In a recent speech during his Latin American poverty tour, Pope Francis called the unfettered pursuit of money -- supposedly capitalism -- the "dung of the devil”.
Well, obviously, while not mentioning the USA by name, he must think we are all the most prolific devil's dung owners in the world since we have the biggest single-country capitalist economy. Doesn't that just make every American want to take a shower?
My problem with the Pope's statement is that the people of the USA are the most generous givers to charity in the world. More than any other country, we like to spread our dung around to help the poor. While somewhat outdated, this chart from Mark J. Perry's Carpe Diem Blog sums that fact up very nicely:
Even though Americans lost 8% of their median household incomes during the recession and have yet to recover from that, USA charitable giving last year was up to 2.1% of GDP or $358.4 billion. That's like every one of us giving each man, woman, and child in the world a gift of more than $51.
What this Pope doesn't understand is, without capitalism, who would take care of the poor. Also, when it comes to the poor, he and the Catholic Church are fine if they continue to have more and more children so the family unit becomes even more destitute.
I can't wait until September when he lands in the U.S. What will he have to say about this country?
Pope calls unfettered capitalism 'the dung of the devil': http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/11730371/Pope-calls-for-an-end-to-the-murders-of-Christians-in-the-Middle-East-and-beyond.html
Carpe Diem: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/06/americans-are-most-generous-people-in.html
Real Median Household Incomes: https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MEHOINUSA672N
Is charitable giving really at a record high?: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/18/is-charitable-giving-really-at-a-record-high.html