These days, people say "Season's Greetings," which, when you think about it, means nothing. It's like walking up to somebody and saying "Appropriate Remark" in a loud, cheerful voice.

Featured Posts


Creative Minority Reader

Can A Catholic Oppose Minimum Wage Hike?

On the 50th anniversary of that inglorious war without an exit strategy, the war on poverty, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development on behalf of the USCCB and Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, sent a letter to the U.S. Senate asking the federal government to raise the minimum wage.

The stated goal of raising the minimum wage of Archbishop Wesnki and Fr. Snyder is to 'fix' the problem that "a full-year, full-time worker making the minimum wage does not make enough money to raise a child free from poverty."

Archbishop Wenski advocates this position on behalf of the entire US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Can a Catholic legitimately and morally oppose this prudential policy decision while remaining a Catholic in good standing and if so, should the USCCB advocate for such policies?

I believe the answer to these questions are yes and no, respectively.

Please Continue Reading at the National Catholic Register

*subhead*Yes.*subhead*

Your Ad Here

9 comments:

James said...

As a matter of principle, it would actually be immoral for anyone to suggest that the state force a private company or individual to pay a certain minimum wage to another private company or individual for work and services.

If I own a mom 'n pop's grocery store, the state has no right to tell me 16 year-old Jimmy can only work in my store (loading and unloading crates) if I pay him a certain minimum amount.

Jimmy is in high school and needs to stay out of trouble. I do him a service to employ him for the afternoon. What if I cannot afford to raise his wages? It means that sooner or later I have to fire Jimmy and do the work for myself.

Jimmy's parents would be grateful for Jimmy to have the work I'm offering, but the state says its illegal for me to employ him at such a rate as I can truly afford, but instead what they think he should be paid. And our bishops want us to fall for this?


Steve Dalton said...

Our bishops need to keep their noses out of areas they have no competence in. They need to listen to people who actually run a business, instead of listening to folks who's knowledge of the business world is strictly academic and theoretical.

Bill Meyer said...

There is a great deal of evidence which establishes clearly that increasing the minimum wage also increases unemployment. It is not necessary to wade through technical treatises, or graduate level classes. A short summary excerpted from Thomas Sowell is here: http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/02/thomas-sowell-on-the-tragedy-of-the-minimum-wage/

ctdkite said...

A Catholic can oppose a rise in the minimum wage or, for prudential reasons, the established amount. A Catholic cannot, however, oppose the idea of a minimum wage itself. The Catechism is pretty clear that the failure to provide a just wage is a form of theft, the state has a duty to prevent that theft, and that the mere fact that a wage is freely negotiated does not mean that it is just.

sparrow said...

A "just wage" does not necessarily equal a minimum wage. All that a minimum wage does is price out of the market low/ no skill workers, typically teenagers as business rightly simply don't offer jobs that cost more than they produce. Some jobs simply aren't worth much/produce little value and the effect of enforcing a minimum wage on employers is to make providing low cost services impossible - which is why you pump your own gas for example. What is lost are the starter jobs that don't pay much but teach responsibility. Sure not paying what is right is theft, but demanding more pay than your work is worth and using the Government to force that result is also theft. Many people are very quick to judge what is a "just" wage

Bill Meyer said...

A just wage for sweeping floors may well be different to the just wage for a more hazardous entry level job. Moreover, a just wage in N. Dakota may well be less than in NYC; likewise, variation across a state makes it rather silly to pretend that the same wage that is adequate in E. Pembroke, NY will be sufficient in NYC.The Catechism is clear, yes, but just as charity is a personal obligation, not fulfilled by taxes paid, so paying a just wage is up to the employer.

Bill Meyer said...

As a final thought on the subject, this is one of those issues where subsidiarity is the right approach. No mandates, just local decisions, based on market values.

ArtND76 said...

Sparrow makes a good point that many in the "Social Justice" crowd don't seem to get: theft (or injustice) can go both ways, and passing a law, even by majority rule, does not make something morally right. Let's see, where was it in the gospels that Jesus sent Matthew on a tax collection mission directed at rich people? Oh right, he doesn't! Jesus says plenty about the rich needing to share, but does He say anything about the poor organizing to get their just share from the rich at the point of a sword? I don't see that anywhere in Jesus' teaching.

I have concluded that the ultimate solution to unjust wages is to have more genuine, evangelized Catholic employers. In fact, this turns out to be a common ultimate solution to many, if not all, of the "Social Justice" problems. Rather than take a wealthy person's money at the point of a gun (otherwise more nicely called taxation), evangelize them! Then they will gladly give the money where it is needed, along with their expertise on how to best use it! It is simply amazing what could happen if Jesus' final command to "go and make disciples of all nations" was actually heeded. I'll go with Pope Francis on the need to evangelize.

John B said...

This is so profound, and so correct it bears repeating! The USCCB should adopt this position as suggested in George Weigel's book. Instead they're stuck in "institutional maintenance" mode and parrot the collectivist views of their support staff.

"ArtND76 said...
Sparrow makes a good point that many in the "Social Justice" crowd don't seem to get: theft (or injustice) can go both ways, and passing a law, even by majority rule, does not make something morally right. Let's see, where was it in the gospels that Jesus sent Matthew on a tax collection mission directed at rich people? Oh right, he doesn't! Jesus says plenty about the rich needing to share, but does He say anything about the poor organizing to get their just share from the rich at the point of a sword? I don't see that anywhere in Jesus' teaching.

I have concluded that the ultimate solution to unjust wages is to have more genuine, evangelized Catholic employers. In fact, this turns out to be a common ultimate solution to many, if not all, of the "Social Justice" problems. Rather than take a wealthy person's money at the point of a gun (otherwise more nicely called taxation), evangelize them! Then they will gladly give the money where it is needed, along with their expertise on how to best use it! It is simply amazing what could happen if Jesus' final command to "go and make disciples of all nations" was actually heeded. I'll go with Pope Francis on the need to evangelize."

Post a Comment