Pope Francis used an Easter message to advocate for a socialist "universal basic wage."
Writing to the leaders of social movements across the globe, Francis said universal basic income, something that only far-left American politicians support, would achieve an "ideal."
"This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out," Francis wrote. "It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights."
Francis went on to write that western civilization needs to "downshift" from its "individualistic" way of life rife with "disproportionate profits."
"Our civilization — so competitive, so individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its extravagant luxuries, its disproportionate profits for just a few — needs to downshift, take stock, and renew itself," he said.
The thrust of Francis's Easter message is consistent with the core biblical theme of justice for vulnerable and marginalized people — the widow, orphan, immigrant, and poor — those to whom Jesus first brought his message about the Kingdom of God. Francis was addressing the great needs of these communities, and those who serve them, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Catholic American Magazine, Francis is steering policymakers toward a "transformative frame for economic thinking — one that is not zero-sum under current conditions but that alters the terrain altogether, as universal cash payments could do."
Still, despite advocating for UBI, Francis said that state-based and market-based solutions will not be ultimately sufficient.
"My hope is that governments understand that technocratic paradigms (whether state-centred or market-driven) are not enough to address this crisis or the other great problems affecting humankind," he wrote. "Now more than ever, persons, communities and peoples must be put at the centre, united to heal, to care and to share."
Spain is one such country that has already committed to immediately implement UBI to blunt the economic fallout from COVID-19.