President Barack Obama on Wednesday cited Pope Francis’ critical take on trickle-down economics in an address laying out his second-term economic priorities.
“Some of you may have seen just last week the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length,” Obama said at en event for the Center for American Progress. “How can it be, he wrote, that it’s not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points. But this increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country. And it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.”
“The problem is, that alongside increased inequality, we’ve seen diminished levels of upward mobility in recent years,” he added. “A child born in the top 20 percent has about a two in three chance of staying at or near the top. A child born into the bottom 20 percent has a less than one in 20 shot at making it to the top. He’s 10 times likelier to stay where he is.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.