Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Market Economy or Socialism?

by Steve Ray on December 23, 2010

I was recently asked:
“Between a Socialist system of economics or a Free market Capitalist system, which is more Moral? Which system best represents a Christian view?

My short response:
The Catechism reflects the teaching of the Church by stating that a society should protect the right to private property and to free enterprise (CCC 2211, 2402). This is the basis of a free market system and the freedom and security of individual rights and the family. This of course does not preclude the proper use of taxation and social concern and care for the less fortunate. Socialism, though it often espouses high ideals, too often views the State as the ultimate owner of property and the individual can be taxed or their property confiscated at the will of the State.

Though the Church teaching the fair and equitable distribution of material things among peoples, it does not approve of rewarding sloth and punishing industrious enterprise to create wealth. God spoke through Moses who said, “God gives the power to make wealth” (Deut 8:17-18). Wealth is not an evil but a blessing and something that can be desired as a good and not an evil.

However, those who have wealth should share with those who are truly needy, not simply the poor who chose to be poor by lacking ambition, hard work or honesty. The Catechism clearly expresses the duty of the individual and the state to use property justly and to care for the less fortunate. The socialist system usually penalizes hard work and industry while rewarding the opposite.

Democracy and Free Enterprise without a Christian philosophical base can quickly become a system of greed and oppression; on the other hand, socialism becomes a system of greed and oppression and the government will always grow and grow and cater to those who it feeds.

So I am in favor of limited representative government to protect the individual and his rights, the family, private property and free enterprise. I am in favor of a free market capitalism that is tempered by charity and compassion with reasonable and limited governmental controls and protections.

The sinfulness and greed of Man makes this all difficult and a delicate balancing act. With a Christian consensus within a nation — as with the inception and beginnings of the United States — the goals are possible. But if there is a lack of moral and charitable consensus, the goals cannot be achieved and people are willing to give up their rights and freedoms bowing to a stronger government promising to insure peace and control and redistribution of wealth.

What do you think?

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Last summer I was in England to give a series of talks at two conferences. While there, I was interviewed for a top-notch Brithish production entitled KEYS OF THE KINGDOM.

This documentary centers on St. Peter and the Papacy through the centuries. There is a rising movement among orthodox, fired-up Catholics in Great Britain to reconvert their country to the Catholic Faith.

This is a great documentary, with gorgeous music, interesting interviews and a profound explanation of the papacy from Peter until today. We have procured a limited number of these DVDs to sell in the United States. You can learn more and purchase them at my webstore at www.SteveRaysStore.com.

For a short trailer preview the YouTube video below. Enjoy!

This would make a great gift for someone curious about the Catholic Church or why we have a pope.

To learn more or to purchase the full length DVD at our introductory price, click here.

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Catholic Answers Live

by Steve Ray on December 23, 2010

Here are the questions I answered on Catholic Answers Live on Wednesday. You can listen to the archived show here. For more info on listening options, click here.

It was a great show and lots of fun too. Good people with good questions.

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1) Why do Catholics have the Apocrypha and why is it important?

2) What is an indulgence and why is is important?

3) Is it acceptable for a non-Catholic to participate in the liturgy and prayers at Mass, and to pray the Rosary?

4) I was baptized as an LDS (Mormon). Is it valid or would I need to be baptized again in the Catholic Church?

5) What do you think of Francis Schaeffer’s son Frank Schaeffer?

6) I want to read my way into the Catholic Church like you did – what books should I read?

7) Why are Catholics required to confess their sins to a priest?

8) Can you clarify the reference to Mary as co-mediatrix?

9) Do you think priests and the Catholic Church are living up to or embodying the ideals you are speaking of?

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