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Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: An Introduction to the Economics of Pope Francis

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Responding to Pope Francis’s Call for Dialogue

Robert M. Whaples, The Independent Review

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Francis%20I%2C%20Superpope%2C%20Italian%20Street%20Art.jpgWinter 2017 | As the contributors to this symposium show, Pope Francis’s views about the economy, especially about the poor and the rich, are deeply at odds with those of many economists. Several differences involve matters of economic fact and causation—and therefore in principle can be resolved by appeals for everyone to consider the same body of evidence. Although the clash over conflicting values is a chasm far more difficult to bridge, fruitful dialogue is the goal of this symposium.

Pope Francis has invited those concerned about the economy, the environment, and the destiny of the world—everyone—to join a dialogue. And there is a clear need for dialogue between Francis and economists because the pope and many in the economics profession do not see eye to eye at a fundamental level on many issues.

Robert M. Whaple is professor of economics at Wake Forest University and co-editor and managing editor of The Independent Review.

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The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy

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 Matteo Colombo / Getty

  • The modern economy privileges the well-educated and highly-skilled, while giving them an excuse to denigrate the people at the bottom (both white and nonwhite) as lazy, untalented, uneducated, and unsophisticated.
  • Related: The Meaning Americans Find in Their Jobs

Victor Tan Chen, the Atlantic

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http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/GettyImages-590028618-1280x720.jpg What is happening to America’s white working class?

The group’s important, and perhaps decisive, role in this year’s presidential election sparked a slew of commentary focused on, on the one hand, its nativism, racism, and sexism, and, on the other, its various economic woes. While there are no simple explanations for the desperation and anger visible in many predominantly white working-class communities, perhaps the most astute and original diagnosis came from the rabbi and activist Michael Lerner, who, in assessing Donald Trump’s victory, looked from a broader vantage point than most. Underneath the populist ire, he wrote, was a suffering “rooted in the hidden injuries of class and in the spiritual crisis that the global competitive marketplace generates.”

Victor Tan Chen is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy.

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/11/ij_banner/lead_960.jpg?1480521355 Related: 

The Meaning Americans Find in Their Jobs, Bourlee Lam and Adrienne Green, the Atlantic

  • Conversations with 100 people about their work and how it shapes who they are
  • "Work is “a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” --Studs Terkel book, Working
  • Conversations with 100 people about their work and how it shapes who they are.

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Section(s): 

Special Report | More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They’re Coming for Your Democracy.

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It used to be all we had to worry about was our local community, maybe our country. But we didn’t have to worry about the world. But what we know now is that we can’t have peace anywhere in the world, we can’t have peace in the U.S., unless everybody has peace.

Sarah van Gelder, Yes! Magazine / Siasat

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April 30, 2016 | Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. 

In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.

Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor-at-large of Yes! Magazin. Sarah writes articles and conducts interviews for YES! Magazine, and speaks regularly about solutions journalism, grassroots innovations, and social change movements. She is the editor of several books.

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