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Monday, June 29, 2015

Pope Francis and Naomi Klein Both Hate Free Markets, Technological Progress, and Economic Growth

Last week, Pope Francis issued his new encyclical Laudato Si' (Praise be to you, my Lord) in which he addresses the problem of man-made climate change. Unfortunately, the encyclical makes it clear that the Pope completely fails to understand how the spread free markets yielded the technological and economic progress that has lifted billions out of humanity's natural state of abject poverty. Global life expectancy has more than doubled over the past century; the amount of food per capita has never been higher; literacy has never been more widespread; and the level of violence never lower. Nearly all of these improving trends can be traced to the spread of sweet commerce.

In Laudato Si' the Pope strongly urges that markets and technology be reined in. Instead of creating more wealth, the Pope would prefer to redistribute it. Now, in a not-so-strange-bedfellow alliance, Pope Francis has invited prominent hater of free markets Naomi Klein to advise him and the Vatican on economic and climate policy. In her 2014 screed, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Klein asserted that climate science has given progressives "the most powerful argument against unfettered capitalism" ever. She added that progressive values and policies are "currently being vindicated, rather than refuted, by the laws of nature."...

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