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Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech on ‘The Good Economy’

Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech on ‘The Good Economy’

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby:

Creativity is a basic human function, and a good economy is one that enables creativity to happen. That is why full employment matters, investment in education is essential, skills development is core, and businesses of all kinds should be given the space to develop and create wealth (and to fail), to create employment and prosperity for the society in which they live, it is a God-given call and function.

The market is an extraordinarily efficient mechanism of distribution in a complex society and hugely liberating of human creativity. No better form of allocation of resources has been found, and the alternatives have always led to inhumanity or even tyranny. At the same time the market cannot create or sustain the shared morality needed to ensure that it works carefully and lovingly at every level.

Adam Smith famously spoke with equal conviction of the dangers of market manipulation as he did of the invisible hand. The experience of 2008 shows that the complexity of human motivation and greed can never be left to the market to deal with. There is no such thing as a level playing field if human beings are involved, and there is no such thing as a fully fair and free market. It doesn’t exist.

The Church of England Media Centre has a roundup of news reports on the speech.

Reports state Justin Welby said companies should pay their “fair share” of taxes in the countries where they earn their revenues and that big business is not exempt from the Christian principle of “paying what’s due”. Reports also note he said this did not mean that “business is bad” and that it was important to “affirm” the role of wealth creation.

Posted by John B. Chilton


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