Thursday, December 5, 2013

Judge Napolitano Takes on The Pope's Economic Views

The Pope and Basic Economics
By Andrew P. Napolitano

What is the worst problem in the world today? Might it be war, starvation, genocide, sectarian violence, murder, slaughter of babies in the womb? Any of these would be a rational answer. But when Pope Francis was asked this question recently, he replied, “Youth unemployment.”

To be sure, youth unemployment is a serious problem. In some parts of the United States, the richest country in the world, it has reached 25 percent. These are people who are no longer in school full time and are not yet 30 years of age. It is a problem for them and their families, for their communities, and for the welfare states that are supporting them. But is it the worst problem in the world? Is it a problem for the Roman Catholic Church? And is it something the Pope is competent to comment upon or to resolve?

The Pope’s youth unemployment comments recently were removed from the Vatican’s website. No sooner had that been done than the Holy Father issued his first encyclical: a formal papal teaching, as opposed to his now famous impromptu back-of-the-plane yet on-the-record comments.

His encyclical is about economics, and it reveals a disturbing ignorance.

Read the rest here.


  1. Love the Judge, but I have to digress in some parts of the article.

    "Thank God, so to speak, that his teaching authority is limited to faith and morals, because in matters of economics, he is wide of the mark." It seems that the Judge is separating the spiritual and physical realm the wrong way. Does not economics consist of morals? "Moral hazards"? And, why should a leader of a church be ignorant of what God has decreed such as economics and law and such things? If God created all things, including economics and law, then why would a Pope, pastor, or any church leader be considered to have his opinion on such matters nullified?

    "He must also know that when Europe was in turmoil in 1931, his predecessor Pius XI wrote in one of his encyclicals: “(N)o one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.”" 1. If the current Pope is not ignorant of this quote by Pius XI, then what is he doing? 2. Why is this statement encouraged to take value from by Napolitano but states that the current Pope's statement is does not pertain to faith and religion?

    I know this is harsh critique and I love the Judge, but seriously there's questions here. Here let me pose this question after writing the above: Why should I become Catholic?

    - JS

    1. Economics is about means. Morals, as used by the Judge and the Church, is about ends. The importance of distinguishing that which the Pope has teaching authority regarding, and what is simply his opinion (on subjects outside the traditional claims of his office) is ellaborated upon in Tom Woods' "The Church and the Market".

      Your last question seems rather loaded, so here's the loaded response to match: If you have to ask, you probably shouldn't.

    2. The pope as Marxist: Is Limbaugh right?
      As the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere, as one who experienced the financial meltdown of the Argentine economy, as a bishop who encouraged his priests to work in the slums, Pope Francis knows the global economy from the perspective of those at the bottom. Decrying the idolatry of money, he sets himself firmly against a "deified marketplace" in which the masses of human beings become powerless spectators, if not disposable "leftovers."

      Yet Pope Francis may have touched a particular nerve. In the most often cited paragraph of his document, he notes, "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."

      Here, you might say he is getting personal, stepping beyond familiar pleas for the poor to confront a central article of faith among the elite beneficiaries of our economy: The notion that whatever benefits the wealthiest -- tax cuts or financial deregulation -- will inevitably benefit those at the bottom.

    3. Again, you're separating God's authority (spiritual and physical realm). Genesis 1 states that everything is under God's authority (not just the whole "who created the universe argument"), including economics. Therefore, by stating that the Pope, as church leader, has certain responsibilities while he should keep quiet about others, and to say he is the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, would be to undermine God's authority, however you define morals. Or, should there be a separated Pope, specifically, for economics and a Pope for law and so on?

      The reason why I asked why I should become Catholic is that why should I take the Pope or the office of it seriously when the office doesn't speak truth to all or about all of God's Creation?

      - JS

    4. @Anon 12:26PM

      That's not what Napolitno pointed out in his article. The Pope used a pejorative, as stated by another contributor to this site, when he used the "anti-Trickle-Down-Theory" argument. It was an straight up attack on me and you and everybody that participates and benefits from capitalism, which would be everybody. Perhaps you ought to be a ghost writer for the Pope since you can explain better than he.

      - JS

    5. To say everything is under God's authority does not imply that God's agent has this full authority delegated to him. He cannot command the tides, or explain the phenomenon of gravity. Catholic Tradition holds the Pope's teaching authority to the subject of faith and morals (and yes, it is important to define them). This means his theories on the mating habits of pygmy fruit bats, or efficient means of iron-smelting, or the causes of the business cycle, are in no way binding on Catholics.

    6. "Does not economics consist of morals"

      If that's true, then why shouldn't the FED simply print zillions of dollars and distribute it over the world so even the poor and needy are no longer without means?
      Economics has laws and doesn't care about your morals. You need to create wealth before you can use it to help others.
      The Judge is justly criticizing the Pope's complete ignorance of this. The Pope should be talking about man's refusal to help his fellow man even if they have enough. That's his domain: morality itself. Not the science and its laws that create wealth, but what mankind chooses to do with it after it has been created. And even then he should take into consideration concepts like incentive.

    7. have not seen real capitalism in long time....

      Report: ‘Fast Food CEOs Rake In Taxpayer-Subsidized Pay’

      Anderson, who is director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, told “Democracy Now!” on Thursday of the finding, “this is a perverse loophole in our tax code that essentially means that the more corporations pay their CEO, the less they pay in taxes. And that’s because there is this loophole that allows companies to deduct unlimited amounts from their corporate income taxes for the expense of executive pay, as long as it’s so-called performance pay—so, stock options and other bonuses that are configured in a way to qualify for this tax loophole. And what it means essentially is that ordinary taxpayers are subsidizing excessive CEO pay.”

    8. @ Daniel Rice & Tony
      "To say everything is under God's authority does not imply that God's agent has this full authority delegated to him." Then, why consider the Pope or office of it to be infallible if he does not represent or understand or delegated the full authority of God? Or, why give him royal ovations and consider him any more important than a man that understands the authority and how God's law - economics in this case - works?

      Economics is not just a study of a lower life form. It is a law designed by God for humans to subdue the earth. As you, Tony, said to work and generate wealth as God did in the first days - in His image.

      Having the Fed print money and give it away is immoral and anybody that thinks otherwise is a psychopath. Yes, economics does have laws, and if violated, has consequences. This, I would think, would be of importance and inline with the job description of somebody like the Pope.

      - JS

  2. I hate to pile on, but didn't the Judge just stumble over "The Broken Cathedral Fallacy"?

  3. everyone hates when someone speaks out in support of the poor but not too much on this rolling oligarchical immoral phenomenon...this has been going on in most countries....everyone is supposed to lay down for this????????

    Rajoy to Rescue Highway Billionaires Who Bet on Boom

    Spanish taxpayers have bailed out banks and power companies. Next up are highway operators and their billionaire owners.

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government is considering a 5 billion-euro ($6.7 billion) plan to take over and guarantee the debt of about 364 miles (585 kilometers) of roads, according to two people familiar with the matter who declined to comment because no final decisions have been made.

    “This is another repeat of ‘too big to fail’,” Jose Garcia Montalvo, an economics professor at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, said in a telephone interview. “You don’t need to worry if something goes wrong, the government will come to the rescue.”

    The roads are controlled by some of Spain’s biggest companies, including the Del Pino family’s Ferrovial SA (FER), the Koplowitz family’s Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA, Sacyr SA (SCYR) and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA, run by Real Madrid Chairman Florentino Perez. They’re entitled to the rescue through a law passed under General Francisco Franco in 1972, which stipulates that when a private highway goes bust, the state has to repay its owners for the cost of the land and the construction.

    Government Guarantees

    Under Rajoy’s plan to avoid paying compensation, the government will set up a company and give the lenders that financed the highways, including Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), first claim on its revenue, the people said. In exchange, the banks would extend the maturity of the existing 3.75 billion euros of loans to 20 years on average, they said.

    The government may provide a direct guarantee for about 1.25 billion euros of 30-year loans to cover expropriation payments to landowners that the builders never made and allow the highways’ current owners to retain 20 percent of the new company, according to the people.

    A Santander spokeswoman and a BBVA spokesman declined to comment.

    As Rajoy struggles to turn around the Spanish economy after two recessions that destroyed almost 4 million jobs, the Franco-era concession law is adding to a bailout bill for banks and the regions that already exceeds 140 billion euros. Spain’s sovereign debt totals about 775 billion euros, according to the Bank of Spain.

    “The government isn’t rescuing the thousands of small businesses that failed during the crisis,” Gonzalo Bernardos, a professor of economics at Barcelona University, said in a telephone interview.

  4. Well, I the yenguy take on everybody, and his views!!!

    One’s ideology determine one’s life experience.

    Sound and beneficial ideas are in scarce supply, that is in the general sense of the word, in limited supply. Sound and beneficial ideas help one understand reality and make sound and beneficial decisions.

    One’s ideology is based upon either the fiat of philosophy or religion, which is basically will worship, that is, the worship of one’s own will, or one’s ideology is based upon Scripture, that is the Gospel, or Good News, of the objective reality of Christ, Ephesians 4:21-24, which provides Grace and Truth, John 1:17.

    All ideologies present sovereign authority.

    Those of Roman Catholic conviction, believe in Encyclicals, embrace Catholocism, believe the Pope and the Church to be sovereign, and have life experience as a Roman Catholic.

    Those of Austrian economics conviction, believe in principles of liberty, embrace Libertarianism, believe people to be sovereign individuals, and have life experience as a Libertarian.

    Those of Christian conviction, embrace Christianity, and specifically an ism such as Dispensationalism, believe Christ to be sovereign, and have life experience as a Christian.

    An isms is defined as a processes that produce a state-of-being from ideas; one adopts an ideology, embraces an ism, and the two produce the individual’s state-of-being, having life experience.

    Dispensationalism is defined as the concept that Jesus Christ is exercising administrative management of all things in each of mankind’s ages, to make them full, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:25.

    The Dispensation Economics Manifest, that is the dispensation ideology; it is the foundation for a life experience of economic action in the person of Christ, having His virtue and ethics, and this establishes one as elect, living in spirituality and righteousness, separating one from the fiat who live in carnality and iniquity.

    For more please visit

  5. The Pathology of the Rich - Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself pt1

    Published on Dec 5, 2013

    On RAI with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storms