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The Pope and Godless Capitalism (Globalism)
Real Clear Politics ^ | May 3, 2013 | Pat Buchanan

Posted on 05/11/2013 4:18:13 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo

"This is called slave labor," said Pope Francis.

The Holy Father was referring to the $40 a month paid to apparel workers at that eight-story garment factory in Bangladesh that collapsed on top of them, killing more than 400.

"Not paying a just wage ... focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at personal profit. That goes against God!"

The pope is describing the dark side of globalism

Why is Bangladesh, after China, the second-largest producer of apparel in the world? Why are there 4,000 garment factories in that impoverished country which, a few decades ago, had almost none?

Because the Asian subcontinent is where Western brands -- from Disney to Gap to Benetton -- can produce cheapest. They can do so because women and children will work for $1.50 a day crammed into factories that are rickety firetraps, where health and safety regulations are nonexistent.

(Excerpt) Read more at realclearpolitics.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: aynrand; bangladesh; benetton; capitalism; china; disney; freetrade; gap; globalism; godlesscapitialism; kathieleegifford; lewrockwelldotcom; libertarians; miltonfriedman; patbuchanan; pitchforkpat; popefrancis; protectionism; tradedeficit
The pope seems to think that there's a higher morality than that of the marketplace and bottom line. Ayn Rand would not be pleased.
1 posted on 05/11/2013 4:18:13 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

As usual in such discussions is the question of why anyone would work for such low wages as is the simple answer: Because the alternative is worse.


2 posted on 05/11/2013 4:29:33 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
Bangladesh, without those jobs, starves. It's history proves it.

Let's revisit old times, right here in the West:

http://www2.needham.k12.ma.us/nhs/cur/Baker_00/2002_p7/ak_p7/childlabor.html

3 posted on 05/11/2013 4:30:23 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

I felt that what he was saying was more along the lines that morality and the marketplace are not (and should not) be mutually exclusive. One phrase used in the article is ‘capitalism without a conscience’ - and if that phrase doesn’t fit this tragedy, where well over 1,000 (far more than the 400 stated in the article) died, I’m not sure what does.

Saying that a business run for profit could and should also be run in a decent, moral way, isn’t, I don’t think, in any way anti-capitalist. On the contrary, capitalism, being fundamentally more ‘moral’ than socialism, should be taking the ‘high ground’ on issues such as this.

There IS something wrong with packing 3500 women and young kids into a totally unsafe structure and working them until the building collapses on top of them - from both a moral perspective (clearly) and also a capitalistic one (such an event obviously doesn’t make the business owner any money).


4 posted on 05/11/2013 4:30:53 AM PDT by Zajko (Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but the pig likes it.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Kind of reminds me of the Tea Party - capitalism without God.
Fiscal conservatism with social Liberalism.


5 posted on 05/11/2013 4:35:13 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: Zajko
There IS something wrong with packing 3500 women and young kids into a totally unsafe structure and working them until the building collapses on top of them - from both a moral perspective (clearly) and also a capitalistic one (such an event obviously doesn’t make the business owner any money).

Are you sure it doesn't make any money? If the operations in the building produced enough revenue to exceed all costs (including construction) then the owners were making money on it.

6 posted on 05/11/2013 4:35:26 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Morality matters.


7 posted on 05/11/2013 4:36:01 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
There are plenty of once great textile factories all over the south that could handle all of our needs that sit empty. As a matter of fact most of them were non union.

Funny thing to tear down a factory and put up a WalMart to sell Chinese garments. Ironic.

8 posted on 05/11/2013 4:37:33 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Taking into account the fact that the business owner is now in custody, facing a long jail sentence, and the upcoming compensation claims from 1000+ families, on top of the loss of the building, the revocation of his licence to operate any form of commerce, the confiscation of his assets and the fact that after the publicity surrounding this case, no international company would touch any business connected with him with a barge-pole, at any time in the future, in any case - then yes, I’m pretty sure he didn’t come out of this affair ‘in front.’

My point was a more general one really, though: ensuring that the premises you provide for your staff are basically structurally sound and not liable to collapse on top of them makes both business and moral sense.


9 posted on 05/11/2013 4:42:09 AM PDT by Zajko (Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but the pig likes it.)
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To: count-your-change
As usual in such discussions is the question of why anyone would work for such low wages as is the simple answer: Because the alternative is worse.

This is very true.

But in this specific case, as part of the implicit contract, the employees weren't expecting to be incinerated.

So I would categorize this case, economically speaking, as fraud, and, criminally speaking, as manslaughter.

10 posted on 05/11/2013 4:43:28 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: Zajko
Taking into account the fact that the business owner is now in custody etc.

I'd say he rolled the dice and lost. Drug cartels work the same way this guy tried ...

My point was a more general one really, though: ensuring that the premises you provide for your staff are basically structurally sound and not liable to collapse on top of them makes both business and moral sense.

I agree.

11 posted on 05/11/2013 4:45:04 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
The pope seems to think that there's a higher morality than that of the marketplace and bottom line. Ayn Rand would not be pleased.

I'll take your word for it on Ayn Rand. I don't pretend to be an expert on her.

Having said that, there are two immutable principles that I have learned in my life:


12 posted on 05/11/2013 4:45:30 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: jacknhoo

In the long run, capitalism wont work without God and morality. The society-destroying product of the entertainment industry is illustrative. Lenin may yet be proven right about who was going to sell the rope to hang themselves.


13 posted on 05/11/2013 4:57:13 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

The Novus Ordo Catholic Church needs to realize that it’s mission handed from Jesus Christ to Peter was to save souls and keep out of politics. Politics is indeed the road to perdition.

This new Argentinian pope is no different that his predecessors who turned a blind eye while the Church reinvented itself into a pretzel-shaped multi-mission entity. Today, tragically, the ‘Catholic’ church varies from country to country, but the realization that an entire new religion was formed over the past 50 plus years has yet to sink in to most.


14 posted on 05/11/2013 4:58:48 AM PDT by IbJensen (Liberals are like Slinkies, good for nothing, but you smile as you push them down the stairs.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo; count-your-change
Ayn Rand would not be pleased.

Actually, I'm not pleased either. This is an economically illiterate statement by His Holiness. If you want to talk about Godless economic systems, let's look at a certain economic system that systematically killed 100 million people in the 20th Century. You all know the one I'm talking about. It's the one whose ideology underpins the modern Democrat Party. Yes, I said it out loud.

As usual in such discussions is the question of why anyone would work for such low wages as is the simple answer: Because the alternative is worse.

count-your-change is of course correct, and the post after his as well - to us, these jobs are nightmares. To Bangladesh, they're the difference between extremely hard work in dangerous conditions, or outright starvation. These jobs are the first rung up on the ladder, as anyone with more than 10 cents worth of economic education knows (which pretty much excludes the entire Democrat Party, and especially Paul Krugman).

15 posted on 05/11/2013 4:58:55 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (Buck Off, Bronco Bama)
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To: Zajko
Years ago I worked on a project for major American corporation to build a plant in Mexico. That plant was built to American standards for fire protection and safety. I have a friend currently trying to upgrade Chinese manufacturing facilities to American standards. In both facilities, wages are not comparable to those in the US but if they were, they would not have been built. Additionally, the air compressors made in Mexico and the paints made in Chia are primarily for those markets.

Whoever owned and built the facilities in Bangladesh is responsible, not capitalism. We have no idea what the building standards are and which were violated, what officials were bribed or what contractors cut corners. This is so typical in the third world but the idea they can be raised to our standards overnight is ludicrous. They cannot afford what I call “affordable righteous indignation” which is the world the Pope lives in. As the people of Bangladesh lift themselves out of poverty, they can then demand and build safer facilities. We cannot ordain them and can only hurt them by refusing to buy what they make. We can’t gift them out of poverty either.

A fair wage is what the market bears and that is better than no wage. A fair wage is the starting point for greater prosperity, no wage is the end point of poverty. No one says they have to die to achieve prosperity. It is up to the people Bangladesh to make those corrections or accept the risks based on their decision about their future.

16 posted on 05/11/2013 5:00:45 AM PDT by trubolotta
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To: markomalley
If you don't treat your employees like human beings, they will eventually break.

The idea with some seems to be that you're not a good manager if you don't treat your workers like dogs.

I suspect that part of the problem is that many with wealth and authority lack real experience with doing useful physical labor and so they lack respect for such work and those that do it.

17 posted on 05/11/2013 5:04:08 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
I suspect that part of the problem is that many with wealth and authority lack real experience with doing useful physical labor and so they lack respect for such work and those that do it.

My opinion is that the excesses of the early part of the industrial age opened the door for trade-unionism and its cousin, socialism.

The excesses of trade-unionism opened up the door to excessive government regulation and the creation of the welfare state (the step-child of socialism) and its excessive taxes.. The combination opened up the door to off-shoring factories.

And now we are seeing in places like China and Bangladesh the conditions that existed in much of the Western World in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Far better to recognize that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and to treat each other accordingly. IMHO.

18 posted on 05/11/2013 5:16:46 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: IbJensen
This new Argentinian pope is no different that his predecessors who turned a blind eye while the Church reinvented itself into a pretzel-shaped multi-mission entity.

Michael Voris doesn't think so. Watch here.

19 posted on 05/11/2013 5:22:30 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: trubolotta

I completely agree with you, and made no comment on the issue of the wages these workers were paid - I’m sure they were happy to have jobs in the first place. I merely observed that getting your entire workforce killed because (a) your building has (as in this case) had 3 floors added to it illegally and against the architect’s advice, and (b) you’ve ignored warnings from your engineers in the weeks prior to this disaster that the building was unsafe, because you don’t want to lose production for a few days while these issues are fixed, is both morally unaceptable and bad business.

And yes, I agree, the same standards as apply in the U.S. can’t be applied elsewhere overnight, even if they should be eventually (sometimes debatable in itself). My point, which I think is fundamentally similar to yours, is that to tarnish or criticise ‘capitalism’ because of issues such as this one, where cronyism, corruption and blatant immorality are in fact the discerning factors at play, is nonsense. Capitalism and morality are not mutually exclusive, nor should they be governed by the same authorities or sets of rules. They can and do, however, often exist interdependently.


20 posted on 05/11/2013 5:27:39 AM PDT by Zajko (Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but the pig likes it.)
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To: markomalley
Far better to recognize that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and to treat each other accordingly. IMHO.

We can agree on that. Ephesians 6:5-9 commands BOTH the employee and employer to the same obligations of honest service and consideration for the other. God's way has no place for adversarial relations between the two.

21 posted on 05/11/2013 5:28:33 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Godless Capitalism?

Every one knows that it was socialism that brought in globalism and the so called free trade which was for the express purpose of shutting down the industry in the U.S.

Socialism is Godless, not capitalism.

Capitalism is merely a thing of nature, it is what people have been involved in since the beginning of time, one person is good at making axes, another is good at making knives, lets trade so we will both have the best of everything.

Safety laws have nothing to do with God, it just comes with common sense, most people have the sense to change jobs, if they find the people they are working for are too stingy to make things reasonably safe they will go to some place where working conditions are better.

The law makers picked up on it and started making safety laws here in the united states and many other countries.

Socialism comes in and uses the regulations in the U.S to destroy the American industry, because they know that the Americans with all of the safety laws, plus rules on top of rules, regulation on top of more regulations which costs more than what any company can sell it for after paying for the help to do it simply can not stay in business.

The pope has the right idea but, but the goal of the anti God society has nothing to do with safety, their goal is to destroy the place where freedom started, the united states of America.


22 posted on 05/11/2013 5:49:00 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Zajko

Yes, I think we are in general agreement, so I then ask what is the Pope’s point? Where is his nuts and bolts solution that can applied, especially in parts of the world where the level of safety he believes should be achieved is unaffordable? In this particular case, you accurately lay fault where it belongs on the owner, but for the Pope to extend this to some characteristic of capitalism, is also wrong, as you point out.

Socialism gave us Chernobyl. Socialism built those paint factories my friend is trying to fix in China, each one a potential death trap. Socialists can be moral too but often put power into the hands of people with no practical experience. These decision makers are just plain stupid but they are loyal, and that counts more than competence in a socialist system.

If the Pope wants to talk about moral business practices, he certainly can and should do so but to attribute them to capitalism smirks of an endorsement of socialism, which has killed far more people exclusive of industrial accidents.


23 posted on 05/11/2013 6:00:53 AM PDT by trubolotta
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

These horrid conditions would not exist in these countries if we bought garments made in the USA.

But of course, if there were no market for the products, the evil factories in these third world countries would close, and then we Americans would be excoriated for not supporting Third World industry, and putting millions of people out of work.

Here is my hierarchy of purchasing:

1. NOTHING “MADE IN CHINA”
2. NOTHING “Made in Pakistan”
3. Nothing “Made in Bangladesh”
4. Nothing made in any muslim country under Sharia Law (The exception is gas for my car...I can’t tell where their oil comes from, but I try to buy gas at Hess or Valero, where they are less likely to be buying direct from Saudi Arabia.)
5. Nothing from countries that obviously hate America.

6. Luckily, most of our advances in medicine, science, technology, etc, come from Israel, so I can still use those things.
However, my clothes are wearing out and it is very difficult to find new clothing made in the USA, so I will have to get out my old sewing machine!

I buy a lot of things at yard sales, so, while it may have been originally from one of those nations, MY money isn’t going to them.

I really LIKE Pope Francis, and believe he is a good and learned man. However, the tragedy in Bangladesh is a direct result of the corruption and greed of the people THERE, who are most probably muslim and don’t care what he has to say about it. To blame capitalism for the disaster is not even scratching the surface of the spiritual cesspool that exists in our world.

Just my humble opinion, don’t mean to offend my Catholic Brothers and Sisters.


24 posted on 05/11/2013 6:10:50 AM PDT by left that other site ((Ban the ubiquitous and deadly solvent, Di-hydrogen monoxide!!!))
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To: trubolotta

I’m not entirely sure the pope IS ‘attributing to capitalism’ this particular tragedy - he doesn’t use the word, only the article writer does. His comments on ‘slave labor’ and on ‘focusing exclusively on .... personal profit’ appear to refer to the way these particular workers were treated and ended up - i.e. dead, through their employer’s lack of morals, pursuit of short-term profits by criminal means, and industrial malpractice, in a situation where many of them likely had only two life-choices here - take this job or life in abject poverty. This is what, to me, he is commenting on - moral practices in business. Which is quite different from criticizing capitalism per se.

As for applying ‘nuts and bolts solutions’ - this is perhaps more of a political issue, specifically one for the Bangladeshi government, as I think you yourself stated. I don’t find it particularly odd or unacceptable for a Christian religious leader to comment on the moral dimensions or implications of a particular newsworthy incident. It does seem to me - from what is quoted here, anyway, and admittedly the full text of the pope’s comments isn’t included - that it’s the writer of this article, more than the pope, who’s making the papal comments out to be a criticism of capitalism itself.


25 posted on 05/11/2013 6:22:19 AM PDT by Zajko (Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get dirty, but the pig likes it.)
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To: Zajko

Fair enough. I see your point and it’s a good one in my opinion.


26 posted on 05/11/2013 6:26:30 AM PDT by trubolotta
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

I’ve worked on many dangerous jobs and seen people killed. None of them contracted to die or expected to. It’s always a case of how much risk is a worker willing to accept for the money paid.

Sure an employer that is indifferent to the dangers presented to the workers should be punished in some way but closing down the jobs on account of the low wages and rotten conditions is of little benefit to some starving peasant.

Of course shutting down a ship breaker or sweatshop gives a great feeling of moral superiority to those with full bellies and slick pink cheeks.


27 posted on 05/11/2013 6:42:58 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: central_va

Nothing funny about it nor ironic — it is self-destructive a.k.a suicidal.

I well remember the busy cottonmills in Georgia back in the 50’s and 60’s producing better products than the Chinese make today.


28 posted on 05/11/2013 6:49:08 AM PDT by 353FMG ( I do not say whether I am serious or sarcastic -- I respect FReepers too much.)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
We're talking about Bangladesh, here, a nation prone to famine, starvation and untimely death from countless other causes, both natural and man-made.

The industry of garment manufacture has been flowing into that country because of cost benefit to those manufacturers. Workers are readily found because of the opportunity that these manufacturers represent, that does not exist elsewhere. Thus, these workers are helped to avoid starvation and many of the other frequent calamities that have beset Bangladesh for a very long time. It is a fair exchange, not coerced to my knowledge, that has been to the benefit and betterment of both parties.

Part of the reason Bangladesh is desirable from a cost standpoint is the lack of regulation overall, and the ignoring of those fairly primitive and basic regulations that do exist. This leads to such things as buildings that collapse. The same or similar has occurred in China and in fact has occurred in every nation seeking to transition into a more industrial economy.

The scale of this entirely avoidable catastrophe Is horrific, and made all the more horrifying because this could have easily been avoided, but was not. Those responsible should be punished and severely. That is not to say, however, that the lot of Bangladeshis in general has not been improved by the presence of such industry.

It has.

29 posted on 05/11/2013 7:10:01 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

Pat Buchanan attacking Capitalism? That guy puts the Socialism into National Socialism.


30 posted on 05/11/2013 7:18:18 AM PDT by Stepan12
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To: count-your-change
It’s always a case of how much risk is a worker willing to accept for the money paid.

Working on an oil rig is one thing. Being incinerated in a garment factory is another.

31 posted on 05/11/2013 7:32:06 AM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: ravenwolf; Colonel Kangaroo
Godless Capitalism?

First of all, that is the title of the editorial written by Pat Buchanan.

Here is a semi-official account of the actual homily. You won't actually find the words "Godless Capitalism" in his actual homily, nor will you even find the word "capitalism" contained in it either.

Socialism is Godless, not capitalism.

Socialism is inherently godless. There is no way that socialism can be "Christianized" in any way shape or form. Capitalism is, by its essence, much more so in line with the Teachings of Christ. However, to say it can't be abused by godless men is, at best, naive.

32 posted on 05/11/2013 9:13:17 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...
Why is Bangladesh, after China, the second-largest producer of apparel in the world? Why are there 4,000 garment factories in that impoverished country which, a few decades ago, had almost none? ...because women and children will work for $1.50 a day crammed into factories that are rickety firetraps, where health and safety regulations are nonexistent.
Bangladesh is a muzzie hell-hole, China is a commie hell-hole.


33 posted on 05/11/2013 10:34:22 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas
Shall a team of 0SHA inspectors tour third world factories closing down any that don't meet U.S. standards? Don't the workers of Bangladesh deserve safe working conditions?

And give’m a “just” wage too so they can live a dignified life.

I think a hundred dollars an hour would be enough dignity.

“Working on an oil rig is one thing. Being incinerated in a garment factory is another.”

Being incinerated is being incinerated either way.

34 posted on 05/11/2013 10:43:20 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: markomalley

Socialism is inherently godless. There is no way that socialism can be “Christianized” in any way shape or form. Capitalism is, by its essence, much more so in line with the Teachings of Christ. However, to say it can’t be abused by godless men is, at best, naive.


I hope i did not say that any thing can not be abused, i agree, that would really be naive, what i do say is that people do not start a business just to put other people to work and to pay them good wages as i would say that is very naive also.

In answer to what i assume the pope did say was about slave labor, if some one is forced to work on a job against their will that would be slave labor regardless the wage or lack of wage.

Jesus pointed out that if the worker agreed to work for a certain wage that it was hardly any one else,s business.

At any rate i have no argument with the pope, but i have worked for fairly low wages all of my life and have not once complained to the Church or government because i do not think it is any of their business.


35 posted on 05/11/2013 11:16:22 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Zajko

Then it’s up to their government or the people to change that....not the Global Barons who would then have us all working at their idea of a fair “International” wage rate.


36 posted on 05/11/2013 5:47:12 PM PDT by caww
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To: count-your-change
"They bought their tickets. They knew what they were getting into. I say, 'Let 'em crash!"


37 posted on 05/11/2013 7:03:26 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: ravenwolf
Safety laws have nothing to do with God

"When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof." (Deuteronomy 22:8).

38 posted on 05/12/2013 2:32:07 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

“When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.” (Deuteronomy 22:8).


Ha, no one gets any thing past you, way to go.

But what i meant was how many of the people who make the safety laws even know or care what God says about it?


39 posted on 05/13/2013 4:28:04 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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