Tuesday, July 16, 2013

If Walmart does it, why not small businesses?

I know a husband and father of more than four young children who works in construction and carpentry. He is an artist and a good worker. Perhaps he doesn't 'fit in' with the rough men he works with; they certainly don't listen to Gregorian chant and Greek language lessons on their mp-3 players. My friend, working full-time with a local company and on-call for when more work needs to be done, recently asked for a long deserved raise from his employer. He cited his reliable work, the months he has been in the company without a raise and the fact that he is supporting his homeschooling wife and four+ children.

The boss then stated, 'but don't you get food stamps and section 8? That should be enough." No, this family does not look for every social program that might be available to them. The father prefers to support his children himself with his hard work. In fact, they don't even avail themselves of the public school system, preferring to educate their children themselves. 

Now, I would be okay if the boss had said, "There is no money in the budget for raises this quarter, but I'll keep you in mind for overtime." But no, like Walmart and other big-box businesses, the employer wants his dedicated workers to be subsidized by the state. 

What is a family to do? I suppose the 'solution' is for the children to be in state daycare and public schools and both the mother and father should work full-time outside the home. The family I am writing about will not do this, so they will continue to live a simple life together. They refuse to sign their domestic church over to state control.

12 comments:

  1. A situation with which I am familiar. I'm very glad, and blessed, that my secular employers have never taken this attitude.

    The Catholics for whom I've worked, however, umm...the less said, the better.

    What he needs to do is look elsewhere and, praying, find an employer who will pay him enough to support his family. That's what I've had to do repeatedly.

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    1. ...clicked over to your blog....people might read it if you posted ;)

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    2. I probably should start posting again. LOL! I often forget the blog is still there, so long has it been since I posted with any regularity.

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    3. Okay...ask, and ye shall receive. I'm posting again. :D

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    4. I'll hop over there and see what you wrote ;)

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  2. Flambeaux- They are praying! but it is also a matter of being grateful he has a full-time job at all...luckily they have enough, but I think that it is very important for a man to be compensated justly for his work

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    1. I agree. I've been thankful for the job I've had the last three-and-a-half years even though it was frequently not quite enough to make ends meet. It took the last 9 months of looking but I've recently, Deo gratias, landed a better paying job.

      So I completely understand.

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  3. Flambeaux - I thought your identity had something to do with the character in the Fr. Brown Mysteries by GK Chesterton...

    Priest's Wife - It is unacceptable for anyone working full time for a company paying bonuses to bosses and/or investor dividends, to be paid so little that said employers expect their income to be "subsidized" by food stamps and Section 8. This friend of yours is the epitome of what every American should hope to be - a hard worker, a good father and husband, and a good citizen. This makes me so incredibly sad. I will pray for he and his family. It's a matter of justice, of what is right.

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    1. Thanks RW! (I've been thinking about you)- you are right about all of it- thank God they are a Godly family...but this is the epitome of unfair!

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  4. In the fall my daughter, 14, who has had some recent issues with trauma and PTSD, gave birth to a baby. I told the hospital social worker that my husband and I were going to become guardians of the baby. She was very opposed to this and admonished my daughter - as I stood there - about the ramifications of "giving up her baby". I didn't want to have to say out loud, in front of my child, that she would be incapable of being a mother (even more so than most 14 year olds!)....so I told her "We want the baby to have health insurance." She looked at me as though I were crazy and said, "She can be on medicaid! She can get WIC!" That's a lot better than your insurance! I said I didn't feel right about taking government aid, when we were able to care for the child, and she out and out told me I was foolish. (Then she went in and spoke to my daughter when I wasn't there and did all she could to sabotage us.) Absolutely unbelievable. She truly seemed to want full care of an infant to go to a mentally ill fourteen year old....because it would be "foolish" not to let the state take over, I guess.

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    1. wow Annie- I'll be praying for your family- and I hope that everyone who reads this will be praying, too...happy endings are possible....

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  5. For a boss to take a man's labor -- even unskilled labor -- for 40 hours and week and 52 weeks a year, and not pay a living wage is a sin. We hear about changing the definition of marriage, but what about changing the definition of "job."? A job is a means to a self-support, not simply some amount of wages in exchange for labor.

    But the Church has important teachings on this matter. The first is that we believe in original sin. We cannot sit around and wait for all bosses to accept God's teaching. The Church tells us that it is good for employees to come together in solidarity. We need to listen to the church's teaching on the rights of labor and labor organization. And we need good Christian men helping to lead our unions and acting in solidarity with other workers Christian and non-Christian, in order to be a witness to Christ in the workplace.

    Blessed Nikolas Gross, pray for us! Pray for all workers!

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thoughtful comments are welcome to the conversation! (moderation on posts older than a week...)

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