Pope Francis denounces trickle-down theory of economics, calls for action on income inequality

VATICAN CITY (WDAM) - On Tuesday, Pope Francis released a document that sharply criticized trickle-down economics, an ideal that suggests that the more governments cater to the wealthy, the more the wealthy will contribute to the economy in the form of jobs and investments.

The opinion of the Pope on this matter has incited a great deal of commentary across the United States and has driven well-known conservative pundits to shout angrily on their radio and television programs and write dozens of vitriolic newspaper columns, while their liberal peers have expressed similarly intense sentiments of approval.

The Pope's statement read, in-part:

"...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. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us."

The full 300-page apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel," can be read here: http://bit.ly/IuBC59 or as a PDF here: http://bit.ly/IuCB5n

Many of the Pope's sentiments within the exhortation focus on income inequality, including this passage:

"Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape."

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