THE Vatican waded into the debate over the financial crisis this week, when the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace released a paper titled Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority. Despite some interesting analysis, as Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute has pointed out, on the problems caused by fiat currencies, the papacy’s note shows a curious enthusiasm for the idea of a global financial body to keep past excesses in check. At times, it is a vision of such naive optimism as to be almost heartbreaking. Who, in the midst of the ineffectual, self-serving, horse-trading muddle of the Eurozone’s political wrangling, can hear without incredulity the announcement that “the Authority shall have the specific purpose of the common good, and will have to work and not be structured as an additional lever of power of the powerful over the weak.” Continue reading
Monthly Archives: October 2011
THERE has been a running controversy in the Forum this week about the rate of technological innovation. After an article by Norman Lewis argued that too much praise for Steve Jobs was a distraction from the importance of truly revolutionary scientific discoveries and world-shaping technological breakthoughs, readers have enthusiastically joined the debate, arguing both sides. Continue reading
I WISH David Cameron would stop insulting my wife.
Of course, he doesn’t think he’s doing anything of the kind. His speech on immigration this week was scattered with careful phrases about wanting “the brightest and the best”, in between all the paragraphs detailing the slam of the national gate and the screwing tight of visa restrictions. He even deigned to drop the suggestion that employers should have to publish the number of immigrants they employ. But that is cold comfort: this was a statement about the need to cut immigrants’ numbers hard. Such words don’t make any newcomers feel welcome here. Continue reading
AMERICA’S left may finally have found its answer to the Tea Party. Over the last four weeks, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has gone from a local curiosity to a national phenomenon, with copycat protests in several cities across the US, including Washington DC. In a sure sign that it is being taken more seriously, this week OWS has found both Hollywood celebrities and big labour unions trying to shelter under its anti-corporatist banner. Its moment in the spotlight may soon pass, but then, people said the same thing of the Tea Party, mocking and marginalising its members until their persistence and anti-tax integrity made grudging acceptance the only option. Continue reading