October 5, 2020

YOU’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BLOG: What Pope Francis’s Attacks on ‘Free Markets’ and ‘Trickle-Down Economics’ Get Wrong.

This is probably Pope Francis’s weakest argument of all.

For one, the coronavirus has wrought havoc across the globe in countries regardless of economic system. It started in Communist China, which has made some market reforms in recent decades but can by no stretch reasonably be called a free-market society. And let’s not forget that the story of how COVID-19 spread globally is largely a story of countless government errors, many of which had deadly results.

As I previously explained:

When the outbreak first reached U.S. shores, the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention botched our response horribly. By foolishly monopolizing testing kit production and putting up red tape, the two government bureaucracies set our ability to contain the virus back irreparably. The crisis was also compounded by the failure of government officials from both parties to take it seriously initially. Even after the government woke up to the threat, the inconsistent and confused messaging on best prevention practices coming out of the CDC sabotaged our collective response.

Worst of all, elected officials such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York made the deadly decision to force nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 and so endanger their entire community. More than 6,400 New York nursing home residents have subsequently died from the coronavirus.

A cursory glance at this timeline makes it clear that the COVID-19 crisis was exacerbated by the failure of government central planning and bureaucracy—not free markets.

If anything, the private sector has risen to the challenge and met people’s unprecedented needs.

Examples abound. Amazon has delivered necessities to millions of peoples’ doors and enabled social distancing. Restaurants have shaken up their business models, embracing outdoor dining and takeout. And don’t forget the many manufacturing companies that switched to the mass production of masks and other protective gear, as well as medical equipment.

No system is perfect, but broadly, the private sector has responded admirably to the COVID-19 crisis—when the government hasn’t gotten in the way, that is.

The Pope really need to stick to leading an actual religion, rather than dabbling with Marxism, a substitute religion.

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