By Ron Paul
I have a lot of mixed feeling about the Pope's recent visit to Congress. I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but I really don't like it when spiritual leaders get involved with promoting ideas that I believe are detrimental to the people.
When the Pope promotes big government programs and government co-opting charity, it reflects a lack of understanding of how markets work. If you're really concerned about the poor, you're not looking for government redistribution of wealth.
At one time, the churches and synagogues in the U.S. fought hard for separation from government. They did not want to be co-opted in helping those in need.
I can relate to this with my own experience. My parents were always involved with Meals-on-Wheels. They were involved for many years, and it was always voluntarily done through the church. But towards the end, when my Dad was in his 80's or 90's and still making the trips, he became disappointed because he said: "You know...now government's getting involved." It didn't collapse Meals-on-Wheels, but to my Dad, it was part of his church work.
Think about our hospitals. How were the great hospitals started? Through the churches and voluntarism. There was no great federal funding for our hospitals. The same goes for our universities. So many of us have sadly given up on the fact that this stuff happens without the force of the government.
A real understanding of free markets and voluntary transactions is sorely lacking today. We've lost the ability to believe in ourselves, and have fallen for the lie that governments can solve our problems. The trend can be reversed, and it has to be reversed, in order for us to get out of the giant mess that we're in.
Thank you, and please tune in Monday to the next Liberty Report!