Oct 11, 2007

"Profit over people" is a cliche of socialism

The Oct. 5 issue of our archdiocesan newspaper The Tidings has a story (click on this post's title), "'We cannot tolerate the injustice of profit over people.'"

That headline is something Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said on Sept. 28 at the Shriners Hospital downtown during the Annual Public Policy Breakfast of the archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission.

His Eminence's full quote was, "The uninsured receive too little medical service and receive it too late, and receive poorer care when they are in hospitals. And so we cannot tolerate the injustice of profit over people."

Notice that His Eminence is making an incredible automatic assumption: That "profit" is what has messed up U.S. health care. He completely ignores the huge and overwhelming role that GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION plays, in the form of thousands of laws and regulations over every aspect of medicine, not to mention court rulings and..."free" care for tens of millions of illegals.

Of course, Cardinal Mahony is also wrong in his basic underlying assumption that somehow "profit" and "people" could be at odds. An inherent part of economic freedom is that we may all sell the fruits of our labor and buy the fruits of others' labor. Kinks in that process are inevitably caused by the unseen, unnoticed heavy hand of government and its crooked cronies.

(When some corporations and lobbyists use government to abet their schemes, that is NOT the free market but just the opposite.)

If St. Joseph the Carpenter had not made a PROFIT on the goods he SOLD, he could not have supported the Child Jesus and the Blessed Mother. And Jesus Himself, when old enough to help, took part in this PROFIT-MAKING.

Not only that, but Cardinal Mahony could not have built his cathedral unless his ultra-wealthy donors had amassed their fortunes by making PROFITS.

History and current experience prove that socialized medicine and more government are NOT the answers. They only make things worse for everyone.

For a quick course in economic freedom, check Amazon and eBay for copies of a book ole Q once read, The Law and Cliches of Socialism. No, I don't endorse everything in it by any means, nor is everything in it perfectly in line with our Catholic social teaching. But enough of it is -- and much of it is a great corrective to errors such as "profits over people."

By the way, did Cardinal Mahony or anyone else at this once-a-year public policy assembly use that golden opportunity to defend preborn babies and our God-given right to life, and condemn legalized abortion? Just wondering.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: Many of those "illegals" you accuse of accessing health care services are pregnant women who can't afford or don't know about prenatal care. They are trying to care for and protect their unborn babies. You hypocrite.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you may recall, Cardinal Mahony publicly stood against Proposition 187 (which would have barred undocumented persons from accessing medical care), saying it would put pre-born children and their mothers at risk. Yeah, you are a hypocrite.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 8:32 a.m. and 9:05 a.m.,

In your haste to be judgmental and call names, you are guilty of incredible leaps of logic and entirely unsupportable assumptions.

Go back and read the post again. Nowhere did ole Q say he was against "free" medical care for illegals, let alone pregnant moms and their babies. Nowhere!

All I said was that it is one of the things that has messed up U.S. health care. That is undeniable.

There are ways to fix that problem, but socialized medicine is not one of them.

The ones who are against medical care for moms and preborn babies are the pro-abortion liberals with whom the Cardinal is aligning on socialized medicine.

The pro-abortion liberals killed a measure not long ago that would have made more moms and babies eligible for help, and did so because they thought the measure could lead to calling preborn babies persons under the law.

If you support those pro-abortion politicians on socialized medicine or for any reason whatever, you are the hypocrite.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, Q. You can't talk your way out of this one. Cardinal Mahony never said anything about supporting socialized medicine. But more importantly -- and tellingly -- you introduced the link between undocumented persons and health care. Access to health care -- especially for pre-born babies -- is a human right, not a political system. How many have to die before you realize this? Yes, hyprocrite is an accurate term to describe you on this issue. It is not too late to become a fully pro-life. I urge you to become fully pro-life.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 10:28 a.m.,

I challenge you and all social-justice Catholics to become fully pro-life by becoming activists against abortion.

How many preborn babies have to die before you realize this?

(If you're already an activist against abortion, congratulations!)

By socialized medicine I mean, and anyone would mean, the fully government-ized medicine that Hillary Clinton and others are proposing and that the Cardinal and the pro-SCHIP U.S. bishops certainly have in mind.

Any advocacy of more government in the medical field is extremely risky even only on the grounds that any such extra government control would forever include abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell experiments, artificial contraception, sterilization, etc.

Advocacy for more government control will also pave the way for rationing and futile care policies that will erase poor people's rights and even take their lives.

Your concern for moms and preborn babies rings extremely hollow if you lend aid and comfort to the pro-abortion politicians and policies that every day prey upon poor moms and kill their babies.

No, ole Q is not the hypocrite here. Each and every Catholic who supports pro-abortion politicians and their policies for any reason is undeniably a hypocrite.

Once again, I ask, did Cardinal Mahony or anyone at that forum plead for the lives of preborn babies and denounce abortion?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said anything about being a social justice Catholic? The point is that you are a hypocrite based on your own conflicting statements. Please, please, become fully pro-life. It is not too late for you to say it. Yet, you resist? Why?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 10:28 a.m.,

It is really odd to suggest that only by being for more government intervention / control in medicine can anyone be "fully pro-life."

I notice you have not been able to challenge my main points, which are that government is a big causal factor in U.S. medicine's problems and that "profit over people" is a socialist cliche.

Pointing out that "free" medical care for illegals is a problem in U.S. medicine is not to say that ALL such care is wrong. You need to admit that.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 11:05 a.m.,

The forum we are talking about was a justice and peace event; hence my reference to social justice.

What else are we talking about except Catholic teaching on social justice and economics?

There is no conflict at all in saying that there just might be other ways to help non-citizen moms and their babies than consigning them to government bureaucracy and the dole.

You very much need to start thinking outside your tired, FAILED box of "more government, more welfare, more taxation," which has resulted in TRILLIONS of spending in the last 40 years yet problems are worse than ever.

You also very much need to start comprehending that people who see things a little differently from you are sincerely trying to solve social problems better and are not hypocrites at all.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 11:05 a.m.,

By the way, my saying in these comments that there might be other ways to help non-citizen moms and their preborn babies besides government bureaucracy and the dole does not at all mean I oppose giving them government services now, in their immediate need.

But we also need policies that get as many people as possible on their feet in the long run.

Again, my main points are that urging more government and denigrating economic freedom are bad ideas and too simplistic.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If putting the lives of babies first -- regardless of political agenda or "documentation" -- makes me a simpleton, then I gladly wear the title. I'd rather be a simpleton than a hypocrite. It seems to me that Jesus himself held his harshest criticism for those who thought up elaborate legal and ethical excuses to avoid helping the sick, the outcast, the most vulnerable. Take heed, Q. Please, be consistently pro-life. It's not too late.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

You know, anonymous(es), the real hypocrite here is Cdl. Mahony. He feigns concern for the "poor immigrants" when it suits his political agenda and attempts for secular prestige and influence, but when those same "poor immigrants" are children molested by his own priests, he turns into such a stonewall artist that he makes Richard Nixon look like a model of transparency.

Then again, the American bishops are professional hypocrites. They're nothing but the 21st century versions of the religious leaders of Jesus day, who loved to impress people with their long robes and sit at the places of honor yet do nothing to relieve the legitimate burdens of the people they claim to serve.

Besides, the Catholic bishops don't know a damn thing about economics, macro or micro. Look at the way they manage their dioceses. They're a mess.

One aspect of this ignorance is blind support for illegal immigration. Do you realize that the massive, uncontrolled influx of such immigrants has forced many emergency rooms to close in L.A. County, thus putting physically vulnerable people in dangerous situations? Where's the compassion for them?

As far as putting "profits" over "people" goes, if the arsebishop of Los Angeles really wants to put his money where his mouth is, then he can increase the pay of such people as parochial school teachers and those who have middling jobs in the archdiocese. Mahony has his own bottom line; he just doesn't want to admit it to the "social justice" crown with whom he's trying to curry favor.

If you truly believe this man is sincere, anonymous(es), then you're foolish.

Mahony is not only a disgrace to the Church. He's a disgrace as a man.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 3:54 p.m..

There you go again, as President Reagan used to say.

My friend, I never said anything at all about "avoiding helping the sick, the outcast, the vulnerable."

Liberals love to make the false claims that conservatives want to starve little kids, blow up the planet, wreck the environment, etc.

There is no one on this Earth more outcast and vulnerable than the preborn babies whom abortionists will kill today, tomorrow and the next day thanks to the backing of the politicians whom liberal Catholics support to the hilt.

Obviously, in our USA today, BOTH major political parties support funding literally hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of social spending dollars yearly.

The only difference is that the GOP backs slightly smaller hikes in spending than the Democrats.

Ole Q does believe in helping all pregnant moms and their babies. Pro-abortion liberals are the ones who do not, as I explained earlier.

It's not too late for them to convert to the right to life, but it is too late for all the babies consigned to demise by abortion by the inaction and the outright perfidy of liberal Catholics who vote for the pro-abortion pols.

Saying things such as "You hypocrite" is pretty unloving in tone. Please don't be hostile, okay?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said anything about liberals? There you go again, changing the subject. Be consistently pro-life. Welcome all unborn children to life, regardless of whether the womb of their mother is "documented" or "undocumented." Please be consistently pro-life.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Anonymous, you talk about being "consistently pro-life." Well, is a policy that allows so many immigrants to overwhelm hospitals to such a degree that they have to shut down emergency rooms for critical care "pro-life"?

Again, if Mahony had any testicular fortitude, he and his diocese would offer health insurance for immigrants. After all, wouldn't that be the ultimate "social justice" move? Certainly, his wealthy friends would help him out of a sense of "compassion," wouldn't they?

Of course, not. Why? First, like his fellow bishops, Mahony doesn't know a damn thing about economics, let alone running a business. N or does anybody else in the archdiocese. That's why he won't get financial help for such an enterprise.

Second, these geniuses only care about "compassion" as rhetoric and as a tool to boost their own influence while making others feel guilty (it's the Catholic Way, doncha know?), not as action for which they must sacrifice. A bishop actually sacrificing something of his own? Are you kidding me? Francis of Assisi might as well convert to Islam.

12:30 PM  
Blogger skeetor said...

Are these annonymous guys for real? I smell a troll.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joey the Hippo:
Wow, you are out to lunch, dinner and a movie with your comments. Nowhere in the world does the church step in to provide "health insurance" for a particular population. In your world, only the rich and famous get medical care, and would be able to attend Catholic school. And, what is this about emergency rooms being dangerous for doctors? Can you provide one instance where a doctor has been killed or wounded because too many persons (documented or otherwise) were in the emergency room? Q's comments are hypocritical, but yours are idiotic.

9:51 AM  
Blogger skeetor said...

I forget, logic class was so long ago.

Was that a straw man or a red herring?

6:42 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Anonymous, my point is that if the Church really cared about the poor and vulnerable when it came to health insurance, it would provide an alternative instead of nagging secular goverment. After all, the Church provides schools to educate and hospitals to care for the sick -- and those are businesses as much as they are ministries. Why not do the same thing regarding health insurance?

Simple. The bishops (especially Mahony) prefer to use this issue to gain secular influence and make themsevles look good rather than to help people in a tangible way.

BTW, anonymous who called me "Joey the Hippo," is your name Jim Scott (aka Ben Yachov)? Your rhetorical style is very similar.

P.S.: I bet this is last time we see this "anonymous" on this thread....

4:21 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Skeetor,

Nice to hear from you again! Thanks for writing, and please keep it up!

And yes, I think you are exactly right about smelling trolls.

In this particular case, I've disproven Anonymous's charge but he disregards the proof.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, Hippo Joe. The church advocates for changes in government policy and law which are detrimental to human dignity. The church is not a substitute for secular government. Get your head out of the 12th century and join reality.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Anonymous, I'm not asking the Church to be a substitute for secular government. I'm asking phonies like Mahony and the rest of his fellow bishops to put their money where their mouths are.

BTW, speaking of insurance, did you know that the Knights of Columbus offers life insurance for its members? Granted, the K of C isn't the Church as a whole. But if one Catholic organization can offer life insurance, why can't a diocese or archdiocese offer health insurance for its poorest members?

The point here is that if the bishops really cared about the issue, they would do more than just spew words. However, they don't. They're more interested in bullying others to do their work for them.

BTW, if you say you're not Jim Scott/Ben Yachov, then you're lying.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Tim Adams said...

I am perplexed. How is profit not the single most important factor in a free market?

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L.A. Catholic, thanks for this post. This Anonymous agrees with you. The other Anonymous gives Anonymous a bad name.

7:46 AM  

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