When you meet someone who’s been told they don’t matter, give them a chance to matter


I've been thinking about this post from Richard Beck since he posted it on Friday.Beck is a professor of psychology, and he starts off with an unremarkable psychological observation: "We all want to matter. To be the focus of respect, esteem and interest."True enough, but not exactly revelatory. But Beck, as he often does, explores what this means and teases out pastoral and prophetic implications.He doesn't use those words -- "pastoral" and "prophetic." That's seminary-speak for the … [Read more...]

Why we know Walmart isn’t paying $12.40/hour


Here's how we know that Walmart's claim to be paying an "average" wage of $12.40/hour is hogwash: The retail giant is not lobbying aggressively in support of a minimum-wage increase.If you're a retailer with millions of employees all making several dollars more than the minimum wage, then seeing that wage raised from $7.25/hour to, say, $9.50/hour doesn't cost you anything when it comes to your own payroll. But it would mean a great deal to the people your company can't live without: y … [Read more...]

If work is a responsibility, then work is also a right


We recently looked at Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., and his biblically illiterate perversion of Mark 14:7, in which Jesus is quoted as saying, "For you always have the poor with you."Fincher misquoted that passage, twisting it into its opposite. And he did so because he was up to the very same thing that Judas was up to when he received that rebuke from Jesus -- stealing from the treasury. Fincher, it turns out, has collected millions of dollars in agricultural subsidies, and to ensure that … [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war

"Dives in Hell and Lazarus in Heaven" (1510)

"It's not fair.""I can't believe they're doing this to older people.""So how do these families survive?""The study, by the Rand corporation, looks at the 14 states that have said they will opt out of the new Medicaid funds. It finds that the result will be they get $8.4 billion less in federal funding, have to spend an extra $1 billion in uncompensated care, and end up with about 3.6 million fewer insured residents.""I wonder whether even Republicans really believe that story … [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things

Mary Elizabeth Williams: "Is the Catholic Church even trying to make sense on marriage equality?" Don't repeat the flat-out vicious untruth that "Redefining marriage in the law says many false things: women — mothers — are dispensable; men — fathers — are dispensable; what adults want trumps what a child deserves and has a basic right to." Because I have to tell you, that’s what grasping at straws looks like. I've yet to find anything from anyone – except the opponents of marriage equality, that … [Read more...]

‘Pro-life’ groups still not speaking up for pregnant workers

At the end of the day, anti-abortion politics seem to boil down to controlling and punishing women because they can't be trusted.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act has been re-introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. Bryce Covert has a good summary of what the bill does and why it is important: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act … would require employers to “make reasonable accommodations to employees stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer,” according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC).… While it may sound outrage … [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war


"Not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!""Who d'you think made your clothes?""We are human. We want respect and dignity; that’s our demand.""Weekly wages for women in the restaurant industry are on average about $36 less than men’s, and women of color in the restaurant industry earn on average $4.50 per hour less than other workers.""One worker n … [Read more...]

Money can’t buy happiness, but it does buy protection from certain forms of unhappiness

"The Worship of Mammon," by Evelyn De Morgan.

I used to have what CareerCast.com calls "the worst job in America."But it wasn't the worst job I've ever had. The truth is, actually, that it was a pretty great job -- it's just a great job in a terrible industry. The newspaper business is run by short-sighted idiots who seem determined to crash and burn. They're making life increasingly miserable for the shrinking number of people who still work at newspapers, but in those few moments when reporters and editors are able to just do the job … [Read more...]