Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth

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  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    May 13, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    @ What in Tucket:
    "The stronger the middle class the more millionaires."

    I can agree with you. Specially, if you read and agree the post by "Patrick Henry". The United States developed a strong Middle Class not because of Capitalism per se, but by the Unions that worked hard to assure a deserving rate in exchange of honest labor.

    Today we see a decrease in the powers of Unions and we also se a deterioration in our Middle Class and an expansion of poverty.

    The Pope bases his opinions and teachings in the gospel. I think Christ has more validity in his preaching than the John Birch Society in its teachings.

    Am I my brother's guardian? Acccording to God we are. Does the gospel teaches Marxism? No! But certainly teaches to be aware of Social Justice. Pure Capitalism is as far from God as a repressive Marxist and Atheist Government.

  • Patrick Henry West Jordan, UT
    May 13, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    Let's step back a second and consider that unregulated capitalism is exceptionally efficient at collecting wealth at the top. It is a system that needs proper regulation to be a great economic system for all. What do I mean by regulation?

    1. Corporations treat people like they are disposable and they keep wages down. People have a right to a fair living wage. Unions provide a free market solution to ensuring a fair amount of wealth flows to the top and the bottom of a company.
    2. Progressive Taxation also provides a vehicle to ensure wealth is shared properly. When you are taxed 60% or more for every dollar you make above the mark of $2 million you start to think its may be a good idea to share that wealth.

    40 years ago GM was the largest employer in America and paid an average wage of $50 an hour. Today Walmart is the largest employer in America and pays an average wage of $9 an hour. Today's workers do not make anywhere close to a living wage. Unions, progressive taxes, and other appropriate regulations will strong arm corporations into behaving and legitimately redistribute the wealth their employees generate for them.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    "It's amazing how many conservatives can not read."

    Really? My favorite quote from one of your favorite liberals Nancy Pelosi: "We need to pass this bill (Obamacare) so we can find out what is in it".

    I assumed that was an admission she could not r-e-a-d the bill herself.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 12, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    @Chris B
    "I like what Mormon prophet Benson said about socialism. He said it is Satan's counterfeit system and contrary to the gospel of Jesus Chris."

    Are you comparing your Pope to Satan?

    "It goes by the names of marxism and communism, and caused tens of millions of people to starve to death in China and Russia less than a century ago."

    Contrary to popular belief, the US actually has one of the most progressive tax systems in the industrialized world. The difference between us and nations like Sweden is that we have a much weaker system of a gov't safety net so their poor end up better off (they pay more in taxes but get much more back in benefits to make up for it). I notice that Sweden and other current Western European nations are not in your example list of nations that use significant wealth redistribution.

    "Why should I go to school for 8 years to provide when other people will pay my bills?"

    As if... ever wonder why homeless people often smell bad? It's not some cushy life.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 12, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    The problem is that when people in the government want to redistribute wealth, their mouths say, "Social justice." Their minds think, "Buy votes."

    I had a talk with an Indian communist a year or so ago. We agreed on the point that if one is politically a socialist then they should be a socialist in their personal life. In other words, if they thought that the government should help the poor that they should be doing the same in their personal life.

    So, if you are personally helping the poor, participating in tutoring programs, donating to education funds in third world countries, you are a socialist. Don't worry about whether you vote Republican or Democrat, you are a socialist.

    Don't hold your breath and wait for the government to do something. Do it on your own without them. If you hold your breath and wait for Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi to do something you are going to be disappointed (again).

    May 12, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    The only legitimate redistribution of legitimately-acquired wealth is voluntary and does not involve government entities.

    When the wealthy man inquired of Jesus, "What lack I yet", the response was for him to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, and to follow Christ. It is not the role of government to force the issue, as there is no redeeming value in having one's wealth stolen.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    May 12, 2014 1:08 a.m.

    Sorry LDS Liberal...I don't have much faith in the U.N to get much of anything right these days. It naturally follows that I do not encourage any western democracy to give much heed to U.N. declarations. We conservatives actually can r-e-a-d. Especially words like United nations, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and my personal favorite, Harry Reid.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2014 11:22 p.m.

    RE: Z "There is no such thing as 'legitimate' redistribution of wealth. This is a euphemism for taking something (land, money or food) from someone who has it, and giving it to someone else who has not earned it. The 'nice' term for this is Socialism, but the common term for it is theft."

    In the current era your statement is not true. Piketty's book "Capital in the 21st Century" is being discussed on this Monday's PBS Newshour. It sheds a lot of light on this issue. Tune in, it's going to be interesting.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    May 11, 2014 6:56 p.m.

    It would be well for the Pope to sit down with Catholic Charities and become informed of the relationship which already exists between Catholic and LDS charities where time and dollars are willingly donated for those in need. LDS do not need to be counselled on charity and humanitarian giving. Our leaders have our generous support. They just say the word and watch LDS members step up, open their wallets and purses beyond anything imaginable. Another (inspired) program is called The Perpetual Education Fund. Talk about your incredible "teach a man to fish" concept. Keep the government out of our wallets. Payroll withholding is scary enough without further inefficient government cash grabs.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    May 11, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    The most important and effective thing a government can do for the poor is not to hand them money, but to create economic growth that will provide jobs for them. A growing economy is the most effective remedy for poverty.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 11, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    Didnt Jjesus teach love your neighbor and give him your shirt, or something like that. He must be very upset with many of these post by those who have closets of shirts and are railing against the Pope for wanting to help the poor. It really challenges the definition of what is a Christian or Mormon.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 11, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Two words: United Order.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 11, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    Brazil is full of poverty. In rio alone 7 million lack adequate shelter. A large percent of people are living $2 a day. Half in rural areas. Not really a thriving middle class.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    May 11, 2014 1:45 a.m.

    Apparently I misread the parable of the talents. The guy who invests and makes 5 talents should have the talents forcefully taken from him and given to the servant who buried his talent.

    I think GaryO and the like should give every thing they have to the poor before advocating the theft of what others have to give to the poor. What Gary will find is that much of what he sends to the poor will be sqaundered. The US spends nearly $20,000 on antipoverty programs for each person in poverty. That means the we are spending substantially more on a family of 4 in poverty than the average family in the US makes.

  • tflores Burbank, CA
    May 10, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    You guys live in an LDS bubble. Take a look outside of it and doing some reading of Robert Reich (his blog which appears on his Facebook page, plus his documentary), Economics of Happiness (documentary, website, and study groups), and the website for the Center for Responsive Politics. These are all non-partisan sources, generally, that educate you on what is happening with today's economics so that you can recognize the signs, politics, and decisions which affect you with this wealth redistribution. If you don't educate yourselves and act to stop it, it will get worse.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 10, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    It's amazing how many conservatives can not read.

    The Pope asked the UN to investigate WHY there is such a disparity amongst the rich and the poor,
    and then figure out a way to make it right and fair.

    He never said anything about Governments forcing, or taking and away and giving away anything.

    Perhaps the 1st thing the UN should do is teach conservatives how to R-E-A-D.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 10, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    Christ had no problems with taxation. Christ did not encourage free will charity. He said to feed the hungry. The amount to which charity needs to be administered is related to how many are hungry, not how philanthropic we feel. He also fed those who were with him. He didn't ask for w2's and asset sheets when he multiplied the loaves and fish. He fed people who needed a meal. He didn't make them do anything special to receive it either.

    If you are living in a country requiring you to drive around in an armored vehicle to protect yourself against harm and theft and you have a business with employees you are probably not paying them enough. You are probably not giving not a fair compensation for goods and services in the marketplace.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    May 10, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    The Pope has no authority to demand us to do anything.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    May 10, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Redistribution of wealth is popular with Democrats and Mr. Obama. It has long been a communist myth that the rich get richer and the poor poorer. That's an oxymoron. The more poor people never results in more rich people. The stronger the middle class the more millionaires. The Pope is not an economist. We can see with the Indian Reservation and welfare the debilitating effect it has on society. 10% of us do need to ride the wagon, but not half of us.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    May 10, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    The writings of Isaiah and Revelations point to the Church of Babylon that will misled the people. I'am not saying this is the pope, but his words raise red flags. I can only wonder what Catholics must be thinking, those who read scripture.

    Christ taught that charity is by free agency, and you will be "righteous" for it or "everlasting punshiment" for not being charitable as found in the parable the sheep and goats Matt 25:32-46. Chirst did not preach chairty by force, that liberals support through taxation or redistribution of wealth. Good Christians (all faiths) are chartible thru donations, tithing, for the LDS fast offerings. Not by govt. force which both Isaiah and Revelations warn against. Charity is pure conservatism (free agency) as taught by LDS leadership.

    Christ does not fit the definition of a liberal, no where is that found in the scriptures. The Lord does warn against liberals and churls as found in Isaiah 32:5-8 meaning they are deceivers as more pronounced in the Greek and Hebrew original translations. The verses tie in with Isaiah 5:20 with a warning to those who apply what liberals preach today.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 10, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    My observations of poverty were greatly influenced when I lived with the poor as a missionary in Rio de Janeiro many decades ago. Brazil was a dictatorship then. I realized that the poor in 3rd world countries would see American poverty as something wonderful to achieve.

    Brazil adopted a constitutional form of government and pressed forward with the principles of Capitalism. Today, they have a thriving middle class and the conditions of their poor are more in line with our poor. It is considered a prospering country.

    A national economy is not a zero-sum game; wealth is created. The rich can get very rich while the poor can still better themselves. Today, both the rich and the poor are getting richer (albeit at different rates). Practical education, hard work, strong families, and good health are the keys to prosperity

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 10, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    You know I read lots of blogs and have noticed a trend. They talk of their trip to abroad. They talk about how cheap it was to eat there. They talk about how they were able to bargain down the price of gifts to bring home in the market or talk about highway robbery. To spend thousands on airfare and hotel to boast of a $3 meal is not a sign of frugality. A person living on dollars a day had to work hard to grow and pick that food and cook it for you and likely paid bus fair to take their goods to market. All for $3. What really makes me wonder is when they do a service project and boast on how the organization makes them earn whatever the projects is working to get for them. These folks receiving work harder than most of us working cushy jobs in excellent conditions. Some of this helping actually hurts. Bringing all kinds of clothing items to donate does clothe people. But it also means a dollar less a day for weeks for someone working to earn $2 a day making clothes in that village. Buy clothes locally to donate.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    May 10, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    Some folks seem to be forgetting Christ's "Parable of the Talents" in which those who took their money (talents) that He had given them, doubled it. These were rewarded in His Kingdom. The one servant who did nothing with what was given,his was taken away and he was cast into outer darkness for being a slothful servant. And what point in this story did Christ say, "Ok, you two...you doubled your money, now go and give it to the third person, who did nothing?"

    And for those that agree with the Pope....that the Governments of the world should begin redistributing the mass of wealth to those who have none. They can begin with the trillions amassed by the Catholic Church...that should be a good start.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    May 10, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    There are just too many unknowns related to the statement by Francis. Of course, equality is a wonderful thing if done in the right way. As a Vietnam era Navy Catholic vet, Vietnam is now a so-called just and equal society. The ruling elite is just "more equal" than others. It also has an atheist ruling elite. The pope has stated that good hearted atheists will go to heaven. The expertise of the pope is in the area of religion. It is not in economics. Judas was the economic expert among the apostles. He wanted a more just and equitable society. The Christ said that "His kingdom was not of this world".

  • K Mchenry, IL
    May 10, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    The US does have a social net. Globally speaking nearly half the worlds population are trying to survive on $2 or less a day and living under a tarp.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 10, 2014 12:36 a.m.

    Pope Francis fears the consequences of an ever-growing concentration of wealth, in addition to his natural concern for the poor.

    He knows the process of wealth concentration if not checked will choke the system leading to a host of problems, including the destitution of the middle class.

    The Pope makes Catholicism look pretty good. The prestige of the Church Universal is growing under his leadership.

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:34 p.m.

    Tyler D
    "unless you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for the literally thousands of ways your life is better due to public spending, your protests ring hollow"

    You are arguing that taxation for infrastructure is equal to taxation for wealth re-distribution.

    This is a faulty logic statement. You have shifted the argument from wealth re-distribution to taxation in general. Then you propose that anyone who is opposed to wealth re-distribution should morally be opposed to all taxation, including taxation for services (police, fire, etc...) and infrastructure (water, sewer, roads).

    There are many good and valuable reason to tax. When taxes are used on services and infrastructure, the taxation benefits all (perhaps not equally, but everyone has a chance to benefit if they choose to). When taxation is used for wealth re-distribution, one group benefits at the cost of another.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    May 9, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    Tyler D, I see that you espouse the Obama philosophy of “You didn’t build that!” You say that “successful business people” built their businesses on the backs of government paid for “fire, police, justice system, infrastructure, educated workforce, etc.” You say this makes me far more profitable than I would be otherwise.

    Well, don’t you and the “less fortunate” have access to those same services? Are you somehow being denied access to these things you say made me successful? No? Then why are you not using your access to these very same services to build businesses and employ others to benefit mankind the way that I am? You are obviously mismanaging your access to these very same services. I believe that you should have to pay a penalty for being so poorly productive with what is made available to you. That penalty is that you do not receive the same reward as the productive members of society. But now you want to use the power of government to take what I earned away from me. Shame on you.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    May 9, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    Government redistribution helps the poor a little bit in the short term but it is not the solution. There are limitless examples where socialism and communism tried to make people equal and failed. It only succeeds in making everyone equally poor, except, of course, the government leaders that pushed the hardest to "make it fair". Isn't it interesting how they always seem to be a little more equal than anyone else?

    If you took all of the world's wealth today and distributed it evenly across all people then in 10 years we would have the very same unbalance as we have now. Those that are willing to work hard to be successful will always garner more wealth than those who are unwilling to work as hard. A great example are the many Asian people that come to the US with nothing and in one generation they are prosperous. They don't demand someone else's wealth, they earn it through their own hard work.

    Study after study has shown that while Liberals scream the loudest for income redistribution they contribute significantly less to the poor than the conservatives they lambaste for opposing income redistribution. No, it is not surprising.

  • I Choose Freedom Atlanta, GA
    May 9, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    When the Pope redistributes most of the amassed wealth of the Catholic church then I will take him seriously. Until then, he is another "Do as I say but not as I do" hypocrite.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 9, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    He's talking to the world. And probably places like, North Korea, more than say....South Jordan.
    But hey I'm sure it was directed at American conservatives, boy they sure are picked on, or so they say.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    May 9, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    Why should I go to school for 8 years to provide when other people will pay my bills? Why settle for a flip phone when I can get an iPhone for free? Why buy store brand food when I someone will by me name-brand?

    The fact is this: Socialism destroys liberty and it destroys agency. It destroys my liberty to give freely and it destroys the agency I have to give of my extra. It destroys the ethic of the individual who will get my hard earned money.
    It irritates me more every 2 weeks when I see that 25% of my paycheck ($400) is taken out for federal programs and I see people in front of me at the store buying food I can't afford with EBT cards or WIC funds.
    Spreading the wealth is a nice way of saying, "you need to work hard so others don't have to." It's Satan's way of making others idle while others work and support not only their own families, the the families around them as well.
    Chris B isn't even LDS and he understands President Benson's words better than most members. Well done Chris B.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 9, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    @Weber State Graduate – “Most Americans… agree that taxes are not inherently bad”

    There’s an increasingly vocal group in this country that does not see it this way, but it sounds like you’re not one of them (e.g., people who think Ayn Rand is profound).

    I generally agree with everything you said (which is more of an Adam Smith view where government does have a constructive role to play) and I am no fan of Marx. But I do wish people on the far-right would get over their obsession with Rand (Paul Ryan makes all his staff read her!) and go back to folks like Smith for how to promote the general welfare of a free republic.

    As for what some of those ways that would look like today, New Yorker did a better job than me of articulating a few good ones.

    By the way, Obamacare (which simply helps the less fortunate get access to a fully private run healthcare industry) is in my view more Smithian than Marxian and yet this right-of-center healthcare reform is seen as Stalinist by many today… go figure.

    Reached comment limit…

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    May 9, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    Most Americans, both conservative and liberal, agree that taxes are not inherently bad, but necessary in order for governments to exercise their powers specifically spelled out in the Constitution. However, striking a balance between too much taxation and too little based upon a government's Constitutional obligations is an issue of much debate.

    The problem I believe we have is the progressive propensity to see government as a mechanism to operate outside their specifically enumerated powers in order to advance an ideal called social justice. Of course, this involves endorsing a mechanism for wealth redistribution and wealth transfer similar to the Marxist view of class equity. I don't believe the founders ever had such a system in mind when they envisioned the new American experience.

    Many scholars believe that early American visionaries understood the importance of protecting opportunity verses mandating outcomes and subsequently invented a system to promote individual liberty and protecting that liberty against excessive government power, while at the same time allowing government to operate within its Constitutional limits.

    Governments can address inequality through sensible tax funded programs and policies that promote opportunity, not by transferring or redistributing wealth.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 9, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Most here seem to be imagining Robin Hood transfer payments take from the rich by government and then given to the poor. I can almost imagine that this crass interpretation would be taken just to make the Pope look bad.

    I agree with the intent of the Pope. Governments throughout the world can do much to end the income disparity without resorting to transfer payments that demean the poor and cause dependency.

    Governments can make sure that all their citizens get access to adequate education, Internet access, maternity care, child health care. There are a whole host of infrastructure responsibilities for government: roads, clean water, freedom from toxic environments, etc. Children growing up in the city dump is not acceptable.

    If all were adequately educated and just common, treatable diseases were mitigated, then poverty would be much less a problem.

    Three cheers for the Pope!

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    May 9, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    @ Hutterite:

    Love it all you want, but there's no evidence of his comments changing anyone's political ideology. Like everyone else, he is welcome to his opinion in these matters. I agree that he is seen as a great and well accepted spiritual leader. But he obviously hasn't had much experience or training regarding world or national economics as evidenced by his recent improvident comments. Economic and spiritual matters are horses of different colors and are usually seen as mutually exclusive.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:50 p.m.

    I love how this pope sticks a big spoon in the pot of well settled conservative sensibilities and stirs it with great vigour.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 9, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    And for all of you who keep posting these pithy yet simplistic attacks (caricatured as “theft”) on taxes to pay for public services, unless you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for the literally thousands of ways your life is better due to public spending, your protests ring hollow.

    And for the successful business person, in addition to all the basics (fire, police, justice system, infrastructure, etc…) these services include an educated workforce (paid for by all your neighbors) which makes you far more profitable than you otherwise would be if you had to pay for this directly.

    And we’re fine with this arrangement. Get as rich as you can… more power to you… just stop drinking the Ayn Rand Kool Aid long enough to realize that your success is at least in part underwritten by your fellow citizens.

    You’re welcome…

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    @ GaryO:

    Your comments and improvident line of reasoning regarding conservatism makes me wonder how any sensible person could make such prevarications.

    You stated you "are glad you could help". But by making effeted and accusatory comments against the ideology of most of the Deseret News readers is simply adding to the divisiveness of the subject and is mostly seen as nugatory. That apparently offered almost no help at all since relatively few readers chose to "like" your comment.

    Do you honestly believe that Conservatism and Christianity are incompatible? Literally every government and private demographic survey regarding ideology and religious beliefs has continually shown there to be substantially more conservatives who are Christian (and visa versa) than any other group of people in America. The entire southern Bible Belt is politically conservative. Sadly, most liberals claim to be non-believers. As such, it's extremely doubtful Jesus could or would be considered a liberal. He believed in the sanctity of life (non-abortionist) and certainly didn't push any feminist causes (not a single female apostle).

    Please do some additional reading and research before making any other vitiated comments against conservative principles.

    Glad I could help.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    So is this a diversion to take attention away from the priest sexual abuse scandal?

    Who gets to decide what is the “legitimate redistribution of wealth”?

    Is it legitimate for he who is idle to eat the bread and wear the garment of the laborer? No.

    Is it legitimate for an employer to rob a hireling of his rightful wages? No. But how are the rightful wages determined? By the free market.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    May 9, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    There is no such thing as 'legitimate' redistribution of wealth. This is a euphemism for taking something (land, money or food) from someone who has it, and giving it to someone else who has not earned it. The 'nice' term for this is Socialism, but the common term for it is theft.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 9, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    @Weber State Graduate – “I respectfully disagree...”

    I agree with much of what you say but it’s only tangentially related to the point I was making – namely, that the world is not filled with constitutional republics and even where they do exist they do not always provide the checks on capitalism (which you rightly acknowledge) necessary to ensure a society of equal opportunity.

    The Pope is not an economist – he is simply looking at the global results of this myriad of capitalist-like systems and reaching conclusions informed by his religion’s founder (to help the poor).

    As to the justness of wealth redistribution, in a post-industrial economy where the really large amounts of money are not made through hard work but largely through economies of scale, I don’t think it’s quite as black & white as pre-industrial thinkers (even particularly brilliant ones like Thomas Paine) make it out to be.

    But I am curious what you believe is a proper way to address inequality that doesn’t involve some level of redistribution (say, in order to provide universal education)?

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    May 9, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    @ GaryO and other like minded:

    Massive liberal redistribution of wealth by the government has been tried time and time again. It goes by the names of marxism and communism, and caused tens of millions of people to starve to death in China and Russia less than a century ago. It was a total and complete disaster, in-spite of any original good intentions (doubtful).

    We need to learn from history and go forward. Capitalism is what made the USA the most powerful and rich country on earth. And because of that wealth from capitalism, tens of billions of dollars have been given to poorer countries in the form of foreign aid and has saved millions of people from starving to death. Without our current form of government (capitalism), that generosity would've never been possible.

    Liberals need to think this through (obviously not their strong point) before making such temerarious government edicts. Once our government wealth is given away, which will speed up the federal budget bankruptcy Obama currently has us heading toward (at unprecedented speed), the goose that lays the golden eggs will be dead and no more current help with be forthcoming.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 9, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    Before you liberals jump up and down for this, take a look at your bank account, your home, car, cell phones, and everything you have. You are in the top 10% of the world for wealth. Are you ready to give up your bank account, house, car, cell phone, and much of what you have so that your income can be redistributed to the poor living throughout the world?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 9, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Gary O

    You and others often try to claim that Jesus was a liberal. By what standard? By todays standards of liberal/conservative, it is obvious Jesus would fall into both categories on different social issues. Or am I wrong and you actually believe Jesus would be in favor of abortion, drug legalization, same sex marriage, to name a few.? Certainly Jesus would have wanted help for the poor. I'm not sure though he would have expected government to have provided all of it. And I'm pretty sure that running up a 17 trillion dollar debt would not have been a good way to run a government in his eyes.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 9, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    Hi Cletus –

    So you think Jesus is a Socialist now huh? He’s a Liberal, yes, but I’m not sure I’d call him a Socialist.

    The social contract is what binds citizens and individuals. Read some Locke and Rousseau, and you will find that the Liberty gained through the Social Contract and government supersedes “natural Liberty,” the kind found in the hypothetical state of nature.

    Along with the Social Contract comes obligations, and those obligations include paying taxes that go toward promoting and providing for the General Welfare.

    Yes, that’s right, the GENERAL Welfare, not just the welfare of the rich or the greedy, and not just the welfare of “Conservatives” who are so ungrateful they think they owe NOTHING to the nation that makes their personal success possible.

    I’m glad I could help.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    Of course the Bible does not supersede the American Constitution. My example was a tongue-in-cheek response to your reasoning that just because Jesus didn’t cover what governments should NOT do doesn’t mean he supports them doing it such as surrendering to the government the Christian responsibility for charity. I believe most people got that.

    For the life of me – I'm simply unable to see where the Constitutional allows for the government to redistribute wealth and property, of which this article is about, in order to "Secure the Blessings of Liberty." Quite the contrary – the term "Liberty" itself is the very antithesis of the liberal ideal of property confiscation and wealth redistribution.

    Gosh, I'm glad I'm not a "Socialist."

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Jesus instruction to help the poor was never accomplished through forceful taking.

    And its' not a surprise that conservatives donate more and also a higher percentage of their income to charity.

    Go compare Mitt Romney to barack in terms of perentage of their income given to charity.

    Even take away Mitt's 10% to his church, he STILL gives more to charity(as a percentage of income as well as total) compared to barack.

    And then go check out Biden.

    For liberals, its another "do as I say not as I do" when it comes to giving to the poor.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 9, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Hi Cletus -

    By your reasoning, the Bible supersedes the American Constitution as the Preeminent Law of the Land.

    It does not.

    However the Bible and the Constitution do agree in some aspects.

    Both seek to provide for and "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

    Essentially, American "Conservatism" and Christianity are inherently incompatible.

    "His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

    Gosh, I'm glad I'm not a "Conservative."

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    May 9, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    Hey GaryO

    By your reasoning, nowhere in the Bible will you find Jesus teaching that the responsibility for spreading the Christian gospel should NOT be shared by government.

    So, if you don't like the government preaching the Christian gospel, take it up with those preachers who believe it should...And Jesus.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    May 9, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    @Tyler D

    I respectfully disagree...the appropriate role of a Constitutional Republic is to protect the people from "the plutocrats, oligarchs and dictators who have filled the vaults of Swiss banks with the stolen wealth of their countries."

    The identification of capitalism as the responsible villain is a red herring and detracts from the relevant and underlying reasons behind the existence of poverty and inequality. Anti-trust laws, consumer protection, and regulation of unethical practices, unscrupulous conduct, and how business corporations are organized is a proper role of government and can provide an appropriate check on the ostensible weaknesses of capitalism.

    But state violation of property rights and redistributing the property of a certain segment of the population under the guise of social justice is not the answer to inequality and violates the fundamental principles of liberty in a free society.

    As Thomas Paine explained, "rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another." And government should not be in the business of inventing, granting or dismissing the rights of one population at the expense of another.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 9, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Hey Cletus –

    Nowhere in the Bible will you find Jesus teaching that the responsibility for charity should NOT be shared by government.

    If you don’t like it, take it up with the Pope . . . And Jesus.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    May 9, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    Nowhere in the Bible will you find Jesus teaching that the Christian responsibility for charity should be surrendered to the government--it's an individual responsibility.

    But it's not a surprise that the liberal penchant for powerful government control will misrepresent biblical teachings, is it?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 9, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    The Pope is doing his duty and advancing the teachings of Jesus, who is of course a Liberal.

    Rush Limbaugh must be apoplectic about this latest round of "Marxist" rhetoric coming from the Pope. Of course ol' Rush, after taking a drubbing for his last slander of the Pope, won't dwell on the Pope's latest commonsensical comments.

    It's a pity isn't it, that so many self-described Christians disagree with the Pope?

    But it's not a surprise, is it?

    "He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork"

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    May 9, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Look at the history of the "poor" and compare it with the U.N.'s own definition, there are less poor people than ever before. Look at Bill Gates' Foundation website, this year's letter provides an excellent overview of the improvements to the life of the "world's poor."

    The argument, "the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer," sounds good, but it is a lie, and doesn't help solve anything especially in the United States.

    To get a realistic view of the problem, and find out what needs to be done, one needs to look at the comparison of the current living conditions of the "poor" and with those societies in the past. Using this rational, the poor are doing better than ever. Is there is more work to do, and can we do better? Yes.

    To truly help the poor, we need to look at what is helping the poor over the long-term (economic growth, jobs, clean water...), and put our future efforts into those areas.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    I like what Mormon prophet Benson said about socialism. He said it is Satan's counterfeit system and contrary to the gospel of Jesus Chris.

    I'm not even LDS, but I stand with Mormon Prophet Benson, who according to the LDS religion, was speaking for God during his time as prophet.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    May 9, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    @Cletus from Coalville – “According to this kind of dangerous reasoning…”

    If the world was a direct reflection of the analogies you offer – and we can find many more in the over simplified model of neoclassical economics and in the novels of Ayn Rand – then you would be correct in your conclusion.

    Since the world is often not constituted this way – and since he was speaking to the World (the U.N.) in his remarks so we too need to look at the entire world – your conclusion are at best only half the story.

    The other half involves entrenched inequalities of opportunity rendering social mobility all but impossible in much of the world, not to mention the plutocrats, oligarchs and dictators who have filled the vaults of Swiss banks with the stolen wealth of their countries.

    Is there a parable in the Bible about a virgin who engaged in every unethical practice under the sun to obtain all the oil? Perhaps we would need to grasp both of these lessons to see the world as it truly is.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    No need to waste time in school. Just lay back and wait for that Govt. check.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 9, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    Give a person a fish, you feed them for a day, teach a person to fish you feed them for a lifetime. Food stamps are daily fish, and is government redistribution of wealth. There is no future in continual giving to the needy if the needy are of sound mind and body and able to do their own fishing. THAT, is what every religious leader and politician SHOULD be teaching the people who they have influence with.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    May 9, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    According to this kind of dangerous reasoning, government should have stepped in and redistributed the Little Red Hen's bread to the farm animals who had none, irregardless of the farm animals refusal to help produce the bread in the first place.

    Or perhaps the Pope forgot the biblical lesson of the 10 virgins – the one where the foolish demanded the wise virgin redistribute her oil "because our lamps are going out."

    Voluntary Christian charity is noble, but deliberate government action behind the power of the state designed to redistribute the wealth of free people is a dangerous form of despotism that violates the very fundamental tenets of liberty.

    Be careful what you wish for and to whom you consciously, with full awareness and intention, make a pact with in order to get something you feel you are entitled to have simply because someone has more than you think they deserve.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 9, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    ‘Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth’

    On Friday, he urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure "dignified" labor for all.


    GOD Bless the Pope!

    Amen, and Amen!