A common lying meme

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Here is how this lie works.

The people on the right have no control over the salary of the guy on the left. None. The man’s employer controls that. Likewise, the employer of the people on the right controls their salaries too. If they do not have a living wage, the obvious thing to do is not blame them because the employer of the guy on the left stiffs him. The obvious thing to do is pay both the guy on the left and the people on the right enough to live on. That’s what the Church teaches in Rerum Novarum 45-46.

What is a living wage?

A living wage fulfills four criteria:

  1. Families in general seem to be living at a standard of decency appropriate to their society;
  2. They do so without working undue hours;
  3. They do so without wives being forced to work outside the home or children forced to work inappropriate hours or under inappropriate conditions (if they choose to do so, that’s another story);
  4. They do so without undue reliance on government support or consumer credit.

Yeah, but the cost of living is different in different places!

Way ahead of you.  MIT has actually invented a handy Living Wage Calculator.

What lying memes like this are designed to do is trick you into blaming (and hating) the powerless people on the right for somehow cheating the guy on the left and distract you from realizing that the real thieves, cheaters, and selfish ones are the employers who screw all these people out of a living wage.

Next time you see a lying meme like this, ask yourself: “Who benefits?”  Every single time, the one who benefits is not the guy on the Left, but the guy who screws the guy on the Left and the guy who screws the guys on the Right.  It’s a lie designed to get you to fume with contempt at powerless poor people and to keep you from thinking about the powerful people who suppress their wages–and quite often, your wages too.

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