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Video: The Sirico-Winters Debate on Government’s Role in Helping Poor

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On Monday, Jan. 28, The Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought in Boulder, Colo., hosted its Sixth Annual Great Debate which addressed the question, “Can the free market adequately care for the poor?”  Acton President and co-founder Rev. Robert A. Sirico argued for the side of the free market, debating Michael Sean Winters, a writer for National Catholic Reporter.

Watch the entire debate here:

Can the Free Market Adequately Care for the Poor? from Aquinas Institute on Vimeo.


Sarah Stanley


  • Thanks Father for keeping to the discussion hand. I found Winters arguing against strawman, an unregulated free market. I found you very clear that the free market must be founded on freedom and the human person which also implies justice.

  • Clare Krishan

    Both interlocutors avoided the elephant in the room – the defective financial industry and its FIAT powers to control the flow of global reserve currency (the purchasing power of which is not in the hands of subsidiary agents exchanging value in a “free” market nor in the hands of the poor at home or overseas). The mandarins at the US Treasury tasked with finding purchasers for our public spending overhang (government services already delivered and consumed but not yet paid for, secured by dividends paid to keep the bailiffs at bay) and their banking associates who supervise the pieces of paper with their name on it: Federal Reserve Notes aka dollars do a fine job of muddying the waters of either man’s argument. Our government is bankrupt so obviously it self-evidently it cannot “adequately” take care of anything for the common good anymore, its in the business of preserving entitlements and the employment of those who enable such entitlement. Terrifyingly many enterprises aren’t that far behind, failing to create enough actual real exchange value to cover incentive benefits for HR retention, so default to abandoning promises and fiduciary commitments made to decades of past employees for healthcare, retirement etc.