Saturday, May 24, 2014

Cardinal Dolan steers the middle course

Cardinal Dolan's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (the link goes to the National Catholic Register's article about the op-ed) seems to me to strike the right balance between "market economy" and "redistribution."
But the church certainly disapproves of any system of unregulated economic amorality, which leaves people at the mercy of impersonal market forces, where they have no choice but to sink, swim or be left with the scraps that fall from the table. That kind of environment produces the evils of greed, envy, fraud, misuse of riches, gross luxury and exploitation of the poor and the laborer. 
As Dolan points out, Pope Francis is saying that while there may be situations in which some redistribution is necessary, it is not the cornerstone of the strategy to get people out of poverty: personal virtue is.
[I]ndividual generosity, private economic development, community and family initiatives, and public policies of "legitimate redistribution of economic benefits" all have a role in enhancing economic opportunities, and in alleviating and eliminating poverty. 
Note that "ndividual generosity, private economic development, [and] community and family initiatives" are difficult to enact in a tightly controlled economy.

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