The Pope may be confused along with a lot of other people as to what Capitalism truly is and should be. I prefer to use the term “free enterprise, something that America hasn’t had for a long time and we are suffering for it. Fascism and over-regulation of businesses is where we are at now, and no one but the Oligarchs will benefit very much from that system before it all crashes and burns...which it will, as planned. Latin America is a prime example of that, so can understand why the Pope doesn’t think that Business helps the little guy.
The Pope is right and wrong. Under a true free enterprise system, with no gimmicks...the system works.
In our current gimmick free enterprise system....once folks have been in the low wage for years and start to look for anything to move up...there’s fresh new illegals or immigrants to take the low-paying job.
Five decades ago, you had to keep inching wages up every five to ten years. There wasn’t any choice. Today? You just advertise the same wage as fifteen years ago, and keep going because you’ve got the players to take the lower pay.
We developed the free enterprise system into a gimmick. It’s not free market any more...we’ve twisted every true mechanism into something that hurts trends, limits futures, and led into over-regulation.
Small towns throughout America used to have small industry operations...up until the 1980s. The NAFTA agreement took that, and screwed up the whole idea of free enterprise working like the book says. Guys sit around today....waiting for $12 jobs to appear, and they just won’t come. Gimmick after gimmick created....to make us believe free enterprise and capitalism works as advertised. We still repeat the Reagan slogans and believe in the speeches. But that era of true capitalism went out in the 1990s. We are fake capitalists today...for better or worse.
You make a good point in substituting ‘free enterprise’ for ‘capitalism’. It paints a different picture.
The full text of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation can be found here:
The word — CAPITALISM is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE TEXT.
Instead, we have statements about The Markets such as these:
“...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. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other peoples pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone elses responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”
“While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
No to a financial system which rules rather than serves.”
“The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, but because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises. Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses. As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the worlds problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.”
“We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”
“In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside of the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics a non-ideological ethics would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: Not to share ones wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.
“Nor can we overlook the fact that in recent decades there has been a breakdown in the way Catholics pass down the Christian faith to the young. It is undeniable that many people feel disillusioned and no longer identify with the Catholic tradition. Growing numbers of parents do not bring their children for baptism or teach them how to pray. There is also a certain exodus towards other faith communities. The causes of this breakdown include: a lack of opportunity for dialogue in families, the influence of the communications media, a relativistic subjectivism, unbridled consumerism which feeds the market, lack of pastoral care among the poor, the failure of our institutions to be welcoming, and our difficulty in restoring a mystical adherence to the faith in a pluralistic religious landscape.”
The Pope doesn't use the word 'capitalism' either. OK, so the mindless pundits say he does, but he doesn't. The Pope used the word 'marketplace' like the Bible does, but while he talks like markets are somehow bad, the Bible considers markets simply part of life itself.
In Latin America, as you say, capitalism has almost always meant crony capitalism. Oddly enough, Chile under and after Pinochet was one of the few exceptions. Though it looks like they’re heading back in that direction.
“The Pope may be confused along with a lot of other people as to what Capitalism truly is and should be.”
No he isn’t confused, like most “religious leaders” from big religions, he’s simply a Socialist. He and his ilk would gladly crash “capitalism” in their “eternal quest” to “help” the world’s “poor.” While at the same time, not unlike our current government, they take a healthy cut from the offerings plate for themselves. Just look at how the Archbishop of Los Angeles openly flaunts immigration law to “help” the folks from Mexico and points south. The fact that what he’s doing is helping to destroy the economy for those of us who are here legally doesn’t even enter his mind.