New San Diego Bishop’s Wrong Approach to Poverty

First Chicago, now San Diego. Pope Francis just appointed a left-leaning bishop to lead the Diocese of San Diego, Bishop Robert McElroy. He reportedly is prone to “placing abortion and euthanasia on the same moral level as immigration and poverty.” That probably means he plays down the former in favor of issues such as poverty.

The irony is that it’s left-wing policies, which the Bishop no doubt espouses, that breed poverty. High minimum wages, for example, price unskilled people out of the job market, resulting in a large underclass of unemployed. Welfare often discourages work, which even Bill Clinton recognized. High taxes and regulations on businesses discourage business creation and hiring, resulting in fewer jobs and putting downward pressure on wages. Huge government expenditures and stronger government control of the economy slow economic growth – and slow growth is the biggest producer of poverty. It’s no surprise that inner cities, where leftist policies dominate, are breeding grounds of poverty. Same with leftist-controlled countries around the world.

So it’s quite ironic that the good Bishop, who claims to be most concerned about poverty, unwittingly supports the very policies that encourage it. (Preceding paragraphs taken from my comment to the above-linked article.)

Absolute poverty throughout the world has declined considerably over the past several decades. That has coincided with a much greater embrace of free markets, especially in places like China, India and other Asian countries. If Bishop McElroy were really serious about eradicating poverty, he would be a champion of free markets. But alas, my guess is that he does the opposite.

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