Cleric rails against response to recession

Dec. 22, 2008 at 12:23 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Britain's leaders could look to Nazi Germany to learn about dealing with the current recession, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said.

In an article Williams wrote for The Daily Telegraph, he said Germany in the 1930s followed a concept that worked but only on the basis that "quite a lot of people that you might have thought mattered as human beings actually didn't."

Williams says Britain's government policies to address the economic downturn, similar to Germany's, failed to account for the ""particular human costs" to the most vulnerable in society.

"What about the unique concerns and crises of the pensioner whose savings have disappeared, the Woolworth's employee, the hopeful young executive, let alone the helpless producer of goods in some Third-world environment where prices are determined thousands of miles away?" he asked in the commentary Monday.

The archbishop warned of showing "unconditional loyalty to a system," noting such thinking became a "nightmare" in Germany under Adolf Hitler. Though some of the ideas proposed by the British government to solve the economic crisis aren't as destructive as the principles of fascism or communism, Williams said some defenses of the economy "block out actual human faces and stories."

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