The Great Bailout of 2008 – How About Some Prolife Conditions
I Was In Prison
Online Prison Ministry Newsletter
October 30, 2008
Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

The Great Bailout of 2008 – How About Some Prolife Conditions
By: Dale Recinella

Back in the early 1990s the Contract with America was taking shape in Congress.

It would be difficult to overestimate the role that Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson played in bringing that effort to fruition. Yet, even at the time, I hoped for more.

As a student of both Keynesian economics and Catholic social justice teaching, free-market tempered by Gospel morality, the power of shareholder votes to reshape management decisions in our largest corporations and financial institutions seemed very attractive to me. There were ample examples of how it could work. Religious orders of nuns and priests had pooled their huge retirement funds to invest in targeted corporations. They were able to amass enough shareholder votes to place critical social justice issues on the annual board meeting agendas of major corporations. Such issues included exploitation of workers and despoiling of the environment in the Mexican maquiladora, living wages and health care for workers, and many others.

To me, this was a new front that could be opened by the prolife movement. I invited the folks in Colorado to become a resource center to provide prolifers with valuable information about which drug companies, multinational conglomerates, and banks and investment banking firms are profiting from, investing in, lending to or putting research and development monies into embryonic stem cell research, abortifacients and other culture of death technologies. This information would allow the huge capital pool controlled by prolife investors – a vast reservoir of prolife economic votes – to abandon mutual funds, bonds and equities that were stoking the culture of death.

The world and our country are quite different today. Wall Street is on the ropes. Friedman’s economics have flopped; Keynes is in ascendance. But the power of voting with our dollars has not waned. In fact, with the tsunami of over 70 million baby boomers starting to hit the retirement beach, the power to reshape culture through investment may be more potent than ever. This is especially so because we are facing a bailout of Wall Street that goes much further than voting with investment dollars. Now, our tax dollars are being used to prop up the engines of the market.

There ought to be some conditions on how our tax dollars are used in this bailout. Not just financial conditions. There should also be prolife conditions. With the reality of the global capital and financial markets, our tax dollars could end up subsidizing the global culture of death if we bailout Wall Street without prolife conditions.

For example, no bailout money should be used to assist any bank, investment bank, financial institution or mutual fund that has investments or loans to companies or organizations directly or indirectly engaged, anywhere in the world with:

  • providing abortions, or
  • research utilizing tissue from aborted children, or
  • manufacturing products being used for assisted suicide or euthanasia in Europe or Asia, or
  • conducting research on human cloning or gene splicing of human and animal DNA, or
  • sweat-shopping child labor in inhumane conditions, or
  • incarcerating human beings for profit, or
  • making political contributions to support long prison terms for nonviolent offenders (which increases prison profits at taxpayer
  • expense), or
  • using inmate labor for profit, or
  • providing the means, technology or facilities for political and unnecessary judicial killing of human beings.

  • This absolute ban should also prohibit any taxpayer funded assistance to any Wall Street players that finance or invest in entities involved in these activities through foreign governments or with joint venture arrangements with foreign corporations and universities.

    Once the bailout has been made a prolife endeavor, then we can talk again about amassing shareholder votes. It is time. In the wake of this greed driven collapse of the markets, we can place prolife agendas in front of our humbler, and possibly more receptive, corporate directors and CEOs.

    First published: The Florida Catholic, October 10, 2008
    © 2008 Dale S. Recinella & The Florida Catholic.
    Used with permission. All rights reserved.
    No further reproduction or republication without prior written permission.

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