11 thoughts on “The "George Weigel Problem"

  1. What facts? Those are only things that you chose to support your opinions. You do that a lot, but the reality is you are selective in what you pick. Anything that rejects your beliefs is avoided. Historical facts show your opinion is not founded on reality, but wishful thinking.

    You want to support the rich and greed, that's your problem. Have fun with that. Don't cry when the taxes go up on them.

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  2. Jimmy Dick said…
    I would say Tom that you make nice opinions. The War on Poverty has failed in large part to racism in America and the stupidity in implementing and maintaining trickledown economics. The argument from the right wing on family continues to ignore reality and the devastation of the working and middle classes by poor economic policies which shift the tax burden from those that have the excess wealth to those who do not. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/us-poverty-level-1960s_n_1692744.html

    For someone to say the poor and middle classes covet the wealth of the rich is hypocritical since you ignore the greed of the rich in amassing wealth at the expense of others. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-a-budget/300409-pope-francis-condemns-the-cult-of-greed-ted-cruz-and-paul-ryan-support-it

    The bottom line is this country was better off when it had high tax rates on the wealthy.

    June 3, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    Thank you for your opinion and the opinions of The Huffington Post and some guy at The Hill. They do not however, address the facts and arguments I offered, meaning this is neither a discussion nor a debate.

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  3. I would say Tom that you make nice opinions. The War on Poverty has failed in large part to racism in America and the stupidity in implementing and maintaining trickledown economics. The argument from the right wing on family continues to ignore reality and the devastation of the working and middle classes by poor economic policies which shift the tax burden from those that have the excess wealth to those who do not. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/22/us-poverty-level-1960s_n_1692744.html

    For someone to say the poor and middle classes covet the wealth of the rich is hypocritical since you ignore the greed of the rich in amassing wealth at the expense of others. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-a-budget/300409-pope-francis-condemns-the-cult-of-greed-ted-cruz-and-paul-ryan-support-it

    The bottom line is this country was better off when it had high tax rates on the wealthy.

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  4. Perhaps you might recall the most recent GOP nominee for Vice President, Paul Ryan who seemed to have no problem blending Rand and his understanding of Catholicism.

    Clever but unfair, John. The left pilloried Ryan for being an Ayn Rand type,

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/…/ayn-rand-joins-the-ticket
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/7-ways-paul-ryan-revealed-his-love-for-ayn-rand.html
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenricher/2012/08/30/paul-ryans-ayn-rand-offense/

    then pillored him for not being an Ayn Rand type.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/opinion/ayn-rand-wouldnt-approve-of-paul-ryan.html
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/if-paul-ryan-were-an-atlas-shrugged-character-hed-be-a-villain/261036/

    They had him either way. Then they finish him off with a left-right-left-right combination that would have felled Joe Frazier:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118840/paul-ryans-antipoverty-plan-signals-divorce-ayn-rand-cult

    Pure wicked, sophistic genius. Gotta hand it to 'em.

    As for Ryan himself, not that the truth matters in these things:

    Brit Hume, FOX News: What is your view of Ayn Rand? Are you an Ayn Rand disciple?

    Rep. Paul Ryan: No. I really enjoyed her novels, Atlas Shrugged in particular. It triggered my interest in economics. That's where I got into studying economics. That's why I wanted to study the whole field of economics.

    I later in life learned about what her philosophy was, it's called Objectivism. It's something that I completely disagree with. It's an atheistic philosophy. But I think what she's done is she's showed — she came from communism. She showed how the pitfalls of socialism can hurt the economy, can hurt people, families and individuals and that to me was very compelling novels. Which says freedom, free enterprise, liberty is so much better than totalitarianism and socialism. Those novels, I thought were interesting. But her philosophy, which is different, is something I just don't agree with.

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  5. Blogger Jimmy Dick said…
    Tom,
    Harry got a lot of it wrong. Capitalism has not ended poverty. In fact it seems that due to the unequal distribution of wealth that is going on with unregulated capitalism in the US poverty is increasing.

    “Poverty” in the United States is a relative term. We do not have skinny poor people. in fact…

    Further, poverty even in relative terms is far more closely correlated to family stability than any other factor. That we have spent trillions in the War on Poverty and the numbers don't budge is itself proof that government intervention is not the solution.

    As for world poverty, which I take as the concern of a global religion, I'll take [still left-leaning] Economist magazine's assessment, that world poverty–real poverty–has dipped extraordinarily, largely because of free-market economic growth. As for “economic equality,” our concern is not that the rich have too much, only that the poor have enough. Anything else is covetousness.

    The only legitimate question is what the best means are to achieve it. The Vatican–and the American Catholic chattering class–need to update their economic model.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/01/what-oxfam-doesnt-want-you-to-know-global-capitalism-means-theres-less-poverty-than-ever/

    The first Millennium Development Goal is to eradicate extreme poverty (halving the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day between 1990 and 2015). Here's how the proportion of people in developing countries living on less than $1.25 a day has fallen since 1990:

    1990: 40%
    1999: 37%
    2005: 27%
    2010: 22%

    The rest is idle talk.

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  6. Anonymous: The suggestion that Catholics of the libertarian-right variety *might* like Ayn Rand is not as far-fetched as you make it sound. Perhaps you might recall the most recent GOP nominee for Vice President, Paul Ryan who seemed to have no problem blending Rand and his understanding of Catholicism.

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  7. Tom,
    Harry got a lot of it wrong. Capitalism has not ended poverty. In fact it seems that due to the unequal distribution of wealth that is going on with unregulated capitalism in the US poverty is increasing. http://www.povertyusa.org/the-state-of-poverty/poverty-facts/

    Poverty was actually lower in the 1950s and 60s than today. Let's see. The tax rates were a lot higher then than they are now. So the GOP free market and trickle down economy has failed to do what it was supposed to do. It did what the liberals said it would. It devastated the middle class, failed to reduce poverty, and actually increased poverty while shifting the tax burden to the lower and middle classes from the upper class. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/30/no-trickle/?_r=0

    Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the 21st Century has something to say too. Of course the Austrian Economics folks hated the book because it rejected their failed economic claims.

    Basically, Tom, Capitalism has promise, but not when it is unregulated. That is what Pope Francis is saying. We do have the ability to lower the poverty rate, but not the way we're going right now. The taxes on the wealthy need to go up. Big Business needs to pay taxes. The loopholes must be closed.

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  8. On the abortion issue, for instance, the pro-life position always gets a more respectful hearing in the secular culture when it is seen as consistent—when it also takes a stand against war, the death penalty, poverty, lack of affordable healthcare, environmental degradation, and the gun culture.

    The author elides the plain fact that abortion is in a different doctrinal category than the others. For instance, opposition to the death penalty is normative Church teaching, but unlike abortion, the Catholic conscience is not bound by that normative teaching.

    On the rest, it's more a question of means; all are agreed on the ends. Poverty = bad. Pollution = bad. Murder = bad.

    The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States.”

    said Benedict in Caritas in Veritate, and this must be kept in mind whenever the laundry list of all the world's troubles is trotted out, for which, of course, the left has its matching list of statist solutions.

    As for poverty, the question isn't whether there should be a “preferential option for the poor” as Francis puts it, but what's the best means to feed them. Normative Catholic teaching hasn't yet caught up with the fact that free-market economics–capitalism, if you will–has done more to lessen poverty than any coercive redistribution scheme* [in fact, the latter often causes poverty].

    Natural law is still the operative dynamic in the Catholic regard for the matters of this world, and “the invisible hand” works. [Natural law requires that its suppositions are borne out in reality.] It is not disloyal to the Pope or the Church for Weigel and the “theo-cons” to argue the Church must update economic principles that were formulated in the early days of the Industrial Revolution.

    And of course the big irony here is that leftists such as the author are all for dissent in the Catholic Church except when it's their ox that's being gored.

    ___________________
    *http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21578665-nearly-1-billion-people-have-been-taken-out-extreme-poverty-20-years-world-should-aim

    IN HIS inaugural address in 1949 Harry Truman said that “more than half the people in the world are living in conditions approaching misery. For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and skill to relieve the suffering of those people.” It has taken much longer than Truman hoped, but the world has lately been making extraordinary progress in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Between 1990 and 2010, their number fell by half as a share of the total population in developing countries, from 43% to 21%—a reduction of almost 1 billion people.

    Most of the credit, however, must go to capitalism and free trade, for they enable economies to grow—and it was growth, principally, that has eased destitution.

    Poverty rates started to collapse towards the end of the 20th century largely because developing-country growth accelerated, from an average annual rate of 4.3% in 1960-2000 to 6% in 2000-10. Around two-thirds of poverty reduction within a country comes from growth. Greater equality also helps, contributing the other third. A 1% increase in incomes in the most unequal countries produces a mere 0.6% reduction in poverty; in the most equal countries, it yields a 4.3% cut.

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  9. George Weigel represents what is wrong with Catholicism in America today. The hypocrisy of Weigel and other conservative Catholics is appalling. Our Church is suffering the widespread defection of two generations thanks to conservative Catholics who are trying to turn the Church into a right wing religion. For a decade I watched the Knights of Columbus put pictures of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict up and loudly proclaim how they followed the Pope. The more extreme of them said they had sworn an oath to obey the Pope. When Pope Francis came along you could hear the choking sounds across the country.

    They don't say they swore an oath to obey the Pope any more. They don't put up the pictures in the Columbian and state how they follow the Pope. They are not happy, but that's what happens when one group takes control of the organization and steers it away from its purpose. I've had people tell me they won't join the KofC because it is too far to the right for them. Fallen away Catholics have no interest in the Church because it doesn't address their needs. Instead it focused on minor issues which really have no major bearing on them such as gay marriage.

    This is a really big Church with a lot of different viewpoints. It functions well when it acknowledges those viewpoints and preaches tolerance. Some of the worst periods of history involve intolerance and religion with the Catholic Church right in the middle of the mess on the side of intolerance. You would think some people would pay attention to what George Santayana said, but they are wearing blinders and insisting on my way or the highway.

    This Church is neither left nor right. Neither party represents it.

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  10. Ayn Rand, John? You mean Rand the will-to-power, all sex is rough sex, capitalist-as-superman, militant atheist? Good heaven, not even most libertarians are Objectivists! Do you sincerely believe the Roman Catholic theologian and theorist George Weigel has a lot in common with Rand? What would that even be? Or is “Ayn Rand” just shorthand for “anything-about-the-market-I-don't-like?” A smear term the way “Marx” is in Tea Party rhetoric? As soon as you reckon all defenders of central planning are Marxists, I will accept that anyone with a good thing to say about the free market is automatically a Randian.

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