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Relying on Markets and Profit Maximization

Historian Jay Hakes commented as follows on Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment:

“He’s rather brilliantly brought back a concept that has been lost for 30 years or so, since the beginning of the Reagan administration — he says profit-making can’t be the sole criteria [sic] for decision-making. The pope’s ideas will be jarring to a modern reader at first. He says that people should not ascribe to the market magical qualities that can solve all problems.”
- quoted by Coral Davenport in Championing Environment, Francis Takes Aim at Global Capitalism, New York Times, June 18, 2015


"The big debate during the 20th century was about the relationship between the market and the state. Both those institutions are now tarnished. The market is prone to devastating crashes and seems to be producing widening inequality. Government is gridlocked, sclerotic or captured by special interests. Government is an ever more rigid and ineffective tool to address market failures."
- David Brooks, How to Leave a Mark, New York Times, Jan. 27, 2015


Paul Woolley worked in the asset management industry. He watched pension funds flood in from around the world, as local managers concentrated more on collecting fees than doing right by retirees. He saw London refashioned into a playground for hedge fund billionaires.

“I’m in favor of free markets,” says Mr. Woolley, now a professor at the London School of Economics, where he oversees the Center for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality. “But the whole thing has ballooned into a complete monster.”
- PETER S. GOODMAN, ‘Brexit’ Imperils London’s Claim as Banker to the Planet, NYT, MAY 11, 2017


Governing today is all about how you prepare your society to get the most out of these three climate changes [global warming, increasing global interdependence, and computer-based technological transformation resulting in growing automation], and cushion the worst. Sadly, that’s not our society’s priority right now. In the age of Trump we are treating governing as entertainment.

Some conservatives argue that’s fine. The less D.C. does, the better. Let the market rule. I disagree. What actually made America great was a government that prepared the right soil in education, regulation, immigration, research and infrastructure, and a dynamic private sector that grew all kinds of flowers in that soil.
- Thomas L. Friedman, Climate Shifts Aren’t Limited to the Weather, NYT, AUG. 2, 2017


Between this article and the one about the deep state, I am sick to my stomach about the future of this country. Where are the adults that simply want a functioning fair country? Where are the politicians who eschew big donations and actually think about their positions? I must be most naive to belief in country before self for public servants.
- Brains McGee, Kingston WA, 10/24/19, Comment on Jeremy W. Peters, In Steve Bannon’s Basement, a Rogue ‘War Room’ to Fight Impeachment, NYT, Oct. 23, 2019


I believe the psychology of the R[epublican] base is more a reaction to lowered self esteem. It’s strongest among rural people who are feeling they missed the last bus to the future, and are easily persuaded that ”liberals” and “progressives” are to blame, and are contemptuous to boot. It’s difficult for me to be sympathetic to what seems largely delusional, but...it may take heroic forgiveness and tolerance to allow so many of our fellow citizens back into a place of hope, trust and cooperative thinking. Which we all are going to need.
- Lewis Caraganis, Siler City NC, 10/24/19, Comment on Jeremy W. Peters, In Steve Bannon’s Basement, a Rogue ‘War Room’ to Fight Impeachment, NYT, Oct. 23, 2019


“Increasingly, the home, school and community, which are meant to be places where we support and help one another, are being eroded by excessive competition in the pursuit of profit and efficiency. Many people feel confused and anxious; they are overwhelmed by so many demands and worries that take away their peace and stability.”
- Motoko Rich, Pope Francis, in Japan, Warns of ‘Selfish Decisions’ on Nuclear Energy, NYT, Nov. 25, 2019


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