Before the Pendulum Mindlessly Swings Back to the GOP

One thing people might consider doing is letting go of the Dem/GOP pendulum. Here, lest people forget, is what we got in the good old days:

In 2000, the United States ran a surplus. In 2009, it ran a deficit of $1.4 trillion—10 percent of the economy. The 2010 deficit was almost equal, and the 2011 deficit is projected even higher. The national debt is surging to 100 percent of GDP, portending an eventual run on the dollar, a default, or Weimar inflation. The greatest creditor nation in history is now the world’s greatest debtor.

In the first decade of what was to be the Second American Century, a net of zero new jobs were created. Average households were earning less in real dollars at the end of the decade than at the beginning. The net worth of the American family, in stocks, bonds, savings, home values, receded 4 percent.

Fifty-thousand plants and factories shut down. As a source of jobs, manufacturing fell below healthcare and education in 2001, below retail sales in 2002, below local government in 2006, below leisure and hospitality, i.e., restaurants and bars, in 2008—all for the first time.

In April 2010, three of every four Americans, 74 percent, said the country is weaker than a decade ago, and 57 percent said life in America will be worse for the next generation than it is today.

Who did this to us? We did it to ourselves.

We abandoned economic nationalism for globalism. We cast aside fiscal prudence for partisan bidding for voting blocs. We ballooned our welfare state to rival the socialist states of Europe. And we launched a crusade for democracy that has us tied down in two decade-long south Asian wars.

The party that wrought all that has not changed a bit or learned a thing, which is why the bulk of their rhetoric is not about “blunders and sins we won’t do again” but “Obama sucks!” (true enough, but not a remedy for our ills). Why keep voting for any of these clowns on either side of the aisle?

  • Andy

    Thank you for your comments – this past decade reminds of me of the old commercial “Where’s the beef?” The “job creators” certainly did and are doing well I just read that Wall Street Execs. are expecting greater bonuses. So I will ask “Where’s the jobs? I know they have gone to India, Mexico and other countries where there are no restrictions for how companies run, or protections of workers, the environment – and where taxes are low, but so is the infrastructure. I note that the infrastructure that we the average person rely on is falling apart, that health care has become an even more unaffordable need but the anti-Obama crowd says lets do it more. I guess the GOP’s disdain for science goes to ignore EInstein who suggested that the ultimate sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How insane are we?

    • Confederate Papist

      Reset button, anyone? Is it too late to re-boot America.1776?

      • Martial Artist

        AConfederate Papist,

        There is a concrete sense in which voting for Congressman Paul is in fact doing something akin to that which you suggest.

        Pax et bonum,
        Keith Töpfer

    • Will

      Many “job creators” probably think things are going fine. They can pick and choose employees, are sitting on bundles of capital, and have other people working to make things even smoother for them.

  • Confederate Papist

    So we should let Caesar do everything for us?

    No thanks. I’ll get my plane ticket and leave. Venezuela is more free than the US.

    • Will

      Quite a statement, but with no specifics or proof.

      • Confederate Papist

        I’ll grant you I am exaggerating. But when will it be true?

        The erosion of liberties at the hands of the elite in government and the private sector has been happening since 1789…..most of which has been accomplished since 1913. The only winners are the elites and the losers are us plebes.

        • Confederate Papist

          When I mean “private sector” I am talking about crony capitalism, by the way.

          • SKay

            Like GE-GM and Solyndra?

            • Will

              Some TV news show recently had a map showing all of the states that had “natural disasters” this year, according to FEMA. Most of the states were highlighted. Michigan was not highlighted on the map. Michigan is often a donor for natural disasters, and very infrequently a receiver of federal funds for such things. It was nice to see the General Motors and Chrysler got federal help, and that the Michigan economy received a little pay back for all it has donated to other states.

              • Confederate Papist

                Where in the Constitution is that allowed, i.e. the bailouts and financing of companies?
                Then why wasn’t Pan Am too big to fail, but Chrysler wasn’t?

                • Will

                  I guess the same place it says we should keep sending money to rebuilt places on earthquake faults, barrier islands that wash away during hurricanes, places built on flood plains, etc., etc., etc.

                  • Confederate Papist

                    Yeah, which is nowhere.

                    What did these places do before the Nannystate intervened?

    • Dr. Eric

      Chile, my Confederate friend, is 90% Catholic, has all Holy Days of Obligation as national holidays, and abortion is illegal.

      • Confederate Papist

        I know that Doc. If things don’t change,not only will I be taking my family there, I know who my doc will be!!

  • Chris-2-4

    Makes me long for the good ol’ days when we had perfect men to vote for instead of this wretched lot. wait…

  • Peggy R

    Hence the Tea Party. It’s more about frustration with the GOP whom many believed were going to be fiscally prudent, etc. TARP sent the people over the edge.

    • Will

      The tea potty is part of the GOP.

      • http://www.communionantiphons.org Andy, Bad Person

        It’s really not. It started outside of GOP influence, and the Republicans have been fighting with all their might to wrest control of it, but only someone who wants to just ignore the popularity of the Tea Party (you spelled it wrong) would call it a GOP venture.

        • Will

          I wonder, then, why they all will vote Republican (Unless Ron runs on a third party)?

          • Peggy R

            The GOP Establishment is circling around Romney to protect him. Darn those tea party types giving Cain a boost.

            • Confederate Papist

              Bingo. That’s what Paul is doing. He’s infiltrated the GOP because their establishment candidate is not a shoo-in. Cain is the real deal. I’ve listened to him for a long time. Perfect? Hell no! I’m not either! But I do believe he’s not a big government repug.

  • Will

    “We ballooned our welfare state to rival the socialist states of Europe.”

    There is a lot of duplication to cut in the budget, but this comment is clueless.

  • http://7kids6dice1gamerdad.wordpress.com Raul

    Yup. It’s what Glenn Beck has been warning about for roughly 6 years now.

    • Will

      I worry less about a problem if Glenn Beck warns about it.

      • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

        Even a stopped clock, etc, etc.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    OK, but the pendulum has to swing (or stop) somewhere, so if we’re not going to vote GOP and we’re not going to vote Dem, we better come up with a viable alternative.

    • http://7kids6dice1gamerdad.wordpress.com Raul

      +1 to that. The board is being set…

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    Democrats don’t know how to fix the economy, and Republicans don’t want to fix the economy because an improving economy hurts their election chances.

    • Will

      I do not think either knows how to fix the economy. I say we need to improve education, more R & D, improved infrastructure, really move to a balanced budget, and fair trade. Someone else says we need something else.

      • Confederate Papist

        Your suggestions are spot on. But I advocate the individual states enabling all of the above, NOT the federal government. They are not unlike the Mafia offering protection if you look the other way, and the states have been like Oliver Twists since the 1860′s. It’s time to make politics local again.

        • Confederate Papist

          Except the fair trade…that is a true function of the national government…that, and defence. And I do mean defence, not nation-building or empire building.

          • Will

            My thoughts would be to end the two wars yesterday, and close many of our overseas military bases. I was in Germany last year and there was a question and answer session with an “average” German man. Someone asked him if he felt there was a need for the US military bases in Germany. He though for a minute and said no, but they appreciated all of the money the bases meant to the surrounding communities. Everyone chuckled.

            • Confederate Papist

              I agree with that Will. We do have a lot in common. It seems we just disagree on small issues.

  • http://www.sherryantonettiwrites.blogspot.com Sherry

    So we’ve established, neither the private sector nor the government have a lock on virtue or vice, both abuse their positions of power. We’ve also established that anyone who disagrees with the status quo, gets abused and called a loon depending upon which party one affiliates with –the Tea Party is stupid…the Occupy Wall Street are zombies and thus by decrying both uprisings as illegitimate, stupid, unreasonable, unwashed, uneducated, spoiled, crazy and out of touch, nothing actually has to be addressed.

    Both the Government and the Big Corporations have shown themselves to be 1) corrupt 2) wasteful and 3) undeterred by public outcry. We’re a flawed people…this is not news. Now what would be news is for voices of reason and moral soundness (no dog in the fight), to speak out and help us be the peace makers that Christ asks us to be.

    So while it might be reactionary to vote GOP in response, and it might be incorrect, what is the third alternative Mark? What is the option that would further our society and curb the abuses of both Leviathans? If we throw out the standard deviations of both sides, those that allow opponents to scream “SEE? These guys aren’t legitimate, they aren’t worthy of our attention!” what is left?

    People who disagree with injustices that seem systemic, waste that goes on unchecked, and manipulation by media that goes against the best virtues of our nation, right and left. So what do we do? Not vote? Then we tacitly allow whatever happens.

    Run and be Palinized by the side that disagrees? It’s not enough just to play the roll of gadfly, we need to discern how we must act if we would be thoughful Catholics and help shape the discourse which is right now, merely discord.

  • Jordan

    The general diagnosis above sounds correct. I think in the current political environment better ficscal management and less war mongering are possible and even likely.

    The question for me is about globalization, it seems like it has helped world growth but in the US the middle class has been under a lot of pressure and loosing ground. But I don’t here anyone talking about it (globalization). The typical globalization argument that displaced workers should retrain to do higher paying jobs doesn’t seem to be working out well. Does anyone have good statistics on the impact of globalization on the US middle class?

  • Dan Ambuul

    So much effort and emotion are consumed by politics. We all hope that our personal convictions are correct and that our statements will change the world. When I think about religion in history and the good changes which took place, they all seem to have started many years earlier by people who loved individuals and helped individuals. Those persons made an infectious difference for the future on a much bigger scale. Why do I waste often the many small opportunities I have and how can I have the same emotional response to religion, my practice of it?

  • Jonell Ricards

    “Why keep voting for any of these clowns on either side of the aisle?”

    because one side supports the legalized killing of over 1 million unborn babies per year. Big difference.

    what kind of blog is this anyways

    • Andy

      The idiots on the other side when they were in power did nothing to stop the killing. Neither side is really pro-life, the best that can be said is that the Repubs. are anti-abortion.

      • Mike Witt

        Since abortion claims so many lives, I’m willing to make do with anti-abortion.

    • Mark Shea

      A blog that doesn’t see why we are compelled to vote for a candidate that doesn’t particularly care what happens to the unborn merely because the opposing candidate wants to kill the unborn. I have this notion that I’d prefer to support a candidate who actually wants to save the unborn.

      • Jonell Ricards

        Hey Jerks,
        do some reserach and educate yourselves.

        http://www.nrlc.org/Records/bush43record0109.pdf

        Shea, you’re an agent of the devil. You should be avoided.

        • Mark Shea

          Feel the Christian looooooove!

        • Mike Witt

          I will add this to my list of favorite salutations, right after: “Dear Morons:”.

  • Marthe Lépine

    A strange thing here: Those who complain about the loss of manufacturing jobs in your country never seem to correlate this with a rise of social spending made necessary by the said loss of manufacturing jobs… There may very well be a connection! And many people in the past decades have been wondering what would happen when the peoples of those countries that got the jobs because their workers were paid crap wages could not, and were not expected to, afford to purchase consumer goods, while the workers who lost their jobs in countries like the US could not, and were not expected to, afford to purchase consumer goods. Now we see the results. At the same time, people (who are, I assume, on the “right” rather than “in” the right) who have made fortunes exporting US jobs to countries where workers were paid crap wages, are now claiming that social benefits be cut, particularly to those workers that lost their manufacturing jobs in the US, because they are afraid that those workers would get used to depending on government money, instead of beginning to accept the same crap wages as their brothers and sisters in developing countries (where so-called development seems to put money into the pockets of a few individuals instead of in the hands of the workers). Maybe what is really needed is the organization of trade unions for all the workers in the world (but we can have a good idea of the way a government like the one in China would react!)

    • Peggy R

      Marthe,

      While I acknowledge the concerns about manufacturing jobs and wages, I wonder if you fully understand what you are saying here:

      “Maybe what is really needed is the organization of trade unions for all the workers in the world …”

      Karl Marx, any one?

      • Marthe Lépine

        Sorry to disagree with you, but in my own country, the first trade unions were organized by Catholics and strongly influenced by Leo XIII, who wrote that workers had the right to form organizations to work for their common good. People on the “right” have always sounded to me like they are ever willing to use the “socialist” scarecrow to maintain their power base and keep the workers from obtaining their due reward…

        • Confederate Papist

          But these trade unions were modeled on the old guilds of the Distributist kind. The problem became that all of these unions have been politicised and corrupted by the very people who said they wanted to help employees.

          Remember, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

        • Peggy R

          So, are you saying that Karl Marx in the 19C did NOT call for international labor movement? I don’t know the labor movement history in Canada, but I recollect in the US that early unionization was in the early 20C. But, yes, Catholics who were the bottom of the economic ladder and the bulk of the labor force, were very active in organizing for workers’ rights. And yes, as CP notes below, unions have become corrupt (or always were) and don’t represent their constituency very well. At some level, US unions have to admit that some of their demands have been instrumental in pushing much US manufacturing overseas.

          • Marthe Lépine

            Peggy R: this argument that unions are a product of communism and have become corrupt is just an excuse to justify employer’s not taking seriously their responsibilities towards their workers. Yes, demands for a living wage, and maybe even safe working conditions, which are not unreasonable demands on the part of unions, have probably sent irresponsible employers overseas in order to exploit workers who are still getting crap wages. It is very easy to say that workers have the choice of finding another job if they are not satisfied with their pay, but if one worker quits his or her job, it is easy for the employer to find a replacement. However, acting together, workers can collectively refuse to work for a price they consider too low, just as a retailer will not sell you their merchandise if you refuse to pay the asked price. Of course, this will be deemed to “interfere with the free market”, a real annoyance for people of the “right”. And unfortunately it seems that too many non-unionized workers who are forced to accept crap wages because they have no power are being brainwashed into getting full of envy towards what they see as the “privileges” of unionized workers and to try to destroy unions instead of getting together to work at improving their own lot. Who really has anything to gain from discrediting and destroying the union movement, if not employers for whom the only important thing is the bottom line, their own profit. Unions are really the only possible way to try to get some balance of power between corporations and their employees.

            • Confederate Papist

              When two parties agree to a wage, it is fair. Remember Jesus’ parable about the workers in the field getting hired at various parts of the day…and at the end they all got the same amount. The workers who worked all day complained but the employer told them they agreed to do the work for the pay.
              I hate to tell you this, but the job belongs to the employer, not the employee. I have been wronged by many employer but I also realise that, as unfair as I have been treated at times, the employer has the right to hire and fire, and pay whatever they deem is acceptable. If I find a job with more perks and higher pay, I’m gone! Why? Because my responsiblity as a father, husband and provider trumps any loyalty to my employer….just like the bottom line, or company policy enforcement trumps the employer’s responsibility to the company.

              • Marthe Lépine

                According to the Catholic church teaching (Leo XIII and further) work exists to give the worker the opportunity to obtain the necessities of life, instead of the worker existing to serve the employer. A contract between two people, when one really needs the job, while the other has the power of giving or taking away the job, may be legal, but not necessarily just, according to the church social teaching. This is basic, and if you are really a Catholic instead of a Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand groupee, you are expected to accept the Catholic church teaching. That is one of the things I have learned while a student at a Catholic university in Canada.

                • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

                  I am much closer ideologically to Confederate Papist but I have to admit that Marthe is right about the wage issue. The Church clearly teaches that not all consensual contracts are fair. Unions are also encouraged by the Church provided that they act justly and are not politicized. Many union actions in First World countries are unjust and overly political these days.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    Thanks, Pat B. It may be true that many unions are overly political, but union reps and their leaders have a job to do: look after their members’ interests to the best of their abilities. And to advocate their elimination has more to do with a negation of workers’ rights as explained by the Church. I clearly remember one sentence from JPII in his Encyclical about the centennial of Rerum Novarum, where he quoted Leo XIII in saying that since working at a job was currently the most usual way for workers to obtain the necessities of life, it SHOULD NOT be subject to the so-called “laws” of the market. And by the way, in the parable, the idea was not so much that the employer paid only the agreed upon daily wage to the workers who were hired first, and that that was a just wage, but rather that he was generous enough to give the late-comers the wage that was needed to support themselves in spite of their apparently not having showed up as early as the others at the public place where workers were supposed to gather in the morning to find employment.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    PS to my earlier comment: It was while I was a Business student at the University of Montreal that I learned about Leo XIII…

                    • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

                      You are exactly right about JPII. He said that work must be valued based not only on its end value to consumers but also considering the diginity of the worker. By the way, the way that Patheos is staggering these comments is insane.

                • Confederate Papist

                  Marthe, I don’t question your Catholicity, please do not question mine.

                  I understand your position, not all jobs qualify for union representation. I am not against unions in their original intent. Everyone is focused on corporate corruption and are totally ignoring that unions are just as corrupt. I don’t know about Canada, but the bosses in the US are cleaning up, whereas their members are still unemployed or making the same wages they were 3 years ago. That’s not fair either, is it?

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Based on my exchanges with Catholic tea partiers, China could not take it worse than much of America’s right wing.

    • Mike Witt

      @Hezekiah Garrett, I wish I understood what you’re trying to say, but I just don’t. Please elaborate.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Well, I did understand! Mr. Garrett is saying that China could not do much worse than those from the “right” in the US who are very strongly opposed to unions. A lot of efforts are made to discredit unions in various ways, particularly by describing them in extremely negative terms in the media in order to try to shift public opinion.

  • Mike Witt

    We have to vote for someone. For better or worse I’ve thrown my lot in with the republicans over the abortion issue first and foremost. Yes most republicans are pro-death penalty, but I have to weigh the differences because there is no perfect solution.

    • Confederate Papist

      Most people on death row are there of their own actions…..can’t say that about the babies.

      If a life sentence really meant a life sentence, I would really like to see the DP go extinct. But now everything is politically charged, we cannot seem to move forward unless the DC scoundrels move it…

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Peggy, I couldn’t care less what Marx called for.

    Do your Catholic self a favor and read Rerum Novarum. Leo XII called for unions as well.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Well anyone qualifies as a Papist these days!

    None of the crap in your most recent comment begins to reflect the mind of the Church.

    Especially not the mind of the papacy for at least 2 centuries. Read Rerum Novarum and the follow up encyclicals if you doubt this.

    I may find your coprophilia a little offputting but not enough to ignore the danger your ideology poses to your soul.

    • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

      Chill out dude. CP is wrong about the justice of consensual contracts but I was wrong about that too until I read the corresponding Church documents. Your nastiness does not serve too help anyone.

      • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

        Whoops. Grammar Nazi self correction:
        “to serve” not “too serve”

        • Hezekiah Garrett

          True.

          I believed the same stuff long ago too.

          Mea culpa.

          • Marthe Lépine

            I guess it is a blessing that I never believed such things. Of course, having been born in a family where cooperatives and unions were almost a tradition, I also had the chance to get my degree in a university that did not need to claim that it was Catholic, everyone assumed it was. Then, Rerum Novarum and Quadregisimo Anno were among the textbooks for the Bachelor of Commerce studies in those days. Thus I cannot take all the credit… Thanks be to God!

      • Confederate Papist

        I never said I was against Catholic Social justice…..I don’t know where you read that. But it doesn’t matter, folks like Marthe and Hezikiah have already made up their minds and apparently I belong to a different Catholic Church than they do.

    • Confederate Papist

      Gee…another one questioning my Catholicity. Thankfully I only have God to answer to.

      • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

        Just so you know, though I criticized your ideas about wage contracts, I do not mean to question your Catholicity. I think you certainly wish to obey Church teaching to the best of your knowledge. The just/living wage doctrine does not necessarily mean that the state must enforce a minimum wage, but rather that a very low wage can be unjust even if it is consensual.

        Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner.

        • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

          Whoops. Did not label last part. That is a quote from Rerum Novarum.

          • Confederate Papist

            I don’t refute that.

            I did not say you questioned my Catholicity, (which I should have acknowledged) that Marthe and Hezikiah did. To be fair, Hezikiah has rolled that back and has engaged in civil discussion.

            • Confederate Papist

              Correction: Hezekiah. My bad!

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    No, CP, you misrepresented one of our Lord’s parables to defend one of the 4 sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. What would be an appropriate response? Because I readily confess I’m a hothead.

    • Confederate Papist

      Where did I do that?

      If I’m wrong, especially if it’s against Church doctrine, I am willing to admit it…

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    You used the parable of the laborers to support your contention that mutual consent determines the justice of a wage. As someone pointed out, you had it bass-ackward. A just wage, according to the papacy, is one which allows a man to provide for his family according to their station, with enough surplus that he can raise educated and virtuous progeny. Regardless of the purely economic value of his labor to consumers.

    Depriving a worker of his just wage, like sodomy, abortion, and exploiting the widow and orphan, is a sin Scripture tells us “cries out to heaven for vengeance “.

    I just figured a self-proclaimed Papist would know all this already.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Thanks, Hezekiah. In all my thinking about social justice issues, it seems that I still had completely forgotten about those 4 sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, and that depriving a worker of his just wage was one of them. This supports my long term opinions. Unfortunately, since I am 69 years old and expect to find myself in the next few months having nothing else to live on than my old age pension, I cannot do much other than sit at my keyboard and try to inform people. But if those wage issues cry out to Heaven for vengeance, we can be confident that if each of us does what she or he are able to do, even if it seems small, God will take care of the rest.

      But now it seems that we may have another responsibility: pray for Divine Mercy and the salvation of all those people we accuse of greed… Years ago, I heard something that went like that: “There is in all human beings a void in their hearts that cannot be filled by anyone else than God.” I later learned that it probably comes from St. Augustine. One of my philosophical ideas about greed is that, for people who have rejected God, or even have never heard of God in a meaningful way, nothing will fill that deep need they still have. There will never be enough money, power or possessions to fill that void, and it is probably the root of all that greed. In fact, some of the richest among us may actually be the poorest. So, instead of hating them, we need to forgive and pray for them.

    • Marthe Lépine

      May I ask you a question, please, Hezekiah? I have read before, in another Catholic combox, people arguing that governments should not legislate a minimum wage because it creates unemployment by discouraging employers to hire, at lower wages, people who are not quite as well qualified… That sounded strange coming from Catholics! Of course, my answer would be, 1) what is the point of having a full-time job if it does not provide enough for the necessities of life; and 2) of course employers would still hire people that they considered better qualified, but they would give them a lower wage… I would be interested to read your point of view, if you have the time?

      • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

        This question is not directed at me but I hope you don’t mind if I offer an answer. The Church teaches that a wage for the breadwinner of a family ought to provide for the necessities of life. However, that does not mean that a college kid flipping burgers at McDonalds must be paid a living wage. A minimum wage may provide an unnecessarily high wage for entry level jobs and reduce youth employment. I know I was grateful for the minimum wage summer job I got. Also, most parents get paid more than minimum wage. Check out this article:

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204612504576608630238216692.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle

    • Confederate Papist

      But would not the person who is offered the job for a specified wage have the right to reject the offer if he/she doesn’t believe it suits his/her needs?
      What about the person who is already employed and is offered a wage from another employer that is significantly higher than what he/she is currently earning?
      What about someone, like my dad, who worked two jobs, plus went to school at night to get his masters, all the while he was sending out resumes to find a job that would pay him more so that he’d only have to work one job? BTW, the masters helped for a while until 1991 when he got “downsized”.
      Does Rerum Novarum (I am in the process of reading it now) take into account the Fed, which creates boom/bust cycles that were not as prevelant in the first 124 years of the US?

      I don’t know, that’s why I am asking.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Sure, a person would have the right to reject a job that does not offer a reasonable wage. I did it myself, but I already had a job and had been approached by a consultant who was recruiting for a corporation, after he had already been turned town by all my (male) colleagues, who had told me why. But if a person has been without a job for some time and really needs a job, it is often difficult to turn down even a bad offer. And if most of the employers in a certain industry or area are offering only jobs with unfair wages, this becomes a question of justice. That is where the difference in power between applicant and employer comes into play, and when it is unjust for the employer to offer less than a fair wage if his business is able to pay fair wages but he chooses to keep more money for himself and/or his shareholders.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    My simple answer is that it’s quite difficult for one man to employ another justly. It’s probably next to impossible in the system we have erected.

    This is because, if I understand Holy Mother Church, in employing a man, an employer becomes partially responsible for his employee’s family. You think justice was hard to come by in feudal times, try finding it in the days of corporate wage slavery.

    • Confederate Papist

      That’s an honest answer.

      The world is full of sin. I know that. I’ve accepted the first job offer that came my way one time because I was unemployed and had a little baby girl. The company that had just cut me loose had hired me a week and a half prior to cutting me loose…why? Because, according to the idiot manager who hired me, and like a chicken-sh*t called me at home on Sunday afternoon, he wasn’t authorised to hire anyone for his office. I had quit another job to go work for this one, so I was deperate when the offer came in. I got paid jack, worked 14~16 hour days, got successful, made a “mistake” (I was in sales and had transposed numbers on a sales price on a big order) and it looked like I lost the company money. I thought I was going to get fired, but my “benevolent” boss told me I would just have to forego any commissions to pay back the “mistake”. I am putting mistake in “” because what I did not know is that my boss negotiated with our vendor for a lower price which put the order back in the green and I never knew about it.
      Bottom line I was miserable and made it a point to get the hell out of there and get the hell out of that business (computers). And eventually I did. Thank God. We are not guaranteed jobs like our parents and grandparents were, fortunately or unfortunatley, depending how you look at it. Does forty years of misery at one job replace 10 years of happiness after jumping around from company to company?

  • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

    Confederate Papist
    In case you didn’t see this reply higher up in the comments feed:

    Just so you know, though I criticized your ideas about wage contracts, I do not mean to question your Catholicity. I think you certainly wish to obey Church teaching to the best of your knowledge. The just/living wage doctrine does not necessarily mean that the state must enforce a minimum wage, but rather that a very low wage can be unjust even if it is consensual.

    Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner.

    • http://patrick-button.blogspot.com Pat B

      Whoops, I forgot to label that last part. That is a quote from Rerum Novarum.


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