Just Wage

supreme-court

The Supreme Court: A Despotic Agent of Change

We have seen all this before. The Supreme Court takes on an important and controversial case. One side aims clearly at an end-result based on personal and ideological predilections.  It knows that it has the votes to win a majority of the court and to impose its decision on the nation. Yet, it is not [...]

The Latest Debate Over Catholic Social Thought

Pope Francis' statements about economics (and related questions, such as environmentalism and "fracking") have caused much consternation among conservative Catholics in the United States. The Holy Father's comments on the "greed" of capitalism and his seeming belief that capitalism causes income inequality rather than providing explosive growth and increased prosperity historically seem without nuance at [...]

The Death of Our Family Wage Culture

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that last year, only one-fifth of married couple homes were supported solely by the employment of the husband. The wife was the only employed member of the household in 7.8 percent of married-couple homes (with 6.2 percent supported by other employment combinations, and 18.5 percent having no employed members). [...]

Mark Shea’s Economic Inquisition

The topic of income inequality is popular not only among secular progressives but politically minded Catholics as well. If income inequality is a problem—and even libertarians would agree that it can be, depending on how the inequality comes about—the proposed solution is often for the government to “do something” about it, usually through confiscatory taxation [...]

When Policy Choices Become Moral Mandates

Two recent newspaper articles—one in the Catholic and the other in the secular press—illustrate the need to be skeptical about claims that particular public policy approaches are morally necessary. Both discussed recent federal legislative efforts: one to raise the minimum wage, the other to cut food stamp benefits (the legislation that ultimately passed did so [...]

Léon Harmel: Pioneer of the Just Wage

You could call the nineteenth century stupid, but hardly dull. At its birth, it was the stage for Napoleon’s antics and for the heroism of the captains of wooden ships; at its death, the old Europe itself was giving way before the hard, cold era of aluminum, centralized planning, and the IRS. Sure, it was [...]

Leo’s Guilds a Far Cry from Today’s Unions

We have seen that Pope Leo XIII defends the right of a workingman to receive wages sufficient to support his family, in a becoming manner, if he but practices the virtues of diligence and frugality in an ordinary way.  We have also seen that the Pope defends the right of laborers to form free associations [...]

The Modern State Causes the Problems it Pretends to Fix

Pope Leo XIII affirms that a well governed State will promote the material and moral prosperity of its citizens, will honor private property and free association, and will protect the poor from abuse or depredation by the rich. How to do these things?  Leo lays down four principles. The first is what I’ll call the [...]

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