Pope Francis advocates wealth redistribution, blasts “trickle-down” economics

by Peter Heck · Oct 5th, 2020 10:10 am

Last Updated Oct 7th, 2020 at 11:07 pm

In a new 86-page encyclical, Pope Francis declared that free-market economics had failed in the era of coronavirus. Condemning the "destructive effects of the empire of money," the pope said that the global crisis had revealed the failure of "trickle-down" economics.

"There were those who would have had us believe that freedom of the market was sufficient to keep everything secure," Francis wrote.

Later in the encyclical, Francis advocated for wealth distribution and diminished the notion of private property rights.

"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.

Francis said that wealthy people should be distributing their wealth "for the good of all" and that a person is impoverished because someone else has what should belong to them. He did stop short of "proposing an authoritarian" solution.

This is not the first time that the pope has derided supply-side economics. In 2013, Francis accused that economic school of thought of breeding inequality.

"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," Francis said. "This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacra­lized workings of the prevailing economic system."


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