When the economic model born after World War II gives signs of declining, at a time when finance tends to displace the economy, when the model of integration — of an inclusive social State with a social contract that unites social classes toward shared objectives — is in difficulty, the time has come to question the economy, which is not only the GNP, but which should be at the service of man.
These are the topics that will be addressed by the Congress “Towards a More Human and Just Economy: A New Inclusive Economic Paradigm in a Context of Growing Inequalities,” which will be held in Rome on September 21, and which was presented Monday in the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi; by the Italian economist and former President of the Council of Ministers Giuliano Amato, today President of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” Foundation, and by Italy’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Daniele Mancini.
The Congress, organized by the Italian Embassy to the Holy See in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Culture, will be held at the headquarters of the said Embassy, located in Rome’s Parioli neighborhood, and in the context of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” an initiative geared to opening an area of high-level dialogue with individuals of other beliefs and non-believers, on subjects of interest for humanity.
Distinguished individuals will take part, such as Professor Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Prize for Economics, and docent at Princeton University; French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi, and Belgian economist Dominique Y van der Mensbrugghe, docent at Purdue University.
Cardinal Ravasi explained that the forum will reflect further on relations between the economy and society, and on the need to articulate “new more human and inclusive economic models. Among the different ideas, Cardinal Ravasi pointed out that the economy is not finance, because finance is an instrument, that we are suffering an anorexia, and that economics is a humanistic science.
Therefore, the Cardinal added that it is important to describe human nature if possible, and identify a basic category, which we can discuss, with the ethical consequences and options, and the concrete questions of 60 journalists from among the 300 present.
”I represent the side of believers in the Courtyard of the Gentiles, who seek answers to the new problems,” said Dr Amato, recalling that the Courtyard of the Gentiles was born of an intuition of Pope Benedict XVI, because “in this search there is no reason to be divided even though with different fundamentals.”
In addition, Italy’s former Minister and former President of the Council stressed that a present-day priority is that “no one remain behind,” because “the most troubling fact of our crisis is the growth of inequalities, not because one who earns more earns even more, but because many lost and fell behind.” “Something like this will happen in the planet if too many stay behind and not only because of the temperature,” he noted.
Therefore, he pointed out that one of the participants in the Congress will be Angus Deaton, who in his recent book took the idea of the film “The Great Escape.” And his question, said Dr Amato, is that there was in the world a great flight from poverty, with good conditions of life as never before in history, but not for all. Meanwhile, the question remains: What happens to those that are left behind? Therefore, it is important that the economy be again a source of progress for many, not just for a few.
Italy’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Daniele Mancini, pointed out that there will be talk on the globalization of the economy and its ethical dimensions. And although such a complex topic cannot be covered in one afternoon, this will be – as Mother Teresa said – “our contribution, our drop of water in the vast sea.”
Mancini said it is a subject of absolute priority at the global level “because that winning model that began at the end of World War II is yielding to the idea of an inclusive social State with a social contract that unites the social classes towards shared objectives.” The issue is to question oneself on an economy placed at the service of man.
The Italian Ambassador added that economists, academics, members of international commissions working with the North and South of the world will take part in the event, with the idea that development is much more than the growth of the GNP.