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Ear to the Ground

Pope Says Capitalism Is Failing

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Posted on Jul 8, 2009
Benedict XVI
highvolumemedia.com

What a concept: The pope says ethics should govern international finance.

In the spirit of the poignant critiques of capitalism made popular by Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has written a scathing letter just in time for the capitalist G-8 economic summit in Italy that demands we find a “profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise.”

CNN:

Pope Benedict XVI, on the eve of a global economic summit, lashed out at modern capitalism for being shortsighted and short on ethics.

“Today’s international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise,” the pontiff said in his third encyclical letter, “Charity in Truth,” which was released Tuesday.

The papal letter was released as the heads of leading industrialized nations started gathering in central Italy for the Group of Eight economic summit, which begins Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to speak about the economic outlook. The leaders of the other G-8 nations—Japan, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Russia—also are scheduled to speak.

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By rodney, July 15, 2009 at 12:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Catholic church isn’t doing much better

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, July 9 at 12:53 pm #

re: Inherit The Wind

My favorite knucklehead is correct about this. The damage that the Bush administration did to this country, both politically and ethically, is such that not even a perfect president could unravel and/or correct the giant stinking turd left by the previous one. No matter how dissatisfied anyone feels about current policies, it does not change the fact that George W. Bush was by far the worst president in American history.
*************************************************

Yeah, we knuckleheads have to stick together.  “The Contingent” can’t have ALL the knuckleheads—it’s just not fair!

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By boggs, July 9, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

SSssshhhhhush, do not expose the wealth of the Vatican. They need all the “Mother Theresa’s” they can corner, to go out into the night and collect coins for the poor, but first they will take the coins to the Vatican for counting and safe-keeping.

Religion, what a FAIRIES TALE

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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, July 9, 2009 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

re: Inherit The Wind

My favorite knucklehead is correct about this. The damage that the Bush administration did to this country, both politically and ethically, is such that not even a perfect president could unravel and/or correct the giant stinking turd left by the previous one. No matter how dissatisfied anyone feels about current policies, it does not change the fact that George W. Bush was by far the worst president in American history.

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By Shift, July 9, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

My guess is that the Catholic Church lost a lot of money in the Stock and Bond markets and maybe in derivatives as well.  I wonder if any AIG money went to the Vatican.  Oh well, the Panzer Pope is feeling the pinch.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 9, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

rollzone, July 9 at 1:03 am #

hello. the pope, like omamma, has no business in the business of business. the pope belongs in the spiritual guidance of human character to incorporate good behaviour into business practices. ommama is in the business of everyone playing fair. business men, economists, even an accountant could make a more qualified decision regarding capitalism; than these two, whom have never worked a real job in their lives; but seem determined to destroy those whom contribute to their existence. why does the pope accept power from stockpiled Vatican wealth?  what faith does his wealth buy? what is his capitalist example of business to glory? mine gold for God?
***************************************

Right.  But your hero, Bush, had that right.  And he made a royal fuck-up of it starting in the summer of 2001 when he first turned the federal budget surplus into a deficit, just to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.  He wasted our “rainy day” money on crap JUST before the biggest “rainy day” since Pearl Harbor.

Didn’t you notice, Einstein, that unemployment was skyrocketing prior to Jan 20? That the sub-prime crisis from two years ago had morphed into a PRIME crisis and a banking crash? Or that Bush&Co; were loudly and blatantly WARNED this would happen as the sub-prime crisis was playing out?

Or do you subscribe to the idea that only Republicans get to blame the problems they face on achieving office on their Democratic predecessors, but Democrats don’t get to blame Republicans for 8 years of disastrous screwups?

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 11:34 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the historical corrections, Inherit.

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By rollzone, July 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

hello. the pope, like omamma, has no business in the business of business. the pope belongs in the spiritual guidance of human character to incorporate good behaviour into business practices. ommama is in the business of everyone playing fair. business men, economists, even an accountant could make a more qualified decision regarding capitalism; than these two, whom have never worked a real job in their lives; but seem determined to destroy those whom contribute to their existence. why does the pope accept power from stockpiled Vatican wealth?  what faith does his wealth buy? what is his capitalist example of business to glory? mine gold for God?

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By dantinak, July 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does any one with a free thought even listen to the pope or any church “leader” for the matter?

Who really cares what this guys says, the only ones listening are old women who want to believe in an afterlife (taken from Gran Torino).

When the pope gives up his gucci shoes then I will think about listening to his babble.

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By Inherit The Wind, July 8, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Um, FT:

Your history meter is off again, as usual. It was Pius XII, not XI who was “Hitler’s Pope”.  Benedict has been trying rehab Pius XII, claiming he secretly was helping Jews escape, not standing by and doing nothing.  Of course, without unimpeachable documentation, that claim is meaningless.  And Piux XII WAS far worse than Benedict XVI, who is more the fumble-tongued foot-in-mouth type than the cagey amoral world dominationist.

As for the vast wealth of the Catholic Church—I suspect the recent bailout using 750 BILLION dollars dwarfs even the Church’s vast wealth and holdings (though some of the real estate they hold in New York City is breath-taking in its value—the New York Palace is built on Church acreage—priests get to stay for free, I believe, if the diocese requests it.)

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By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, until we have diverging interests; in this respect, I accept the Pope’s condemnation of capitalism.

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By yours truly, July 8, 2009 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Words are cheap, actions count, and at this very moment in Hondruas the Church’s actions don’t match its words, because it’s on the side of the military junta there, not the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya.  Why not?  Because Zelaya is a populist and, more often than not, populist governments beget secular societies.  And then guess what?  Legalized abortion and gay marriage, that’s what.  Which is the underpinning to the Pope’s message.  What, the Church change after almost an eternity of being on the side of the powers that be?  Such thinking is sheer tomfoolery, that’s what.

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By J. B., July 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am a Catholic. Too little, too late. After instantly trashing the substantial proposed internal reforms by Vatican II, the Church has been playing public relations games with minor matters along side “the world” in pursuit of a small share of it’s material trappings of worldly power. Just look at the big money and see if it leads to Rome and it’s friends in high places.

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By Hulk2008, July 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

It’s that “free will” thingy getting in the way again:  Il Papa can’t speak out until the obvious is already known and accepted by the masses.  Free will ....? Can’t touch that !!
  Unfortunately, religious leaders are even more slow to speak out or act than Congress.  Ironically, organizations which demand that we “support the right to life” cut short their definition of what that means.
  Right-to-lifers don’t adopt unwanted babies before or after they are born.  They call contraception evil but offer drivel about abstinence to the millions who suffer in the Third World.  They never condemn wars - especially needless ones which are launched by self-proclaimed “christians”.  Sex is treated as the ultimate horror while nuclear build-up gets less than lip service.  And they are always dead set against any kind of money for welfare.  Millions for abstinence, but not one penny for welfare - it’s “un-american” to rehabilitate or raise an unwanted child because it would cost tax dollars.

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By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm,

The Pope was waiting for God to talk to him.  Apparently, RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS preaching Adam Smith in the churches of the evangelical movement turned God against Capitalism with sufficient ire “From up the sky” that God felt compelled to put it in the Pope’s mind to speak out on the Evil’s of Capitalism.  The RIGHT-WINGERS claimed Adam Smith for God, but God was offended and directed the Pope to express his ire and wrath.  http://www.sonnets.org/hardy.htm

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Some popes are bad and some are worse.  Pope ratso is the worst since Pious 9, I think it was, declared himself Infaillable.  And that includes Hitler’s pope, Pious 11.

He is against capitalism because he is in favor of feudalism, not socialism.  What he wants is everybody poor and ignorant so he can delude them with his bullshit and immorality.  His slimy endosrsement of the war against Islam, and his strictures against condoms in Africa where a horrendous fraction of the population suffers from AIDS, is just two of his evil impositions.  He is disgusting, like those rabbis in Gaza who cheered on the Israeli troops to kill the defenseless.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, July 8, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Back in the heady days of shock and awe, when we were laying the hammer down in Baghdad, there were few critics of the Iraq invasion. Until we got bogged down over there it was mostly cheers and flag waving.

It seems that as long as we’re winning (and by some arbitrary standard), we appear incapable of serious critical self-assessment. The same is true of capitalism. Back in the dot-com and housing booms it was heresy to speak out against a system that seemed to be treating us all so well. Now the anti-capitalism bandwagon is more crowded than a Marrakech taxi.

The leader of an outdated desert-god cult can hardly be considered a moral authority, and speaking out after the fact doesn’t help your credibility much. Where was the Pope back in 1995, when the champions of an unregulated market were laying the groundwork for this disaster? Where were the men with the funny hats during the Reagan years, when the worker ants of the “me generation” were busily turning greed into the fundamental organizing principal of the western world?

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By ThomasG, July 8, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

Chris,

The Pope is right; and the Pope speaks for God.

The answer to Capitalist G-R-E-E-D is—legislated law and order—setting “ratios of benefit” for all activity that is a part of capitalist enterprise, so that everyone shares in the revenue stream that is the capital of capitalism.

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By lester333, July 8, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Bout time brownie shirt.  I wonder what the poop is really up to.

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By grousefeather, July 8, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The headline should read: ‘Pope states the obvious.’

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By Chris, July 8, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Instead of putting caps on ceo salaries and messing with the sorry minimum wage concept, develope a flexable wage scale based on the companies gross income (not taxable income) in which CEO pay+bonus cannot excede x% of their LOWEST WAGE EARNER. This would create a healthy economy. Effectively abolishing GREED.

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By rico, suave, July 8, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

To all you TD afficionados:

Capitalism is Failing! Hurray!

This must be ever bliss!

Could it be true? Could your wildest dreams be within reach?

Of course it was the Pope, a Christian (eeeeew!), who avered such, so you can be forgiven for suspecting that it’s a ruse designed to divert you from the class struggle. But he does have mild anti-zionist tendencies, which is good. But then, again, he believes in God (EEEEEW!!).

Well, best not to read too much into it. Permanent victimhood at the hands of the power elite is so much more fun.

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By Eso, July 8, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

Bring Jesus back down to Earth,
where John once lived.
I would like to see the Pope go on a hunger strike.

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By Old Geezer Pilot, July 8, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Last time I was in St Pete’s, I notices that there was a lot of valuable stuff there.

Hey Pope - how about hocking your jewels to feed the poor? Queen Isabella did it for Chris Columbus in 1492.

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By boggs, July 8, 2009 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Pope, are you kidding us?
“What a Revelation.”

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By Dave, July 8, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Vatican is sitting on billions of artwork and other treasures that they’ve “acquired” over the years and the pope has the audacity to comment about charity.  Why don’t they sell that giant Egyptian marble bath tub and help a few million people with the proceeds??

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