We should all be concerned about the plight of the poor. Unfortunately, the pope’s comments miss the mark in several key ways.
1. Nothing in human history has done as much to alleviate human poverty as free-market capitalism. This shouldn’t even be a controversial statement. Before the Industrial Revolution, the entire world lived in far worse poverty than the pope’s slum-dwelling parishioners in (socialist) Argentina did when he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. Moreover, humans had lived in that level of extreme poverty since at least Noah’s flood.