The Rich, The Poor, and the State.

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by PoliticalChic, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    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?
     
  2. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    1891 would be during the Industrial Revolution which created so many "working poor" and about the same time organized Labor Unions got started to address the problems of 1, 2, 3....seems to me even the "working poor" people in a free society will by and large find ways to resolve their own problems...no "nanny State socialists" needed....

    4, 5, 6 are all basically principles of a free capitalist society.....Pope Leo is right on...
     
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  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Here's what struck me: of course the encyclical documents the ills that the industrial revolutions inadvertently caused, and the reasons for the progressive movement.

    It explains the various trains of thought of Teddy Roosevelt, LaFollette, Eugene Victor Debs and Woodrow Wilson....

    but notice the descriptions used for the working folk, and how out of place said descriptions would be today, what with unions, laws, the fact that most working folk are part of the investror classs, ....

    It seems obvious that, as you state, "people in a free society will by and large find ways to resolve their own problems...no "nanny State socialists" needed...."

    This obviates the liberal/progressive thinking that many of us rail against today...

    But Leo seems to have a pretty good handle on the proper role of government.
     
  4. Agit8r
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    Agit8r Gold Member

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    Perhaps following the advise of Sir Francis Bacon that "Above all things, good policy is to be used that the treasure and moneys in a state be not gathered into few hands. For otherwise a state may have a great stock, and yet starve. And money is like muck, not good except it be spread," England (the original modern capitalist state) had passed Poor Laws and Factory Laws before the 19th century. it seems to me that there is nothing inherently opposed to free market principles in aid to the poor
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Pope Leo certainly agrees.

    And it is a basic tenet of conservatism:
    “To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind.” ~ Edmund Burke
     
  6. hedi01
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    hedi01 BANNED

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    The main characters of the show are the five surgical interns assigned to Dr. Bailey, a resident at Seattle Grace Hospital.
     
  7. snjmom
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    It looks schizophrenic to me.



    Which is it, the state should protect or it shouldn't intervene?
     
  8. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    At that time labor unions were considered to be radical and subversive...think of the Hay Market riots in the US.

    The needs of the poor are not related to unionism.

    The consideration of Pope Leo was based on the Church's obligations to aid the poor and needy while not necessarily bettering their situation...
    Understanding this requires you to separate the realities of today from that of a hundred years ago.
     

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