The Catholic Economy, Part 7: Responding to Criticisms of The Catholic Economy
We’ve had positive feedback from people on the idea of a Catholic economy. Most of this has come from Henry’s podcast appearances on The Catholic Gentleman, The Catholic Canuck, and LifeSite New TV, and a LifeSite News article.
One objection I have heard is, why would we want to start a Catholic economy when we should be trying to change the economy, not start a parallel economy?
We believe that we should be pushing for development of a Catholic economy, not to create a parallel economy, but to influence the culture and to make positive change.
The Catholic economy can be accomplished in the family, in the parish, and in the wider community.
Arguments for creating a Catholic economy:
Even if one argues that there's a parallel economy that we're trying to create, what's wrong with that?
Let's take a look at some examples:
- The Catholic church. As, you know, invented the university system. The university education system is an actual invention of the Catholic church.
- The hospital system, the Catholic church invented the hospital system where we care for people in a facility that's centralized, and that has expertise.
- The Catholic church invented the parochial school system where you provide. Religious education and secular education.
And so the point is it's possible to influence the culture.
Some things in the Catholic economy that we could actually do.
- Capital: we could lend money to each other or invest in each other's businesses or give grants to each other. What's wrong with creating this in our parish?
- Banking: Will we create a parallel banking structure? Maybe Catholics will band together and form an actual bank and conduct lending practices in the normal way.
- Marketing: We're all very aware of how exploitative the marketing system is. We exploited people. We exploited images. We cause people to be manipulated.
- Sell to Catholics: I'm not suggesting that we should only sell to Catholics.No, but if we, in groups, marketed our efforts as Catholic businesses, holding to a certain standard of better production than average, better quality services than average, etc.. Couldn't we then create some value? And of course, if we sell to other customers who are not Catholic, we could be selling products as a Catholic business that behaves in a Catholic manner. We would have a seal of approval of some kind of a code between and among Catholic business owners that we would sell. And in order to be able to sell in this group, we would have to achieve certain standards and hold to certain standards.
- Business principles: If we are Catholic owners of businesses, but the businesses only behave according to certain secular standards, what's the point of that. But we need Catholic standards of running Catholic businesses where we're not afraid to follow ethical and moral principles.
- Hiring: Would we hire only Catholics? Well, not necessarily, although that would be a good place to start, because if we hired Catholics, we would then be supporting fellow Catholics who need income and who need jobs.
- Buying and selling groups: We could really make significant progress if we got together, even at the parish, family, or regional level and made our purchases together.
- Advising: We don't advise each other well enough. When people start a business, they may get advice from their professional service providers, like their lawyers, their accountants, their attorneys, their bankers, their tax people, etc. But what's wrong with having the accumulated body of wisdom in your parish, sitting down once a month and listening to somebody who's starting a business and advising them costs nothing except time?
The Catholic economy does not have to be isolationist. It does have to be big enough to influence the culture, to change laws, to change attitudes, to push back against the culture. But if we did so we could influence the economic system directly. We could become an economic powerhouse and change the economic system.
In the future, I will talk about how we run our businesses successfully, according to worldly standards, but also the ethical and moral principles of the Church. Much of it will revolve around us being able to analyze in very great detail the costs of our financial transactions with spreadsheets, where we can do forecasting and simulations to the greatest level of detail, because that's how we're going to figure out whether we can add a cost to our structure such as an additional benefit or some additional days off to reflect feast days and family events.
We will still make money, build wealth, create opportunities for employment, for capital, for buying, for selling, for advising, for investing, but using our faith as a guide.
If that's a parallel economy, I'm all for it. We need Catholic businesses which are visibly Catholic and visibly different from the rest of the world. It can be done.
You can be Catholic and successful in business, believe it.
Watch the YouTube video