New idols. Pope Francis writes that "worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings."
The world has created new idols through the worship of money, free-markets and consumer-based capitalism to the point where "human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded." We are currently witnessing "a globalization of indifference" where the poor are intentionally ignored.
Trickle-down economics. The term trickle-down economics has been used by financial conservatives to mean allowing the wealthy to do business without obligation of regulation or taxation. The profits made by big business then supposedly trickle down to lower levels of the economic ladder.
"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," the Pope writes. "This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
Greed. Pope Francis points out that today's economy sustains greed. "While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. The thirst for power and possessions know no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule."
Indifference. Francis also points out that today's economy creates a globalization of indifference. "To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed."