Pope Francis

Pope Francis Needs a Better Role Model for Economic Policy

Editor’s Note: This was originally published at Mitchell’s International Liberty.

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What’s the greatest economic tragedy in modern history?

The obvious answer is communism, which produced tens of millions of needless deaths and untold misery for ordinary people. Just compare living standards in North Korea and South Korea, or Chile and Cuba.

But if there was a second-place prize for the world’s biggest economic failure, Argentina would be a strong contender.

Here’s one fact that tells you everything you need to know. In 1946, when Juan Perón came to power, Argentina was one of the 10-richest nations in the world. Economic policy certainly wasn’t perfect, but government wasn’t overly large are markets generally were allowed to function. Combined with an abundance of natural resources, that enabled considerable prosperity.

But Perón decided to conduct an experiment in statism.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes his economic policy.

What Does Pope Francis Have to Hide?

Pope Francis

As troubling as it is to have leadership in the White House insisting it’s so above the fray that it must learn from the news (just like you and me, kids!) when serious allegations of improper behavior by government entities is occurring, this latest “mea culpa because I just didn’t know” is kind of fun. For Catholics, anyway:

In light of a recent report, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) fears the National Security Agency may be spying on President Barack Obama. “They could well be spying on the president, for all I know,” Paul says, in an interview with National Review Online. “He has a cell phone, and, in fact, my guess is that they have collected data on the president’s phone.”

Pope Francis no Prophet on Profit

Pope Francis

Last month, Pope Francis, worldwide leader of the Catholic Church, in an address to a United Nations conference on nutrition, declared that food is a basic human right that should not be driven by profit concerns and market manipulations.

With all due respect to His Holiness, he has it exactly backward. The more important something is to basic human existence, the wiser we are to allow it to be provided by the free market. Because, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once noted, if you put the government in charge of the desert, within five years there would be a shortage of sand.

This is not an abstract, philosophical position. Just look at the nations that have followed the Pope’s advice, where governments have taken control of food production in the name of administering the precious commodity equitably. Russia, under the governance of the former Soviet Union, saw millions of its citizens either malnourished or dying of starvation, despite having land which contained among the world’s richest natural resources.

Today in Liberty: HHS official warned of Obamacare “disarray,” Ghostbusters and libertarianism

“The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the cold war, is that the engine of capitalism, the individual, is mightier than any collective.” — Rand Paul

— Small businesses to see health premiums rise: An actuarial report from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services finds that 65% of small businesses — affecting 11 million people — will see health insurance premiums rise thanks to Obamacare. These are firms with 50 or fewer employees, those exempted from the individual mandate.

— Obamacare exchanges in disarray months before rollout: The Washington Examiner reports this morning that a senior Department of Health and Human Services official warned in May of serious problems with the Obamacare exchanges. “A senior Health and Human Services official was so frustrated last May over the White House’s ‘disarray’ on health care before the launch of Obamacare insurance exchanges that he warned of needing a ‘come to Jesus meeting’ with his counterparts,” reports the Examiner. “The comment from Anton Gunn, then-HHS director of external affairs, came in an email exchange with Anne Filipic, the president of the outside group Enroll America, a nonprofit with close ties to the White House that was formed to promote the fall Obamacare rollout and boost enrollment — an effort the two were working on closely.”


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