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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

A pernicious evil has been the objectifying of economics – to see it as a clinical operation of abstract principles and forces rather than composed of the flesh and bone of millions.  In the name of clinical cant, huge personal pain has been inflicted with prudish and arrogant self-righteousness.

Only by personalizing the issue, by calling it sin rather than the play of impersonal economic forces will we ever get leverage on our problems. We need to confront boldly the fact that capitalism has failed and that the welfare state has failed to prevent outrageous ongoing harm to the populace. I know young adults who are being irreparably damaged  by demeaning and pumped up disability labels and welfare on the one hand and niggardly business greed on the other--all the while this shameful morass subsidized by erudite economic incantations. We must recognize that every job is necessary – including cleaning toilets in public facilities--and that people who do them deserve the dignity of a living wage.  Education – as much as I revere it – has been used as an excuse for huge injustices in pay grades.  It is time to recognize that necessary jobs are necessary; and to pay the persons doing them a living wage. If capitalistic dogma finds this inherent and simple necessity inconceivable, be prepared to devastate the self-esteem of millions in the mire and inefficiencies of a democratically determined welfare state.

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