Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Economic Consciousness By Pope Francis

The Pope had good-willed intentions in sharing his opinions to the world as a leader of a major global religion. I believe, however, that he has been over-soaked by the tragic poverty he has seen on the ground (which is very much fine and understandable). The development of economics and commerce throughout the ages has been very tumultuous for human civilization. I, for one, think that it would be best for the Pope to look at it with a scrutinizing eye using the viewpoint from the top because the basic assumption is people are looking to survive when they are born to this world; and without rules, systems, and order, we go back to the barbaric ages of having the strong take from the weak the various resources people want (not that I'm denying what's still happening today). The Pope has a lot of centuries to study on if he wants to suggest a better alternative to the economic system we have put in place. Economics after all is about the efficient allocation of "limited" resources and people fight over resources all the time - land, food, time, water, attention, and whatnot. Free markets is the most civilized form we have at this point (well, we're talking about degrees and relativism after all) and people compete for the resources they want with effort, time, innovation, talent, etc. What's most important in all of this, and what the Pope IMO should fight for is the belief in EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. Equal opportunity helps everyone with the fighting chance to work for the cut they deserve in this life, considering everyone else has needs and wants as well. Considering how most countries in the Pacific Rim are looking at so many ways to make companies from the West set-up shop in their territories to give jobs to their respective citizens, I think that this perception of "slavery" that the Pope is seeing is dated. Japan became the world's 2nd economy, by "enslaving" itself and manufacturing for the US, China took over the 2nd spot by doing the same. The fact that China engages in currency manipulation to make their labor cheaper for US companies to outsource their work to its territories is an invitation to be "enslaved" by the big corporations out there and for the Chinese to eventually get to prosperity. This, of course, is unfair for the Southeast Asian countries who want to get contracted for some type of work from foreign companies as well. It's all about playing the rules of the game. Work after all (or "enslavement" in the Pope's view) is the road to a better life. These, of course, must be under the premise, that the employers ("enslavers") are compliant to labor laws and human resource development philosophies and management theories. It's not just about ordering people around but making their working lives enriching and enabling, so that everyone finds his niche, the road to success, and fulfillment in life, considering we all live with borrowed time.

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