Pope Francis sends a message to Davos elites -- they'd do well to listen
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
1/21/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
As the world's wealthiest elites gather in Davos, Switzerland for talks about what they should do with themselves and their incredible wealth, Pope Francis offered a suggestion by letter.
Pope Francis has called for the world's wealth to serve man, rather than for man to serve wealth.
BERN, SWITZERLAND (Catholic Online) - In a letter sent to the 2,500 attendees of the World Economic Forum, Pope Francis urged them use their wealth to serve humanity and to promote prosperity around the world.
The Davos Economic forums is attended by the wealthiest people on Earth and is a yearly summit where they talk about grand ideas and humanitarian efforts. Some have criticized the Davos summits for producing little good for the rest of the world.
Figures released by Oxfam on Monday show that just 85 people control 45 percent of the world's wealth, and possibly more.
A large percentage of the world's people still subsist on less than a dollar per day.
These facts contrast predictions by people such as Bill Gates who suggested that there will be no more poor countries in the world by 2035, thanks to changes in technology, globalization, and advances in medicine.
Despite these lofty goals and the hobnobbing between the world's elites, Pope Francis presented his challenge. "I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis wrote in his letter.
"The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all 'a transcendent vision of the person.'"
"It also calls for decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality."
The world needs a new way of distributing wealth. On a planet as rich as ours in resources, nobody should go hungry. Although we need to reward people with talent and those who strive to improve themselves, we now live in a world where opportunity is lacking and even the ultra-wealthy have little motivation to improve because their wealth is entrenched and protected.
An estimated $21 trillion in global wealth is believed to be hidden away in secret, offshore havens where it cannot be tracked or taxed.
Today, virtually nobody can surmount the obstacles of income inequality and the world is slowly returning to state of economic distribution more akin to centuries past. The long-term political and economic implications of this backslide are impossible to predict.
However, widespread poverty and a lack of opportunity, which is more real than understood by most, especially Americans, threatens the spread of popular socialism and other policies which could ultimately harm freedom, democracy, and the wealthy themselves.
Already, a generation of youth is graduating college with less hope than ever of landing a career for which they have been trained, leading to anxiety and desperation for those who accepted debt to attend college.
Alongside them are billions of people who struggle with greater problems including food insecurity and literal starvation. None of these people are likely allies to the establishment or will prove supportive of expanding inequality. Unfortunately, beyond a certain point, it is impossible to restore a greater balance and fairness to a system which is rigged to make the rich richer.
According to Oxfam, political systems have already been undermined by money and the lavish spending of a few.
The last hope for a peaceful restoration of opportunity and equality may come from the Church itself, who reinforces that the market is made for the man, not the man for the market.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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