Unexpected allies?

Unexpected reminders of importance to those organizing for change!

Howard Anderson of MITs Sloan School of Management is quoted in Commonweal (July 1, 2012) on Catholic Social Teaching. Anderson says, “Private equity doesn’t create jobs; you guys build wealth.” There’s a big difference. “Sometimes you (guys) build jobs. Sometimes you eliminate jobs… ..Private equity is the best of capitalism and it’s the worst of capitalism.” The author, Daniel Finn, of the essay goes on to explain why Catholic thought on capitalism is always a surprise to conservatives–and to me!. E.g. Pope John Paul II: “Ownership of the means of production… is just and legitimate if it serves useful work. It becomes illegitimate, however, when it is not useful or when it serves to impede the work of others, in an effort to gain a profit which is not the result of the overall expansion of work and the wealth of society, but rather is the result of curbing or of illicit exploitation, speculation or the breaking of solidarity among working people.” Wow. Finn cites chapter and verse to note that this is the answer derived from three thousand years of Judeo-Christian teaching on economic life.” (Reminder: Ayn Rayn, the darling of the far-out right, was an atheist!)

Doesn’t it strike you that the Pope would have been appalled at the idea of that the task of educating our children should first and foremost be left to the profit-making world–and that reducing the cost of education jobs, and eliminating teacher unions and teacher solidarity was the road to take?

I love reading Commonweal because as a secular Jew I forget that there is more than one face of Catholicism, and that in my youth the Catholic Church was, in many places in this country and abroad, obsessed with defending working class solidarity, labor rights, the poor etc–vs being obsessed about our sexual habits. There are still Catholic institutions here and abroad whose priorities haven’t changed. We need reminders.


2 Responses

  1. Amen to that!

  2. It is good to find unexpected support. It adds to the strength of one’s position.

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