• http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com A Sinner

    Minimum wage is, like re-distribution, something that only treats the symptoms while ultimately reaffirming the system of wage-slavery in general!

    If you have (correctly) identified the problem as financialization, then the solution needs to be financial! The root problem is usury, the essence of which I would define as the conception of credit as a private rather than a social good.

    The whole way our credit/monetary system works is monopolistic and structurally unsound, and leads to all the other problems.

    Attempts to address those “symptoms” with welfare, minimum wage, breaking up monopolies, unionization etc…really only help to postpone the underlying structural reformation that needs to take place when it comes to the very nature of credit/money in our society.

    Social Credit fixes the usurious root of the problem rather than attempting to just ameliorate the symptoms:


  • http://digbydolben.wordpress.com dismasdolben

    There are vast cultural impediments to the implementation of Catholic social justice teachings in actual public policy, which both of the commentators above are able to ignore because, typically, like most who write at Vox Nova, they seem blithely unaware that they live in a predominantly Protestant society, wherein the myth of Horatio Algar–a celebration of unmitigated individualism–trumps the myth of, say, Il Poverello’s “Lady Poverty,” or of, say, the Virgen de Guadalupe and her concern for the workers.

    There are two things I’ll give the Catholic Church–the first of which Pope Francis and Morning’s Minion seem to be keenly aware of, and the second of which our friend “Sinner,” immediately above seems oblivious to: #1 extreme “social liberalism,” i.e. any ideology that undermines the viability and solvency of the chief solace the working poor have, the family, helps to preclude the possibility of “economic” or “political” liberalism (and I say that as an advocate of “gay marriage” and the “right of a woman to choose”–and one who thinks that, in both of those matters, the so-called “liberationists” lose their causes when they won’t moderate them in deference to the immediate needs of the working poor); and #2, that when such as “Sinner” say this:

    Minimum wage is, like re-distribution, something that only treats the symptoms while ultimately reaffirming the system of wage-slavery in general!

    …they are forgetting that the dignity and self-respect of the working poor–the health of their psyche–is equally as much a priority as material improvement. The Catholic Church, to its everlasting credit, has always, in modern times, insisted on the dignity of labour, and part of the way to insist on the working person’s dignity and self-esteem is to demand the right to a minimum, living wage, and the right to bargain with one’s employer for that decent, minimum wage.

    • trellis smith

      The dignity of labor is undermined by the systems rigged in favor of financial interests. I agree with Sinner that some of the proposals of minimum wage etc. appear as mere Band-Aids and a more comprehensive and systemic solution is in order. A systemic approach is not forcibly contrary to the dignity of labor unless advanced in a spirit of a politic “du pire.” Our problem as enunciated by MM is political particularly a corrupted and inept political class. In any event the process is not sustainable, either the frog jumps from the pot or it boils to death, neither a positive outcome for the monied classes.

    • http://renegadetrad.blogspot.com A Sinner

      Huh? I’m not sure you understood what I said at all. I wouldn’t disagree with what you say, merely that it is “inside the box” thinking that already assumes a wage-slavery system. As long as that system exists, certainly amelioration is in some sense good, a thing to demand, but only as long as the total abolition of that system is always the ideal kept in sight and the “symptom treating” measures are recognized as only stop-gaps.

      • http://gravatar.com/dismasdolben dismasdolben

        No, Sinner, I have understood you perfectly; you and your cohort Trellis think the problem is susceptible to a political or economic solution, whereas I think that the problem is CULTURAL, and, by direct implication, rooted in a spiritual malaise whose causes are to be found in a defective theology. All the economic tricks that you and Trellis want to apply will not stop the subjects of this culture from finding ways to demean and degrade labour.

  • Anne

    The leadership of the American church during the first gilded age is as different from today’s as John Ryan from Timothy Dolan (!). The former managed to inspire what became known as the New Deal, while the latter spent scarce moral capital trying to stop the country’s first major health reform legislation in 50 years over a minor provision freeing patients from copays for women’s preventive health services including contraceptives.