the Church and the increase in confusion that will inevitably result from this promulgation of ignorance, but I am hopeful that God will do great things through the errors of this pontificate, and perhaps one way that will be manifested in the life of Catholics is the total annihilation of the neo-ultramontanist heresy which grips so many on both Left and Right.

Dr. Samuel Gregg offers an exceptionally charitable perspective on the document here.  His conclusion:

Finance is unquestionably a sphere of life in which people are subject to specific temptations—just as politics and the priesthood are callings with their own potential pitfalls. Oeconomicae pecuniariae et quaestiones goes some way towards helping people make good choices in an industry upon which every single one of us is in some way reliant for our economic well-being. Unfortunately, it’s also a reminder that the Church has much more work to do if it’s going to make constructive contributions to the reform of a segment of modern economies that, ten years after the financial crisis, is still in desperate need of substantive change.

The Pope’s essay is here.… Read the rest