Idol Words

descamisadosThere are those who think that Europe’s appalling unemployment problem can be explained by overly rigid labor markets, the spiraling energy costs that greenery has brought in its wake and, of course, the ill-judged introduction of the euro.

Pope Francis has a different explanation:

“What can we say, when faced with the very serious problem of unemployment that affects various European countries?”, he asked. “It is the consequence of an economic system that is no longer able to create work, because it has placed at its centre the idol of money…”

It’s hard to work out what’s worst about that comment, its frivolity, its ignorance or its demagoguery.

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3 Responses to Idol Words

  1. Michael R says:

    I’m no fan of the Pope, and I’m not sure of his politics, but maybe he does have a point. The biggest source of unemployment is not “rigid labor markets” etc, but free trade i.e. outsourcing manufacturing to China. Even if you freed up labor markets, and reduced energy costs, the West still cannot compete with China. The jobs won’t come back.

    The Pope’s main point, I suspect, is that the current economic system is not working, and we must rethink and find a new system that does provide work in the West. I don’t know if he mentions trade or not, but his main point is correct: the current system (free trade) does not work. Free trade is merely financing the military of China, whilst leaving millions of Westerners out of work. Free trade is INSANE. It is economic and military SUICIDE. The standard libertarian line is crazy.

  2. EB says:

    Actually, Andrew, both you and Pope Francis are right. We need to move towards a future where labor markets are not so rigid, but we also have to figure out how to make full employment a bigger priority, much bigger than it currently is in Europe (or the US for that matter).

  3. Florida resident says:

    How about economic (or social) system that no longer can create limits on the population growth ?
    Less and less people are needed to produce consumables: food, hardware, cars, software.

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