In his Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel” with the above-cited Latin title, Pope Francis recently voiced a distinctly timely concern that is quite relevant even to the Philippines he is scheduled to visit early next year. An economist he is not. Much less is he an industrialist or a capitalist. But he can have all the advice he needs from all trustworthy experts in business and industry he seeks in order to know and be ascertained of the ground realities of socio-economic developmental issues and concerns. Based on his personal knowledge and experience from his own country of birth, and premised on the pieces of advice he received from trusted experts, he makes and pronounces his own judgment on the so-called developmental phenomenon from the top to the bottom. Thus he writes in an Apostolic Exhortation addressed to all the people the world over – a small portion of which is below cited:
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 54)
The above papal pronouncement brings about long-existing, false, repeated and insisted upon socio-economic allegations supposedly in favor of the poor when those engaged in big national and international business and industry become progressively richer, wealthier. In other words, such few and chosen opulent corporations with the collaboration of alleged able economic advisers, proclaim in unison that in due time, the poor will be eventually benefited by such economic development at the top level of society through the so-called “trickle-down theories” – a deceiving song which even the present administration loudly and repeatedly sings. In other words, it is trumpeted by governments and their business allies that the big material gains of well-known industrial corporations under the management of likewise few known local and foreign capitalists at the top of the economic pyramid, will ultimately benefit the poor at the base of the social milieu “in due time”.
Well, Pope Francis himself formally said that such is but an assumption, a theory, an opinion. Reasons: The fact is that the poor remain poor if not even poorer, notwithstanding all such economic developments and industrial growth in the world – the Philippines well included. When Pope Francis comes, after seeing the poverty of so many Filipinos and noting the wealth of a few capitalists, he will come to know more how right he is in making his above-quoted observation.
Pope Francis: Welcome! Mabuhay!