A number of people have pointed out that one of the problems with Pope Francis’s views about “capitalism” is that he’s never actually seen it, as his home nation of Argentina (along with much of the rest of Latin America) practices what is better understood as “corporatism,” which is crony capitalism on steroids—not even capitalism at all. Ian Vasquez of the Cato Institute, citing the database of the invaluable HumanProgress website (do bookmark this site if you’ve never seen it), shows one chart that Pope Francis really ought to take in:
As Vasquez explains:
It shows that in 1896, income per person in the United States and Argentina, two of the richest countries in the world, was about identical. Argentina subsequently eschewed the free market, replacing it with trade protectionism and other corporatist policies intended to help the poor by redistributing wealth. By 2010, Argentine income was a third of that of the United States.