Philip Booth, a Catholic economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs, a British free-market think-tank, wants his church’s approach to move in a different direction—towards crunchier thinking about the state and the abuses that an over-mighty one can easily commit. Like almost every other Catholic, conservative or radical, who thinks about economics, he sees an important starting point in a famous Vatican document of 1891, Rerum Novarum, which recognised the usefulness of trade unions and collective bargaining. But he thinks that ideas like “solidarity” and “subsidiarity” or devolved decision-making have been debased in left-wing Catholic discourse, to imply support for a redistributionist state. In fact, voluntary or private initiatives can often be a better way of showing “solidarity” with the poor.
He also wants a sharper critique of bodies such as the European Union. The English version of Caritas in Veritate calls for a United Nations “with real teeth” even though the rendering in other languages was somewhat milder. In Mr Booth’s view such rose-tinted thinking about international bureaucracies fails to understand the problems of mission creep and corrupt in-house cultures. Something that Francis may find all too close to his new home.
terça-feira, abril 02, 2013
Catholicism and economics
Via O Insurgente, Catholicism and economics: The poor pope no The Economist: