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Saturday, November 26, 2016
Are capitalism and spirituality incompatible?
By Grassroot Institute @ 6:44 PM :: 7379 Views :: Economy, Religion

How Free Enterprise Helps the Poor - Free Market Updates with Istituto Acton

Free markets can help the rich, but what about the poor? Kishore Jayabalan is the director of Istituto Acton, and he has studied why freedom and property rights are a humanitarian issue, and why government leaders should roll back protectionist policies.

From Grassroot Institute, November 25, 2016

The contrast between Thanksgiving and Black Friday tends to strike people as disconcerting. In the space of a day, we go from a focus on family and gratitude to capitalistic frenzy.

These things appear to contradict each other. But they don't have to.

There is an assumption that capitalism and spirituality are incompatible. The caricature of the unscrupulous business man using the free market to take advantage of the poor is deeply ingrained in our culture. But again, that doesn't have to be the case.

Moreover, it is unfair to put the sins of an immoral capitalist at the feet of the free market. Especially because the free market is the most reliable and effective way to lift people out of poverty.

Too often, we ask how we can help the poor and underprivileged. That is the wrong question. The right question is, "how can we help the poor get richer?" And the answer, more often than not, comes in economic reforms that increase opportunity--not in government action that tend to reinforce economic barriers to success.

On this week's episode of E Hana Kakou, I spoke with Kishore Jayabalan, Director of the Acton Institute in Vatican City, Rome. Kishore was able to offer some very interesting insights on the nexus between liberty and morality, something that has been missing from our political discourse.

He points out that asking people to live morally in a free market society puts responsibility on them to help out their fellow man. (And studies show that private action tends to be much more efficient and effective than government programs.)

One phrase in particular stuck out to me as something that all advocates of liberty should remember, especially at this time of year: We often think of individual liberty as giving us freedom to do what we want. Its true purpose is to give us the power to do what we should.

Imagine how much good we could do by using liberty and the free market to do what we should.

E hana kakou (Let's work together!),

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.



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