Home » Uncategorized » Pope Has Heart in Right Place, But Does He Understand Austrian Economics?

Pope Has Heart in Right Place, But Does He Understand Austrian Economics?

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Full text of his speech: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2224/full_text_pope_francis_wednesday_audience_address_on_the_feast_of_st_joseph_the_worker.aspx

The usual, his speech in italics, my comments in plain font.

And here I think of the difficulties which, in various countries, today afflict the world of work and business; I think of how many, and not just young people, are unemployed, many times due to a purely economic conception of society, which seeks selfish profit, beyond the parameters of social justice.

He’s making a standard mistake here, thinking that “selfish profit” is what created the high unemployment in Italy and Europe and other countries. Actually, as a spiritual figure, he should know that people have been pursuing selfish profit since day one, and yet we only have unemployment since govts started meddling with the economy to “help” the workers get their “social justice”.

And the reason is simple. Anyone will hire you if he doesn’t have to pay you more than you are worth. But if he does, he won’t hire you.

All the laws the govts pass to force an employer to give some benefit or other to a worker, be it a minimum wage, or a pension, or healthcare, or union mandated nonsense, or anything else, all do one thing. They make the worker that much more expensive to hire. [This of course includes laws that make it more difficult to fire workers, or that force all kinds of expenses on employers who hire more than 15 workers, the law in Italy where he made his speech]. That was the whole point of the law, after all, to give the worker a little extra, and the law got the job done.

But little did the law realize that if a worker is more expensive to hire, that means he might not be worth the added expense. Meaning he won’t be hired. That’s the reason he is unemployed, the only reason.

Now some people might be worried that without the law to protect a person, an employer could force the worker to accept slave wages. Do what I tell you, or starve. But that’s only because they have not read Smiling Dave’s article exposing the silliness of such thinking.

Summing it all up, we now know the following. People have been greedy always. But greed does not cause unemployment. Govt laws do. If the Pope wants to end unemployment, he should be addressing the govt of Italy, teaching them some Austrian Economics.

And sure enough, that’s exactly what the Pope did in his very next words, sort of:

I wish to extend an invitation to solidarity to everyone, and I would like to encourage those in public office to make every effort to give new impetus to employment—this means caring for the dignity of the person.

Apparently the Pope instinctively realizes that that it’s the govts fault there is unemployment, and is begging them to repeal all the insane laws they passed that are causing unemployment.

Devil’s Advocate: You know better than that, Dave. He wants the govt to pass even more laws, to force employers to hire people. Because he thinks that’s being compassionate and socially just. Little does he realize that he is in effect making a plea for greater unemployment, because those new laws will make running a business even more difficult, causing some to close down, and others not to expand.

SD: Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, Devil.



  1. Father Clifford Stevens says:

    Pope Francis knows Austrian Economics only too well – because Austrian Economics is opposed to just laws to regulate the Ecomomy and it is nit Capitalism that is the issue, but Free \Market Economy w hich is Capitalism gone wild

    Austrian Economics has a market acceleratoe, but no brake. Pope Fran cis listens to a different drummer -something.that is called the Aquinas School of Economics, based squarely on justice in the marketplace. Austrian Ecomoics is “value-free” .

    Ask ant Austrian Economist what “value-free” and “subjective value” means.

    You might be surprised.

    Father Clifford Stevens
    Archdiocese of Omaha


  2. Smiling Dave says:

    I shall reply to your thoughtful comments in an upcoming article.

    LATER: Here it is: https://smilingdavesblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/father-clifford-stevens-defends-the-pope/


  3. […] response to my humble article, Pope Has Heart in Right Place, But Does He Understand Austrian Economics?, Father Clifford Stevens, Archdiocese of Omaha, sent in the following […]


  4. Father Clifford stevens says:

    Austrian Economics is not Science, iit is Manual of Market Tactics for entrepreneurs – and nothing more. Economic science is about the making and use of money, not aboit the tactics of the Market.

    Father Clifford stevens


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