July 3rd 2004


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: NZ Labour legislates to effect 'same-sex marriage'

EDITORIAL: Free Trade Agreement's tilted playing field

ECONOMICS: Setting pay to create new jobs

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Profile of Mark Latham's star new recruit

AGRICULTURE: Western farm subsidies rising, Australia's falling

OVERSEAS DEBT: Foreign debt grows as we live beyond our means

SAME-SEX COUPLES: Gays comprise 0.5 per cent of couples: parliamentary survey

FAMILY: Neurobiology says mothers play vital role

EDUCATION: The gender agenda

POLITICAL IDEAS: Distributism - the neglected tradition

COMMENT: The 'battlers' want jobs, not platitudes

EUROPE: New EU Constitution faces mounting opposition

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Moving the lounge chairs in the retirement village / Still picking up the pieces / Selective indignation

Flouting the law (letter)

Grameen Bank (letter)

Howard Government defended (letter)

Restoring Murray River communities' confidence (letter)

Reagan's wit (letter)

BOOKS: Target North Korea, by Gavan McCormack

BOOKS: An Imperfect God: George Washington, his slaves and the creation of America

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Grameen Bank (letter)


by Rev Fr François Laisney

News Weekly, July 3, 2004
Sir,

The article on Grameen, "Banking on the poor" (News Weekly, May 8), was extremely interesting. It shows by experience itself that following the Natural Law - God's Law - gives a win-win solution both for bankers and customers.

Yunus is quite right to be "highly critical of orthodox economic theory [saying:] 'Economics text-books create the mindsets; mindsets create the world'." All modern economics textbooks start from the false principle that the goal of economics is to make money.

No, money is not a goal, it is a means. Perhaps the poor people served by Yunus are too poor even to consider money as a goal, they need it as a means simply to live.

When money (wealth) is considered according to its nature, simply as a means in the service of a higher, honest goal, it does not blind the mind as when it is considered as a goal.

Means are desired in the measure in which they lead us to the goal pursued through them, but goals are desired absolutely, and without measure.

They only receive a measure if they are means to a further goal. Hence, when money is considered as a goal, it leads to an unquenchable thirst for it, and thus to situations where the financially strong abuse their strength to get as much as they can from the financially weaker.

Private property is good, but not the ultimate good. It is a means to protect freedom and security for the family, and should be distributed much more equally among citizens and not disproportionately accumulated in the hands of a few. It is only a stewardship, for which we will have to render an account to God on the Last Day.

Rev. Fr. François Laisney,
Hampton, Vic




























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