As we have said before, many times, we are against crony capitalism and for capitalism not because “we just want to keep what’s ours.” Not because we feel some slavish devotion to an ethos of greed. (As some might call self interest.) But because the voluntary exchange of goods and services, capitalism, is the economic vehicle which raises more out of poverty and provides the most opportunity for everyday people. Where one can do business without the government or the local lord or mafia boss taking all the profits people can build wealth. They can then in turn invest this wealth. Which then in turn creates new jobs and new wealth creation and so on.
Where people can’t do business in an honest way wealth aggregates with cronies and eventually the broader economic system stagnates. Contracts aren’t respected. Investment wains. Jobs aren’t created or disappear. The everyday person is worse off. This is the reality of big government, and it creates poverty.
To deny this seemingly obvious reality (at least to us) is to condemn many people to lives of economic despair and social marginalization. We know the Pope doesn’t want that.
Yet even as he calls for greater concern for the marginalized, he broadly and cavalierly condemns the market-driven economic development that has lifted a billion people out of extreme poverty within the lifetime of the typical millennial. A lack of understanding of even basic economic concepts has led one of the most influential and beloved human beings on the planet to decry free enterprise, opine that private property rights must not be treated as “inviolable,” hold up as the ideal “cooperatives of small producers” over “economies of scale,” accuse the Western world of “scandalous level[s] of consumption,” and assert that we need “to think of containing growth by setting some reasonable limits.”