Monday, February 20, 2017

Capitalism is not the enemy

The fact that Pope Francis is a strong critic of capitalism bothers me. Matthew Lau says:
In another speech in February, Pope Francis said that “capitalism continues to produce discarded people” — an ill that, according to him, is thankfully curtailed by taxes which promote “solidarity” and “mutual care.” He then told the over 1,000 listening to his address that “we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, and many things right about it. Greed and excess etc.--is a product of man not capitalism.

For over fifteen years my husband and I owned and operated a small business. We created jobs for people, we provided goods and services, we provided our children with a good and honest work ethic, we contributed to the economy of our country. This is all good and healthy. It is not evil.

After those years of running our company we both took jobs for the next fifteen years in the government. The amount of money wasted and squandered in government was horrendous--those taxes Francis talks about are frequently mismanaged and wasted. The way many people were treated and abused in government was horrifying. Managers on power trips, and employees too lazy to work sprinkle themselves throughout the bureaucracy. Managers who couldn't manage produced "discarded people", not capitalism.

As business owners we never wasted money, we worked hard and didn't abuse people, we added to the GDP. There was nothing nefarious about the fact that because we lived in a capitalist society, we were able to make a good and honest living as well as provide people with jobs. All because of capitalism.

I would argue that communist governments like Cuba, are evil. The people there suffer from low wages, lack of goods and services, lack of motivation, lack of basic property rights, lack of something to strive for. These kinds of living conditions do not occur to this extent under capitalism.

In third world countries where there are very poor people, is it capitalism that's at fault, or is it corrupt leaders, wars and terrorists that are at fault?

Certainly there are greedy and evil capitalists. Just like there are greedy and evil people in dictatorships, in socialism, in communism, and in terrorists.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Thank God for St. Michael the Archangel

I was able to go to Mass while in Toronto to the newly refurbished St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Such a beautiful building. A fitting home for God in Canada's largest city.

Bishop Michael Power originally built the Cathedral in 1845. He never saw its completion because he died of typhus, from the Irish who he helped when they more than doubled the size of Toronto:
"Bishop Power did not live to see the completion of the building he had spearheaded. In January 1847, Power had departed on a six month-month trip to Europe to recruit priests for the growing Diocese of Toronto and to raise money for the Cathedral. The trip took him to Ireland where he witnessed the Great Famine (1845-1851) that would result in the emigration of so many Irish to Canada. Prior to his return, Bishop Power sent a pastoral letter read in all Catholic churches in and around Toronto, urging congregations to be prepared for the influx of Irish Famine victims. Between May and October 1847 over 38,000 emigrants arrived in Toronto. With a population of only 20,000, the influx strained local resources. Upon his return to Toronto, Bishop Power administered to the sick and dying, many of who were suffering from typhus. He contracted the fever and died on October 1, 1847. During Bishop Power’s Episcopate, the number of Catholics in the Diocese of Toronto approximately doubled from 25,000 in 1842 to 50,000 to 1847. During his short term, Bishop Power provided energetic leadership to the Catholic community. 
He is remembered for his contributions to the new Diocese of Toronto including the establishment of its operational framework. The construction of St. Michael’s Cathedral and his compassion to the victims of Irish famine. Although the funeral of Bishop Power was held at St. Paul’s, he was buried in the crypt of the unfinished St. Michael’s Cathedral."

 I'm glad St. Michael he Archangel is out there protecting us all from evil. Of which there is a lot.