721 What Socialism Is
A majority of the American people have not yet investigated Socialism. I shall, therefore, state briefly what it is and what it will accomplish, that the readers may know the right or wrong of the Socialist movement, which has become third in this country in the number of votes cast, and much stronger in other countries.
Socialism is a world-wide movement of the working class and its sympathizers to have the products [added value, productivity] of labor go to those who produce them; in other words, to secure for the producers of wealth the wealth which they produce, that they may be better housed, better fed, better educated and live a larger and better life.
The world’s  headquarters of the Socialist movement is in Brussels. The American headquarters is in Chicago. The international party is about 8,000,000 strong in actual votes cast and is growing amazingly. Broadly it urges:
First––That the means of production and distribution of wealth that are social and public in their nature shall be owned collectively. This includes the great wealth of raw material in the earth––oil, coal, iron––which the Almighty created for all men alike, and machinery for its elaboration and distribution, which machinery the workers have made but do not own.
Second––That all social utilities, being collectively owned, shall be democratically managed for the benefit of all who work, and that profit-making, whereby one person exploits another, shall be abolished.
Third––That all who can labor shall be given opportunity to labor in the collectively owned industries and when Socialism is full-fledged, shall receive, directly and indirectly, the full product or equivalent of their toil, and until then a wage just as near the selling value of their product as is possible.
722 Fourth––That those who can but will not labor, though they may, should there be such under Socialism, shall receive according to what they produce––nothing if they produce nothing [2 Thessalonians 3:10].
Fifth––That each person may own privately as much non-productive property as she or he can earn by an honest labor of hand or brain. This would include your home, your library, automobile, yacht, and all other private personal effects not used for exploiting purposes.
Sixth––That child labor in gainful occupations and productive industry shall be abolished, juvenile education made universal, and that the old and worthy dependents shall have their interests protected and needs supplied.
Seventh––That the government should be brought near to the people through the initiative, the referendum and the right of recall. By the initiative is meant the right of the people to themselves directly vote to make laws that shall govern them. The referendum requires that laws made by our legislators shall, before they become effective, be approved by a majority vote of the people. The right of recall is the power which the people should have immediately to recall from office an offending official when the majority of people by vote desire it.
Socialists believe that Socialism, by abolishing the profit making system in business, and by establishing the Co-operative Commonwealth, will remove, more than anything else proposed, the motive as well as the opportunity for political corruption and economic wrongs, and without destroying individual liberty or the incentive to worthy effort.
Socialism is not anarchy. It is as different from it as is light from darkness or good from evil.
1. The Encyclopedia Britannica says: “The ethics of Socialism are closely akin to the ethics of Christianity, if not identical with them.”
2. Prof. R. P. Ely says: “It is applied Christianity––the golden rule applied to everyday life.”
3. F. G. Peabody, professor of Christian morals in Harvard University, says: “Jesus was a Socialist, if judged by His teachings.”
4. Emile de Lavelaye says: “Every Christian who understands and who earnestly accepts the teaching of his Master is at heart a Socialist.”
5. Dr. Lyman Abbott, while not a Socialist, says: “The tendency of the times is toward Socialism; nothing can prevent it, and nothing should prevent it.”
6. Father William Barry says: “Let no man fear the name of Socialism; the movement of the working class for justice by any other name would be as terrible.”
7. Our scientist, Grant Allen, was a Socialist; and Alfred Russell Wallace, who is perhaps the leading scientist in the world today, accepts fully the teaching of Socialism.
8. Rev. Father McGrady, who died last year, said: “Under Socialism religion will conquer the globe, education will expand and science will dazzle the world with its glittering sheen.” Socialism, however, is not a religious, but strictly an economic and moral question.
9. Socialism requires that the process of production and distribution shall be regulated, not by competition with self-interest [covetousness] for its moving principle, but by society as a whole, for the good [needs] of society [people].”––Dictionary of Political Economy.
10. “A theory of society that advocates a more precise, orderly and harmonious arrangement of the social relations than that which has hitherto prevailed.”––Webster’s Dictionary.
11. “A science of reconstructing society on an entirely new basis by substituting the principle of association for that of competition in every branch of industry.”––Worcester’s Dictionary.
12. “Government and co-operation are in all things and eternally the law of life; anarchy and competition, eternally and in all things the law of death.”––John Ruskin.
13. “Socialism being the product of social evolution, the only danger lies in obstructing it.”––Rev. F. M. Sprague.
|Ed. Note: See writings by Rev. Franklin Monroe Sprague (1841-1926), e.g.,
Socialism from Genesis
to Revelation (Boston: Lee and Shephard, 1893)
The Laws of Social Evolution (Boston, 1895).|
What Socialism will accomplish by abolishing our competitive and profit-making methods in business, and by establishing co-operative methods are in part as follows:
(a) Socialism will abolish wage slavery with its oppression.
(b) It will advance the workers’ wages from a bare subsistence wage to the full value of the product of his labor, increasing his income several fold.
(c) It will eliminate class distinctions based on wealth, and will establish social and economic justice.
(d) It will establish the dignity of labor and rank it above capital.
723 (e) The production of an overabundance of commodities for life and comfort will not, under Socialism, cause distress and need as now, by closing down mills, workshops and other industries.
(f) The more wealth you produce the more you will possess, instead of adding to it, as now, to the capital and exploiting power of a master class.
(g) You will escape the ironical fact of capitalism that as wages advance living expenses increase ["inflation"], for all commodities will be supplied at cost––the value of a “social labor hour” being the basis on which the price of commodities may be determined.
(h) Under Socialism you will own an equal share with Rockefeller in the oil industry, with Morgan in the Steel Trust, and with all others in the tools of industry; you will escape from the grip which the private owners of the machines now have on your life and liberty.
(i) There will be a vast saving of labor and expense through the economy of co-operation in doing work, and the workday for all workers will yield larger results in wealth production than now, and might be shortened if we desired it.
(j) By giving the wealth producer five-fifths of the output value of his toil, instead of one-fifth, as capitalism does, it will promote marriage and re-establish the home which capitalism has largely destroyed among the laboring masses.
(k) Socialism will immediately, on its adoption, begin to remove the need, if there be such, for the brothel and the
saloon, and will soon eliminate them both.
|Ed. Note: From experience of the intervening century of socialism, the contrast of reduced poverty, unemployment, homelessness, suicide, crime, corruption and other societal evils reduced or eliminated under socialism, with the higher levels under capitalism is shown in references such as Prof. Michael Parenti, Ph.D., Inventing Reality: The Politics of News Media, 2d ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993),
Chapter 8, § 6, pp 128-136, especially pp 130-132.|
Under it [socialism] you can be clean in business and Christian-like seven days in the week, instead of on Sunday only, as now, which makes you a hypocrite all the time. even against your will, because of our competitive methods. It will reform politicians and make them upright men.
|Ed. Note: Automobile industrialist Henry Ford in January 1914 began to follow this "clean in business" principle. He increased work pay far above the norm. "Moral principles had penetrated a citadel of industrial capitalism," says Harold Evans, They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Saerch Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators (New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2004), Part II, Section II, "Democratizers," § 1, "Henry Ford," p 310. The Wall Street Journal labeled the substantial wage increase as "the application of spiritual principles."|
(l) It will restrain human selfishness, stop graft and promote brotherhood and honesty. Every person may “live on Easy Street,” for the producer of wealth will be its possessor. Girl clerks getting the value of $25 to $50 per week in department stores instead of $3 as now, will not be asked by the Christian (?) manager, “Can you not get a gentleman friend to help you?”
(m) Socialism will make the good of the public a dominating thought and true democracy a realized condition. Merit will be the basis of reward.
(n) It will cause the labor-saving machine to fulfill its greatest possible good. It will give employment to all workers during their productive years. It will remove the fear of want and poverty. It will stop child labor in productive industries and give all children equal opportunity for an education. It will pension and protect the old. It will make it easy to follow the good precepts of the Man of Galilee.
|Ed. Note. "The Social Revolution will abolish poverty and parasitism," says Upton B. Sinclair, The Profits Of Religion (1917), § 7.6, "The Church Redeemed," p 297.|
(o) Socialism will end strikes, lockouts, lost jobs, and the ever constant war that is waged between capital and labor. It will end the deceptions of a hundred kinds that are practiced for profit-making. It will eliminate disease to a large degrees by bringing within each reach of all those chief conditions upon which health depends––plenty of pure air and skylight; enough good food and healthful drinks; cleanliness, proper clothing and shelter; regular periods for an sufficient rest, sleep and exercise.
|Ed. Note. Under the current system, "45,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance. That's 120 a day," says Public Citizen, March 2012.|
(p) Socialism will start the human race on the highway to quick attainment of such perfection in ourselves, physically, mentally and morally, and in our environments as the world has never seen.
If we can, with any certainty at all, forecast the results of the operation of any new economic system or plan of concerted action before it is actually put into opera- 724 tion, we feel confident that Socialism will do all that we have claimed for it.
Individualism (capitalism) demands profits in the production and exchange of commodities. Socialism demands that production and exchange of commodities be for use purposes and not for profits.
Socialism stands for co-operation and its constructive. It builds for the benefit of all. “To each as his work shall be,” is its motto.
Individualism stands for competition and is destructive. Through competition it tears down. It destroys more and more the interests of the less successful and enlarges the interests of the more successful, until already 1 per cent of the people in the United States own more wealth than all the remaining 99 per cent of the people put together, and 10,000,000 of our people are constantly underfed, badly clothed and poorly housed.––Progressive Journal of Education.
724 Identity of Interests
|Ed. Note: Also on the same page, 724, another article followed, which may be of interest.|
Sometimes there appears in very short form a statement that covers a multitude of absurd [circular logic and reasoning] errors [and assumptions]. Here for instance, is a paragraph from an article by W. W. Phillips in Leslie’s Weekly.
724 A Workingman’s Logic
“If the working people could get over the idea that the interest of capital and labor are diametrically opposed to each other, if they could be made to understand that their interests are the same––that what hurts the workingman hurts capital, that what hurts the capitalist hurts labor––the labor question and the trust [Big Business Monopoly] problem would at one be resolved. To illustrate how labor is indebted to capital, we can show it clearer by going back to first [basic] principles. We will imagine a colony of 1,000 workingmen who are without capital. As they are without capital, they must hunt and fish or live off fruits, etc., and are therefore in the utmost poverty. We will introduce twenty capitalists with $100,000 each. There will be rather keen competition for labor and the men will be well paid and the working people will prosper. Some of the stronger and more prudent will become wealthy, the weak will continue poor and discontented and in time will accuse the capitalists of causing all their woes. The cause of misery, poverty, is not the capitalists––the cause is the men, in nature. Let the capitalist and the laborer pull together and a prosperity never before known will result from it. What is needed is co-operation between capital and labor.”
[Rebuttal:] The twenty “capitalists,” each with his $100,000, might land in the imaginary colony, and if the “capital” was in the form of gold, silver, nickel, copper or paper, they would have to go to work hunting and fishing the same as the others in the colony. Their money would be merely a commodity for which there was no demand.
But if they came with seeds, hoes, spades, plows, scythes, axes, saws, harrows and other [food-producing] tools; with sewing machines and engines, with team drills and other machines, and the people in the colony had to use those things or starve, then the “capitalists” would hire the men of the colony to produce certain articles that humanity needs and would pay them wages for doing so.
Some among the colonists might go the “capitalists” and ask, “Where did you get that ‘capital’?" And the “capitalist” would probably answer, “I inherited it.” “Where did the one from whom you inherited it get it?” “Oh, he earned it.” “How did he earn it?” “He had enterprise and ran a factory.” “Did he do the work himself?”
No, indeed. He hired others to do the work and he superintended operations. This ‘capital’ is the reward of superior knowledge, directive ability and functioning power. He was not wasteful, so it likewise is the reward of abstinence in not having eaten it, or drunk it or spent it in pleasure. If course, he ate and drank all he wanted, and he enjoyed himself. But still there was this amount left.
“Did he go to the factory every day?” “Why, no. He knew how to employ skilled men and he spent most of his time traveling in Europe. But after the business got going in good style he had no trouble. It “just carried itself along” and all he had to do was take the profits. “What are profits?” “You stupid fool, profits are the return the capitalist receives for his investment.” “But what did he invest?” “You are hopeless. He invested his capital.”
|Bibliography of Christian Socialist Writings
Thom Hartmann, “Profiling CEOs and Their Sociopathic Paychecks” (Common Dreams.org, 27 July 2009, says “Executives and other highly compensated employees now receive more than one-third of all pay in the US . . . Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total US pay in 2007, the latest figures available.”— citing the Wall Street Journal (Perspective).
Example — Company of 1000:
|Total Daily Payroll: $100,000||997 employees||3 executives
|Average:||$66,666/997 = $66.87 average. each||$33,334/3 = $11,111 average each
Instead of $100 average daily pay each, about $12/hr each, most (997) get 1/3 less, about $8.34/hr, whereas the few (3) get ultra disproportionately more, about $1,375/hr. This is 164 times as much, whereas in pre-Civil War slavery, the master took "only" 21 times as much as the slave. Modern "wage slavery" is over seven (7) times worse, in this regard. But, morally, "nothing and no one can legitimate the punishing of the one who performs it [work] with a lower living standard," says Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, § 1, p 29.
This is the type disparity that led to the February 2011 ouster of Hosni Mubarek as President of Egypt, a billionaire looting Egypt for his relatives and supporters, while oppressing the poverty stricken masses. See, e.g.,
Prof. Juan R. I. Cole, Ph.D., "Labor movement drives Egypt, Tunisia protests" (Detroit News, 10 February 2011), pp 1B and 3B.
“Many people don’t understand our country’s problem of concentration of income and wealth because they don’t see it. People just don't understand how much wealth there is at the top now. The wealth at the top is so extreme that it is beyond most people’s ability to comprehend. . . . What do people do with all that money? Good question. After you own a stable of politicians who will cut your taxes, there are still a few more things you can buy. . . . . Worse Than Egypt In fact our country's concentration of wealth is worse than Egypt,” says Dave Johnson, "Nine Pictures Of The Extreme Income/Wealth Gap" (14 February 2011).
"For the last 100ish years, the word 'communism' has held negative connotations. Even now, saying you're a Communist will quiet the room fast. In 1930s Detroit, being a Communist wasn't necessarily considered a bad thing, though -- at least not for 60,000 black American autoworkers," says Marilisa Sachteleben, "Organizing Ford Motor Company: Black Detroit Autoworkers, Communism, Cadillac Square - Yahoo! News" (24 January 2013).
Taking more for oneself than giving another, violates commandments, e.g., the one against coveting, "Thou shalt not covet . . . anything that is thy neighbor's," Exodus 20:17, and the one to "love thy neighbor as thyself," Leviticus 19:18,
Mark 12:31, or more so, John 13:34,
The prevalance of violation of these commandment is evident in this subsequent Bible analysis: "the wages of the laborers . . . which you kept back by fraud [coveting, thus under-paying], cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord," says James 5:4.
People now know it is wrong to pay women less than men, but have not yet learned the principle of equal pay for all, i.e., have not learned the wrongfulness of paying workers less than managers. See
Matt. 20:1-16, equal pay for all, regardless of circumstantial variations. See also the "family wage" concept.
See also Ezekiel 7:19, Zephaniah 1:18, Proverbs 11:4, Isaiah 2:20, Revelation 21:18, 21, Lamentations 4:1, for perspective against greed of money.
"The whole art of Conservative politics . . . is being deployed to enable wealth to persuade poverty [scam the middle class and poor] to use its political freedom to keep wealth [the rich and powerful] in power," says Aneurin Bevan,
cited in William Blum, Killing
Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2004), Chapter 3, p 34. “Feingold and other endangered Democrats face the oddest of coalitions [conservatives aka tea-baggers]. Working-class voters most damaged by corporate America have made common cause with new, faux populists to demand tax cuts for the wealthy, the continued under-regulation of corporations such as BP and Goldman Sachs and the repeal of Obama's health system overhaul so that insurers can decide who will and won't get care. What is best for business is best for America. [Tea-baggers] seem willing to send clowns to Washington,” says Margaret Carlson, author of “Anyone Can Grow Up: How George Bush and I Made It to the White House” and former White House correspondent for Time magazine, [now] a Bloomberg News columnist, in “Lifelong maverick senator faces angry electorate, Tea Party candidate,” in Macomb Daily (18 October 2010), p8A. For example, mega-millionaire Mitt Romney takes the anti-Biblical position of saying, "'I'm Not Concerned with the Very Poor'" (Wednesday, 1 February 2012). It is this anti-Biblical attitude that underlies why Christ's parable of "Lazarus and the Rich Man," Luke 16:19-31, has the rich man punished by damnation, and why his mother Mary's"Magnificat," has the rich put down and sent away empty, Luke 1:52-53.
Prof. Ernest Renan, The Apostles (New York: Carleton, 1866)
Prof. Thomas Wharton Collens, "Preaching" (March 1868)
Rev. francis Bellamy, "Pledge of Allegiance" (1882)
Rev. Dennis Hird, Jesus the Socialist (London: Clarion Press, 1908)
Rev. Conrad Noel, Socialism in Church History
(Milwaukee: The Young Churchman, 1911)
Prof. José P. Miranda, Marx y la Biblia: Critica a la Filosofia de la Opresion, transl. John Eagleson, Marx and the Bible: A Critique of the Philosophy of Oppression (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1974)
Prof. José P. Miranda, El Cristianismo de Marx (1978), transl. John Drury, Marx against the Marxists: The Christian Humanism of Karl Marx (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1980)
Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (1981), transl., Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982).
John Sayles, "Matewan" (1987) (labor history movie showing 1920's example brutal and murderous suppression of unions)
John C. Cort [1913-2006], Christian Socialism: An Informal History (New York: Orbis Books, 1988). On the origin of the word "socialism," in Chapter 8, "England," § 1, "John Ludlow and Other Early Socialists in England," p 139, he cites "the Evangelical Protestant Alexandre Vinet, the man who first used the word socialisme." Chapter 7, "France," § 6, "The Saint Simonians," p 101, says it was "November 12, 1831, that Alexandre Vinet, a contributor to the Protestant magazine Le Semeur, wrote an article in which the word "socialisme" appeared for the first time in France. He used it to designate the opposite of 'individualism.'"
Ralph Nader, The Good Fight (New York: ReganBooks, 2004), Chapter 8, "Increasing Burdens on the Working Class," § 1, "Wages," p 142, says "the federal minimum wage [has not] increased as quickly as CEO pay since 1990." Had it increased thusly, "it would today  be $15.71 per hour, more than three times the actual minium wage."
John Nichols, The "S" Word: A Short History of an American Tradition . . . Socialism (Verso, 2010) ("John Nichols, a leading political reporter in the US, here offers his unapologetic retort to the return of red-baiting in American political life—arguing that socialism has a long, proud American history. Tom Paine was enamored of early socialists, Horace Greeley employed Karl Marx as a correspondent, and Helen Keller was an avowed socialist. Moreover, we owe many basic American institutions, like the Social Security system, to the ideas and efforts of American socialists.")
Prof. Paul R. Krugman, Ph.D., “Defining Prosperity Down” (New York Times, 1 August 2010) (“our governing elite just doesn't care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal . . . will soon declare that high unemployment is 'structural,' a permanent part of the economic landscape . . . condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness.”) (“Krugman is giving witness to the terrible dynamic of under-employment and unemployment that the Scriptures indicate will seize control of the world in the 'Latter Days.'”)
Harold Meyerson, "Banks crank up foreclosure mills again" (24 October 2010) ("The banks that are repossessing millions of homes with a speed that suggests they're double-parked are the same banks that made billions by swapping paper on millions of homes purchased with mortgages that made no financial sense. Garbage in, garbage out. Hey, it's only people's lives.")
Jerry Goldberg, J.D., "How the Banks Destroyed Detroit" (31 March 2011) (by predatory practices including usury)
Robert Scheer, "The New Corporate World Order" (20 April 2011) ("The debate over Republicans’ insistence on continued tax breaks for the superrich and the corporations they run should come to a screeching halt with the report in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal headlined 'Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad.' Those tax breaks over the past decade, leaving some corporations such as General Electric to pay no taxes at all, were supposed to lead to job creation, but just the opposite has occurred. As the WSJ put it, the multinational companies 'cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million, new data from the U.S. Commerce Department show.'”)
Prof. Charles S. Merrill, "Americans returning to feudal times" (Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, 4 June 2011) ("a bunch of really sordid fat cats are pushing hard to reconfigure us as the Feudal States of America.
. . . Either we wake up and push back, or they succeed, and we are all serfs. Again.")
Leroy Pletten, "Statement on the Economy" (26 June 2011)
Robert Parry, "How Greed Destroys America: America’s corporate chieftains are living like kings while the middle class stagnates and shrivels" (28 June 2011) ("the threat to a healthy democracy from concentrated wealth had been known to American leaders for generations. A century ago, it was Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who advocated for a progressive income tax and an estate tax."
Michael Moore, "30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died" (5 August 2011) ("Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to 'go for it' -- to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.")
Rev. S. R. Shearer, "How the GOP and its ally, the Religious Right, have created a Death Cult" (10 February 2012) ("Contemporary conservatism is bent on destroying the social safety net (basic programs such as Social Security and unemployment insurance). . . . As recent data suggests, poverty leads to death and a diminished lifespan. When the ... Republicans stand against food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, and other programs for those displaced by the Great Recession, through actions both direct and indirect, they are in fact killing people.")
Matt Stoller, "Towards a Creditor State - One in Seven Americans Pursued by Debt Collectors" (Saturday, 3 March 2012) ("Ten years ago, one in fourteen American consumers were pursued by debt collectors. Today it’s one in seven. . . . There are now thousands of people legally jailed because they aren’t paying their bills, ie. debtor’s prisons have returned. Occasionally elites let it slip that this is not an accident, but is their goal – former Comptroller General David Walker has wistfully pined for debtor’s prisons overtly (on CNBC, no less). . . . the percentage of people being tracked down by third party collection agencies suggests we live in a different country than we did just ten years ago.")
Christina Rexrode and Bernard Condon, "Typical CEO made $9.6M last year," Macomb Daily (Saturday, 26 May 2012), p A1 ("The head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011 . . . using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm. That was up more than 6 percent from the previous year, and is the second year in a row increase. The figure is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.")
James Martin, SJ, "The Not-so-Social Gospel" (Thursday, 23 August 2012) (Examples of the Conservative Republican Romney-Ryan Rewrite of the New Testament)
Andrew Leonard, "The Internet’s Greatest Disruptive Innovation: Inequality " (Salon, 20 July 2013) (citing "meritocracy" entitlement mentality of tech industry "skill-based knowledge work" [contrast with Biblical needs doctrine:
"nothing and no one can legitimate the punishing of the one who performs it [other work types] with a lower living standard," says
Theology Prof. José P. Miranda, Comunismo en la Biblia (Cerro del Agua 248, Mexico 20, D.F.: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, S.A., 1981), transl. by Robert R. Barr, Communism in the Bible (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1982), Chapter 2, § 1, "The Illegitimacy of Wealth," p 29. And: "As nothing justifies penalizing certain necessary types of labor with an inferior standard of living, it ought to be obvious that the alleged legitimacy of differentiating wealth is a mere historical prolongation of the slave mentality that says some are born to live better than others. This is indubitably how the authors of the Bible, and Jesus with them, perceived the affair. Hence their implacable condemnation of differentiating wealth," p 30].)
Bhaskar Sunkara, "The American Dream Rewards Few, Enslaves Millions" (Guardian, 21 August 2013) ("My family was middle-class, but there was never enough money, even with two parents working 60-hour weeks. . . . my parents were hardly around. Childcare fell to the public library . . . t's how American illusions about work function. The focus is on individual triumph and luck; not collective action and social responsibility. . . . My parents . . . will likely have to keep working well into old age. . . . And that's part of the disease that keeps American capitalism going. . . . It's not that everyone can be successful; it's that anyone can be successful. A few token children of the meritocracy keep the rest glued to their machines. Not all in chains, some by choice.")
"Swiss Showing the World How to Take on Pay Inequality" (5 October 2013) ("In March 2013, Swiss voters overwhelmingly passed one of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation. . . . Next month, November 24, a separate proposal to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year, the so-called 1:12 initiative, faces a popular vote. . . . this one to create a new law guaranteeing all Swiss nationals a basic income of CHF 2,500 a month ($2,756 US)." (See also the equal pay parable, Matthew 20:1-16.)
Senator Bernie Sanders, "The Political Crisis in Washington" (9 October 2013) (urging "people [to] understand that the real issue . . . is not just the desire of Republicans to defund Obamacare. At a time when the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing, these right-wing ideologues want to repeal virtually every piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years which protects the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor and the environment. The truth is that ending Obamacare is just a small part of the right-wing extremist agenda, which is heavily funded by the Koch brothers and other very wealthy and powerful special interests. Their full agenda includes privatizing Social Security, ending Medicare as we know it, slashing Medicaid funding, eliminating the EPA and the Department of Energy and abolishing the concept of the minimum wage. Needless to say, they also want more tax breaks for the rich and large corporations. It should be clear to everyone that their long-term goal is to move this country into an oligarchic [monarchical] form of society in which billionaires completely control the economic and political life of this nation." And see Mary Bottari saying likewise.)
Lynn Parramore, "The Real Story Behind the Detroit Pension Fight and What it Means to America's Future" (Huffingoton Post, 12 March 2014) (Cites the "discrepancy in how the sanctity of contracts is viewed in America. When it comes to the bonuses of AIG executives after the financial crisis, we were told by experts and pundits that contracts must not be broken, and that taxpayers should foot the bill to avoid breaking this fundamental trust. But in Detroit or Chicago, we are told that the contracts of pensioners are not really worth the paper they're written on. The difference? AIG executives are powerful and well-connected. Pensioners are not.")
Christopher Robbins, "What Happens When Low Wage Workers Suddenly Get a Living Wage?" (Gothamist, 5 June 2014) ("Making a living wage isn't luxurious, it's living!")
"The 10 Most 'Socialist' States in America" (The Street, 2 August 2014) ("Socialism at its core is a political term applied to an economic system in which individual property, like money, is held and used in common, within a state or a country as an attempt to equalize the standard of living for the average citizen. In a completely socialist society, there would be no money. Basic needs such as foodw, shelter, education and healthcare would be available and provided to everyone, so division of classes based on wealth would not exist." The list is:
Liz Alderman and Steven Greenhouse, "Living Wages, Rarity for U.S. Fast-Food Workers, Served Up in Denmark" (New York Times, 28 October 2014) ("$20 an hour is the lowest the fast-food industry can pay under an agreement between Denmark’s 3F union, the nation’s largest, and the Danish employers group Horesta, which includes Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks and other restaurant and hotel companies. By contrast, fast-food wages in the United States are so low that half of the nation’s fast-food workers rely on some form of public assistance.")
The Bible urges return to "the faith once delivered to the saints," Jude 3, and not be "removed unto another gospel," Galatians 1:6-7, which
(a) rejects divine intent of equal prosperity for everyone (3 John 2 and Micah 4:4) which leads to wealth for everyone so great that silver (low pay) was spurned (like stones!), as gold (large scale wealth) was had in such significant abundance for everyone (1 Kings 10:21 and 27 and 2 Chronicles 1:15),
(b) rejects the divine anti-tokenism egalitarian economic equality doctrines (e.g., Acts 2:41-45 and Acts 4:32-37).
For background, see, e.g., the above-cited Collens, Hird, Miranda, Noel, and Renan writings.
Education from an Historical Background Viewpoint