Security means to be sheltered, to be in a safe place. Political security, for example, shelters our nation from intrusions from foreign enemies, and shelters our citizens from thieves and criminals.
Now, let’s talk about economic security. When one talks about economics, one talks about the satisfaction of material needs. Economic security therefore means that one does not need to worry about the necessities of life, that we should not fear lacking the basic necessities of life.
Not to worry about material things does not mean that we must not deal with material things, that we should not produce the necessities of life. Of course not ! It means that once we have done what we can, with the means of production at our disposal, that should ensure that we have at least the basic necessities of life, especially when these necessities are not lacking, and are far from lacking.
It is a fact that the necessities of life are not lacking today, in our country or in the entire world. There could be some nations in distress, but then there are also other nations with an overabundance of goods.
We should therefore not have to worry about the necessities of life. Why can’t we follow the advice given to us by Our Lord: “That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear... Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them... Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these... Your heavenly Father knows you need all these things.” (Matthew 6:25-32.)
Exactly! Our heavenly Father, who is our Creator, has put on earth all that is needed to satisfy the needs of every human being, of all mankind. This does not mean that God has put all these things in one single place or country, but overall, on all the surface of the globe. God has put enough goods and natural resources on the soil, underground, in the seas, in the forests, everywhere, to satisfy the normal needs of mankind through the centuries.
We know that; nobody can deny it. However, for whom has God created all these things? Since He is the Father of all human beings, He has created them for all human beings.
Earthly goods have been created for all human beings. This is something that needs to be repeated to those who forget it: to governments, to various associations, to groups and individuals. Pope Pius XII reminded us of this truth in his Pentecost radio-address of June 1, 1941: “Material goods have been created by God to meet the needs of all men, and must be at the disposal of all of them.”
This is clear. “To meet the needs of all men,” the Pope said. Man is a person, a social person, who lives in society. Man must therefore be able to blossom in society. Society must not suffocate man, but enrich him. Similarly, when a person blossoms, it makes society grow richer. Society helps the individual, and the individual helps society.
This is what normally happens when there are no hindrances, no obstacles. But what do we see today? Even within developed countries like Canada, the United States of America, or nations of Western Europe, one notices that there is an abundance of goods in stores, but at the same time many cases of poverty, families who do without the basic necessities of life, who are obliged to beg, or to ask for aid from governments, whose aid comes only sparingly.
One can see that man excels in producing things today; we can have anything we want as regards production — I do not say we have these products in our homes, but there is anything we want on the market. For example, if we order a coffin, we get a coffin; if we order a car, we get a car; if we order bread, we get bread, provided we have the effective means of ordering goods in today’s world. This means is called money. There is precisely an obstacle as regards money, and we will talk about it later.
If men excel in producing goods, they fail pitifully in distributing these same goods. Why? Because men have chosen to impose on themselves regulations — man-made regulations — for the distribution of goods. These regulations are ruled by Finance. These are financial rules.
It is impossible to obtain goods that one did not produce oneself, unless one pays for them. Most people cannot produce goods because they do not own the means of production. Even those who are employed in production, do not know for how long they will be employed; they can be fired or laid off at any time. Their job depends upon circumstances that they do not control — not natural circumstances, but artificial ones, created by the financial controllers.
One can produce all kinds of goods, but if some goods are not produced, it is because money is not there to finance their production. Moreover, when goods are produced but do not reach the families that need them, it is because these families do not have the money to buy those goods.
Some people will say that production exists to be sold, to be purchased. This is not the purpose of production. Production exists to satisfy human needs, or it has no reason for being. Of course, there is a system of sales and purchases that has been established; we do not deny that it is probably a good thing for it allows those who have some money to choose, among the production offered on the market, what they want. And when they buy what they want, what suits them, the production system makes more similar goods, since there is a demand for them, in such a way that production can serve the consumers when they have the means to express financially their demand of goods to satisfy their personal needs.
People know best what they need, so the present system of sales and purchases, with the use of money, is a good system by itself, provided this system allows products to reach all human beings, to fulfill the aim of production, the plan of the Creator. Material goods have been created by God to meet the needs of all men. Whatever the method used, it must achieve this result. If it does not achieve it, it is either bad or corrupted. Then it must either be changed or corrected.
One must not forget that the aim of economics is to produce goods, and to get these goods to those who need them, nothing else. Here is an example of the aim of economics — and I will not use the technical jargon used by orthodox economists: financial crisis, economic fluctuations, etc.; all this gibberish leads us nowhere.
The example I will quote is taken from the Gospel. Some people will say: “Oh! Can one quote the Gospel for a material purpose?” Well, listen. I do not say that this is the only meaning one can give to this passage of the Gospel, but one can certainly extract this meaning from it. What is this passage? It is the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, as reported in Matthew 14:13-21, in which Jesus fed a multitude, so that they would not faint — which is a material concern indeed:
“Jesus took a boat from the place where He was, and withdrew into desert country, to be alone; but the multitudes from the towns heard about it, and followed Him there by land. So, when He disembarked, He found a great multitude there, and He took pity on them, and healed those who were sick.
“And now it was evening, and His disciples came to Him and said, `This is a lonely place, and it is past the accustomed hour; give the multitudes leave to go into the villages and buy themselves food there.’ But Jesus told them, `There is no need for them to go away; it is for you to give them food to eat.’ They answered, “We have nothing with us, except five loaves and two fishes.’ `Bring them to Me here,’ He said. Then He told the multitudes to sit down on the grass, and when the five loaves and the two fishes were brought to Him, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples, and the disciples gave them to the multitude. All ate and had enough, and when they picked up what was left of the broken pieces, they filled twelve baskets with them; about five thousand men had eaten, not reckoning women and children.”
Jesus took the loaves and fishes, blessed them, and said to His disciples: “Distribute them.” And when they picked up the pieces, there was more bread at the end than at the beginning. It is was a miracle indeed, a miracle of production. This miracle was done by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
And then distribution took place! And the bread was neither sold nor purchased! Yet, the bread reached those who were hungry. Our Lord said to the Apostles: “Distribute.” It is not difficult when production already exists; the Apostles did the easy part.
Today, there is no need for miracles to multiply the bread; modern production takes care of it, with all the progress that has been accumulated over the past centuries. There is plenty of production today: it is the difficult thing to do that is actually realized. However, the easier thing to do, to distribute this production, cannot be achieved today.
Why? Because of the present financial system that men decided to impose upon themselves. The human being must come before Finance, the human person must come before money, and governments, or nations, must establish an order that will allow production to reach those who need it. This is what Pope Pius XII said, in the same radio-address mentioned above:
“Every man indeed, as a reason-gifted being, has, from nature, the fundamental right to make use of the material goods of the earth, though it is reserved to human will and the juridical forms of the peoples to regulate, with more detail, the practical realization of that right.”
“From nature,” the Pope said, or because of the simple fact that a person is born. Not because this person is employed, or smart, or tall, or rich, etc. Every man, the Pope said, has this right, and it comes from nature. It is therefore not a right that can be granted or denied by the government or the financial system, for every man already possess this right since his birth.
However, to exercise this right, the Pope reminded us that “it is reserved to human will and the juridical forms of the peoples to regulate, with more detail, the practical realization of that right.” Juridical forms, a social or political order, that will allow production to reach all those who need it.
Do we have this order today? Alas, no! Why? Don’t governments and peoples have the power to establish such an order? Yes, but they do not apply it. There are some people who do have at least the necessities of life, but it is not even sure they will enjoy it forever.
In the same address, the Pope continues and says: “National economy must tend to do nothing but to ensure, without interruption, the material conditions in which the individual life of the citizens will be able to develop fully.” We are therefore talking about personal economic security here.
Some people will say: “Do not our governments already recognize this right with their social security laws?” Yes, there are such laws today, like the old-age pensions, family allowances, unemployment insurance, etc. But this financial aid is granted to people in dribs and drabs, and it is based on the country’s capacity to tax, instead of the country’s capacity to produce. Moreover, there is the begging aspect for those who receive these benefits, and the inquiring aspect on the part of government departments.
These negative aspects should be eliminated, and we should progressively go to another system, which is more in keeping with human dignity. What system? The one presented by the Social Credit (or Economic Democracy) proposals, which will be explained in other articles, for this one is already long enough. Economic security is certainly part of a better world, a world that would be better for all.