francis

From Michael Stafford’s ABC Religion and Ethics article, Can savage capitalism be humanized? Taking up the challenge of Pope Francis

Ronald Reagan once quipped that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.” Our experience since then has shown, however, that hearing “I’m from the private sector and I’m here to make a profit” is often worse. Thus the main legacies of the Reagan era – broadly-shared assumptions regarding the utility of redistributive public policies, the roles of the state and the public sector in meeting the needs and aspirations of the common people and fostering the conditions for human flourishing, and the relationship between government and the economy – must be overturned, or at the very least reexamined. We must, as Pope Francis has indicated, abandon failed “ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good.”

 

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