This summer’s issue of The City, which includes an article by myself on Orthodoxy and ordered liberty, opens with a symposium of five articles on “The Question of Inequality.” These include two articles on Pope Francis, two on French economist Thomas Piketty’s recent book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and one on the Bible.
In order to recommend the symposium to our readers here, who no doubt have interest in the topic, I compiled the following highlights:
Josiah Neeley, “What Does Bono Know That the Pope Doesn’t?”
Argentina is now the world’s only “formerly developed” country.
[E]ven in the United States a great deal of inequality is the result not of the heroic innovator but of government favoritism.
Donald Devine, “Does Pope Francis Hate Capitalism?”
[B]y 1910 … Argentina’s per capita Gross Domestic Product [was] number ten in the world.
Peron’s Argentina [in the mid-twentieth century] was perhaps the first comprehensive welfare state…. [And] the result has been a much poorer country.
The actual experience of markets [contra Pope Francis] is hardly autonomy. The U.S., one of the freer countries, has 300,000 regulations.
[B]etween 2005 and 2010 the total number of poor in the world actually fell by half a billion people as trickle down prosperity lifted millions from absolute destitution.
Today’s reality is the over-regulatory welfare state, not wild markets. (more…)