It seems that, despite formidable evidence to the contrary, some spokesmen for the St Vincent de Paul Society still believe that the way to reduce poverty is to “redistribute” income from the most productive to the
less productive and to extort more from the most fruitful investors ... the “rich” (The rich must pay to stamp out poverty, CW 20/5).
This approach can’t work for a number of reasons. Here are some:
The tax “take” from the relatively rich is relatively small.
The large middle class pay the bulk of taxes.
In any event punitive taxes are counterproductive.
The rich, at some point, will be
less inclined to produce and more inclined to seek tax shelters generally unavailable to the middle class. They will employ fewer people and probably retire earlier from productive enterprise.
rates will generally increase tax receipts. The US experience in the ’80s demonstrated this.
Only wealth creation can provide genuine prosperity, and what we should all be calling for from our politicians is
an economic environment within which the potentially rich are encouraged to increase and multiply.
Trying to enrich the poor by making the rich poorer may well incite the baser emotions of the envious and
the ill-informed but will remain an exercise in futility.
The Vinnies spokesmen should think again.
Peter J Burt
St Vincent de Paul
AN ‘INCONGRUITY OF AGONISING CONCERN’
The article, Pope, cardinals meet to shape the future (CW 27/5), covering the extraordinary consistory of cardinals, would be hilarious if it were
not sad and serious.
In The Catholic Weekly of of February 4, 2001, you stated that the average age of the 118 elector cardinals is 71.5 years, that there are only seven cardinals under the age of 60 and that
the ‘new’ cardinals named in January had an average age of more than 70.
This incongruity must surely be of agonising concern to the majority of thinking Catholics.
If the Church, as an organisation,
wishes to shape the future, discernment needs to come from an infinitely wider representation than ageing celibate males!
POPE LIT FIRE IN SMOKE DEBATE
Greg O’Regan says in his letter (Burning question, CW 27/5) that he is puzzled by the inclusion of the smoking ceremony at the welcoming liturgy for Archbishop
Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral.
I get my wise teaching on the matter from Pope John Paul II.
On November 29, 1986, he said to the Aboriginal people at Alice Springs: “As you listen to the Gospel of Our
Lord Jesus Christ, seek out the best things of your traditional ways.
“If you do, you will come to realise more and more your great human and Christian dignity ... you are part of Australia, and Australia is
part of you.
“And the Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully
received by others.”
May I suggest that if inquirers want to find out more about the best things of the traditional ways of our indigenous brothers and sisters, they might contact the leaders of the
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in their own diocese, and arrange a conversation with them.
Via Alice Springs
SAINTLY POSTSCRIPT TO ANSWER
Fr Lucas’s answer to the Divine Mercy question (CW 27/5) needs an important postscript.
Sr Faustina was canonised on April 30, 2000, Mercy Sunday.
PROTEST MARCH CLOSES SEX SHOP
Thanks for the coverage of our march against the operation of a sex shop in Merrylands.
Due to the tireless efforts of some local people, we managed to gather enough damaging evidence against this insidious family-destroying business to, God willing, close its doors forever.
We are advised that this closure is the first of its kind in Australia.
The ‘people’s interest’ is a powerful force in matters of this nature.
We plan a huge march against pornography – the sex shops
in particular – in Parramatta in Springtime.
The phenomenon of X-rated videos poured out into our families from the doors of these places is only now beginning to show its grave lasting effect.
During our brief local investigation of this damage we were alarmed at the marriage break-up directly attributed to the viewing of X-rated videos.
If you consider the matter a serious threat to our children
and families, consider joining us in the Parramatta march.
We would hope that it will attract people from all over Sydney, making it a Sydney march in Parramatta.
Fr Bray, parish priest of Merrylands,
has shown us great leadership and given us great encouragement during our fight.
Protecting Human Dignity
ON BEHALF OF THE DISABLED
The Federal Budget has nothing for DSP recipients (disabled pensioners).
I have DSP friends, some wheelchair bound, who – only with the aid of nearly
insolvent, Federally underfunded, charities – are barely able to survive on the already “below the poverty level”, mean-spirited, DSP pension.
They do not even get the much vaunted $300 grant, which would
buy them such luxuries as badly needed clothes!
No Government MP has raised the plight of disabled pensioners.
John X Berlin