May 25, 2018

Dear Pope Francis

I admire your dedication and respect your views. You are undoubtedly a compassionate man, and it is not hard to understand how the poverty you have witnessed shaped your opinions. But I must respectfully disagree with your proposed solutions. There are three fundamental flaws.

1. Socialism is not the answer.
The failure of the political solution you suggest is starkly illustrated by the chaos and misery in Venezuela (71 percent of the population is Roman Catholic) and the poverty in Cuba (60 percent of the population is Catholic). Regular church attendance is low in both nations. Socialist fascist policies have impoverished both nations. Top down dictatorships manage both economies. A socialist system of government encourages the creation of impoverished citizens who are governed by an elitist hierarchy that enforces its domination through methods of oppression.

Perhaps it would be helpful if the Vatican focused its attention on the restoration of the benefits of liberty and faith to the people of both nations. The wealth of a nation is created by its people. In order to do so, they must be free to try, to fail, and to succeed. Pride in personal achievement is far more effective than any socialist guarantee of minimal benefits. People who get something for nothing generally have no respect for what they have received. The result is personal and cultural failure.

2. The assumption of national sublimation is unrealistic.
You propose to have the United Nations control life on our planet. That is their agenda. It’s called globalism. But wait. Do you really believe this sprawling, illiterate, arrogant, avaricious and intolerant bureaucracy will rule the world with wisdom? Do you really believe China, Iran, Russia, and most of the other nations now ruled by defacto dictatorships will accept UN rule with open arms? Do you really believe OECD national wealth will be given up without a fight? And after the UN elitists and their army of bureaucrats have redistributed all the wealth and plunged the entire planet into miserable poverty, then what? Tribal warfare? Religious warfare? National rebellion? Ceaseless bloody revolt? What, exactly, will this strategy have accomplished?

3. Top down management does not work.
If you carefully evaluate why some corporations are successful and some or not, or why socialism fails and capitalism succeeds, you will discover that top down management is generally a disastrous way to run a large enterprise. It’s simple logistics. The person who has responsibility for a function must also have the authority to make decisions affecting the performance of that function. In top down management, people up the management chain assume they have all authority to act, even if they are unfamiliar with local activity and requirements, or even care what is happening on the local level. Since the person at the local level has no authority to act, they also lose nominal responsibility (and incentive) to act - even if it the result is disastrous. They can always blame “procedures” or “directives” for their failure. Economic activity stalemates.
Giving individuals the right, responsibility, and tools to succeed is far more likely to produce the benefits you seek than socialism or globalism. The Cuban economic and cultural experience provides multiple examples of this basic truth. Venezuela, where common people struggle to find enough to eat, is a really good example of socialist economic failure.

Let us think instead of a compromise between capitalism and socialism. Call it benevolent free enterprise. Combine the freedom to act with the Christian traditions of responsible action. Freedom and personal responsibility are essential tenets in the message of Jesus Christ.


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