Preaching the Morality of Capitalism

On the eve of Christmas Eve, otherwise referred to as the Obamacare enrollment deadline, it appears fitting to ask why those that support and defend the free markets seem so afraid to embrace the moral foundation of their arguments.

It’s been a hardcore year for capitalists and companies. Obamacare has generated enough uncertainty to dent consumer spending. States and cities, fueled by big-money union financing, have passed new minimum-wage laws. Believe it or not a respected light than Pope Francis has been critical of profits and capitalist practices, if not principles.

The attacks result from different areas, but you will find a common thread: Free-market ideas are wrong because they don’t really have God on the side. Those that back businesses do so at the trouble of the dignity of the worker or the citizen. Poverty is established by income inequality, which is fueled by the agnosticism of greedy market principles. Capitalists hate kittens.

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Yet, faith and markets can go together. Plus they do. Just consider the flipside: A few of the very programs heralded to be most moral because they fetter markets are actually bad for a lot of the people they were made to protect.

Exhibit A may be the Affordable Care Act. Everything you are seeing with Obamacare is just one more exemplory case of the moral failure of socialist policies. Too strong to utilize the "s" word? Well, consider it this way: The reason why many citizens lost the coverage that they had (and we told they can keep) was that everyone had a need to have the same sort of coverage. This uniformity required needed that these same citizens had a need to pay more for this – to subsidize other people who don’t possess coverage at all. The target is to make sure that everyone gets insurance, in fact it is the requirement of each citizen – a requirement enforced by the IRS – to cover this equality.

That’s classic wealth redistribution: Some pay way more other people who don’t pay access the same things. Wealth redistribution is in fashion in a few quarters, since we still hear that the rich have to pay their "fair share" in taxes or get rid of profits to pay employees more. But, with the Obamacare flavor of wealth redistribution, it is not the rich who are asked to pay more. Rather, it really is just about everybody with employment.

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That is taking from the center class to cover the lower class. In reality, that’s always the dirty little secret of socialism: Sure, it comes beneath the banner of "tax the rich," Robin Hood rhetoric, but any economist would fail a polygraph test if he said the rich had enough wealth to aid the poor. Get rid of all of the capital of the wealthiest, distribute it evenly among the poorest, and you may not solve poverty, in this country or somewhere else. Instead, you need to target the center class. It really is these hard-working people, supporting their loved ones, who are forced by the state to take what they have earned and present to others, all in the interest of equality.

And if indeed they resist, they are called immoral. Consider it: Individuals who expressed objections to the economics of Obamacare were derided to be against healthcare itself. It wasn’t that you wanted more precise calculations for how Obamacare will be paid for. It had been that you wanted your fellow citizens – children even – to get sick and become denied care. To fight Obamacare was to root for the condition and death of your fellow man. To oppose it had been immoral.

Now, I’d argue, Obamacare since it is written and practiced is immoral to aid. The administration, in botching the launch and trying to save lots of face, the other day said many people could simply go without insurance, since it was very costly or too much to get. That’s since it has increased the amount of uninsured. Obamacare, which succeeded on the moral argument of healthcare for all, is currently failing that same moral test by firmly taking away medical care of thousands of people. True, this can be temporary, but it shouldn’t have happened at all. Obamacare isn’t only a victim of mishandling, it really is failing due to poor design.

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Why aren’t opponents now seizing the moral high ground? Well, even on the proper, there exists a hesitancy to combine morality (and, more bluntly, the faith and belief that underpins a moral compass) with policy. That is particularly true of libertarians, a lot of whom very organized religion as analogous to the state, as a trading-off of 1 orthodoxy for another.

But, unless free-market proponets start discussing their positions from the moral lens, they’ll continue being shouted down, by Pope Francis completely down the union organizer. It must be the natural argument, since there is an inherent morality to capitalist principles. Take objections to minimum-wage hikes. In case you are against minimum wage, you are attacked to be anti-worker and pro-poverty, as a person who wants hard-working people, particularly immigrants, to starve to death. But, most opponents to minimum-wage hikes believe that way due to fears that the business enterprise impact would eliminate some jobs and put people unemployed altogether. Nothing leads to poverty faster than unemployment. It is not greed, but instead legitimate concern that policy change could have a detrimental moral outcome.

And, since we brought it up, let’s discuss greed. Avarice is a deadly sin. However the quest for profit, for yourself as well as your business, isn’t inherently avaricious and for that reason not sinful. Yes, we Christians was raised hearing the admonition that it had been easier for a camel to feed the attention of a needle than for a rich man to find yourself in heaven, but experience tells us that the wealthy can do great things for most people. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a respected force in eliminating poverty and helping fight disease in the developing world, because of wealth acquired through Microsoft’s profitability and innovation. Nearer to home for me personally, the NYU Langone INFIRMARY in NEW YORK is probably the leading centers of biomedical research because of Ken Langone, the founder of Home Depot, opponent of Obamacare and refreshingly unrepentant capitalist. Charity is fueled by the accumulation of wealth. It is not a blind quest for profit either. Rather, many, due to a understanding of their moral and religious responsibilities, build profitable businesses with a seeing eye toward helping others and improving society.

You might hope the Pope recognizes this, too. The Church’s mission cannot succeed without charity from anyone who has acquired wealth, distributed to those that require it on the diocesan level. Catholics love profit. That is why you can’t get three folks together in a single room without holding a 50-50.

Free markets free people. Controlled economies usually do not. Actually, morality and religion must be rejected to permit for socialism. This is why Marx was so antagonistic toward religion, which he known as "the impotence of the human mind to handle occurrences it cannot understand."

Which has left an open playing field for market libertarians to embrace morality within their arguments. Hopefully, they look for a little religion.

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