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'Bishops and Economics'

November 03, 1985

As a Roman Catholic and a student of economics, I am furious over the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' new pastoral letter on the U.S. economy. It is absolutely a piece of trash. Your editorial supporting their letter is of the same genre.

The bishops see our current economic problem as caused by free enterprise capitalism, and they propose government intervention as the solution. I'm afraid they have it backwards. Our economy suffers because of government intervention, and the bishops are merely recommending more of the same.

Haven't they ever heard of the New Deal, the Great Society, and other government welfare programs? It is these policies that have failed, not free enterprise. Free enterprise was severely stunted with the onslaught of the New Deal, and it has been in a steady decline ever since. Government spending has increased, the deficit has increased, the national debt has increased, and taxation has increased. Most of all, the number of people on welfare has increased.

But the bishops seem to believe that America is currently the epitome of the free market and that we are suffering its "catastrophic" effects. That view is so far removed from reality, it's laughable. It is their own liberal policies that have failed. More of the same will only bring our complete destruction.

GARY WALTERSCHEID Huntington Park

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