CNBC host Larry Kudlow isn’t confident that Pope Francis understand freedom.
During a segment last week, the advocate of laissez-faire capitalism questioned some of the Pope’s comments on the economy.
“Pope John Paul II, I think, had a much more market friendly approach to all of this over a period of time,” Kudlow said. “And I think that’s because he lived under Soviet communist rule, which is even worse than Argentina, obviously, so he understood that the socialists systems or even the quasi-socialist systems have no freedom. I’m not sure this Pope really understands that.”
Francis has warned that “unbridled capitalism” leads to the systematic exploitation of people and described low-wage labor as slavery. He has also decried the “dictatorship of the economy” and “cult of money.”
Kudlow’s guest, Professor Mathew N. Schmalz, said Francis was interested in reaffirming basic Catholic principles and values.
Kudlow replied that capitalism was the best way to help the poor because “the rising tide lifts all boats.”
“I think one of the questions is whether you see capitalism working as, you know, a rising water level raising all boats or whether you see people siphoning water off at the source and leaving other people high and dry,” Schmalz said. “So I would ask you whether would you be willing to go along with very stringent regulations in terms of economic activity in order to make sure that the playing field is actually fair?”
“No, I would not,” Kudlow responded. “I don’t believe in stringent economic regulations — I do believe in safety regulations. I think economic regulations gets us back to state socialism.”