Pope Francis denounces unemployment and the pursuit of “profit at any cost”
By: John Hayward | May 2nd, 2013
Pope Francis caused a stir with this Twitter message on Thursday morning: “My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centered mindset bent on profit at any cost.”
Some have interpreted this remark as a broad attack on capitalism. Business Insider tells us the Pope might have had a specific situation in mind:
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned as “slave labour” the conditions for hundreds of workers killed in a factory collapse in Bangladesh and urged political leaders to fight unemployment in a sweeping critique of “selfish profit”.
The pope said he had been particularly struck by a headline saying workers at the factory near Dhaka were being paid just 38 euros ($50) a month.
“This is called slave labour!” the pope was quoted by Vatican radio as saying in his homily at a private mass in his residence to mark May Day.
More than 400 workers have been confirmed dead and scores are missing in the collapse, which occurred in a suburb of the capital Dhaka last week in the country’s worst-ever industrial disaster.
As terrible as that sounds, I would not be so quick to throw the word “slavery” around. It has a specific meaning, and it’s not “underpaid people working in terrible conditions,” however deserving of criticism such conditions might be.
But then Pope Francis returned to what seemed like a more general attack on capitalism, and he was speaking on May Day – a “commemoration” of the monstrous crime of global communism:
The 76-year-old later spoke to thousands of followers in St Peter’s Square, urging politicians to fight unemployment and calling for greater “social justice” against “selfish profit”.
“I call on politicians to make every effort to relaunch the labour market,” he said in his traditional weekly address.
“Work is fundamental for dignity,” he said.
He spoke of “labour market difficulties in various countries” — an apparent reference to the unemployment crisis afflicting Europe.
Unemployment is often caused by “an economic conception of society based on selfish profit outside the bounds of social justice,” he said.
The Vatican has often been sharply critical of unregulated capitalism, particularly in recent years during the global financial crisis.
“We do not get dignity from power or money or culture, no! We get dignity from work,” he said, adding that many political and economic systems “have made choices that mean exploiting people.”
None of that has much to do with chastising the sweat-shop overlords of Bangladesh, who sound like they could do with a stern papal tongue-lashing. I would ask the Pope to consider that the collectivist philosophies “celebrated” on May Day are what filled the mass graves of the world, not capitalism.
Furthermore, the efforts of politicians to “relaunch the labor market” by throwing around money confiscated from its rightful owners have been miserable failures, thick with corruption. Despite all the caterwauling about “austerity,” the moribund governments of Europe (and, sadly, America) aren’t spending much less; they’ve mostly addressed their budget deficits by raising taxes.
Charity towards the impoverished is one thing, but this business of “social justice” always comes down to overbearing rulers enforcing their notion of social justice through force, punishing honest citizens who have committed no crime… and rarely achieving any significant improvement in the lives of the poor. On the contrary, it has been the pursuit of profit that filled the modern world with technological wonders, alleviating hunger and providing the poor of developed countries with resources the crowned royalty of the last century couldn’t dream of.
“We do not get dignity from power or money or culture, no! We get dignity from work,” said the Pope. Well, you don’t get work without the pursuit of profit. There is no other efficient way to bring people voluntarily together in the sustained pursuit of opportunity. Without the pursuit of profit, we are left with taskmasters issuing commands that cannot be refused. We trade the dignified and productive pursuit of excellence by free men and women for the endless poverty of subjects doing just enough work to escape the wrath of their overseers.
There are two ways to allocate labor: either persuade people to pursue money, or command them through the exercise of power. Prosperity cannot depend on the efforts of a selfless few who work tirelessly with little concern for reward.
And of course, part of human dignity is the desire for a better life. Everyone aspires to improve their own lot, and provide more for their families. This is true regardless of one’s current status. Who is to say that this person is allowed to pursue his dreams, but that person already has enough, and must set hers aside? In the lawful pursuit of profit, and the embrace of economic freedom, we find the dignified recognition of all ambition.
All other approaches foster hatred and envy, as the arbiters of ambition rally bitter supporters against their designated enemies.
It always ends in bloodshed.
It always ends with political power exploiting people in ways that enlightened self-interest, working within the boundaries of impartial and reasonable law, cannot imagine.
Conservative, Non-partisan E Komo Mai !
Margaret Thatcher's Best Quotes
April 8, 2013,
A Wall Street Journal Roundup
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher—who died Monday from a stroke at age 87—retired from public engagements in 2002 following a series of small strokes, and was only occasionally seen in public since then.
Here are memorable quotes from her public life:
"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." -- May 20, 1965, speech to National Union of Townswomen's Guilds Conference.
"There are dangers in consensus: it could be an attempt to satisfy people holding no particular views about anything.…No great party can survive except on the basis of firm beliefs about what it wants to do." -- Oct. 10, 1968, Conservative Party conference.
"I don't think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime." -- TV interview March 5, 1973.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my red chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved…the Iron Lady of the Western World. Me? A Cold War warrior? Well, yes—if that is how they wish to interpret my defense of values of freedoms fundamental to our way of life." -- Jan. 31, 1976.
"The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen." -- From the speech that led to her being dubbed The Iron Lady, Jan. 19, 1976.
"To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the 'U' turn, I have only one thing to say. 'You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning.' I say that not only to you but to our friends overseas and also to those who are not our friends." -- Conservative Party Conference, Oct. 1980.
"You don't win by just being against things, you only win by being for things and making your message perfectly clear." -- Feb. 11, 1975.
"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." -- House of Commons, March 31, 1982.
"Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope." -- Quoting St. Francis of Assisi after winning the general election, May 1979.
'No! No! No!' statement in the House of Commons on European Council Summit Oct. 30, 1990
"When you've spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it's exciting to have a real crisis on your hands." -- May 14, 1982, commenting on the Falkland Islands war.
"We fought to show that aggression does not pay and that the robber cannot be allowed to get away with his swag. We fought with the support of so many throughout the world.…Yet we also fought alone." -- July 3, 1982, on the Falkland Islands war.
"I was asked whether I was trying to restore Victorian values. I said straight out I was. And I am." -- July 21, 1983, speech to British Jewish Community.
"That nations that have gone for equality, like Communism, have neither freedom nor justice nor equality, they've the greatest inequalities of all, the privileges of the politicians are far greater compared with the ordinary folk than in any other country. The nations that have gone for freedom, justice and independence of people have still freedom and justice, and they have far more equality between their people, far more respect for each individual than the other nations. Go my way. You will get freedom and justice and much less difference between people than you do in the Soviet Union." -- TV interview, January 1983
"There is no week, nor day, nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves, and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. Tyranny may always enter—there is no charm or bar against it." -- July 19, 1984, during the coal miners' strike.
"Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul." Sunday Times, May 1, 1981.
"We can do business together." -- Dec. 17, 1984, speaking of Mikhail Gorbachev.
"No one would remember the good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as well." -- Jan. 6, 1986, television interview.
"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families." -- Oct. 31, 1987, magazine interview.
"We are a grandmother." -- March 3, 1989, announcing the birth of her first grandchild.
"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing." -- May 3, 1989, commenting on her 10th anniversary as prime minister.
"I am not immortal, but I've got a lot left in me yet." -- Sept. 9, 1990.
"I cannot imagine how any diplomat, or any dramatist, could improve on (Ronald Reagan's) words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: 'Let me tell you why it is we distrust you.' Those words are candid and tough and they cannot have been easy to hear. But they are also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust." -- Eulogy at the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan, June 11, 2004.
—The Associated Press contributed to this article.
There is no more blatant example of crony capitalism present in Hawaii, hurting every citizen by forcing everyone to subsidize a favored and protected few at every one else's expense, than the Jones Act restrictions on shipping goods to Hawaii.
EVERY citizen pays an unnecessary extra amount for nearly everything we consume here on our isolated island homes, due to near-monopoly restrictions on who is legally allowed to ship to Hawaii.
This unfair protectionism is based on "logic" that dates back to World War I, and is supported only by those totally in the grip of crony capitalism and their co-conspirator unions, or deluded by "logic" long since outdated and more irrelevant every day.
Both prominent political parties in Hawaii have perpetuated this raping of every citizen so a special few can benefit, both Democrats (nearly all, except Ed Case and very few others) and Republican (including Linda Lingle and Duke Iona, and all their political accolades.)
Few to no politicians has proposed ending or amending the Jones Act for Hawaii.
Now, there is a bi-partisan movement starting to reject this tremendous and expensive injustice.
Please pay attention, and put your efforts towards repealing / amending this major impediment to better lives for every citizen of our islands.
Only the re-introduction of a Super-ferry would even come close to improving the cost of living and standard of living of every citizen of these islands.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Ask Rep Yamane to hear Jones Act reform resolutions
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2013 13:42:49 -1000
From: Michael N. Hansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Michael N. Hansen <email@example.com>
March 31, 2013
Ask Rep Yamane to hear Jones Act reform resolutions
A bipartisan group of five members of the Hawaii State House of Representatives introduced a pair of companion resolutions calling on the U.S. Congress to enact federal legislation exempting the noncontiguous domestic trades of the U.S. – Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico – from the U.S. build requirement of the Jones Act for large oceangoing self-propelled ships.
The resolutions are House Concurrent Resolution 150 (HCR150) and House Resolution 119 (HR119).
The Hawaii Shippers Council (HSC) strongly supports the measures and wishes to have them adopted by the Hawaii State Legislature. The Honolulu Star Advertiser endorsed the resolutions in an editorial published on March 28, 2013. The title of their editorial is “Modify Jones Act to assist Hawaii.”
The House Speaker’s office has referred the Jones Act reform resolutions for hearing by four committees of the State House of Representatives.
The first referral is for a joint hearing of two key committees of jurisdiction over the issue:
· The House Committee on Transportation (TRN)
· The House Committee on Economic Development & Business (EDB)
The two committees, TRN & EDB, must hear the resolutions, pass them out of their joint hearing before the resolutions can move onto the other two house committees for hearings.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the EDB Committee are Rep. Clift Tsuji (D) and Rep. Gene Ward (R), respectively.
They both sponsored the resolutions – HCR150/HR119.
And, they support the resolutions being heard and passed out of their joint hearing with the TRN committee.
Rep Ward issued a press release on March 20, 2013, announcing introduction of the measure.
The two Chairmen of the Committees are responsible for jointly scheduling the first hearing of the resolutions.
The key to scheduling the hearing is Rep. Ryan Yamane, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, who has so far declined to do so.
We ask you to contact Rep. Yamane on Monday morning, April 1, 2013, expressing your support for the resolutions HCR150/HR119, and respectfully request that he arrange to hear them in a timely fashion. You can contact Rep. Yamane by email, fax and telephone.
Please contact Rep. Yamane again even if you have previously contact him in regards to this matter.
Michael N Hansen
Hawaii Shippers Council
Tel: 808 947-4334
The Hawaii Shippers Council (HSC) is a business league organization incorporated in 1997 to represent cargo interests – known as “shippers” – who tender goods for shipment with the ocean carriers operating the Hawaii trade.
Please contact the HSC at email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be placed on our email list.
The contact information for Rep. Yamane is as follows:
Ryan I. Yamane
House District 37
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 420
Sample Letter to Rep Yamane
Please find below a sample message to Rep Yamane that can be sent by fax or email.
To send by Email:
1) Copy the text and click here: email@example.com
2) Enter in the subject field: HCR150/HR119
3) Paste the copied text in the body of the email message
4) Edit the text to personalize it.
5) Add your name (and company if applicable) after the closing.
April 1, 2013
The Honorable Ryan I. Yamane
The House Committee on Transportation
Hawaii State Capitol, Room 420
415 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Subject: House Concurrent Resolution 150 / House Resolution 119 (HCR150 / HR119)
Dear Representative Yamane,
I/We strongly support HCR 150 / HR 119 and respectfully request that you join with Chairman Clift Tsuji of the House Committee on Economic Development and Business and schedule the above mentioned companion resolutions for a timely hearing.
The cost of shipping to the islands is an important economic issue to every business and resident in Hawaii. The Jones Act reform proposed in the resolution would help to address one of the main cost drivers, that is, the extraordinary high cost of constructing deep draft oceangoing ships in the United States.
You are Chairman of the House Transportation Committee with direct jurisdiction on the matters involved with the subject resolutions. Therefore, I/we believe you have the duty to provide a forum for the public to express themselves in regards to this issue in a hearing held by your Committee. You also owe that obligation to the other members of the two Committees who wish to hear the resolutions.
You must hear the voices of all the people of Hawaii, and not only listen to the special interests who do not want to see the Jones Act changed in any way.
Star-Advertiser Endorses Jones Act Reform
by Michael N Hansen, President, Hawaii Shippers Council
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The major daily newspaper in the State of Hawaii, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, published their editorial on Thursday, March 28, 2013, endorsing the pair of companion resolutions introduced in the Hawaii State House of Representatives on March 13, 2013. Those resolutions call on the U.S. Congress to enact an exemption from the U.S. build requirement of the Jones Act for the noncontiguous domestic trades of the U.S. – Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
The Hawaii Shippers Council (HSC) strongly supports the measures and is looking forward to their adoption by the Hawaii State Legislature to demonstrate support in the noncontiguous jurisdictions for the limited Jones Act reform proposal described in the resolutions.
An outline of the HSC’s noncontiguous trades Jones Act reform proposal can be found here.
Modify Jones Act to Assist Hawaii
Mar 28, 2013
For nearly a century, foreign-built ships have been blocked from carrying cargo directly from the mainland to Hawaii, resulting in higher prices for consumers.
Two Republicans and three Democrats in the state Legislature are calling for Congress to create a narrow exemption from the Jones Act that would allow foreign-built ships to be used on the route — a change that likely would lower cargo costs for island consumers….
The law's effects are large. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimated in a 2002 study that the Jones Act costs the nation's economy between $119 million to $9.8 billion a year by denying access to lower-cost shipping. Ward maintained in 1997 that Hawaii residents pay $1 billion a year — $3,000 per household — in higher prices because of shipping costs. Those figures can only have increased since then.
In the past, Ed Case was the sole Democrat who shared that concern, proposing an exemption of Hawaii when he was U.S. representative from 2002 to 2007….
The proposed resolution spearheaded by Ward points out that Gov. Neil Abercrombie has urged the Legislature to "move forward" with allowing import of liquefied natural gas from the mainland.
It asserts that none of the "special tank ships" that transport LNG have been built in the United States since the 1970s, and that buying such US-built ships now "would be cost prohibitive."
It says that U.S.-built ships cost five times as much as foreign-built ships. Purchasing foreign-built ships for carrying LNG makes economic sense.
Abercrombie has been flexible on the issue in the past. As a U.S. House member in 2003, Abercrombie and the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye won a narrow exemption from the 1886 Passenger Vessel Services Act, similar for cruise lines to the Jones Act's rules for cargo shipments. That allowed Norwegian Cruise Line to use three foreign-built ships for interisland cruises.
Since building LNG tank ships in the U.S. is regarded as too expensive, the exemption of Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico from the Jones Act — as long as foreign-built ships be used — would "revitalize" shipping to those destinations.
The resolution calls for maintaining the Jones Act requirements that those ships be U.S.-flagged, -owned and -crewed, so the proposal is narrow compared with past exemption proposals.
Our Legislature should pass this resolution to push the limited-exemption issue in front of Congress, where Hawaii's delegation can then work toward its enactment...
28 December, 2012
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe had been scheduled to speak to our Forum on Sunday, 6 January, as part of a state-wide swing of appearances.
Unfortunately, at this late hour, his entire Hawaii trip has had to be canceled due to pressing other priorities in Washington D.C.
Hopefully he can be re-booked at a future date, and if so we will get him here !