Friday, 19 February 2016

Economics, Donald Trump and the Pope

I was very interested to hear the attack on Donald Trump by the Pope.  The Pope is a man who lives in the Vatican - a country surrounded by a wall.  He singled Mr Trump out as a bad person for wanting to build a wall along a US border. 
A few hundred years ago an attack like this would have been serious stuff, a bit like the ex-communication of Henry VIII for having too many wives.

Donald isn't exactly one of my favourite people but l couldn't understand why a religious man like the Pope was targeting him so fiercely.  Surely, there were bigger fish to fry when it comes to 'bad' people, why was "the Donald" his target rather than Vladimir Putin, ISIS or President Assad for example?

With so many war crimes and human rights violations at the moment (e.g. Syria, and China) why was the Pope so angry about the idea of Donald building a wall to stop latinos illegally entering the US?  Afterall, isn't illegally entering the US a bit sinful? 

In any case, this is hardly the worst policy Donald has in mind, but most people would say Donald is hardly the most evil politician on the planet either.  I was mystified - why wasn't the Poop tweeting about the Russians bombing hospitals in Syria instead?

For me, a lot of life comes down to money statistics and I had a look at the BBC website to look at the statistics:

"Latin America accounts for 483 million catholic church members, or 41.3% of the world total.  Of the 10 countries in the world with the most Catholics, four are in Latin America."

I then had a look at the Economist to follow the money: the Economist in 2012 estimated the Church had an income of $170 Billion per year.

Crudely speaking Latin America could be worth say, $50 Billion of the total annual pot, equivalent to a revenue of $1 Billion per week.

If a good few Latinos are pleased by the Pope's sound bite and decided to put an extra 10% in the collection on Sunday that would be a $100 million a revenue boost.  If they kept it up we could be talking $ Billions.

I'm not suggesting the Popes follows the money like I do.  I'm just noting there aren't as many putting into the collection plate each week in Syria or China as there are in, Mexico and a couple of other places south of the Mexican border.  It is a possible explanation for the Pope's interest in Mr Trump? 
I just do the numbers, l leave the drawing of conclusions to others.

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