Christian Guidance in a Complex Economic World
In this tumultuous post-election year many of us might appreciate orientation toward a more informed moral compass. Different points of view usually accompanied by strong feelings make up our daily conversation. And in some respects the bases for our socio/political system, which is usually identified as a type of democratic capitalism, are being questioned. I would like to recommend one well-presented opinion to contribute to the discussion.
An economic piece published in AMERICA, The Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture (issue of February 20, 2017) in my opinion offers a significant contribution for all of us from a hands-on participant. Confessions of a Capitalist Convert, was offered to the public by Arthur C. Brooks, president of THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE and the best-selling author of The Conservative Heart (Broadside Books, 2015) and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.
One of the words in the title, Confessions, betrays its Christian bias as the author grapples with a tough moral issues confronting an American today seriously trying to follow Jesus’ WAY. Brooks concludes: “I am an expert witness to the fact that there has never been a better system than free enterprise for empowering real people to pull themselves out of poverty….to unlock the unique sense of dignity that comes with earning their own way, deploying their talents to serve their community, colleagues or customers, and taking home justifiable pride in–and rewards for–their efforts….there is no reason, if we are serious about our Christian apostolate, that free enterprise should become an idol in itself, impoverish anyone or capture ours souls.”
From an opposite angle Pope Francis has endorsed an entire book, Pope Francis on Capitalism And Social Justice,¹ in my opinion not technically rigorous, on the subject. The Pope decries the abuses that are fruit of economic mechanisms abused by excessive financial gain for a dominant few in capitalism.
Brooks has presented an admirable analysis of the tensions for a Jesus’ follower working inside such a system. For the complete article:
¹Pope Francis on Capitalism And Social Justice, by Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi (Glastonbury Abbey Hingham, Mass. 2015)