Perhaps you’ve heard about Rush Limbaugh basically calling Pope Francis a Marxist for daring to point out the massive and glaring flaws in the conservative economic ideology known as trickle-down economics.
A laughable accusation considering what Pope Francis said is exactly what reality has shown us. But the conservative reaction to his remarks shouldn’t really be all that surprising. It just goes to show that when their cult is threatened, they have no problem attacking anyone — even the Pope.
Well, Pope Francis actually responded to these attacks levied by several conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh. Though not mentioning any particular individual by name, while speaking with Vatican Insider La Stampa, Pope Francis was asked about those who’ve accused him of being a Marxist:
Some of the passages in the “Evangelii Gaudium” attracted the criticism of ultraconservatives in the USA. As a Pope, what does it feel like to be called a “Marxist”?
“The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”
The most striking part of the Exhortation was where it refers to an economy that “kills”…
“There is nothing in the Exhortation that cannot be found in the social Doctrine of the Church. I wasn’t speaking from a technical point of view, what I was trying to do was to give a picture of what is going on. The only specific quote I used was the one regarding the “trickle-down theories” which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and social inclusiveness in the world. The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefitting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger – nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the Church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist.”
To me, the most important part of this comment is where he points out the fatal flaw in the theory behind trickle-down economics. Once the “glass is full,” wealth is supposed to start trickling from it and benefitting the poor. Except that’s not what has happened — as he points out, the glass just keeps “magically” getting bigger and nothing ever overflows.
And if you think about it, that’s what the Bible warns us about.
Greed is perpetual — it’s never ending. The more you feed it, the more it wants. The “cup” will never overflow, because the more the richest among us get, the more they’re going to want — without fail.
And that’s exactly what’s happened. Just think about taxes for a moment. If trickle-down economics worked, we wouldn’t be talking about tax hikes for the rich — ever. There wouldn’t be any need. The rich in this country (and around the world for that matter) aren’t struggling. In fact, they’re doing better than ever. If the success for 98% of people matched that for the top 2%, most of us would be doing much better off.
Which is basically all Pope Francis said with his comments.
But, when all is said and done, the Pope did the one thing that you’re not allowed to do in the mind of conservatives — he dared to doubt their propaganda. Which, to them, basically makes him the enemy.
I can’t wait to see the right-wing response to these latest comments, as I’m sure they’ll continue to dig themselves into a hole that they’ll eventually never be able to get out of.