In a follow-up interview the Pope maintained that theories that claimed free market driven economic growth would benefit the poor are wrong. "The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor."
Yet the cup of economic growth has been overflowing benefits to the world's poor at unprecedented rates. Consider just China alone. China has improved its economic freedom score by more than any other Asian country since 1980. The pro-market reforms ushered in economic growth that has averaged nearly 10 percent annually. That growth "overflowed" and lifted more than 500 million people out of what the World Bank classifies as extreme poverty. All around the world, countries that have focused on freeing up entrepreneurial investment have been very successful in "trickling down" economic benefits.
Mother Teresa may have had more noble intentions towards the poor than most entrepreneurs do but intentions do not equal results. The invisible hand of the market lifts more people out of poverty than Mother Teresa, the Pope, or any saint ever has, but then lifting people permanently out of poverty has never been the purview of the Church.
Pope Francis doesn't have any divine knowledge of how a market economy operates. This Christmas season he and other theologians should stick to what they know best - the Holy Scripture and moral exhortation. They should leave the economics to the economists. We'll do the inverse in return.