National Catholic Reporter

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George Will vs. Pope Francis

On Gaudete Sunday, I did not need to read this op-ed by George Will first thing in the morning to cast a damper on the day. It is not just snarky and condescending, it is that Will perfectly evidences the thing Pope Francis is railing against, the de-personalization of the economy. Will writes: 

 

If you think today’s 7 percent unemployment rate is too low. (It would be 10.9 percent if the workforce participation rate were as high as it was when Obama was first inaugurated; since then, millions of discouraged workers have stopped searching for jobs.) Because less than 3 percent of the workforce earns the minimum wage, increasing that wage will not greatly increase unemployment. Still, raising the price of low-productivity workers will somewhat reduce demand for them.

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If you reject that last sentence. If you do, name other goods or services for which you think demand is inelastic when their prices increase.

You see the problem? A human person is not a commodity, not one of the "goods and services" that we all acknowledge the market is best suited for determining the price. If a wage of those who make the goods or deliver the services is not a living wage, the price is not accurate by any human, moral calculation. This is Will at his worst, unwittingly bowing down before the dismal science. He should know better.

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