Sunday, December 1, 2013

Greg Mankiw takes on the Pope

Pope Francis's anti-capitalist remarks have received the attention of Greg Mankiw as well. He made two points that I made in my response, that it's well established that capitalism has made the world a better place, and the Pope's use of "trickle-down" was a pejorative and not the name of an actual theory.

But then Mankiw made a point I wish I had though of:

Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.

In the Communist Manifesto Karl Marx wrote that capitalism has been an essential part of the world's progress, but that it is no longer useful. Specifically, he said:

It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.

There is a thought being passed in some parts of the modern left that capitalism has never contributed to advances in civilization, and Pope Francis appears to subscribe to that view. It's troubling to think that there are people today, serious upright breathing people, that hold views to the left of Karl Marx.

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