Posted by Big Gav
Alan Kohler has an interesting post at the BS on the new pope, American bankers and Chinese Communists - The two great vested interests: bankers and communists.
Forty years ago the average wealth of the top 1 per cent was exactly 10 times the average of the rest. Now it's 29 times, and rising, while the wealth of the rest is flat. His point was that inequality is likely to be the next great challenge for the world economy. ...
In his Exhortation last week, Pope Francis wrote: "When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility." ...
US radio commentator Rush Limbaugh attacked last week's homily as "pure Marxism", which is slightly ironic given that much of the inequality that the Pope is complaining about is largely coming from the world's last great Marxist state. ...
"This imbalance," Pope Francis writes, "is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and finance speculation. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."
In recent weeks I have been developing an idea – that is, trying it out in speeches – that inequality results when elite vested interests succeed in distorting society to their own ends, and the two great vested interests of the modern world are American bankers and the Chinese Communist Party.
It is hard to decide which of these two groups has been most successful in capturing a disproportionate share of its society's wealth. Each group has been phenomenally successful in its own way ... .
'Pope' Xi Jinping's Exhortation in November following the Third Plenum of the 18th Congress, like Pope Francis', was all about the importance of alleviating inequality – but not through redistribution, as the Holy Father was calling for, but by opening up the economy through market-based reforms.
For the Chinese, it seems, capitalism is the opiate of the masses, not religion as Marx said.