For me capitalism is becoming a dirty word. I’m an artist and the world of economics and global markets and corporate culture is beyond me. I suppose the idea of capitalist-style competition has some merit…as long as corporate leaders and independent business people at least make an attempt at remembering that the purist goal of all economic endeavors is the well-being of the entire human community, especially the weakest and poorest members. The capitalist system needs to be constantly on guard against the dangers of greed and structural injustice while at the same time fostering a sincere concern for distributive justice. It is sinful that so many people around the world do not have access to clean and safe water and enough food to at least prevent death by starvation.

According to Catholic social teaching the poor give insight to the Good News of the Gospel, and our concern for the poor should go far beyond mere moral concern. Nearly forty years ago, Pope Paul VI said economic decisions should focus on the poor because in God’s eyes they occupy a privileged place. In other words, our first concern should be the poor. Of course, profits are our first concern, and the poor are relegated to an afterthought if at all. Wealth rarely trickles down to the where the poor are: living on the mean streets of our big cities and hidden in massive slums around the world.


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