… is from page 203 of UCLA economist William Allen’s wonderful 1989 collection of the transcripts of his radio addresses, The Midnight Economist; specifically, it’s from Allen’s April 1988 radio address entitled “The Scarcity of Ecclesiastical Clarity”:
It is not obviously inappropriate on grounds of morality that different productivities be differently rewarded – and if we are to produce much, high productivity must be relatively well rewarded.
Producing things is often considered ungenteel and best ignored by the pure of heart. How much more refined to wait for manna from heaven. But, realistically, to have much to distribute, some will have to produce much.
DBx: Too many religious leaders – be they politicians or Popes – are far too quick to demonize productive people in market economies (because productive people in market economies generally are the financially wealthiest people in market economies) and to look upon relatively poor people in market economies as victims of productive people (despite the fact that poor people in market economies are far wealthier than are poor people in non-market economies). These religious leaders (two of whom are pictured above) are utterly ignorant of economics. They see the amount of material wealth as being, if not absolutely fixed, independent of private, individual human initiative, risk-taking, and creativity. For them, wealth exists, and the rich are those who, mostly through deviousness or outright force, manage to acquire for themselves disproportionately (“unfairly”) large shares – thus leaving too little for others.
As I say, these religious leaders, regardless of how eloquent they might be, are utterly ignorant of economics. As a result, their understanding of economic reality is worse than that of ten-year-old children.