Monday, August 1, 2016

Talk at Harvard by Cardinal Patriarch on Poverty and Wealth

Mgr. Rutherford, Cardinal
Patriarch of St. Stephen
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. 1 August 2016 (ORCNS) - Mgr. Rutherford Johnson, Cardinal Patriarch of St. Stephen, gave a presentation on poverty, wealth, and moral issues in the Global Financial Crisis to a multinational, multicultural, and interfaith audience during a conference held at Harvard University today. His presentation began with a background of ethical problems during the financial crisis and continuing to the present. The Cardinal then discussed the problem of greed leading to such unethical behavior and the possibility that wealth itself could actually stimulate that greed. "When such outcomes result in the leaders of government and commerce," Mgr. Rutherford said, "it places the poor at even greater risk. Furthermore, those who were otherwise financially stable may end up experiencing a decline in their financial well-being due to unethical actions of others."

The presentation continued with methods to include ethics and influence in economics models of consumer decision strategies. Individuals in the economy may be influenced by others. Groups within the economy of individuals that think along the same lines may form, which then may exert influence on others. That may interact with existing individual belief, the Cardinal posited, and change the way individuals behave in the economy. The poor, he said, are particularly vulnerable when either government and industry leaders or large numbers of individuals overall undergo a shift in decision strategy away from that which leads to ethical outcomes.

Mgr. Rutherford also holds a Bachelor's degree in Applied Physics and a Master's degree in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and also a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.