RUSH: You know, the pope, Pope Francis -- this is astounding -- has issued an official papal proclamation, and it's sad. It's actually unbelievable. The pope has written, in part, about the utter evils of capitalism. And I have to tell you, I've got parts of it here I can share with you. It's sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth. Wait 'til you hear it.
RUSH: I was doing show prep last night, usual routine, and I ran across this -- I don't even know what it's called, the latest papal offering, statement from Pope Francis. Now, I'm not Catholic. Up until this, I have to tell you, I was admiring the man. I thought he was going a little overboard on the common-man touch, and I thought there might have been a little bit of PR involved there. But nevertheless I was willing to cut him some slack. I mean, if he wants to portray himself as still from the streets where he came from and is not anything special, not aristocratic. If he wants to eschew the physical trappings of the Vatican, okay, cool, fine. But this that I came across last night totally befuddled me. If it weren't for capitalism, I don't know where the Catholic Church would be.
Now, as I mentioned before, I'm not Catholic. I admire it profoundly, and I've been tempted a number of times to delve deeper into it. But the pope here has now gone beyond Catholicism here, and this is pure political. I want to share with you some of this stuff.
"Pope Francis attacked unfettered capitalism as 'a new tyranny' and beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality, in a document on Tuesday setting out a platform for his papacy and calling for a renewal of the Catholic Church. ... In it, Francis went further than previous comments criticizing the global economic system, attacking the 'idolatry of money.'"
I gotta be very careful. I have been numerous times to the Vatican. It wouldn't exist without tons of money. But regardless, what this is, somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. Unfettered capitalism? That doesn't exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States. Unfettered, unregulated.
Folks, in recent weeks I have endeavored to try to make you understand how it is that people like modern-age Democrats look at small business and business at large. They do not, in the terms of small business, understand how fragile it is. Their view of business is that people who own them or run them cheat their customers, abuse their employees, hoard all the money, and have tons of it. They take it and keep it for themselves. They deny their employees a livable wage. They deny them health care. They deny them benefits. They produce products that kill and maim and sicken, or they produce products that destroy the planet, destroy the environment, or what have you.
I mean, it's a litany. This is their view and it is why they claim that they must take it over and control it, because it's inherently unfair that a select few capitalists rip everybody off. Rip off their employees, rip off their customers, and that's how you have unequal incomes, and this vast gap between wealth and poverty. It's all because of capitalism. They claim that as socialists or reformers or progressives, that they are fair and compassionate, and they will make that gap between the wealthy and the poor narrower, and they will make life more equitable, and they will engage in equality of outcomes and so forth, and wherever they've tried, they've failed.
Wherever socialists have gained power, they have done nothing but spread poverty. They cannot and do not produce wealth. They do not understand it. All they can do is destroy it. They are not compassionate; they coerce. And to hear the pope regurgitating this stuff, I was profoundly disappointed. The idolatry of money, urging "politicians to 'attack the structural causes of inequality' and strive to provide work, health care and education to all citizens."
What has been happening in this country the past five years? Exactly what this man claims to want. We have a president who has attacked the structural causes of inequality, and what's he done? He's raised taxes on the producers and the achievers for the express purpose of redistributing it. All he's done is create massive debt. He has destroyed jobs. There are 91.5 million Americans not working in America today, 91.5 million not working. All the while the president, 19 or 20 times, says that he's doing nothing but focusing on creating jobs, but he can't. No government can create jobs, not in the private sector. All they can do is hamper job creation.
Now, if government wants to deregulate and get out of the way, then job creation will take place. What is capitalism? The value of anything is established in the private sector. That's where the value of money is established. That's where the value of work is established. The value of whatever it is you want to buy or trade, the private sector, capitalism, is where that value is established, not by government proclaiming it.
The pope "also called on rich people to share their wealth." We were just talking about the charitable donations and contributions that existed in this country, and they are profound. The United States is near the top of the list in the world of charitable countries, but even with all the charity, and it is tremendous, it cannot compete with capitalism in elevating people out of poverty. There is nothing the world has ever devised that has elevated more people out of poverty than capitalism.
Look at the United States. How can you deny, how can anybody objectively analyzing and looking, deny the United States became a superpower. In less than 250 years, the United States became a military, economic superpower devoted to the concepts of freedom here and everywhere else around the world. We were the defenders of freedom. Our own and others. In less than 250 years, a nation of, for the most part fewer than 300 million people, produced an economy that created the highest standard of living the world has ever known. We fed the world, produced so much food, more than we ever needed ourselves. We were able to feed the world, and after doing all of that, we were able to provide disaster relief for anywhere else in the world that it occurred, where it was accepted.
There's been nothing like the United States, ever, in world history. Nothing. And certainly not for this length of time, nothing even compares. It goes back to what I've always talked about in regards to American exceptionalism. What made this possible was our founding documents enshrining the notion that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, meaning nobody can take 'em away, and that is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights come from our creator, God. They are part of our natural existence. We are born that way.
We are not granted these rights by a government or by a king or by a president. The only thing that can happen to those rights is when people try to take them away or usurp them, which is what has been happening in this country since the day it was founded because there are always people who oppose free societies. A free society can't be controlled. A free society can't be dominated. It's very, very hard to pilfer and steal from a free society. The United States and an honest, objective look at its history, is all the proof you need to see the absolute benefits of capitalism. That's what we were. That's how we were founded. There's nowhere in the world approaching the standard of living that we've had.
Now, it's true that leftists (identified as Democrats in this country) disagree. They think that standard of living is unjust and immoral, because not everybody has experienced it. But our country is such that the opportunity is there for everybody. No two people are the same. No two sets of opportunities are the same. Some people do have advantages over others. Like the Kennedys, for example, and other wealthy families.
But they had to become wealthy in the first place. Somewhere in every family's history is somebody who earned it. So granted you can be born into a specific family and have your wheels greased more than others, but it doesn't impugn the system. It doesn't impugn capitalism. Because there isn't anything that approaches it. There's nothing that gets even close to it. Socialism does not eliminate poverty, does not lift people out of poverty.
Socialism does not create free people and societies, and it does not preside over massive charitable giving and compassion. Socialism, Marxism constrain people, limits people, prevents people from realizing their potential as human beings. The United States of America and its genuine exceptionalism has allowed people to reach the pinnacle of their ability combined with their ambition and desire.
It's pretty much the one spot in the world, although there are a couple other societies that are free that have had had similar characteristics and opportunities, but not formally enshrined as have ours been. This is a country where your dream can come true. You can make your dream come true. It's not gonna be easy. It doesn't happen overnight. But it can come true. Most of the people in the world, their dreams are nothing but that.
They start as dreams, and they end as dreams, and that's why people around the world have sought to come here. So reading what the pope's written about this is really befuddling because he's totally wrong -- I mean, dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong. Here's another excerpt. "Pope Francis said that trickle-down policy..." We hear about trickle-down policies? "Pope Francis said that trickle-down policies have not proven to work."
Oh, but they have. It's exactly what Obama is trying to create, in fact, although he wouldn't dare call it that. When you hear Obama talking about job creation and people going to work and roads and bridges being -- what the hell is it but trickle-down? The left has defined trickle-down as the rich are compassionate and give people things. And when that doesn't happen, they say that trickle-down doesn't work. The left has bastardized terms and definitions to the point that trickle-down's become a dirty word.
Trickle-down is human nature! Trickle-down is exactly what happens when you engage in economic activity. You spend money and it trickles down to everybody you spend it with, and then it trickles down to everybody they end up interacting with economically. Trickle-down is precisely what happens. But the left has defined trickle-down as the rich are supposed to give the money that they don't need away to people.
They're supposed to give products away, or they're supposed to give their employees massive raises that are not based on productivity. Or they're supposed to give them health care -- and when the rich don't do that, that is an indictment of the rich and that is an indictment of capitalism, and they say, "See? It doesn't work, because the rich don't share. The rich hoard, and they abuse, and they impugn, and they take advantage of, and they steal!"
It's gotten to the point now that many people have been told that the rich got rich by stealing money from the poor, and I've never understood the mathematics of that. If trickle-down economics doesn't work, why is Obama's Federal Reserve pumping $85 billion would it be into the stock market every month? What's supposed to happen to it if it doesn't trickle somewhere? Trickle-down is the magic, and yet here's Pope Francis saying that "trickle-down policies have not been proven to work and they reflect a 'naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.'"
There you go.
Exactly what I was saying: "naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power." In other words, naive trust in the rich to be generous with their money, but they never are. You see these people, they've got five or six billion dollars, and they don't give it to anybody -- and that means capitalism doesn't work. There's nobody who "needs" $6 billion. Who the hell do they think they are? We need to go take that money! That's more than they need.
Nobody has the right to determine what anybody "needs," and the minute you let somebody do that for you, you are surrendering total control of your life. It's not Obama's business what anybody "needs." It's not a matter of "need." In the United States, we deal with need and desire, need and want -- and everybody benefits, if they're willing to work. Gotta take a break. There's much more to this, too. You know, there's a good way to sum up the way the left sees businessmen, and I believe share it with you when we get back.
RUSH: I watch a television show from the BBC called Ripper Street. It's a crime drama set way back in the Jack the Ripper days of London, and in the most recent episode, the evil banker character... He's not in every episode. In this episode, an evil banker sold phony investments in tin and copper in the Argentine, and a lot of people lost everything, and this particular guy also had a bias against gays and was dispatching one of his minions out to kill them. So it's a a dual-edged, anti-conservative theme.
Big bankers equal cheating everybody, and plus they attack gays. So the sheriff, or the chief constable finally corners the bad guy, the banker, and he's preaching his morality to him, telling the banker how he's screwed up and how he's ruined lives. The banker says to the chief constable, "You and your laws. You think that there is right and wrong. There is no right and wrong. There is only profit and loss. Gold is what runs the world, sir. Not your laws and not right and wrong. Profit and loss. You concern yourself with your laws when there are only ledgers."
I mean, you just couldn't have a more textbook attack on capital, and that's how the left sees all of this.
RUSH: Just a couple more things here on the latest anti-capitalist proclamation from the pope. I would be remiss if I did not point out Pope John Paul II, who had as his primary enemy, communism. Pope John Paul II largely credited Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for the defeat of Soviet sponsored communism in Europe. The liberation of Poland. And juxtaposed against the actions of Pope John Paul II this pope and the things that he released yesterday or recently are really striking.
You talk about unfettered, this is an unfettered anti-capitalist dictate from Pope Francis. And listen to this. This is an actual quote from what he wrote. "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle. They fail to move us." I mean, that's pretty profound. That's going way beyond matters that are ethical. This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets. He says that the global economy needs government control.
I'm telling, I'm not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a pope to believe or say just a few years ago. But this passage, "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to buy. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle." I have to tell you, folks, I am totally bewildered by this.
The Catholic Church, the American Catholic Church has an annual budget of $170 billion. I think that's more than General Electric earns every year. And the Catholic Church of America is the largest landholder in Manhattan. I mean, they have a lot of money. They raise a lot of money. They wouldn't be able to reach out the way they do without a lot of money. Anyway, that's it. I've gone as far as my instincts tell me to go. Made the point.
RUSH: Now, by the way, in fairness to the pope and in fairness to the Catholic Church, I will admit that communism years ago was much easier to see and identify than it is today. And the obvious evil that was communism was easy to see. Soviet-sponsored communism, the gulags, the First World military with the Third World economy, the blustery behavior of Soviet Communist Party bosses, the constant Soviet expansionism into Cuba and Sandinista land and Nicaragua and everywhere.
Communism today is much more disguised.
Communism today, in large part, is the Democrat Party. Communism today is in large part the feminist movement. Communism today is found in most of the AFL-CIO-type unions. As such, it seems just a political point of view. It's just an alternative political point of view. It's just the Democrats, and it's a much tougher thing to identify and target, because it can be your neighbor. It's not some foreign country easily identified as "the Evil Empire." Communism has a much different face today.
Identifying it is, I think, much more difficult today and takes much more guts to identify it today than in the past.
RUSH: I want to go back to this quote from the pope again, from his -- there's the name for the document. I can't think of it and I don’t have it in front of me. "The culture of prosperity deadens us. We are thrilled in the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime, all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle. They fail to move us." I'm not even sure what the connection there is.
We are thrilled if the market offers us something new to buy? I guess there's something wrong with that. We're not supposed to be thrilled if there's something new to buy. That's how I interpret it. Now, let me give you a fascinating stat I just learned today. The iPhone 5S, which is the top-of-the-line iPhone, was announced way back in September, and has been in shortage ever since.
They have been unable to meet the demand, for whatever reason. They have just recently caught up, and would you like to know how they did it? They have put one million people on different assembly lines, 600 employees per assembly line at the factory in China at the one factory, where they are making 500,000 iPhones a day, and they still haven't caught up to demand.
That's a lot of people who are thrilled with something new to buy. A lot of people in China make a lot of money on these places. I mean, they're not paid what they're paid in America, but they're paid much higher than anybody else in China at these factories. There's a lot of income being earned. There's a lot of product being made. There are a lot of taxes being paid. There's all kinds of economic activity taking place. It is stunning. One hundred production lines, 600 people per line.
A total of more than 300,000 workers dedicated solely to building one product, the iPhone 5S, in one factory. And this company has many different factories. They make 500,000 phones a day, and they still haven't caught up. Now, there's a new phone from Motorola, the Moto X. It has sold 500,000 in one quarter, and the iPhone 5S is selling 500,000 a day, and that's even short of demand.
That's a lot of people thrilled at something new to buy.
RUSH: I am receiving e-mails from people who are telling me that the pope, his economic writing, has been mistranslated. Now, my first reaction was, "Come on, this document is too big and massive for it to be mistranslated." But then I caught myself, and this is exactly what the left does. If they had a chance to take somebody as influential and revered and beloved as the pope and put their words in his mouth, they would do it in a minute.
So now I'm gonna have to track this down, because I have to tell you, what has been attributed to the pope here doesn't make sense, with 50 years of the Catholic Church. It doesn't jibe. But it sounds exactly like what your average, run-of-the-mill leftist would say each and every day: unfettered capitalism, trickle-down doesn't work. I don't know this pope, but I don't know that the bishop of Rome speaks in terms of trickle-down. One of the things they're saying is that the pope didn't say "trickle-down," that the correct translation would be "spillover." He didn't say "trickle-down." So there are people that are telling me, "Hey, Rush, the pope was mistranslated," and my first reaction, "Come on, now."
But then I had to catch myself. They are -- by "they," I mean the worldwide left -- they are entirely capable of this, and they wouldn't hesitate to do it, if they thought they could get away with it. Hell, they wouldn't hesitate to do it even if they do get caught doing it because they know that the original phony translation they put out will be the one that survives. The truth takes a long time to catch up when the lie gets out of the gates first. So I can't sit here and summarily reject the claim that the pope has been mistranslated. I know it sounds inconceivable. (interruption) The pope? He said something about homosexuals and later they said he was mistranslated? His original statement, he appeared to condone homosexuality, and then somebody said he was mistranslated. Well, there seems to be a pattern here, then, of the pope being mistranslated.
You know how we would know, is if the pope came out in favor of contraception and abortion, then we would know that there's mistranslation going on. Now, the left hasn't gotten that brave yet. But this other stuff -- see, my problem is that I can see that attempt being made. Somebody this powerful, this revered, this loved, beloved the pope is, for the left to put their words in his mouth by translating what he says for the rest of the world? I would not discount that. Sounds a little far out, but.
The thing about buying, though, I just have one more thing to say about this. Buying is free will. By definition, people choose to buy. Except health care, then they're forced to. There's always a caveat to everything, isn't there? But in an unfettered -- ahem -- capitalistic society, people choose to buy. A purchase is an act of individual sovereignty. And in order to succeed, a business must do something that makes their fellow man want to buy it, willingly part with their cash to obtain it. That's capitalism. Government is compulsion, on the other hand. Capitalism is moral because it honors individual freedom, but government is compulsion.
We are compelled to buy Obamacare. We must or we are in violation of the law. That's not capitalism. There's no free will there. There's no sovereignty. There's no choice. We are being compelled under threat of fine and possible imprisonment -- yes, it's in the law -- if we don't buy it. I'm telling you, that's not the solution to anybody's economic problems, is forced purchases. It just isn't.