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Friday, October 21, 2022

The Catholic Framework for Economic Life in the Era of Mistrust and Collapsed Globalization

Written by  William Raynor
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The Catholic Framework for Economic Life in the Era of Mistrust and Collapsed Globalization

The World Economic Forum (WEF), advocates of globalization for decades, now say there is a world-wide trust problem. Trust was a major focus for the WEF in 2022, where they attempted to reposition themselves as outsiders.

“To summarize: in a world which is becoming more fragmented and more divided, and where many of the traditional multilateral organizations tend to become dysfunctional or at least mistrustful, a global platform based on informal, trust-based and action-oriented cooperation such as the World Economic Forum and Davos will be ever more needed” (Schwab, 2022).

 

But the WEF’s pivot as reformers for the conditions they helped create is confusing:

  • Globalists are the ones who ran those multilateral organizations into the ground and made them ‘dysfunctional’.
  • Globalists are the ones that made the world ‘more fragmented and more divided’. We are where we are because of their mismanagement, mindset, and priorities.

WEF remarks earlier this year also included the following: “There is no place for the frivolous fringe that seeks to distract and divert attention ­– and I condemn it wholeheartedly - particularly of those who have nothing to do with the World Economic Forum community and just come to Davos to hijack our brand” (Schwab, 2022). These words are also bewildering:

  • Should the WEF ‘condemn others’ for having diverse economic views? Is it exclusionary, and contrary to the WEF’s stated desire to bring stakeholders together?
  • Should the WEF worry less about their image or ‘brand’ being ‘hijacked’ – and more about their actual performance over the past decades? Ironically, the same organization that wants to reset the world, now wants to reset their image.
  • The ‘frivolous fringe’ are the world’s majority - working individuals all over the globe. The destruction of their way-of-life, and children’s future is not ‘frivolous’.

Extreme Global Agenda

Our economic, and social beliefs often conflict with the WEF and globalists. A few examples:

  • Transhumanism, often thought of as designer humans, is prolific. From Scott Shepard of the FEP: “The transhumanism of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ and the ‘Internet of Bodies,’ are not ideas randomly floated by one or two participants; they are the fully endorsed positions of the WEF,…” (Free Enterprise Project, 2022).     
  • The digital / biology link was recently illustrated when the topic of micro-chipping children was floated. “The World Economic Forum (WEF) published an article proposing that there are “solid, rational reasons” for implanting children with microchips……. While admitting that body and brain chip implants can be hacked…..” (Mangiaracina, 2022).
  • ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) terminology distortion and misapplication. Even some of the developers of ESG 20+ years ago, see how it has been changed for another purpose: “The intent of Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investing wasn’t to bring “woke capitalism” to Wall Street, its early proponents say….. Rather, ESG was designed to be another useful metric to help investors assess the health and future profitability of a company” (Ellfeldt, 2022). Ironically, globalists (not those they claim are trying to take over their brand) have hijacked much of the ESG language.
  • Distorted ESG dilutes real ESG, and legitimate areas in need of adjustment / reform. Especially from work / employment sectors related to automation disruptions. Everyone desires a clean environment, a stable and harmonious social system, and good governance. However, the lost opportunity costs from ESG extremists is a progress impediment.

The Catholic Framework for Economic Life (CFEL)

While man-made economic models are imperfect, beginning with a faith-based structure can help orient us for directional purposes. As Christians, we recognize that our faith enhances a true agenda for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). God created all people (Diversity), our beliefs seek it out (Equity), and God includes us all / we are our brother’s keeper (Inclusion).

By following globalist’s policies, the US has squandered its energy independence, has rampant inflation, is officially in a recession, with chaos and unprecedented problems across a number of other metrics.

The Catholic Framework for Economic Life (CFEL) is one model that could be considered. The CFEL is not new, and not just useful for Catholics. It was developed more than 25 years ago by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and consists of ten points outlining essential protections, responsibilities, and opportunities for diverse economic participants. The ten points of the CFEL follow (in bold), with globalization comparisons from around the world:

1. The economy exists for the person, not the person for the economy.

The United States and Failed Globalization: by following globalist’s policies, the US has squandered its energy independence, has rampant inflation, is officially in a recession, with chaos and unprecedented problems across a number of other metrics. We also follow disastrous and distorted ESG paths that conflict with the environment, society, and proper governance:

  • Environment: encouraging EVs that require fossil fuels to recharge. That’s after strip-mining the Earth to get the raw materials to make them in the first place (with replacement batteries often exceeding than the EV’s value). Forcing this transportation reset is the opposite of environmental justice.
  • Social: distorted, non-transparent, and incoherent Covid policies that adversely impact society. Except for global elites, nearly everyone else’s economic, daily life, and future opportunities have been severely disrupted. The opposite of social justice.
  • Governance: On immigration, our Southern Border can be summarized as mass crimes against humanity. We have allowed cartels to take over human trafficking - even partnering with them through incentives, funding NGOs, and disastrous public policy. Drug trafficking (especially Fentanyl) has left more than 100,000 dead in a year. Dead migrant bodies are pulled from tractor trailers, the Rio Grande, and the brush on both sides of the border. There is widespread abuse of women, children, and modern-day slavery. Many entities, NGOs, and media outlets remain silent, or are complicit with the human smuggling industrial complex. Life destruction of US citizens, migrants, and refugees is completely evil, and so is this type of governance. 

2. All economic life should be shaped by moral principles. Economic choices and institutions must be judged by how they protect, or undermine the life and dignity of the human person, support the family, and serve the common good.

By following the global “experts’, Germans exposed themselves to unnecessary risk with the basic necessities in life.

Germany as a Failed Globalization example: Because globalists did not adequately prepare for contingencies like the Russia / Ukraine conflict, environmental and energy initiatives have taken a huge step backward. “Germany’s biggest utilities are working to revive their coal operations as Europe’s biggest economy turns to the dirtier fuel in a bid to reduce the use of natural gas for electricity generation” (Dezem, 2022). By following the global “experts’, Germans exposed themselves to unnecessary risk with the basic necessities in life. Despite being compliant with global ESG policies, their lives have been undermined. There is nothing moral about that, and globalists have also failed on this CFEL point.

3. A fundamental moral measure of any economy is how the poor and vulnerable are faring.

But the government which had forced the nation to achieve that virtue-signaling target [ESG rating of 98.1] in recent years collapsed over the weekend because it led the country into self-declared bankruptcy, leaving it unable to purchase adequate supplies of fuel and feed its population”. 

Sri Lanka as a Failed Globalization example: “The nation of Sri Lanka has an almost perfect ESG rating of 98.1 on a scale of 100, according to WorldEconomics.com. But the government which had forced the nation to achieve that virtue-signaling target in recent years collapsed over the weekend because it led the country into self-declared bankruptcy, leaving it unable to purchase adequate supplies of fuel and feed its population” (Blackmon, 2022). It is not moral to use public power that destroys small businesses, people’s livelihoods, and economic freedoms. Individuals around the world know they too can be left more poor and vulnerable with no business, no job, and no economic opportunities. They know their personal financial infrastructure can be destroyed, or dialed back anytime. Globalists have failed on this CFEL point as well.

4. All people have the right to life and to secure the basic necessities of life (e.g., food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, safe environment, economic security).

The right of Nigerians to secure the basic necessities (who already live in a region of extreme poverty and volatility) is threatened even more.

Nigeria as a Failed Globalization example: The failure of globalists to modulate policies and criteria puts many economies at extreme risk, especially the regions that are the poorest and tend to suffer more. “Oil and gas experts are worried over the impacts of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues on financing for oil and gas projects, insisting that unless borrowers like Nigeria and other African oil producers quickly adapt, securing necessary funding for the sector may remain very difficult” (Kingsley-Jeremiah, 2022). The right of Nigerians to secure the basic necessities (who already live in a region of extreme poverty and volatility) is threatened even more. Citizens around the world are empathetic towards them, and know globalists are inconsistent with this area of the CFEL.

5. All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefits, to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join unions or other associations.

Thousands of Argentinians marched in Buenos Aires last week to protest rising costs of living.

Argentina as a Failed Globalization example: “Thousands of Argentinians marched in Buenos Aires last week to protest rising costs of living. With key interest rates at 52% and inflation at 60.7% in May, demonstrators urged the government to resign while rejecting IMF loans that come with ever-tougher conditions for citizens” (Kamau, 2022). Which has deteriorated even more over the past 90 days: “Argentina’s central bank hiked the country’s benchmark interest rate 550 basis points to 75% on Thursday, a day after inflation overshot forecasts to near 80% on an annual basis” (Reuters / CNBC, 2022). Around the world, there is an incompatibility between productive work, wages, and the ability to keep up with inflation. Economic initiative and justice, from those with powerful positions and voices, does not match reality.

6. All people, to the extent they are able, have a corresponding duty to work, a responsibility to provide for the needs of their families, and an obligation to contribute to the broader society.

Following globalist policies did not allow workers to provide or meet human needs for their families.

Canada as a Failed Globalization example: workers around the world stood in solidarity with Canadain truckers earlier this year: “Waving French flags and shouting “Freedom!” the protesters organised online, galvanised in part by truckers who have blockaded the centre of Ottawa, Canada’s capital…” (Euronews, 2022). Following globalist policies did not allow workers to provide or meet human needs for their families. Canadian truckers did an incredible job at conducting themselves professionally and responsibly. They were conscientious and avoided mass hysteria, unlike those trying to afflict harm upon them. Their peaceful protest was conducted with class: they were respectful, polite, kind, family oriented, sincere, calm and not over-reactionary. Workers around the world that also wanted to work and provide, stood with them knowing they could be next.  

7. In economic life, free markets have both clear advantages and limits; government has essential responsibilities and limitations; voluntary groups have irreplaceable roles, but cannot substitute for the proper working of the market and the just policies of the state.

While farmers in the Netherlands continue protests against new energy and fertilizer protocols, European Union regulators in Brussels and Frankfurt, respectively, appear to be moving in opposite directions on ESG-related matters.

Netherlands as a Failed Globalization example: “While farmers in the Netherlands continue protests against new energy and fertilizer protocols, European Union regulators in Brussels and Frankfurt, respectively, appear to be moving in opposite directions on ESG-related matters” (Ballotpedia Staff, 2022). In many areas of the world, government / state policies are not harmonized, are not just, the market does not work, and government has abrogated its essential responsibilities. Mismanagement has brought global economic instability: “FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam’s ominous warning of a worldwide recession…” (Barrabi, 2022). And “Deutsche Bank says it now expects a ‘longer and deeper’ recession in Europe…” (Daniel, 2022).  

8. Society has a moral obligation, including governmental action, where necessary, to assure opportunity, meet basic human needs, and pursue justice in economic life.

President Emmanuel Macron recently said: “What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval … we are living the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance.

France as a Failed Globalization example: President Emmanuel Macron recently said: “What we are currently living through is a kind of major tipping point or a great upheaval … we are living the end of what could have seemed an era of abundance … the end of the abundance of products of technologies that seemed always available …” (Willsher, 2022). Globalists though, exasperated the energy shortage which created a potential food shortage disaster. “The problem with an energy crisis is that it’s actually an everything crisis. In a world where virtually every industry relies on energy in some form, runaway inflation is an inevitability…. But while global governments are using every tool in their kits to curb the rising inflation rates, there’s far less they can do about the coming food shortage” (Zaremba, 2022). Globalist’s policies have not met basic human needs, are not economically just, and are not consistent with the CFEL.

9. Workers, owners, managers, stockholders, and consumers are moral agents in economic life. By our choices, initiative, creativity, and investment, we enhance or diminish economic opportunity, community life, and social justice.

There are other demonstrations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and China that seem to span people being unable to comfortably handle household budgets, their cost of living being threatened by environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and inability to access cash at bank.

Belgium, Italy, China as Failed Globalization examples: “There are other demonstrations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and China that seem to span people being unable to comfortably handle household budgets, their cost of living being threatened by environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and inability to access cash at bank” (Kamau, 2022). And now in Lebanon, “… armed and desperate Lebanese depositors held up banks on Wednesday to force access to their own money, which has been blocked during a national financial meltdown” (Reuters/ CNN, 2022). Economic opportunity around the world has diminished, and many stakeholders have been excluded from participation with little hope for an economic purpose. The cruel and reckless policies by those who will never have to pay the price, or even know the consequences average people face, is incalculable.  

10. The global economy has moral dimensions and human consequences. Decisions on investment, trade, aid, and development should protect human life and promote human rights, especially for those most in need wherever they might live on this globe.

All over the world - Failed Globalization: There are massive indicators of trouble around the planet. Short examples include:     

  • “Energy crises impact nearly every aspect of our lives, and that is particularly true of food markets, with food production next year expected to be severely threatened….. As always, the poorest countries will pay the biggest price……” (Zaremba, 2022).  
  • Globalist’s energy policies fund both sides of the Russian-Ukraine war: “Higher oil prices have helped stabilize Russia’s export revenues, and its currency… It also begs the question: Did no one see this coming? Did not any of the financial experts in the White House or in the United Kingdom or France imagine that cutting off a major oil exporter might drive prices higher?” (Peek, 2022). Hopefully, incompetence, mismanagement, and miscalculations by globalists will not escalate the first European land war in 80 years, into some type of nuclear exchange.  
  • Who will do the next global bailouts for sovereign debt problems around the world? According to Edward Dowd (formerly of Blackrock): “… No one. Many who are aware of the situation are just surprised the system has lasted this long” (Dowd, 2022).

Conclusion

Just as the US economy does not work well for most individuals, the global economy doesn’t work well for most of the world’s citizens. The ‘Rules-Based International Order’ is inconsistent with the CFEL, and we need to be engaged wherever God calls us. We pray for change of hearts, repentance, and take a firm stance against global despair and darkness. We also know real and lasting trust can only be obtained through God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).

Latest from RTV — NEOCONS & WARHAWKS: Can Anyone Stop the Democrat (War) Party?

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References

  1. “A Catholic Framework for Economic Life”. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2015). Retrieved 9/19/22
  2. (https://www.usccb.org/resources/catholic-framework-economic-life-0).
  3. Ballotpedia Staff. “ESG Pulling Europe In Opposite Directions”. Economy and Society. org. July 12, 2022. Retrieved 9/16/22 (https://news.ballotpedia.org/2022/07/12/economy-and-society-july-12-2022-esg-pulling-europe-in-opposite-directions/).
  4. Barrabi, Thomas. “FedEx CEO’s warning of a worldwide recession tanks shares, shakes market”. com. September 16, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://nypost.com/2022/09/16/fedex-ceos-warning-of-worldwide-recession-tanks-shares-hammers-market/).
  5. Blackmon, David. “Rising Social Unrest Over Energy, Food Shortages Threatens Global Stability”. com. July 10, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2022/07/10/rising-social-unrest-over-energy-food-shortages-threatens-global-stability/?sh=583b1156568b).
  6. Daniel, Will. “Deutsche Bank says it now expects a ‘longer and deeper’ recession in Europe”. com. September 21, 2022. Retrieved 9/22/22. (https://fortune.com/2022/09/21/longer-deeper-recession-europe-deutsche-bank-energy-crisis/).
  7. Dezem, Vanessa. “German Utilities Prepare to Turn on Coal Plants Amid Gas Crisis”. com. June 23, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-23/german-utilities-prepare-to-turn-on-coal-plants-amid-gas-crisis ).
  8. Dowd, Edward. From Dr. Joseph’s interview with Edward Dowd. “Global financial collapse a ‘mathematical certainty’ within 2 years: former Blackrock manager”. com. September 12, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/ex-blackrock-manager-global-financial-collapse-a-mathematical-certainty/).
  9. Ellfeldt, Avery. “They helped create ESG. Two decades later, some see a mess”. net. July 26, 2022. Retrieved 9/20/22 (https://www.eenews.net/articles/they-helped-create-esg-two-decades-later-some-see-a-mess/).
  10. Euronews with AP. “Paris police fire tear gas at protesters emulating Canadian 'Freedom Convoy'”. com. February 12, 2022. Retrieved 9/16/22 (https://www.euronews.com/2022/02/12/paris-police-fires-tear-gas-at-protesters-emulating-canadian-freedom-convoy).
  11. Free Enterprise Project. Press Releases by the National Center. “After Twelve Years in Davos, Morgan Stanley CEO Claims Not to Know WEF Agenda”. org. May 26, 2022. Retrieved 9/20/22 (https://nationalcenter.org/ncppr/2022/05/26/after-twelve-years-in-davos-morgan-stanley-ceo-claims-not-to-know-wef-agenda/).
  12. Kamau, Rufas. “Inflation Protests Span Sri Lanka, Albania, Argentina, Panama, Kenya, Ghana - How Long Before They Hit The United States?” com. July 11, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/rufaskamau/2022/07/11/inflation-protests-span-sri-lanka-albania-argentina-panama-kenya-ghanahow-long-before-they-hit-the-united-states/?sh=1ab335a74c2d).
  13. Kingsley-Jeremiah, Abuja. “Fresh Worries For Oil, Gas Projects Over ESG Standards. The Guardian. June, 19, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://guardian.ng/news/fresh-worries-for-oil-gas-projects-over-esg-standards/).
  14. Mangiaracina, Emily. “World Economic Forum: ‘There are solid reasons’ to implant children with microchips”. com. August 24, 2022. Retrieved 9/20/22 (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/world-economic-forum-there-are-solid-reasons-to-implant-children-with-microchips/ ).
  15. Peek, Liz. “Higher oil prices have helped stabilize Russia’s export revenues, and its currency”. com. June 24, 2022. Retrieved 9/22/22 (https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/3535437-bidens-war-on-oil-is-funding-putins-war-on-ukraine/).
  16. “Argentina Hikes Interest Rate by 550 Basis Points to 75% After Inflation Overshoots”. CNBC.com. September 15, 2022. Retrieved 9/16/22 (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/16/argentina-hikes-interest-rate-by-550-basis-points-to-75percent-after-inflation-overshoots.html).
  17. “In Lebanon, armed customers rob banks to get their own money” cnn.com. September 14, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22. (https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/14/world/lebanon-bank-heist-access-money-frozen-savings-intl-hnk/index.html).
  18. Schwab, 2022. “World Economic Forum: Remarks delivered by Professor Klaus Schwab at the Annual Meeting 2022”. org. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/05/davos-2022-klaus-schwab-trust-based-and-action-oriented-cooperation/)
  19. Willsher, Kim. “Macron warns of ‘end of abundance’ as France faces difficult winter”. The Guardian. August 24, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/24/macron-warns-of-end-of-abundance-as-france-faces-difficult-winter).
  20. Zaremba, Haley. “Europe’s Natural Gas Shortage Could Trigger A Food Crisis”. com. September 12, 2022. Retrieved 9/19/22 (https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Europes-Natural-Gas-Shortage-Could-Trigger-A-Food-Crisis.htm).
  21. The Holy Bible (NIV). Proverbs 3:5-6.

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William Raynor is a Retired Professor of Business - State University of New York.

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Last modified on Saturday, October 22, 2022