Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

From Rome, Five Essential Inequality Truths

By       Message Sam Pizzigati     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

- Advertisement -

In plain yet powerful language, Pope Francis is challenging the givens of our deeply unequal world -- and helping inspire resistance to it.

From Pope Francis
Pope Francis
(Image by Wikipedia)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Sometimes you don't have to say anything "new" to make news. Consider, for instance, the "apostolic exhortation" the Vatican released last Tuesday.

This statement from Pope Francis, observers note, didn't really break any bold new theological ground. But the Pope's exhortation, the first all his own since he stepped onto the world stage last March, still made front pages the world over -- and fully merited all that attention.

What makes this new papal statement so significant? No global religious figure has likely ever before denounced economic inequality with as wide-ranging -- and as accessible -- an assault.

- Advertisement -

Commentators are already tracing the roots of the new exhortation, formally titled Evangelii Gaudium, or The Joy of the Gospel, in the Catholic religious tradition. But the statement also seems to draw inspiration from the world's most insightful research into inequality's economic, social, and political impact.

And just what insights can we take from what Pope Francis has to say about inequality? These five jump out most dramatically.

Inequality has no redeeming social value.

Our most clever apologists for maldistributions of income and wealth no longer argue that the richest among us have more brains -- or get-up-and-go -- than the rest of us. They argue instead that we need grand fortunes.

Grand private concentrations of wealth, the argument goes, serve as an incentive for the rest of us -- and supply the investments that keep economies thriving.

Pope Francis, in clear language that demonstrates his command of the vernacular, blows away these claims.

"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," Pope Francis writes.

- Advertisement -

This rich-people friendly take on the world, he points out, "has never been confirmed by the facts."

Markets demand our critical attention.

The market "fundamentalists" now driving public policy decisions all around the world are constantly warning us not to interfere in the marketplace. Any serious attempt to undo the inequality that markets engender, they insist, risks upsetting the natural order that markets in their inherent wisdom create.  

But all markets in real life run by rules, and these rules reflect the economic power of those who set them, not any deeper wisdom or divine providence.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Sam Pizzigati is an  Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

Editor,  Too Much ,  an online weekly on excess and inequality

Author, The Rich Don't Always (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Presenting America's Ten Greediest of 2013

A Daring Bid to Stomp Out CEO Pay Excess

Are Heartless People Simply Born That Way?

Counting Dollars the Rich Want Uncounted

The Mess on Our 'Information Superhighway'

Behind Super-Sized Sodas, a Deeper Danger