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"It's time to talk about our billionaire problem"

Kevin Clarke writes in America magazine:

It is perhaps not a shock to discover U.S. oligarchs are generally interested in promoting policies that protect their wealth or allow them to accumulate more of it while countering legislation or social campaigns that promote income-building or wealth-equity efforts, or that protect the environment but add to industrial production costs. Is it time this collective power were restrained by sensible tax policies aimed at reducing the billionaire class’s accumulating economic and political might?

In a word, yeah.

Pope Francis has in recent years regularly dressed down the world’s wealthiest for not only declining to do their part to mitigate ecological and human suffering but for elevating the care and feeding of their personal fortunes as the primary good. In these pandemic times, Francis has talked a lot about building back a better world, one that includes a thorough examination of conscience of the role of finance and wealth in human economic and spiritual development and the protection of creation.

In doing so, he turns not to Marxist or Peronist economic doctrine for inspiration, as his many critics like to allege. His source material is simultaneously deeper and more simple. Despite what America’s prosperity gospelites prefer to believe, Jesus was not shy about his distaste for wealth accumulation and the personal and social imbalances, long before Marx, it seemed to produce.