Current Meeting Materials
Micah Senior Executive Project

April 2015

Dear WBC/Micah friends,

The selection for this month is a Commonweal article written by Anthony Annett, currently associated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and formerly with the IMF. The document is titled, "Why the Church Rejects Collectivism and Individualism", and is a reflection about Papal Economics. 

In his piece Annett challenges a recent op-ed from the Wall Street Journal by Tim Busch, a trustee of the Catholic University of America. That presentation praised the power of free markets to lift people out of poverty.

Annett argues that Busch presents a "false dichotomy." He emphasizes that Catholic social teaching has always taken a middle ground position, opposing collectivism on one hand and laissez-faire individualism on the other;the Church has always taught that the right to private property is never absolute, and must be subordinated to the common good.

The author proposes a "mixed economy" as an alternative to these approaches. In this model the market takes the lead, but the state curbs the excesses of the market and fills in its gaps.

Recommend that everyone reflect on the excellent questions posed by John Fontana. Pay attention to his queries about initial reactions to the article, challenges to your belief system, and implications of the Catholic middle ground position.

Enjoy the reading.

Wally Kennedy

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March 2015

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