Pope Benedict does, but only up to a point
The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises. The document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should please the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.
“Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions. “The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” it said.
It condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems. “In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviours like selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale,” it said, adding that world economics needed an “ethic of solidarity” among rich and poor nations.
Memo to the Vatican: central planners are just as immoral as and far more economically destructive than the private sector. The public sector is responsible for the Great Recession. In this country, the Fed lowered interest rates abnormally, and the United States Congress pressured lenders to overextend credit. This combination masqueraded high-risk mortgages as low-risk, and a lot of folks took the bait.
The sovereign debt problem falls on the lap of the sort of people the Vatican wishes to empower. The Western powers simply cannot afford the level of welfare statism and economic intervention that they crave.
Free markets are a moral necessity because they minimize theft. Thieves operate in all economic systems, but their power waxes as economic freedom wanes.
Labels: Economics, Politics, Religion