Has Pope Francis misunderstood the market economy? Por Philip Booth.
Insofar as the Holy Father was referring to the independence of the market from the state, which was an issue he raised, this is a strange era in which to make such a point. Western governments spend close to record proportions of national income and the regulation of businesses in many places is rising from already high levels. Indeed, the Holy Father is rightly scandalised by the level of youth unemployment in countries such as Spain, France and Italy. He should reflect on the fact that those countries come 125th, 130th and 146th out of 148 ranked countries for their regulatory burdens on business. There is a direct link between regulation and the number of people trapped outside the labour market. Pope Francis should consider too that the much-criticised financial system is not a creation of the market but a highly regulated system underpinned by the state: a welfare state for bankers if you like.