By: C. Kenneth Meyer, M.A, M.P.A., Ph.D. Thomas F. Sheehan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Pope Francis encourages economists, politicians, corporate, religious, and civic leadership to think about and evaluate the relations between profit and a so called free-market economy, and global selfishness, poverty, and hunger. His admonition resonates more clearly with the ethical and moral imperatives of the classical writers than with the neo-classical economists’ view on economic structures and remedies. For instance, do our economic pillars promote happiness and community or loneliness and isolation? Do economic situations promote meaningful, dignified, and valuable work that is inextricably connected with the principles of human self-determination, growth and development? Or, is work a means to revenue generation to be used and used up in consumption and mindless materialism.
How do our economic policies and structures, such as banking, finance, corporations, the nation, state, etc., address the fundamentals of sustainability, the promotion of human justice and dignity, and inclusiveness?