Rush Limbaugh Explains it All For You

“My point is I’ve got no bias against it*, quite the contrary, and I was literally stunned** by what I read in that Reuters report. Because if it weren’t for capitalism, there wouldn’t be a Catholic Church***.”

* “no bias against it” appears to, in fact, mean “no knowledge of it”. Now that he is acquiring a bit of knowledge of it, he is discovering that he is, in fact, deeply biased against it by his ideological commitments he previously assumed the Catholic Church must entirely share.
**He was not, in fact, literally stunned.
***Jesus, not Capitalism, is in fact the reason for the Catholic Church’s existence. Replacing Jesus with Mammon as the basis for the Catholic Church’s existence is, in fact, blasphemous idolatry–excusable only by an ignorance so profound and stygian that you have to wonder if his mother ever read him “You cannot serve God and Mammon” when he was five.

And behold, one came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which?” And Jesus said, “You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have observed; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:16-26)

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  • ivan_the_mad

    I’d have expected that to be an Onion article rather than reality. The ignorance evidenced is embarrassing, as is the narcissism. Too many mega dittos over the years, I suppose.

    • Dave G.

      Years ago I heard him say that the reason the Plymouth pilgrims almost didn’t make it was because they tried socialism. But when they chucked that and embraced capitalism, they thrived. I knew then I was going to take him with a few grains of salt. Not that he’s wrong about everything, but when it comes to economics, I typically ignore (though in fairness, I haven’t heard him in a long time).

      • the reason the Plymouth pilgrims almost didn’t make it was because they tried socialism. But when they chucked that and embraced capitalism, they thrived

        Ha. I remember hearing that argument when I was in high school in the 90s. I think it was from some Christian Reconstructionists I was taking classes from.

        • peggy

          My kids’ text says is what John Smith in Jamestown who told people they had to work or they would not eat. Many were relying on the produce of others to get by.

  • CrustyNatsFan

    Wow. Talk about letting the mask slip.

  • Rachel

    Wow, this sounds worse. Rush has NO Clue. 🙁

  • Michaelus

    Rush and most of the conventional conservatives incorrectly equate capitalism with the rights to basic liberty and to own property (which do in fact predate the Incarnation). Capitalism is a system that relies on the accumulation of capital so rich men can build giant railroads, oil companies, Walmart etc. via an imaginary thing called a “corporation”. Corporations did not exist until the 18th century and did not become common until well into the 19th century. Today everything is owned by corporations including most peoples homes.

    • Bobby Lawndale

      Um, no. First, your understanding of capitalism and its dependence on corporations is simply mistaken. Corporations are indeed a legal construct, and for the most part a beneficial one, but the existence of capitalism is hardly dependent on that construct. Second, most homes are not owned by corporations. You are confusing a security interest with ownership.
      Part of Rush’s schtick is to be over-the-top arrogant, so it is hard to know when his display of arrogance is genuine versus contrived. As radio talk show hosts go he is actually pretty informed, but he is not remotely a serious commentator in any philosphical or even scholarly sense. Of course, very few entertainers or jounalists are.

      • Michaelus

        Well apart from property rights and the right to buy and sell things what characterizes capitalism if not the invention of the limited liability corporation?

        • peggy

          Capitalism derived from the need to raise capital that one man could not alone, in order to construct plant and other facilities to produce and bring to market consumer goods. The industrial revolution, ie, technology, gave rise to capitalism, whereas we primarily had mercantilism, small local merchants, which began while feudalism still was active in Europe.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Corporations were a medieval invention. London, for example, is a corporation; as are guilds and universities and so forth. Outside the West, there were few if any such bodies between the individual and the sovereign power; but in the West, corporate bodies with self-government, jurisdiction, and the like were common by the High Middle Ages. The first corporate body to break free of Caesar was the Church, which for a time was independent of the State, had her own governance, her own laws and courts, chose her own leaders, and so on. All others are in imitation of her. It would be more accurate to say that capitalism owed its existence to the Church. One might then see that the former works well only in the context of the latter.

      • Michaelus

        Well you could probably consider the Vestal Virgins or the Delphic Oracle staff as a corporate body. The modern capitalist system is organized around limited liability corporations. It has become dominated by a small number of huge, wealthy corporations (aided by their good friends in Government of course). This has resulted in the largest wealth disparity in history. This is a problem.

        • Paxton Reis

          “This has resulted in the largest wealth disparity in history. ”

          Not sure what this means. The disparity between the royal class and the slaves was quite wide in ancient times, be it in Europe, India, China, etc. Being in the lower working class today is a better (materially, health-wise, etc.) lot than some serf or slave back then.

          • Michaelus

            The disparity between the wealthiest people (say the top 10%) and the bottom 10% or 40% is larger now than it was in Czarist Russia, in ancient Rome, in 15th century Italy or in 1776. This disparity has gotten worse since 2008. It is almost unbelievable but this is true ref.

    • peggy

      So, you want to go back to an agrarian society with no central heating or faster transport than horses? No lights? Would your wife resent trashing the washer and dryer? Dishwasher? Use an outdoor pump? No modern medical devices and equipment employed by Drs and hospitals? Are you ready to drop off the internet? It is the technology that has caused a need for “capital” to be raised in order to produce the many modern goods we consume and which aid us in our lives.

      Rush clearly spoke from a place of ignorance indeed. I don’t know why he didn’t bother to look at the document rather than rely on the errors of the media which he knows are untrustworthy.

      • Michaelus

        Funny that you mention that other ancient Christian institution the hospital – which used to be a place where the sick found hospitality but is today – yes – a corporation run for the benefit of rich men.

        • peggy

          I’ve come to think that many at this site get their economic and business education from “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” with Mr. Potter and the unreformed Scrooge are your models for the businessman and employer today.

          A corporation run for the benefit of rich men? Is that the only reason businesses exist? How did they “get rich”? By filling a need/want in society. Sure, people who invest sweat, time and money in an idea they bring to fruition reap the rewards…and are happy to share with fellow investors and partners by their side. Employees are not bosses or owners, but are compensated for their time and effort. The wage and labor laws today make it illegal to abuse and mistreat employees. The minimum wage is exceeded in many retail establishments, especially in higher cost markets and especially when the economy is expanding. There is a general pullback and fear deriving from the over-regulatory agenda of the Obama administration in all areas of the economy. Even professionals are seeing flat wage growth and even losses over the past several years.

  • Paxton Reis

    “no bias against it” appears to, in fact, mean “no knowledge of it”. ”

    Exactly, and for a man who’s act includes lambasting the mainstream media for its lack of substance proves he is merely the compatriot, just a different side of the same coin.

  • Michael in ArchDen

    People who misuse the word “literaly”, figuratively make me crazy!

    • chezami

      Literally *crazy*!

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    Rush is too dim to know the difference between Capitalism vs Consumerism. The Pope condemns the later not the former.

    Or to know that trickle down economics alone won’t solve the problems of injustice in society given that sinful men will still be at the helm & this is not a blanket condemnation of trickle down economics per say.

    Reading the anti-Catholic conservative morons over at Breitbart is like reading the anti-Catholic leftist morons over at Media Matters.

    I can’t really tell the difference.

    • I find that the anti-Catholics on the right are much more open to the suggestion that the left wing media is distorting the Pope and that they would profit from reading his actual words before coming to judgments. They’ve seen it happen often enough that it’s a powerful argument for them. It’s less effective on Media Matters types.

  • MarylandBill

    I think it is possible to critique capitalism, and suggest its reforms without throwing out capitalism as a viable system. Certain features of capitalism, if practiced literally are immoral. For example, no matter how much excess labor there is, it is simply immoral for a business owner to pay his workers less than a living wage, even if they are willing to work for less (Unless the employer knows they have a different source of income).

    • Long before we get to the lifeboat situation of less than a living wage being the market clearing wage, labor absolutely needs to learn how to adjust and reduce supply/increase demand so we don’t get there.

      I do not understand why educating people to avoid this nasty state of affairs is not a higher priority for all of us. It’s like that old joke, the new patient says “Dr. It hurts when I do this” and the doctor replies “well, don’t do that”.

      Don’t stay in the labor force on payroll trying to earn a living in advance of the sale of production when there’s massive oversupply of workers who need to do that, many of whom don’t have alternatives. If you can shift out of that work, you have a moral obligation to do so and leave a slot open for someone who doesn’t have your options. It’s the failure to make those adjustments many years ago that leaves us in the situation we are in today.

      • MarylandBill

        Umm, so, what exactly should the unemployed do in America right now? Once you have surplus labor, the price of labor can decline awfully rapidly and retraining for other work can take longer than one can survive without a job.

        Here is the basic thing, God is not going to judge us based on what market forces dictated, but on the care and concern we showed for our fellow man. Yes, a business owner might not be able to employ everyone who needs employment, but he is obligated to pay those he does employee a living wage, period.

        • To take your last point first, not period because this denies the agency of the workers. People choose to join career fields where there are labor shortages (and they do exist, even in the US today) or where there are massive surpluses. Before an employer ever sees their first job application, this is the first relevant decision in the chain and employers have nothing to do with it. Ignoring that fact is not proper and not particularly Catholic.

          So the first thing to be done is to stop herding kids into overcrowded fields and call your local department of labor (or whatever your state calls it) to find out where the shortages are and inform the kids where the jobs currently are and that it is their obligation to stay on top of this information going forward, shifting out before the oversupply gets so bad that it’s a case where living wages are even relevant.

          Right now the market is screaming via pricing signals that there’s a need for more entrepreneurs creating more businesses. Being a CEO pays very well if you’re any good at it. Creating businesses that, when successful, increase labor demand overall and make it more likely that people can sustainably afford to pay a living wage is a good thing.

          A third element is that we’ve decided to protect certain jobs through legal rules that favor incumbents or outright illegalize certain forms of work. A famous case is in Louisiana where a monastery was denied the right to create simple coffins and sell them. We need to review all of our legal codes and rip all of that nonsense right out.

          And finally, we need to talk to each other to make all of these elements a practical matter instead of theoretical talk. I’ve no doubt that I’m an imperfect messenger and implementer of this, though I am trying to do all four elements personally.

          I have three children and am guiding them to be where the crowd isn’t when it comes to selling their labor. I am working on a business ( ) that I hope will create thousands of permanent slots for work. Finally I’m laying this vision out here and elsewhere and hoping for critiques and improvements.

          • I want you and Dan C to come lecture to me.

            • I want to figure out why I’m getting down voted for the above. The moral equivalence in both rights and responsibilities appropriate to their individual power and role is not something that I would think Catholics here would be downvoting. Live and learn.

              I just read Dan C’s point on demon Rand. My only complaint about it is that he’s carpet bombing what should be stiletto work. The general thrust is correct about defects in Randian thought. I also think it’s a mistake to make it personal. It is the idea that is demonic. Judging a person so is something that I would urge strong caution on. In the case of Randian thought, it’s not even the whole idea, merely sections that are incompatible.

  • Gabriel Blanchard

    That whacking sound you hear is me hitting my head against my desk repeatedly, wishing I had enough charity to actually pray for Limbaugh instead of laugh-cry-yelling uproariously. Maybe in a few more minutes.

  • Joe

    Why do people still listen to this moron? Or is it, why do morons listen to this person?

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Part of me hopes that this is a hint of the old, fun Rush who loved to “illustrate absurdity by being absurd,” because that is one of the most absurd statements of his I’ve ever read.
    On Capitalism, at least as it is practiced today: It’s chief problem is that it is based on the foundation of usury, which is sin, plain and simple. No way around it. Just because you call it “interest” or “maximum investment return” doesn’t make it any less usury. Names may change, but the sin remains the same.