Saturday, November 30, 2013

Greg Mankiw confronts the pope's screed with reality

Greg Mankiw's response to the pope's unfortunate views on "trickle down" economics (Greg Mankiw):

First, throughout history, free-market capitalism has been a great driver of economic growth, and as my colleague Ben Friedman has written, economic growth has been a great driver of a more moral society. (Amazon)

Second, "trickle-down" is not a theory but a pejorative used by those on the left to describe a viewpoint they oppose. It is equivalent to those on the right referring to the "soak-the-rich" theories of the left. It is sad to see the pope using a pejorative, rather than encouraging an open-minded discussion of opposing perspectives.

Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.
Update: Glenn Reynolds makes a good point - "I think the key factor here is that he’s from crony-capitalism-capital Argentina, and that he has mistaken what goes on there for the operation of free markets."

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