For Labor Day weekend, a meditation on the spiritual importance of living wage legislation from Archdeacon Michael S. Kendall of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. See it here. And read this brochure from the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice.
Economic justice is intended to do good, to raise up the poor. The unintended consequence of raising the minimum wage is, however, to increase unemployment. When wages rise employers reduce the size of their workforce. One might say we should therefore restrict the employers' flexibility to the reduce the workforce, but this would have the unintended consequence putting a chill on hiring.
An economic justice campaign is not just about having our hearts in the right place. If we don't use our brains we do harm. The alternatives to using government to dictate higher wages are to use government to see that more get a decent education, or to create monetary incentives to hire the poor. These are not as popular or easy as raising the minimum wage. But they have the right effect.
That's my Labor Day Message.
John B. Chilton |
September 1, 2007 1:26 AM
Without a minimum wage companies use people as virtual slaves.
Ann Fontaine |
September 1, 2007 9:44 AM
See the advice of economist James Heckman in this post
"In the early 1990s, while doing work evaluating government job programs, he noticed that the reason minorities weren’t going to college at a greater rate was not because they couldn’t afford it but because of “ability gaps.” Minorities were more likely to be lacking in both cognitive and non-cognitive abilities, making it more difficult for them to excel – or even stay — in school. He grew interested in finding out when those gaps first occur and was surprised to discover that they take place in a child’s formative years."
Here's a constructive place for the Episcopal Church to focus attention on closing income inequality -- advocacy of preschool focused on the groups identified as most in need.
John B. Chilton |
September 1, 2007 3:36 PM
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