• karen o’connell

    first, please discontinue the use of the word ‘flawed.’ it is soooo reminiscent of ”vatican pronouncements.”’ second: please stop using the words ”shepherd” and ”flock.” we are not pea-brained sheep….nor do we need a ‘shepherd.” seriously: we have to abandon the use of those silly words if we even want to achieve equal (or more than equal) status with those to whom we have given the ‘keys of the kingdom.’)— not me: i have not given them anything except pity and revision..

  • Josh DeCuir

    As a “moderate” conservative (or “national greatness” conservative, in the strain of David Brooks) there is much in your critique that I agree with. However, in at least one respect, I think you go to far. You state: “Yet it is it next to impossible to separate principle from practice here, not least because the advocates of laissez-fare policies keep bringing everything back to the principle of “economic freedom”.”

    While it might be true that in some instances, “economic freedom” has become a sort of dog-whistle for a kind of radical libertarianism, it doesn’t follow that it necessarily need be so. And an example you mention illustrates this to me: the financial sector. You are right (in a broad sense) that a “light regulatory touch” played a role in the financial crisis insofar as credit default swaps & the “shadow” banking system were unregulated. But I think you ignore and/or downplay the role in which the federal regulations in this area have not only not helped, but in fact exacerbated the “financialization” of the economy. Indeed, since Dodd-Frank’s passage (together with the coming Basel III accord regulations), the financial sector has seen a great consolidation resulting in even larger financial institutions with greater risks. Futhermore, as a lawyer with experience in advising financial institutions, particularly those with state charters, I know the regulatory barriers for new entrants into the market (which would compete with & possible weaken the larger financial institutions) have been significantly increased. Now, to me, an ideal solution would be the re-introduction of a Glass-Steagall barrier (a bill, it should be noted, that was repealed with large bipartisan support, & signed into law by Bill Clinton, with the support of Robert Rubin & Larry Summers), that would generate a kind of “economic freedom” that allows new entrants into the market, primarily from smaller, local banks. I don’t think this analysis is particularly “libertarian” but it does place a preference on the economic freedom of new entrants in a market to diffuse the power of larger institutions.

  • https://www.facebook.com/ptrivilino Peggy Trivilino

    Excellent analysis–but, at one point the author seems to equate women’s struggle to attain control of their reproductive rights–control of their own bodies and sexuality–with extreme economic libertatrianism. He suggests that these phenomena are the two sides of the same selfish, hyper-individualistic coin. I would maintain that a woman’s right to control her own reproductive choices can only contribute to the common good, not detract from it.

    • trellis smith

      The exercise of rights is not always an unalloyed good and often seems more an evil. It requires a moral code to know how to act responsibly. Rights and responsibilities must always be companions to achieve the common good.

  • ReginaSchulte

    Karen, your opinion has my full endorsement.

  • http://gravatar.com/dismasdolben dismasdolben

    Whether American FAUX-“conservatives” (meaning radical libertarians, because that is what they are) like it or not, Dolan’s screed proves that he no longer thinks with the Church of Pope Francis, for whom social and economic justice are the heart and soul of the Gospel message. These quotes by you and by him are adequate evidence of this, because they indicate that Dolan is determined to be “American exceptionalist” in his thinking and that, additionally, he is eager to discount the effect of American-owned and managed globalist enterprieses upon the poor of the developing world, in which almost ALL of the profits of “development” are flowing into the hands of the “cronies” that he likes to pretend are not the partners of the hedge fund operaters and the “out-sourcers” of the United States:

    American capitalism is more virtuous than elsewhere—especially the developing world, where the economic system is akin to an “exploitative racket for the benefit of the few powerful and wealthy”.
    * * *
    The second dysfunction relates to inequality. And here, we are all indebted to Thomas Piketty’s careful analysis of economic history. Piketty shows that, if unchecked, capitalism will lead to wealth disparities that are “potentially incompatible with the meritocratic values and principles of social justice fundamental to modern democratic societies”.
    * * *
    Opportunities for advancement are greater in more equal countries. Happiness, contentment, and levels of trust are all higher in more equal societies.
    * * *
    The flip side of Dolan’s coin is that capitalism in the developing world is an undesirable “exploitative racket for the benefit of the few powerful and wealthy”.
    * * *
    Our modern global economy is more interlinked and interconnected than ever before. We cannot simply isolate the American economic system from the global economic system. We cannot simply say “US economy good”, “developing economies bad”, because it’s all part of the same single global economy.
    * * *
    many of the material advantages enjoyed by American capitalism are intrinsically linked to injustices in the developing world.

    The question, then, arises, how long will Dolan be allowed to go like this, until he is reined in by his boss?

    • Jordan

      dismasdolben [June 11, 2014 10:48 pm]: The question, then, arises, how long will Dolan be allowed to go like this, until he is reined in by his boss?

      I hope that Pope Francis calls Cdl. Dolan with one of his impromptu phone chats and “invites” the cardinal back to the Holy See. Something tells me that that’s not in the cards. Still, Pope Francis should visit New York City anyway. Hopefully Pope Francis will steer clear of St. Patrick’s and say pontifical Mass in the South Bronx or other place suffering from economic suppression and a collapse of human dignity. I hope that Pope Francis will delivers one of his excellent economic liberation and human dignity-themed homilies which would completely pwn Dolan.

      Cdl. Dolan kissed the ring of the Koch Brothers. Wrong ring. Bad for the ecclesia, worse for the christifideles.

  • Anna Gutierrez

    from the November 1992 number of Harper’s


    by Juli Loesch Wiley

    1. You are a complex, easily damaged, and sensitive
    individual, and so is this newly conceived life. Did
    you know that some research has found emotional or
    physical trauma in more than 90 percent of women who

    2. Are you aware that your son or daughter is
    developing beautifully, responds to a variety of
    stimuli, and is already sensitive to pain?

    3. Are you considering abortion because of other
    people in your life? Your husband? Boyfriend? Parents?
    Employer? Is it fair that you will be subjected to
    physical, emotional, and spiritual
    trauma because they possibly have an anti-child

    4. Did you know that it’s against the law for anyone
    to discriminate against you for being pregnant or
    having a child?

    5. Is the father of the baby a responsible and loving
    person? Does he care about you? Does he care about
    his baby? Could he rise to the challenge of

    6. Is there even one woman in your life whom you love
    and respect: Grandmother? Sister? Teacher? College
    roommate? Do you trust her enough to ask her to help
    you? Would she stand by you and your child during this
    pregnancy and afterward?

    7. (After woman sees video interviews with couples
    eager to adopt her baby) Do you feel drawn to any of
    these people? Could you place your little one in their
    arms? Are you aware that you’re carrying a wanted

    8. Would you abort: If you knew that this were the
    only baby you would ever conceive? If you knew this
    child were uniquely gifted in some way? If you knew
    this child were destined to make one other human being
    supremely happy?

    9. Would aborting your baby conflict with other values
    in your life? A belief in nonviolence? An ethic of
    “live and let live”? A commitment to natural or
    holistic living?

    10. Do you believe in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others
    as you would have others do unto you?” Would you want
    someone to turn against you and physically destroy you
    because they weren’t ready to deal with you at this

    11. Do you believe in God? And that God made you? Do
    you believe that God made the baby you are carrying?
    Did God allow this new human to come into being for
    some purpose?

    12. If your circumstances were different and you
    didn’t have the problems you have now, would you want
    this baby? If so, can we start there and work backward
    together, attacking the problems rather than the baby?

    13. Do you remember that line from Desiderata, “You
    are a child of the Universe, as much as the trees and
    the stars: you have a right to be here?” Can you say
    it to your child?

    • Stuart

      What would you say to a woman who says, “I know that any child I conceive will be brought to term–my conscience won’t let me do otherwise. Because I want to make sure I’m ready for a child, I plan to be vigilant about contraception. I, like the men I know, enjoy sex, and I, like most men, don’t see anything wrong with sex for pleasure or for love. My way of preventing abortion is to make sure I and the men in my life use birth control. I understand all of your questions and I’m with you–I hope we can work together to end abortions.”

  • smclarty

    Reblogged this on Dissertating for the Greater Glory and commented:
    Though leadership is not an explicit theme in this excellent response to Cardinal Dolan’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, it is implied. Cardinal Dolan missed a huge opportunity to lead the Church in the United States by faithfully and FULLY expounding on the rich tradition of Catholic social doctrine as it relates to the economy today.

    Thank you Morning’s Minion and Vox Nova for this response.

  • Stuart

    Why are conservatives so terrified that some of their tax money will go into the hands of poor people who don’t want to work? I mean, the idea that some of their “hard-earned” money will fall into the hands of a lazy person is like the Zombie Apocalypse to these free-marketers. Why not leave the edges and a few grains here and there for the unworthy poor to glean? What would be so horrible? Being lazy shouldn’t be a death sentence.

    • Don

      “The Gospel takes away our right forever, to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving poor.”
      ― Dorothy Day

  • http://emmasrandomthoughts.wordpress.com emmasrandomthoughts

    It says a lot about the political alliances of the past 30 years that cardinals are defending Republican economic policies against the pope.

  • Ronald King

    Thank you MM once again for giving a clear analysis of a complex socioeconomic crisis which in my opinion identifies the interpersonal isolation and helplessness of victims Matt Talbot reflects on with his post “They and Us”. Unbridled capitalism seems to me to be a violent enterprise with the goal to gain and maintain power while rationalizing that the common good is being supported.

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