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Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga: 'This Economy Kills'

Image: Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga: 'This Economy Kills'

By    |   Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 01:33 PM

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a close advisor to Pope Francis, criticized the free market as "a new idol" that increases inequality and excludes the poor in a keynote speech in Washington on Tuesday.

The conference, "Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism," was sponsored by The Catholic University of America, Religion News Service reported.

"This economy kills," he told the gathered crowd. "The hungry or sick child of the poor cannot wait."

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The Cardinal from Honduras called for solidarity with the poor, and said that individual acts of charity are not enough. He urged focus on the structural underpinnings that keep certain peoples in a cycle of poverty.

"Many of these libertarianists [sic] do not read the social doctrine of the church," he explained.

"But now they are trembling before the book of Piketty," he said, laughing.

Maradiaga was referring to French economist Thomas Piketty's bestseller, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," which proposes income taxes as high as 80 percent as well as a global wealth tax. The book became instantly controversial, and even more so after Chris Giles, economics editor of the Financial Times, identified "unexplained errors" in Piketty's data.

Reason.com, the online presence of libertarian Reason magazine, responded to Maradiaga's speech, stating "The two [the Pope and Maradiaga] may be well-meaning but are profoundly ignorant on economics and the kinds of policies that actually alleviate poverty, as opposed to the policies that claim to do so . . ."

The magazine's article urged caution against government-based solutions, pointing out that the Pope's home country, Argentina, is plagued by government corruption.

"Maradiaga says that the pope insists on the 'elimination of the structural causes for poverty.' If so, he should embrace free markets, which have the power to do so without relying on the oft-misguided and easily appropriated wisdom of men," the article read.

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Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a close advisor to Pope Francis, criticized the free market as "a new idol" that increases inequality and excludes the poor in a keynote speech in Washington on Tuesday.
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2014-33-05
Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 01:33 PM
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