Forbes: The Pope Is Calling for Charity, Not Government Income Redistribution

Wednesday, 15 Jan 2014 06:58 AM

By John Morgan

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Pope Francis wants more people to be like Bill Gates, who willingly give their wealth away, not like President Obama and other liberals, who advocate government stepping in to take and redistribute more private money, says Forbes contributor Jeffrey Dorfman.

Dorfman, a University of Georgia economics professor, said liberals are misrepresenting the Pope in trying to attach his remarks to their cause.

"The Pope wants more compassion and private charity by people, not government," he explained.

Editor’s Note: 18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life?

While liberals want forced income redistribution, a higher minimum wage and another extension of long-term jobless benefits, the pope has said nothing about any of those policies, Dorfman noted.

"Given that private charity is as much as 40 percent more cost efficient than government assistance programs, this makes sense," Dorfman wrote.

"Given that in the Pope's theology people only get the spiritual credit for good works done willingly, not for what the government does with their mandatory tax payments, private charity is a winner on two counts. The Pope wants more Mother Teresas and Salvation Armies, not more people on food stamps or extended unemployment benefits."

In a December speech calling for more government intervention to attack income inequality, Obama quoted the pope to support his argument.

The pope recently said "the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity."

"That does not sound like a call for government intervention to me. Instead, he is calling on the rich themselves to practice charity and to be generous in doing so," Dorfman argued.

Dorfman noted that Christianity's direct efforts to help the poor through charitable giving predates governmment-run anti-poverty programs by centuries.

U.S. News & World Report said income inequality is expected to be a prime thrust of Obama's State of the Union speech later this month and provided a long list of proposed government initiatives for the speech.

"Obama's answer is to press ahead with a batch of populist initiatives, such as raising the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10, extending those unemployment benefits, providing more federal money to education and job creation projects such as building roads and bridges, broadening Medicaid to include poor adults without children and expanding early childhood programs to enhance young people's learning skills. He also favors higher taxes on the rich and on big corporations."

Editor’s Note: 18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life?

Related Stories:
  • Napolitano: Pope Misguided on Capitalism
  • Rev. Gahl: Pope Francis Not Leftist or Conservative

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