Sunday, August 7, 2011
Much has happened between 2008 and 2011 that obliges me to reassess the role of Capitalism as a morally acceptable system. The financial crisis of 2008 does not seem to abate as economic recovery in North America is very slow. The GDP growth has been repeatedly revised to lower values in both the U.S. and Canada. The European countries are undergoing a larger crisis. The Euro-zone countries are unable to fulfill their promises to help the less privileged members of Europe such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. America alone, who through globalization has exported its own economic system and almost imposed it on the rest of the world, seems to be struggling with the downgrade of its credit rating by Standard and Poor this week. What can we make of an economic system that feeds on the theory of free-market? Investors do not need to grow as much as the average citizen needs to grow. Compare the powerful American education system with those in Africa. Graduates from African or Asian universities require to qualify their degrees to the equivalent degrees in the U.S. The investment in the young people in America costs the average American money which is unaffordable by African graduates. Yet, the resources of Africa have been exploited by the Western powers. It is a long story of slavery that goes back to many centuries. Today the New World must give back to the poor of Africa. In the big picture I propose one moral solution: America, Canada, Australia and Europe need to lower their standard of living of individuals gradually to a level that would match that of Asian and African economies. But is this possible? Unlikely, since greed and selfishness are part of the human weakness especially in a materialist economy. Probably we must learn from those old civilizations that a fair society can be built on the moral integrity of the faithful. The Church has always defended the poor and today too she needs to raise her voice for their sake. The Master taught us this by his example, and the examples of holy people He inspired throughout the ages.