Freedom, dignity, and economic theory

"Freedom, dignity, and economic theory" Continued...

Issue: "A warmer Chile," Nov. 9, 2002

Electoral structure plus timidity affects not only education but every aspect of politics. "The only way to win an election in Chile is to be as ambiguous as possible, to be a very good communicator but not engage in open debate. [Compassionate conservatives are] putting forward honest, decent people and solving little problems. That's a vote-getter, but I am not comfortable with that. We need to ignite real change." Still, he is optimistic: "Our economy is now a Mercedes-Benz. The government is putting a mixture of water and gas in its tank, but the Mercedes-Benz is still there."

The 19th-century economist Adam Smith wrote about both money and morality; the economist Pinera hopes for a religious revival. "I have always been telling my uncle [who is head of the Roman Catholic Church in Chile] that the Protestants speak about God, faith, and prayer, so of course they are touching a nerve. Protestants are taking people out of poverty, stressing the daily virtues that lead to a better life and a hard-working life, not drinking. The Catholic Church needs to change." But Mr. Pinera then pulled out from under his blue shirt a cross that he wears on a thin chain around his neck, and said, "This is one thing that does not change. This makes the difference. I am an economist, but I am not preaching macro-economics. My passion is for human freedom and dignity. Without capuchino you can still live. But capuchino without dignity is nothing."

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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