The following is from a working paper dealing with the rich, the poor and the state 1. the present age has handed over the working poor to inhumane employers and greedy competitors (a. 6). ... the working poor as needy and helpless (a.66) and insufficiently protected against injustices and violence (a. 32). 2. In protecting the rights of private individuals, however, special consideration must be given to the weak and the poor. the suffering multitude, without the means to protect itself, relies especially on the protection of the State. Wherefore, since wage workers are numbered among the great mass of the needy, the State must include them under its special care and foresight. (a. 54) 3. most of the working poor live undeservedly in miserable and wretched conditions (a. 5). [Remember] that the poor are equal in citizenship to the rich (a. 49) and that their work is the source of the nation's wealth (a. 51). It is shameful and inhuman, however, to use men as things for gain and to put no more value on them than what they are worth in muscle and energy. (a. 31) The working poor, should be liberated from the savagery of greedy people (a. 59). 4. The government must permit freedom of action to individuals and families (a. 52). It cannot abolish private property but it can control its exercise, although crushing taxes should be avoided (a. 67). Civil power should not enter arbitrarily into the privacy of homes, but the government can and should give public aid to families in extreme difficulty (a. 21). It can restore rights within the family, but it is not the government's job to care for children (a. 21), and the power and authority of law should be employed if strikes or work-stoppages threaten disorder, 5. The government's intervention in matters of wages, hours, and working conditions should be avoided (a. 64), since these matters should be worked out between employers and employees. 6. When men know they are working on what belongs to them, they work with far greater eagerness and diligence. Nay, in a word, they learn to love the land cultivated by their own hands, whence they look not only for food but for some measure of abundance for themselves and their dependents. (a. 66) (emphasis mine) A fuller exposition can be found at Rerum Novarum, And at Rerum Novarum Notable Quotations The above was written almost 120 years ago, in 1891, by Pope Leo VIII, in the encyclical Rerum Novarum. Socialism? Capitalism? Good advice? What do you think?