Entries by Bill Droel

Garbage Justice

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Martin Luther King (1929-1968), one of our country’s foremost leaders in race relations, is less remembered for his advocacy of the dignity of work. The City of Memphis is sending a tax-free grant of $50,000 each to 13 retired sanitation workers, plus one more still on the job. This […]

Wages Part II

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Back in 1992 New Jersey raised its minimum wage. Social scientists David Card and Alan Krueger studied its effects. Specifically, they compared fast food restaurants in New Jersey with others in adjoining Pennsylvania, where wages were not raised—a total of 410 restaurants. Their findings, published in the September 1994 […]

Rehabbing Foreclosed Houses

The Working Catholic: by Bill Droel I moved into Chicago’s Marquette Park neighborhood in the late 1970s and within seven years bought the home there in which my family still resides. Neighborhood stability and the quality of housing were of concern in the 1970s and with ebbs-and-flows remain so today. Prior to the real estate […]

Eviction

The Working Catholic by William Droel An imprecise distinction can be made between the working poor and the poor; between episodic poverty and persistent poverty; between functional poverty and totally debilitating poverty. Matthew Desmond compelling portrays the downward slide from “stable poverty” to “grinding poverty” in his study of housing in Milwaukee, titled Evicted: Poverty […]

The Working Catholic: Consistent Solidarity

by Bill Droel Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (1928-1996) of Chicago urged his fellow Catholics to adopt a consistent ethic of life; to honor the inherent dignity of each person from conception to natural death. Some Catholic leaders harshly criticized him, arguing that some issues warranted more attention than others. “Bernardin deserves a fresh hearing,” writes Cardinal […]

The Working Catholic: Wages

The Working Catholic: Wages by Bill Droel The living wage movement improves family life for targeted workers but has little spillover effect on wages, employment rates or poverty in the wider region, concludes researcher Benjamin Sosnaud in Social Service Review (1427 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637). In June 1993 BUILD (2439 Maryland Ave., Baltimore, […]

Common Good

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel “Your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care,” says a former Congressman from Illinois. He has apparently forgotten the definition of insurance (a hedge or cushion against risk), which is normally achieved by spreading the cost of a problem (a car […]

Resentment

The Working Catholic by William Droel Following each presidential election, a cottage industry of analysis appears—maps, tables, articles and books. This time around the industry is mansion-sized; it is huge, I tell you. Resentment is mentioned as a factor in some election commentaries. (Though written before the election, The Politics of Resentment by Jeremy Engels […]

Benign Neglect

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Nearly every business leader agrees with the idea of corporate responsibility, said Stefano Zamagni at a Catholic Social Tradition conference held at University of Notre Dame late this March. To the extent that they know about Catholic doctrine, every Catholic business leader accepts our social doctrine. It would be […]

Lent Reading

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Friday this year. Thus, several Illinois bishops (though not all) and other bishops elsewhere “granted a dispensation” so that the faithful could thereby have corned beef on the feast. (Is there any evidence that workaday Catholics are incapable of making such decisions on […]