Does the Circle of Protection  actually help the poor? What may be surprising to many of those who are advocating for the protection of just about any welfare program is that these may not alleviate poverty but only redistribute wealth. Rev. Sirico explained in an interview  with the National Catholic Register how the discussion should be about wealth creation, not wealth redistribution:

Father Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, a conservative think tank based in Grand Rapids, Mich., suggested the Christian activists may not be aware “of the root causes of poverty and wealth.”

“Their statements are all about redistribution of wealth with almost nothing about wealth creation through production and labor,” he said.

Rev. Sirico later articulates that the issue isn’t simply about whether we should care for the poor and vulnerable, but more to point how we should care for the poor and vulnerable. What may surprise the Circle of Protection activists is the programs they seek to protect trap the poor in poverty instead of lifting them out:

“Any Christian would agree that we should put the poor and vulnerable first. The question is how,” noted Father Sirico.

He argued that taxes on the middle class destroyed its ability to grow the economy and to generate surpluses that can be used to assist the poor or to create new jobs.

“Redistributing wealth is the way to keep the poor in poverty. The way to lift them out of poverty is with jobs,” said Father Sirico, who added that he did not mean government jobs, but rather jobs generated through wealth creation in the private sector.

Click here to read the entire article.


  • G-Mom

    Yes it does.   It makes slaves to a system..Takes away ambition and incentives to do better and be better.    Why work or even get up  in the morning if everything is handed to me without any cost to me?   Why ever live or love?

  • GCSteven

    Thanks Louie, I see Fr. Bob is still stuck on ‘jobs’ and not wealth creation (as the title of this piece suggests). Allow me to clarify; Without capital formation you can’t create jobs, and that’s the paradigm this Nation and Globally must except, hence leaving the world to the slavery of past Savings or victims of the state (Subtitle to Louis Kelso/Mortimer Adler’s second book “The New Capitalist”). There is a Just Third Way. Do us all a favor and tell Fr. to give the Center for Economic and Social Justice a call (Pope John Paul II did and acknowledges Fr. John Miller’s work “Curing World Poverty”). He has the number, and help Pass Capital Homesteading Now. He had a perfect opportunity with the President and in my opinion,….. blew it. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, PS. Has anybody at Acton ever heard of Binary Economics or read Harold Mouton’s books “The Formation of Capital”? Obviously the answer is NO. You guys are persistent but you lack real Personalism, Subsidiarity and people solutions. Having the State create more jobs, that’s the argument for scarcity, God have mercy.

    • Anonymous

      GCSteven,

      Perhaps you misunderstood Rev. Sirico and what the Acton Institute stands for, and while Rev. Sirico’s interview is short with a few quotes you will discover many articles in the blog and website archives that discuss wealth  creation and what it means. Furthermore, I hope you understand that just because certain ideas are not advocated by the Acton Institute doesn’t mean that we have not heard of, read, or are well-versed in them. Assuming we haven’t heard of or read certain ideas due to our lack of advocating for them is a logical flaw.

      I would also like to clarify that the Acton Institute does not advocate for state created jobs. Instead the Acton Institute supports the free market and believes the private sector creates jobs, not the government. The government can foster a business friendly environment that encourages job growth through the private sector.