Woods, Storck, Fleming et al.

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Writes Professor Michael King of Benedictine College:

Stephen Kinsella hits the mark with his conclusion that the disagreements of Fleming and Storck are economic disagreements, and it is “monstrous to use the cover of the Church’s magisterium to give credibility to one’s secular, economic arguments.”

One thing that struck me when reading Storck’s piece was the sense that he was almost desperate not only to win an economic argument, but to end the debate.

To wit, consider this important claim made by Storck:

“What can one say in reply to Woods, then? First, that since a whole series of popes has taught certain moral truths connected with economics which they believed was entirely within their competence, it is monstrous for anyone claiming to be a Catholic to argue against this teaching, and second, that what Woods represents as the teaching of economics is in fact simply one economic view among many, and that thus it is not the science of economics that is at odds with Catholic doctrine, but simply one school of thought representing ultimately the fallible reasoning of human beings.”

This passage only makes sense if Storck is claiming that when popes write on economics, they are teaching “certain moral truths” rather than “simply one economic view among many.”But he betrays himself later in the piece with these two revealing comments: “In fact, the Austrian school, to which Woods adheres, is a minority school of economists.” [emphasis original] and “…but there are other schools of economic thought whose finding harmonize well with Catholic social thought.”

Hmmm. Sounds to me like Mr. Storck is using the “cover of the Church’s magisterium” to score points for his own line of economic thinking. To paraphrase Tom Woods, is it not a weird coincidence that most who speak or write on Catholic social teaching support heavy interventionism?

And, is it not surprising that as their policies sink deeper into failure, they seek further cover under the authority of the popes.

9:15 am on June 24, 2004