tv Road to the White House CSPAN September 20, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
society cannot be found on opposition of classes, so also the right ordering of economic life cannot be left to free competition of forces. for from this source as from a poisoned spring have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic thinking. we could go back even further to the gospel in which the blessed virgin mary says, he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty. so what is the difference with pope francis? i would submit that it is he is quite blunt and you can't spin him. john paul ii and benedict xvi were often interpreted by conservative voices to an american audience. they brought a distorting lens to what both those two great popes had to say. with pope francis there is no need to interpret him. it's funny one of the early criticisms of pope francis, he's very confusing. there's nothing confusing about him. you can talk to some immigrant workers who work picking the tomatoes that will help with our salad at lunch, they are not confused by the pope. the people leveling that charge don't like what he has to say. the critique is systemic. the change that pope francis calls for is not merely the individual capitalist become more virtuous. he's in favor of virtue and opposed to advice, it's deeper than that. if that was the case, only a matter of people behave more
virtuously, any system would do. madison saying if men were angels, there would be no need of government. the pope's critique of the free market system has two tracks. one based on facts on the ground. the other at the level of theory. in both he's not only condemning excesses, he's condemning the system itself. as a theory, free market ideology opposes almost all government and intervention in the market. but pope francis and catholic social teaching do not share this horror of government. government an expression of the
common good. government is called upon to enact justice. john paul ii said quote it's not directed against the market but demands the market be appropriately controlled. ,ou can compare this with liberty is always freedom from the government. as benedict xvi markets out, it provides no room for gratuitous us in. pope francis would add mercy. the mosaic law which provides for tithes to the poor. the biggest problem i think was self-interest vs. the universal destination of goods. self-interest is a sin and can't be wiggled into a virtue by reference to its socially creative consequences. as david schindler has pointed you out, christians mean something very different by creativity from what capitalists mean. pope francis when he deals with some of these issues pulling on
-- schindler pulls, the overlap is obvious. primary foundation for social teaching is the universal destination of goods. which means all the goods of the world are to be distributed so everyone has enough to live and to participate in society. this claim is prior to property rights. classic to mystic theory holds that private property rights can be recognized but only as a consequence of the fall. the original sin. another point of divergence that comes up all the time is that free-market ideologues always have seemed to have it in for organized labor. going back the church's explicitly endorsed the right of workers to unionize and never drawn a distinction between public and private sector workers and their right to organize. turning to the lived reality i think this is even more important for pope francis. he has said on several occasions reality is more important than
ideas. it is often asserted with some basis in fact as marian pointed out at the beginning that capitalism and others have lifted millions out of poverty, but if at the same time it excludes others, it is an unjust system and unworthy of the human person. inadequate as an economic system. with a look at the transpacific trade deal which seems to be stalled but if it goes through, one of the things we can anticipate is certain jobs in factories in the nations currently subject to the cafta accords in central america will go to vietnam and malaysia. these trade accords, they invite a race to the bottom with wages. we could look at the issue of debt crises. austerity which harms the poor, why is that always the first option? i was pleased to see last month that the puerto rican bishops
and other religious leaders have called for a different approach to the crisis that puerto rico is facing where it's an odd situation in puerto rico. they fall between the stool of -- they are not a sovereign nation, they can't work with the i.m.f. they are not a city or state so they can't go into bankruptcy. they have asked for the fed to help them restructure the debt and start not with mandating austerity but giving a haircut to the hedge funds. i'm for that. that's a good idea. we can look at the 2008 economic meltdown here and around the world. even alan greenspan, who i'm sure as devoted to free market ideals as anyone in public life in the last 50 years admitted the crisis forced him to rethink his assumptions. at the microlevel we can point to, again this attack on unions. we saw scott walker roll out an attack on that. i will stand with leo xiii who defended unions. we can consider the circumstance of a shop owner who wishes to provide a living wage. the phrase living wage entered the american lexicon in 1906.
john a. ryan's dissertation at catholic university. based on leo's writings. catholic belief is every person is entitled to a living wage. but if this shop owner who is a good catholic and wants to live by his faith, extends a living wage and his competition across the street doesn't, what in the market rewards the good guy? it was observed in the book unintended reformation, commenting on the transformation to a capitalist system, outside the price protection accorded by guilds, capitalist practices compel competitors to act as if they were driven by desires even if they were not. it was described the shift from the good society to the goods society. which raises an additional \problem with capitalism. it is married to consumerism. i suppose in some theoretical construction that was not necessary but that's how it's played out. i think you can say we
capitalists in the west have succeeded where the communists failed. making a culture that is thoroughly materialistic. instead of one big party we have many idols in our department stores. i think of the war on christmas every year when fox news gets worked up because this department store, chain, has dropped merry christmas in favor of happy holidays. if you walk through a department store between thanksgiving and christmas, and you think the choice of happy holidays is the problem with what modern consumer capitalism has done to christmas, i would suggest you have missed the point. they have taken a holiday about god becoming poor in human flesh and turned it into a chance to teach young children how to be greedy. that is exactly what christmas has become in this country. i turn now to the ethical considerations and difficulties. there is some debate in free market circles about whether or not the free market ideology even contains a moral sense.
milton friedman said economic freedom is an end in itself. freedom has nothing to say about what an individual does with his freedom. more on the issue of freedom in a bit. hiatt compared free market to a game which there is no sense in calling the result just or unjust, close quote. in this view the market is a mere tool that can be used well or badly with efficiency as the only relevant criteria. i think this is wrong. tools always imply results can be efficient and unjust at the same time. pope francis warned about using efficiency and technology as the only criteria for evaluating economic and other social activity in his encyclical on the environment. i would argue there is a very obvious ethics at the heart of market ideology by posing a few questions.
what values does the market celebrate? who are its heroes and comparing these with the catholic view? the market celebrates the self-made man. not the man who evidences solidarity. it celebrates thrift and frugality, not gratuitousness or generosity or simplicity which has a different flavor from frugality. the market demands self-assertion not self-surrender. the market celebrates success and pope francis like all catholics worships a crucified god. the market runs on competition not cooperation. need i go on? american capitalism was celebrated in a show called "lifestyles of the rich and famous." pope francis has ministered in the name of christ to the poor and forgotten. the christian ethical vision has been clouded in u.s. culture. we have tended to confuse fortune with blessing. pope francis reminds us that the good news of the gospel is brought to the poor. or if i may quote that great ethical wit, dorothy parker, if you want to know what god thinks of money, look at the people he gave it to.
[laughter] finally we'll turn to the anthropological difference. i'm not talking about excavating for tools from 500 years ago. the church means something very rich and specific when it refers to the human person. and that is a social meaning not autonomous understanding. i think these examples will highlight this difference. critics of government entitlement programs complain that they create a culture of dependency. in a pedestrian sense this criticism is valid. programs should not -- should create on ramps to participate fully in society not create disincentives to work or form a family. but at a deeper level a culture of entitlement and dependency is precisely what free market ideology cannot different but what the christian vision demands. people really are entitled to a
living wage. they are entitled to a roof over their heads. to a secure retirement. they are entitled to access to health care. and for christians, the human person is radically dependent. first on god every time we say grace, from thy bounty. and secondly on one another. the bond of dependence is called solidarity or neighborliness. i'm reminded it was said we would gain, quote, from not treating one another as neighbors, close quote. jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. the christian vision requires a focus on the holy other god and on the face of the other our fellow men and women. indeed, for the christians a disposition to generosity and human retions always takes priority. david schindler said selfishness becomes mutual is not yet mutual generosity. another point of difference the anthropological level is this word freedom. a deeply ambiguous word made to carry far too much weight in a variety of political discussions. negative freedoms that we have at the basis of our
constitutional system and that the freed men in hiatt quotes referred to earlier, this is not the freedom of the children of god. the catholic church cannot accept negative freedom from conception as a freedom as adequate. we saw this in the debate over the decree of religious liberty. everyone focuses on the big debate between the advocates of religious freedom versus its opponents. but the more interesting debate was among the murrayites who did embrace the kind of american constitutional, very rigid concept of freedom, and the intelligence who saw the problems when asked about this because that document like many documents was a consensus document, a year later it was said this was an issue we have to skate around. as we have seen in the issues surrounding the h.h.s. contraception mandate, and i would argue here on these issues of economic liberty, we can no longer skate around. the ice is gone far too thin.
the catholic faith teaches that we humans are called to communion to solidarity with god and with -- communion to solidarity with god and one another. everything the church teaches about human relations including economics flows from our belief the human person is created in the image and likeness of god. our most foundational belief about god is the trinity that god is himself a communion of persons it is in this image we are created. to denounce or demean solidarity, to celebrate an autonomous self and build and economic theory around that is to challenge the christian's basic belief who god is. in this great free country of ours we are all free to stand, i'm much happier to stand with
pope francis. [applause] marian: thank you very much. our last speaker is jay w. richards, a research professor in the school of business and economics at the catholic university of america. he's an executive editor of the stream and senior fellow at the discovery institute. richards is author of many books, including the new york times best-selling books infiltrated" infiltrated in 2013, and "indivisible" in 2012. he's also the author of money, greed, and god which won the 2010 templeton enterprise award. his articles have been published in harvard business review, "wall street journal," "washington post," and many other prestigious venues. with that please welcome jay w. richards.
[applause] jay: it's fun to you with you and here for these subjects. since i went last i realized many of things i was going to say are things that president garvey has said or michael said. i'm going to change my plans a little bit. i do want to address this question about how we understand pope francis because most -- unless you are a full-time pope follower, you write for a catholic publication or each at a public university, virtually everything you know or think you know about any pope except this one is coming second or third hand from the media. very often what he actually says is something different from what he says. michael quoted his statement about the dung of the devil. you quoted the actual statement that pope francis said. if you google that, what you'll see is pope francis called capitalism the dung of the devil. though in the speech he doesn't use the word capitalism. that's what odd about many of the things that pope francis says. he very rarely actually uses the word capitalism. that perhaps is deliberate. my favorite example, though, is media distortion has nothing do with these topics.
last year pope francis spoke to the pontifical academies of science and was talking about how the catholic and catholic theology understands god. it was reported in the english speaking press the pope said to these scientist that is god is not a divine being. alright now let that sink in. , the pope said that god is not a divine being. so when i saw this if i could make money just finding media distortions i would try to monetize it. but i thought this can't , possibly be right the pope would not would say this. i went to the vatican news site, look at the english translation there. it was there. that's where the media had gotten it. so i went to the original speech which was in italian, what he said is god is not a dimier. a technical philosophical term that says god is not just the
top member of the universe. he's a transcendent creator over everything. straight forward christian catholic theology. once translated, like a game of telephone internationally, had the pope saying god is not a divine being. so, whenever you are tempted to think, i know for sure what the pope is saying, remember that. that's how bad it can get. what we are going to talk about here for a few minutes today and much of what i wanted to say has been said, is this idea of capitalism through the eyes of pope francis. that's really what i want to focus on. i mention pope francis very rarely actually uses the word "capitalism." until yesterday i hadn't been able to find an example of him using the term at all. it turns out if the story is to be trusted a year ago or two years in 2013, he gave a talk to a soup kitchen in rome in which he referred to something called "savage capitalism." i thought ok, perfect. here we go.
when you look to see what he meant, the way he defined this term savage capitalism, was the logic of profit at any cost. that's a very specific idea we can debate that a fair interpretation of capitalism as it's normally defend. it's clear to see that's what he had in mind. as president garvey said, many of the things the pope writes, including in this most recent encyclical, he doesn't say a lot about these particular things. in fact, in his apostolic letter, if i'm correct it was only about eight pages in which he discusses economic topics at all. he does say this from pages 53 to 60. he says we must say no -- this is a direct quote. economy of no to an exclusion. we must say no to the new idolatry of money. a financialno to system that roles rather than serves.
and, we must say no to the inequality which spawns violence. so if you're a defender of the free market, ask yourself the question, do you disagree with that? anything that he said here? would you say no to an economy of exclusion or idolatry of money or to an inequality that spawns violence? he does, however, say he specifically condemns when he calls "the absolute autonomy of markets." this is a term he's used several times. as michael said pope francis and benedict also used the term like that. the same document, i want to reiterate these things even though you have heard them once, he says first of those who continue to defend trickle-down theories which assumes that economic growth encouraged by free market will inevitably succeed in bringing about great justice and inclusiveness of the world. such a view, he writes, which has never been confirmed by the ands, expresses a crude
that naive trust in the goodness of those wielding the economic power in the workings of the revealing -- prevailing economic system. we can no longer trust in the unseen forces and in the invisible hand of the market. i think it would be fair to say, i'd love to try to spin this and some people try to do, this especially those of us who think of the alternatives that economic freedom is the best thing to go, like to spin this away. i do think at least pope francis has an impression -- let me fix this. i will keep going. -- michael was telling me beforehand this is the reason he does not use powerpoint. there you go. stick with the yellow pad. i do think it's fair to say that his view of capitalism at least as he understands it is generally not positive. he does have positive things to say about business and its role in creating wealth and jobs. i think that's the best that we could say.
taking together, so his apostolic letter in his most recent encyclical, i think the better thing to do is focus on what pope francis primarily is saying. what he's intending to say and what he does say because he says many things over and over. and so, i think we can take these as sort of recurring terms in his own dogma. he speaks frequently about what he calls speculation. he used it last week speaking in italy, believe, to a cooperative bank association. actually in rome. he talks about economic ideologies that deny human dignity. that embrace selfishness and greed. talks again a lot about the idolatry of money and ideologies. a lot about greed. as we said, it comes up again and again.
this doesn't distinguish him from virtually any other pope in the 20th or now the 21st century. he does invoke, as you heard a minute ago, the idea of the invisible hand. to paraphrase, you can no longer trust in the sort of guidance of this invisible hand which is the term that adam smith came up with. interestingly smith, so far as i can tell, never used the term twice, that's what most people remember that he said. behind all this, i think this is a crucial point, whenever pope francis is talking about these things, invariably he has one subject in mind. poverty. poverty is precisely the thing that motivates everything that he says about these. if you tend to be very skeptical of the things francis says about the economy, at least understand this. that the things he says he says not simply because of some kind of ideological predilection, -- but because he's
profoundly concerned about the poor and has president garvey said, the reason he took the name francis is because of his concern about the poor. nevertheless, i think it's fair to say someone -- my twitter handle incidentally is freemarketjay, so you know where i'm coming from. some of the thing he says deals sometimes like a caricature. that's not anything i would ever defend. it's not anything that any of the people i admire would defend. the question is where does he specifically get the ideas that he has about what free market capitalism or entrepreneurial capitalism are? i think actually a fairly clear reason for that. it requires us to make the useful distinction. many of the things he says about the global financial system, about the financial crisis, as marian said i wrote a book in 2013 on the financial crisis. this is an abiding interest of mine. many of the things he says about the financial system ring true. when talking about that. it's just when i read him on that they ring true to me not as a critique of free market capitalism but as a critique of something we might call cronyism or corporatism. insofar as you understand what he talks about and what he's saying, in that light, if you say ok, what he is could he noting or denoting, what he's
referring to is, not the views of smith but the corporatism and cronyism that often stands in for those things. some degree in the united states but certainly in many countries in south america. this i think is really important because pope francis as an argentine has experienced for his entire life a particularly brutal form of what i would call sort of hard corporatism, if you want to call it that. many of you may not know much about argentina, there are a lot of things to realize about his experience and things he says when he speaks about things like the socioeconomic system in terms like this that he uses fairly vaguely. in 1900 argentina was one of the world's 10 wealthiest nations. because of this there was massive immigration from northern europe.
you don't think of it this way anymore. it's largely the result of juan peron and his wife who came into power in an ideology that's very difficult describe and is certain left, right american spectrum. you sort of think of it as a populous leftism which is many ways a kind of aristocratic contempt for the commerce class highly the bourgeoisie, populist rhetoric which appeals to the common people. implements political programs essentially a form of cronyism in which large economic actors work in collusion with the state to enrich themselves not the common people. if you think about what pope francis is saying in that light, think about his experience of cronyism in argentina, much of
what he says makes sense. i don't want to say he clearly makes the distinction. he does not distinguish between the type of cronyism that's rife in argentina and the free economy you have in a place like hong kong are the type of general free economy you would have in a place like south korea. he doesn't make these distinctions and i would like to see him make those. it's absolutely important in reading what he says to understand his experience. what about argentina is an economic basket case. the most recent index comes in 169th out of 178 countries on the planet in terms of economic freedom. so, it is between the democratic republic of congo and the republic of congo. countries that do worse
are venezuela and cuba. so whatever you want to say about argentina, it is not a bastian of freedom. it is a powerful, overbearing state. several large, presumably economic actors. not the kind of benign inequality that defines everyone in this room and bill gates. form oflignant inequality. in cahoots with the state and pageantry in shantytowns. that is your picture of the global economy, then what pope francis says makes sense. so, here's the question. what to do? imagine you are a catholic philosopher or economist and you study these things. you have looked a different political economies. thereve no delusions that is a utopia.
nevertheless, on empirical grounds, economic systems and freedoms as it tends to be defended and role of law, private property rights, low levels of corruption, a populist,virtuous wide-ranging freedom, is the best economic freedom for lifting people out of absolute poverty. that is, if you are aware of many things that you follow on better every single day. these are much empirical facts. we're not having to compare philosophies. what makes of economic touctures is most abusive human flourishing and lifting large numbers of people out of property -- a ready? you are convinced in his free economic systems that do
this? what are you to do? this is the dilemma. to understand a few things about the way in which authority works in the catholic authority in the magisterium. president garvey has covered when i was going to say here, but you have to make distinctions. everyone that is not cap i, so far as i can tell, all of my evangelical friends, i ask them, but this bulletin fallibility entail? they say it means that everything in the book is infallible. but you can discover this within five minutes with a really good google search, but it tends to be people's idea of how it works. historical body of text that has come to be called catholic continueaching, which to the peasant in which the are
applying particular themes from catholic theology and natural dividinge current questions of economics and politics. refer to the central abiding and infallible corner of these things as the sum of these things at uc berkeley's the best in these documents. at the same time, is a mistake to think catholic social teaching equals some detailed catholic political policy. it is not as if it articulates in detail the precise detail of how a tax system or immigration policy should be together that is just and prudent. provides a clarifying lens for thinking through this issue but it does not provide the catholic political position. that is why catholics of good politicaldisagree on
topics while nevertheless adhering to catholic social teaching's. here's how pope john paul ii put it. i do not think he is saying anything that is idiosyncratic in this regard. meanne said, it does not that it is medically sealed from economic concerns. that is an economic fundamental mistake. a fundamental philosophical category, by which of you are catholic you want to reflect on. the intrinsic dignity of a person. solidarity. subsidiarity. the common good. the categories you must and to bring to these categories. it is not going to answer every single question.
that is a venture question based on your analysis and conclusion based on the empirical details as far as you understand them. pope benedict the 16th, pope francis is immediate necessity that this way. before he was pope, when he was head of the doctrine of faith, he was talking about morality and economics and how he thought these things should interact. as, yes, catholic teaching is not a third way. it is not a fully filled out system, but neither is it adverse to rhetorical. , a morality that believes it self able to dispense with the technical knowledge of economics laws is but economists
him. what we need is a maximum of economic and a maximum of moral reflection, so when these things come together i hold it much greater than the sum of its parts. , for the faithful catholic who is a faithful son or daughter of the church was also appreciative of the good that economic freedom brings to human beings. that would -- i would say, ought to be our goal. it would not to sort of separate these things. not say that catholic teaching is one thing but economics just involves is sort of impurecal questions. it's rather is this. it's distinguishing the economic ideologies that pope francis talks about, that michael talked about. from the empirical results and discoveries and the theoretical insights of economics and integrating those things with the perennial principles of catholic social teaching. i would argue if that's done
properly, they can be an advocate of economic freedom. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. we will now open it to q&a. please wait to be called upon. that's for the benefit of our viewers. microphone will come to you. and would you please be so kind to make your question really short and in a form of a question so we can get through as many of them as possible. so are there any questions in the audience? the gentleman over here. >> wonderful talks by everyone. my name is steven shore. i have a question that -- of a dog that didn't bark. a classic distinction between accidents and substance, and when the holy father talks about
the capitalism, is he clear as to whether he's attacking unfortunate accidents or the very substance itself? >> so far as i can tell he tends not to make that distinction. pope john paul did make that to capitalism. i'd frankly love them to make the difference but pope john paul ii, st. john paul ii said if by capitalism we mean this then no. if by capitalism means this then yes. but let's call it something else. and very often i think not just catholics but many people, many critics of free market economics don't distinguish the
metaphysical assumptions and the ideologies that might be the package of someone making the case for economic freedom and the real system itself or simply the question, just the empirical question. if we look at the types of systems and institutions that societies have, in which do societies tend to do better off or not? and frankly i did this as a college student is i confused say, the moral assumptions with the case for economic freedom. but the catholic doesn't need rand. there's plenty of ways to make the case for economic without that. i would argue we don't want to do that. if you want to be a catholic that is sort of in this area is use authentically catholic resources and develop the case for economic freedom based upon our empirical knowledge and key insights that are not dependent on ideologies. division of labor, these sorts of things. subjective theory of value versus the labor theory value, these are insights drawn from economic study but they're not dependent on any particular ideology.
marian: in the back. just one second. >> the man with the baby. >> i was wondering how you would define economic freedom and if that concept exists anywhere in the papal and cyclicals and formal documents? jay: is this for anyone? >> no. jay: the passage i referred to in a 2005 incyclical by benedict xvi, the only case there is a reference so far as i know in a papal incyclical to the role of -- i forget if he uses the market or freedom, lifting billions out of poverty which may be a bit of an exaggeration. it's one sentence.
there's a reference -- he is aware of the fact that india and china they've lifted people out of poverty. there's not a lot of reference to that. there's reference to freedom. the freedom that's discussed in catholic teaching is not a merely sort of negative freedom from. it's a freedom for, what i would call freedom for excellence and developing our purpose and the end to which we are designed for. >> yeah. i think this is my problem with jay's comments is i don't think you can't just say rand, we can dispose of this but keep that as if the one did not flow from the other. and i think this is where the rubber hits the road. all the way do you to the prudential judgments. this idea that somehow we have these theories but then we have these prudential judgments where we can all disagree. there's something to that obviously, and we all have different experiences that we bring to our judgments of given situations.
but prudential judgment is not a get out of jail free card. there are still things. what was just forced on greece, what is about to be forced on puerto rico is not just and therefore it is not acceptable and the economic system that makes those things necessary is itself implicated and indicted as unjust as well. and i -- we can talk all we want it's all so rosey and wonderful and this, it's not. i don't think we can benefit from, you know, -- the only other thing i just have to object to is the idea pope francis the poor benigned argentinan because he knows is crony capitalism. it's walk and you gone on to that, cronyism. it's like walking into a burning house and complaining about the color of the curtains. i don't think that's the problem. i find it insulting because i don't think anyone saying of
pope bennedict, he came from this snow globe village. he's capable of speaking of the universal pastor of the catholic church. he's an argentine and -- i think that's nonsense. jay: it's grotesque reference to what i said. i didn't say that. what i said, read pope francis and look at argentina and see if that helps you understand why he's saying what he says and if that's shaping what he's saying. i of course didn't say he must be relevant or device because he's from argentina which of course would be a ridiculous thing to say. marian: that side over there. >> hi. my name is nona, a card-carrying economist. and i'm also probably a disappointed catholic. i was -- i was really put off by
the handouts. marian: can we ask the question. forgive me. the time. >> i guess i want to say, even the question if you believe in capitalism the pope is saying we can do better and my childhood there is what we called liberation theology, which my irish mother -- marian: ok. thank you, thank you very much. can we do better and what about liberation theology? >> i take can we do better part because that's certainly an easy one. sure, we can. i, like both jay and michael sean, there is a danger in flattening what the pope has to say in the same way as political
writers in the united states or members of political parties in the united states tend to flatten things for public consumption. i think what the pope has to say about this is enormously complicated and sophisticated and i think it should be understood in the same way and not flattened. let me just give one example. when we talk about the economic recession that we went through in the united states in 2008 and affected much of the western world then and then has traveled around the globe to the other side, there's a tendency to say on the one hand, this is the fall of the bankers who were gouging people and just concerned with the profit motive and repackages mortgages and deceiving people. that's one theory, popular on the left. there is another theory, popular on the right, that it's the fault of barney frank and fannie and freddie which forced the
banks to give loans to those who really shouldn't be getting them. when the pope talks about this thing, he talks about both of those sides and a third side which is the kind of materialism or the consumerism of the borrowers. he said, look, you're all guilty of the same sin which is a lust for consumption and for acquiring things. the bankers want to make more money, the government can't be trusted because they're human beings like the bankers and given to their own prestigious and desires and the consumers who take out loans for 100% of their property value which they can't repay, they, too, are guilty of the same kind of materialism and consumerism. so we can all do better but we have to begin with ourselves. so in this kind of world, there isn't a solution that says that unregulated free market
capitalism will be the right way to go. he says we need the government to tame the excesses of capitalism, but we shouldn't trust the government either, and he knows that better than anybody having lived under fernandez. this is a personal message as much as it is a message of political reform. marian: anyone wants to comment on the liberation theology, does it have a place in the catholic teaching today? michael sean: the condemnation was not -- there are other liberation theologians that waeren't condemned. it is the condemnation, the understanding of the human person that certain theologians put forward and certainly materialistic reductionism in understanding of the person.
i have argued you could cut, copy and paste that condemnation of certain liberation theologians and apply it to, say, an institute today. you would have to change some direct objects. but they make the exact same mistakes in their effort to defend or to baptize free market capitalism which is a -- which is something that cannot be done and at the level of -- at that theoretical level which is the differences i quoted in my remarks, these are directly in contradiction with one another. so i think -- but the night he was elected, i spoke to a friend and i had to go on their tv show and talk about him. i didn't know much about him. a lot of us didn't. the thing to remember -- we knew that he was opposed to -- he said the latin american bishops never stopped asking the
question -- what does it mean to exercise a preferential option for the poor? even after this condemnation. this gets to earlier the discussion of the levels of authority that, you know, the pope obviously when he's speaking on the plane, it's a different level when he's writing an encyclical. the level of authority could not be higher even on the plane because he's speaking straight from the gospel and there is no higher authority in the catholic faith than the gospel of jesus christ. this is where some of us -- oh, we can part this level of authority we are suspicious of that. and we americans don't always like to hear that. jay: i think michael is right. i would object to certain aspects of liberation theology on impurecal grounds, again.
just to give one example. an idea from an argentina person which held the southern hemisphere, at least south america and central america was poor because north was rich. the fundamental theme in the prominent liberation theologian gustavo gutierrez, if you read his entire argument, it hinges on this dependency, the poverty of the south is a causal relationship between the poverty of the south and the wealth of the north. even gustavo gutierrez in later editions of theology liberation based on the empirical details of economics actually abandon impurecal questions are very, very important here. there are many questions we are talking about economics that are not merely theoretical, not merely philosophical. there is data on it. it's important, sort of respect the catholic has on science. to take a look at these kinds of things.
>> i'm not an economist but i was a lawyer and i was 15 years on the staff on the senate banking committee. so i want to read something here from the actually incyclical itself where the pope says the principle of profits frequently isolated from other considerations reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy. now, you can have different types of capitalism, in my view. in the united states, from world war ii until about 1985 or so, we can stakeholder theory of capitalism that you had responsibility out -- marian: could you please ask a question. >> the idea that capitalism has responsibility to its workers, to its community and others and then we shifted into this shareholder capitalism where the only responsibility is to your shareholders and the c.e.o.'s who did tie to shareholder value, that's quite a different capitalism from what we used to have in this country 30 years
ago. i think that's the important thing to understand. you can have different types of capitalism. it's not capitalism as such but whether capitalism can be moderated to produce benefits for the whole society. jay: i think you are talking about particular business models in which, for instance, managers are rewarded, according to short-term sort of monitoring of profits or something like that. i think it's a very bad business model. i think there's a lot of evidence to that. on economic grounds you can make the case that it's immoral to treat profits as the only end of a business. i think the opposite of profit is loss. if it's not an indicator you'll probably be in trouble. nobody will have a job. the short-term indication, the incentive structures that encourages managers and c.e.o.'s to work for short-term profits but long-term destruction are very bad business models. i totally agree.
>> given pope francis's views, what are his perspectives on taxation and more broadly, what are his views on what the state should do to battle inequality? >> i think i can answer your question in a different way. there was a photograph in "the washington post" about three weeks ago when they were having the horrible wildfires in washington state. there is a man whose home was saved. he had on a t-shirt that said lower taxes, less government equals more freedom. [laughter] now, that firefighter was not only a government employee but i can guarantee you he was a union member and this guy whose house had just been saved was probably a tea partier because they make those t-shirts.
that is the problem. now perhaps they should have let it burn and he would be not concerned about all the possessions. the man was on -- it was like the people who are opposed to obamacare when they first passed it and keep the government's hands off my medicare. what? again, the government -- the catholic church has never had this kind of hostile view which goes all the way back to before the american revolution. this hostile view of government. as, you know, the leviathan. that's not how catholic culture and theology ever viewed it. i think that's -- to answer your question, we wouldn't view taxes as repatience. when i ran a business, i remember the owner saying, unless there's 100% tax, you always still have an incentive to make more money. we forgot that since the reagan years, haven't we? this idea that oh, if you raise the taxes, people will lose their incentives. they got to put their money in something. i never bought that.
marian: one question over there in the back. a gentleman. >> yes. this is for all of you because you are all in higher education. where do you see sort of the practical implementation of francis's vision coming from within higher ed outside of sort of professional ethics courses? john: i couldn't quite -- >> where you can see an implementation of francis's position? jay: well, to plug in catholic u, what we're trying to do is bring together economics and economics as science but economics was originally part of course of essentially ethics, of ethical philosophy. the business school of catholic u is trying to bring together an
integration of catholic social teaching with economics and philosophy. it's at least one place that's being done. i'm not saying it's the only catholic institution trying to do that but it's the mission of the school in trying to do that. john: i second that point. one of the interesting points that francis's predecessor make, universities are called universities because they aspire to a universal view of human knowledge that we should not segregate disciplines into economics and political theory and ethics and philosophy that these disciplines ought to be talking to one another. one of the aspirations of our university is to do that very thing. economics divorced from ethics brings about the kind of problems that the pope is worrying about. michael sean: in our little institute of catholic u, i shouldn't say we have 50 fellows
but we will keep going on our erroneous autonomy theories. we'll do another one next june. we are at the beginning levels of trying to put that together and it focuses on these issues very, very clearly and we keep waving the pope francis flag. marian: that's all we have time for. i'm deeply grateful to the panel for this discussion. thank you so much for coming. lunch is upstairs. please come again. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> the pope's visit to the u.s. c-span has louvre coverage from d.c., the first stop on the pope's tour, tuesday
beginning at 2:45. we're live with the president nd mrs. obama to greet the pontiff upon his arrival. c-span, y morning at c-span radio as the obamas to the ly welcome him white house. live coverage begins 5:45 eastern. that afternoon, the assilicia of the national shrine thursday morning at 8:30. coverage begins from capitol as pope francis makes history, becoming the first to address a joint congress. and speaking to the general and c-span 3 span and c-span.org. c-span's coverage of the pope's historic trip to tv or live at n cspan.org.
>> on thursday president obama met with the three americans who helped foil a terrorist attack a french train last month. the president said the three men the very bechlt of america, and thanked them for their team work and courage on board the paris-bound train. >> while these three gentlemen really don't need any all of youn, i think are familiar with the incredible three high school friends who were getting together. of whom had served in behalf of the united states armed forces, thinking that they were just going to a fun reunion up in paris, ended up engaging a potential catastrophic situat n
situation. and pinning down someone who was intent on doing a lot of harm to a lot of people inflicting terror on the french people. courage, their because of their quick thinking, it's e of their teamwork, fair to say a lot of people were saved. and a real calamity was averted. the french people have already highest on them the honor that they can, legion of at a ceremony presided over by the president in france. i had the opportunity to talk to him and he told me that he could more grateful for what these three outstanding young americans did. and i just want to make sure
that having talked to them on phone right after the event i had a chance to shake their to tell themon and what i think they've heard from a lot of people, which is they the very best of america, american character, and it's these kinds of young people who make me xtraordinarily optimistic and hopeful about our future. and i want to thank each and every one of them. and wish them well. , m glad to see spencer apparently his hand is in pretty good shape and making real progress. he intends to continue to pursue his work in medicine, and caring people. anthony is interested in sport and therapy. nd alexander as soon as he's
finished on "dancing with the stars" plans to get into law enforcement. whatever they do, they're going to do it well. say thank want to you to them for not only saving for ny lives but also making america look so good. all right. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. come on, one quick pic. there. squeeze in here, guys. you look good. you're looking clean. fantastic. thank you, men. thank you so much. i appreciate it. thank you, guys. next, "q&a" with "the washington post" political
reporter robert kosta. after that british prime come ron taking questions in the house of commons. then another chance to see the on pope francis' views on capitalism. ♪ announcer: this week on "q&a," "washington post" political national reporter robert costa. he talked about the 2016 presidential campaign any similarities between donald trump and 1992 candidate, businessman ross perot. brian: robert costa of the "washington post." you are quoted as saying my political hero is robert caro,