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Pope Says Free Market, ‘Trickle-Down’ Policies Fail Society | World News

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic was the latest crisis to prove that market forces alone and “trickle-down” economic policies had failed to produce the social benefits their proponents claim.

In an encyclical on the theme of human fraternity, Francis also said private property cannot be considered an absolute right in all cases where some lived extravagantly while others had nothing.

Called “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All), the encyclical’s title prompted criticism for not using inclusive language after it was announced last month.

In Italian, Fratelli means brothers but it is also used to mean brothers and sisters. The Vatican said it was taken from the “Admonitions”, or guidelines, written by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century to his followers and could not be changed.

The pope says in the first line of the 86-page encyclical that St. Francis had “addressed his brothers and sisters” that way. In the document, he uses the term “men and women” 15 times and speaks several times about defending the rights and dignity of women.

Encyclicals are the most authoritative form of papal writing but they are not infallible.

The encyclical, which Francis signed in Assisi on Saturday, covers topics such as fraternity, immigration, the rich-poor gap, economic and social injustices, healthcare imbalances and the widening political polarisation in many countries.

The pope took direct aim at trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.

“There were those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure (after the pandemic hit),” he wrote.

Francis denounced “this dogma of neo-liberal faith” that resorts to “the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ … as the only solution to societal problems”. A good economic policy, he said, “makes it possible for jobs to be created and not cut”.

The 2007-2008 financial crisis was a missed opportunity for change, instead producing “increased freedom for the truly powerful, who always find a way to escape unscathed”. Society must confront “the destructive effects of the empire of money”.

Francis repeated past calls for redistribution of wealth to help the poorest and for fairer access to natural resources by all.

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods,” he said.

A Vatican official said the pope was referring to those with massive wealth.

The pope wrote that the belief of early Christians – “that if one person lacks what is necessary to live with dignity, it is because another person is detaining it” – was still valid.

Those with much must “administer it for the good of all” and rich nations are obliged to share wealth with poor ones. But he said he was “certainly not proposing an authoritarian and abstract universalism”.

Some ultra-traditionalist Catholics have

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Pope Francis says free market, ‘trickle-down’ policies fail society

Pope Francis waves after delivering the Angelus prayer from his window on the day of the release of his new encyclical, titled ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (Brothers All), at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, October 4, 2020.

REMO CASILLI/Reuters

Pope Francis said on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic was the latest crisis to prove that market forces alone and “trickle-down” economic policies had failed to produce the social benefits their proponents claim.

In an encyclical on the theme of human fraternity, Francis also said private property cannot be considered an absolute right in all cases where some lived extravagantly while others had nothing.

Called “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All), the encyclical’s title prompted criticism for not using inclusive language after it was announced last month.

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In Italian, Fratelli means brothers but it is also used to mean brothers and sisters. The Vatican said it was taken from the “Admonitions”, or guidelines, written by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century to his followers and could not be changed.

The pope says in the first line of the 86-page encyclical that St. Francis had “addressed his brothers and sisters” that way. In the document, he uses the term “men and women” 15 times and speaks several times about defending the rights and dignity of women.

Encyclicals are the most authoritative form of papal writing but they are not infallible.

The encyclical, which Francis signed in Assisi on Saturday, covers topics such as fraternity, immigration, the rich-poor gap, economic and social injustices, health care imbalances and the widening political polarization in many countries.

The pope took direct aim at trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.

“There were those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure (after the pandemic hit),” he wrote.

Francis denounced “this dogma of neo-liberal faith” that resorts to “the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ … as the only solution to societal problems”. A good economic policy, he said, “makes it possible for jobs to be created and not cut”.

Story continues below advertisement

‘EMPIRE OF MONEY’

The 2007-2008 financial crisis was a missed opportunity for change, instead producing “increased freedom for the truly powerful, who always find a way to escape unscathed”. Society must confront “the destructive effects of the empire of money”.

Francis repeated past calls for redistribution of wealth to help the poorest and for fairer access to natural resources by all.

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods,” he said.

A Vatican official said the pope was referring to those with massive wealth.

The pope wrote that the belief of early Christians – “that if one person lacks what is necessary to live with dignity, it is because another person

Continue reading

Pope says free market, ‘trickle-down’ policies fail society

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic was the latest crisis to prove that market forces alone and “trickle-down” economic policies had failed to produce the social benefits their proponents claim.

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus prayer from his window on the day of the release of his new encyclical, titled “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All), at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, October 4, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

In an encyclical on the theme of human fraternity, Francis also said private property cannot be considered an absolute right in all cases where some lived extravagantly while others had nothing.

Called “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All), the encyclical’s title prompted criticism for not using inclusive language after it was announced last month.

In Italian, Fratelli means brothers but it is also used to mean brothers and sisters. The Vatican said it was taken from the “Admonitions”, or guidelines, written by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century to his followers and could not be changed.

The pope says in the first line of the 86-page encyclical that St. Francis had “addressed his brothers and sisters” that way. In the document, he uses the term “men and women” 15 times and speaks several times about defending the rights and dignity of women.

Encyclicals are the most authoritative form of papal writing but they are not infallible.

The encyclical, which Francis signed in Assisi on Saturday, covers topics such as fraternity, immigration, the rich-poor gap, economic and social injustices, healthcare imbalances and the widening political polarisation in many countries.

The pope took direct aim at trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.

“There were those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure (after the pandemic hit),” he wrote.

Francis denounced “this dogma of neo-liberal faith” that resorts to “the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle’ … as the only solution to societal problems”. A good economic policy, he said, “makes it possible for jobs to be created and not cut”.

‘EMPIRE OF MONEY’

The 2007-2008 financial crisis was a missed opportunity for change, instead producing “increased freedom for the truly powerful, who always find a way to escape unscathed”. Society must confront “the destructive effects of the empire of money”.

Francis repeated past calls for redistribution of wealth to help the poorest and for fairer access to natural resources by all.

“The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right, derived from the principle of the universal destination of created goods,” he said.

A Vatican official said the pope was referring to those with massive wealth.

The pope wrote that the belief of early Christians – “that if one person lacks what is necessary to live with dignity, it is because another person is detaining it” – was still valid.

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Swedish government faces battle to stay in power as labour talks fail

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s minority government faces a potential rebellion by three small parties that keep it in power over plans to ease rules in the country’s rigid labour market.

Talks between trade unions and employer organisations broke down early on Thursday, handing the job of finding a solution to the Social Democrat-Green government. The government needs the backing of the Left Party as well as two small centre-right parties to pass its budgets.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had promised the two centre-right parties that if the unions and employers fail to agree new practices, the government would adopt proposals made by a commission to ease first-in-last-out rules, which critics say hamper companies’ ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Left Party leader Jonas Sjostedt said he would try to bring down the coalition if that plan goes ahead.

“Stefan Lofven cannot remain as prime minister if he plans to put forward the proposals… which would tear up employment security for all wage-earners in Sweden,” Left Party leader Jonas Sjostedt wrote on Twitter.

The Left Party would need the backing of the opposition Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats to pass a vote of no-confidence in the government – support it would be likely, though not certain, to get.

However, a vote of no-confidence could usher in a right of centre administration, something the Left Party does not want.

The government urged the unions and employers to resume talks, but Employment Minister Eva Nordmark said it would stick to its “January Agreement” with the centre-right parties and press ahead with the proposed changes if they did not.

Nordmark gave no timeframe for introducing the new rules.

Sweden’s complex political situation stems from an election in 2018, when neither the centre-left nor centre-right blocs gained enough seats in parliament to form a majority government.

To secure a second term as prime minister, Social Democrat Lofven had to cut a deal with the Centre Party and the Liberals that included a raft of business-friendly reforms, including looser labour market rules.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Gareth Jones)

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