Thursday, November 28, 2013

Unbridled Capitalism

Pope Francis called for renewal of the Roman Catholic Church and attacked unfettered capitalism...         Source

The goal of catechesis is to provide the Christian with a well formed, and well informed conscience.

Many rules in the church are to be considered strong guidelines that should be given due, even ample, consideration in the formulation of a decision.

Would you run a red light if your wife was bleeding to death in the passenger seat and the hospital was just the other side of the intersection? In the extreme, nearly all laws are situational.

"...unbridled capitalism..." means different things to different people.
  • Is the externalization of costs by dumping pollution into the environment "unbridled capitalism"? If so, then he is talking about China. 
  • How about a family farmer who owns the property he farms, he uses cover crops, conservation tillage, riparian buffers and 'tithes' 10% of his property into wildlife/conservation uses. He is a capitalist...but is he an "unbridled capitalist"?
  • How about the person who invests their 401-k in Socially Responsible mutual funds?

Hearing those comments worries me. Those words will be twisted into tools to attack productive people and businesses. Those words will be used as a banner to justify more intrusive controls on businesses that are already staggering.

I think much of that mindset is rooted in cultures where corruption, bribe-taking and tax evasion are facts of life. The only way a business is guaranteed profit is when they are monopolies, collude or are otherwise corrupt. Those who talk-that-redistribution-talk are sure that business profitability is an unstoppable force of nature. It is inevitable (in their minds).

It will be interesting, in an academic kind of way, to see if jamming intrusive controls onto otherwise transparent operations will force them corruption and collusion to survive.

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