This article was first published by Maelo Manning here:
I was on ‘The Big Questions’ today at 10 am. The debate was about whether the Pope was right to condemn ‘unregulated capitalism’ in his New Year message. I was invited onto the programme to give my view.
In his message the Pope said: “Although the world is sadly marked by hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism…”
Unregulated capitalism is a disastrous economic role model for children. It is a false state. I am 13 and I see children aspiring to be the 1% but they don’t realise the effort it takes to get there. Children’s lives are filled with excessive spending. When you are exposed to tales of money making and excessive spending it gives the impression that money grows on trees. Competition among the youth is about spending their parent’s money and the latest fads and outdoing each other. Competition isn’t about personal effort anymore.
I have seen the change in other children as I have grown up. The invisible hand belongs to Manon. Children have stopped trying. It is a ‘who cares?’ attitude among all the classes. The children of the super-rich know that they will inherit, the middle-class have a sense of entitlement and the working class think that no one cares anymore. A lack of aspiration is a commonality among all the classes.
This is what happens when there is no causal link between the top of the economic scale and the bottom. We are starting to see extreme outcomes: the Foodbanks serving the hungry, suicide rates among the disabled growing and hate crime is on the rise. Unregulated capitalism offers short termism and false hope. It deprives sustainable self-ambition for children.
Why can’t an economic model of capitalism be treated as a developmental issue? Economic issues should be the basis for social justice.