Can Ken Langone Strong-Arm the Pope?

Two years ago, I warned plutocrats like Ken Langone:

“Seriously; ease up a bit. You are riding for a fall. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

But did they listen? Hell no. They kept right on exporting jobs, importing millions of immigrants to beat down wages, and sequestering the resulting trillions of profits in the Cayman Islands where they can’t be taxed by Uncle Sam, thus causing a budget crisis. After years of “recovery” we still have mass unemployment, mass poverty, and 47 million people on food stamps.

And now look what’s happened: the plutocrats have a Jesuit pope getting in their face, who is, shall we say, “trickling” all over their precious trickle-down economics.

Take that, plutocrats!

Today, the American Oligarchy worships the Golden Calf more fervently than ever. Pope Francis was not exaggerating when he wrote that free-market economics has been deified. A prime example was when the Catholic Larry Kudlow said that if the free-market dictated that all factories be moved out of the USA, then it should be allowed (See “Larry Kudlow is Pure Evil – Part 2.”)

Last week, Catholic billionaire Ken Langone (of Home Depot fame) struck back against Pope Francis by threatening to withhold donations from the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral renovation project. What are his chances of pressuring the Pope to walk-back his rhetoric? Not very good, I think. As I mentioned, Pope Francis is a Jesuit, and the Jesuits are not called “God’s Marines” for nothing. Pope Francis is more likely to parachute into New York, stab the heretical Langone in the eye with a sharpened crucifix, and repo Langone’s “Knight of Saint Gregory” medal.

When Saint Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus in 1540, his dream was to operate in the Holy Land, going around barefoot, converting people to Christianity, like Jesus. But the church deployed his Jesuits to Europe to beat back the Protestants. And that they did. The Jesuits prevented the Protestants from taking France, and re-conquered Austria and much of Germany. Just ask the French Huguenot Protestants about the Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre:

“In Bordeaux the inflammatory sermon on September 29 of a Jesuit, Edmond Auger, encouraged the massacre that was to occur a few days later.”

Ancient history you say? Well, it wasn’t so long ago that Jesuits were battling right-wing death squads in Central America. For example, in 1989, six Jesuits were massacred in El Salvador. So, there is no chance that Ken Langone will dissuade Pope Francis from his left-wing commentary, which is normal for a Jesuit (see: Liberation Theology).

The Jesuits are like the CIA of the Church, and now, for the first time ever, both the Black Pope and the White Pope are Jesuits. Is it significant that the Church has discarded its traditional separation-of-powers policy? I don’t know, but it sure was significant when the former CIA Director George H.W. Bush became president. That’s when our disastrous attempt to conquer the Middle East began.

So, if the Vatican is planning some kind of Pope-ify Wall Street campaign, Ken Langone is playing right into their hands. After all, the church does need new recruits, and maybe some of the 47 million people on food stamps could be inspired to join up.

Ironically, the conflict between Langone and Cardinal Dolan is a conflict between plutocrats. Dolan, who is trying to raise money to finish sprucing up his palace, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, is the largest property owner in New York City according to The Economist. Dolan probably oversees more than $1.5 billion of real estate.

So, what would Jesus do? My guess is that he would sell the cathedral and use the money to minister to the 22,000 homeless children in New York City.

CNBC’s, Michelle Cuckoo-Cabeza asked Cardinal Dolan if he would be taking Langone’s complaints to the Pope. Dolan laughed and said no. I saw the exchange on TV, but it seems to have been cut out of the video clips available on But it is in the transcript:

MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA: So, you won’t be speaking to the Pope about the concerns?



CARDINAL DOLAN: No, I don’t think so. I won’t be doing that, no. No.

MICHELLE CARUSO-CABRERA: Is there any possibility of a dialogue, just to talk about the wealthy in America, that Ken Langone contends is really different than wealthy in most other parts of the world? That there’s a uniquely American philanthropy?

I doubt the church has any better economic plan than our Oligarchs do. The Jesuits would probably take us right back to a feudalistic Dark Ages. So, instead of having 47 million people on food stamps, we might have 52 million. But I must admit, I am enjoying watching Pope Francis make our Oligarchs sweat.

Michelle Cuckoo-Cabeza

A few years ago, while watching CNBC, I almost fell out of my chair when one of the anchors said something like:

“Yes, Hugo Chavez is a dictator, but there is a serious income-inequality problem in Venezuela.”

A CNBC anchor criticizing plutocracy! Bizarre, right? Well, that was Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.

However, in 2011, “MCC” was sent to Europe to report on the financial panic. From Rome, she reported on the scourge of overpaid Roman cab drivers. In another report, she carried on about how the only solution for countries like Italy was to smash unions and beat down wages.

Quite a change of philosophy, right? I then went to Amazon and did “search inside” on her book for “Venezuela”. Not a word about income inequality.

So, what happened to MCC? I like to think that she got a memo from her boss, the “Jobs Czar” saying something like this:

“One more criticism of plutocracy and you will be reporting from Mongolia! Even if it is in an enemy country like Venezuela, plutocracy is plutocracy, damn it! And your job is to pimp plutocracy! Now hop to it!”

Of course, you can’t blame MCC for joining Team Plutocracy. After all, according to Wikipedia, income-inequality is even worse in the USA than it is in Venezuela. And one simply cannot expect to have a career in corporate America while being an advocate for the small people.

And what about those Roman cab drivers? Did they really bankrupt Italy? I don’t know, but last time I checked, labor unions have been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and Italy has done just fine for most of its history. If the unions were choking Italy, how come Italy has a $2 trillion economy? The 8th largest in the world?

But yes, unions can be a problem. Imagine a Midwestern town in the USA that had all of its factories sent to Mexico and China, and its service centers to India. It has double-digit unemployment, tax revenues are down, and the city can no longer afford to pay “exorbitant” wages to its union workers.

That is indeed a problem. But maybe it’s more a problem of globalism, no?

And why may I ask is the solution to any economic problem to beat down wages? Why isn’t the solution to raise the wages of German and Chinese workers instead?

Speaking of which, in CNBC’s coverage of Italy’s problems, I didn’t hear one word about how cheap imports from China have ravaged Italy’s industrial economy. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall hearing that mentioned at all in our corporate-owned media. We have to go to the British media to learn the term “wage dumping”. Here is the great AEP on the subject:

“Oskar Lafontaine, a leader of Germany’s Linke (Left) party, said the euro was hurtling towards destruction on current policies. He blamed Germany’s system of screwing down wages to undercut other EMU countries – or “wage dumping” – for causing the imbalances behind the eurozone crisis. “A shared currency cannot work without coordination of wage policy. Once wages have diverged as far as they have in recent years, devaluation and revaluation is the only way out.”

And Italy’s problems are not so much different than our own. After all, the difference between Germany’s and Italy’s wages are miniscule compared to those of the USA ($23 per hour) and Mexico, India, and China ($2 per hour). And thanks to the Beijing-imposed yuan-dollar currency peg, we also have a “shared currency” with China, just as Italy does with Germany.

Of course, such “labor arbitrage” is the very Engine of Plutocracy. So, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to be discussed on CNBC. And if the USA is ever graced with a populist dictator like Hugo Chavez, the Plutocracy will have only itself to blame.

Note to Plutocracy: Seriously; ease up a bit. You are riding for a fall. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Note: Here is a post I wrote about MCC’s assertion that “factory jobs are dumb.”