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Family Wage

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part Thirteen, Poverty by Bill Droel It’s published in Wall St. Journal (4/30/23), so it must be true. It’s an essay about wages by Michael Lind. He begins with a quotation from Adam Smith (1723-1790), a theorist for modern capitalism. For capitalism to thrive, Smith says employees must get a […]


The Working Catholic: Signs of the Times by Bill Droel How do we become aware that a new age has dawned? Did anyone in November 1492 proclaim that the modern age began the previous month when Native Americans discovered Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)? Did anyone in November 1517 realize that the modern age began the previous […]

Employee Participation

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine, Part Nineby Bill Droel Capitalism today is of the libertarian or wild cowboy style. It destructs our middle-class way of life plus, let’s admit, it erodes the well-being of its supposed mega-beneficiaries. Alternative styles of capitalism are available. They preserve an industrial base, increase employee participation in the economy and […]

Working Catholic: Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part Eightby Bill Droel Always do for others what they cannot do for themselves. That’s the rule of charity. Never do for others what they can do for themselves. That’s the rule of freedom. The Catholic principle of subsidiarity maintains the tension between the two. It guides the interplay of […]

Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part Sevenby Bill Droel There are scores of books explaining Catholic social doctrine. The outline for many of them is a chronology of papal encyclicals (from Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 On the Condition of Labor to Pope Francis’ 2020 On Social Friendship). Or the author might pick issues like peace, […]

Daily Grind

The Working Catholic: Routine by Bill Droel Clocks are everywhere because our modern economy needs to know the time.      Our “regular measurement of time and the new mechanical conception of time arose in part out of the routine of the monastery,” writes Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) in Technics and Civilization (University of Chicago Press, 1934). […]

Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine, Part Fiveby Bill Droel Catholicism ducked its appointment with modernity for about 400 years. Not until Vatican II (1962-1965) did Catholicism open the door to dialogue with the modern world—not a wholesale acceptance of every modern trend, but an engagement conducted with patience and sophistication.Catholicism opposed the Protestant Reformation (from […]


The Working Catholic: Lockoutby Bill Droel Kellogg has used the lockout tactic before. In October 2013 the cereal company locked out its 220 Memphis employees. Issues included mandatory overtime and benefits. The situation remained until August 2014 when a federal judge ruled that in this case the tactic was illegal. The judge ordered that employees […]

Labor Day Part II

The Working Catholic: Labor Day Part IIBy Bill Droel Covid-19 brings us an opportunity to experiment with different work arrangements, including shorter hours. For example, the 100 employees at Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com), a popular crowd-funding platform, will work four days per week in 2022, a minimum of 32 hours. Their pay remains the same as when […]

Labor Day

The Working Catholic: Labor DayBy Bill Droel International Workers Day (May Day), the counterpart to our September Labor Day, was inspired by an 1886 event here in Chicago. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor obtained a city permit for a May rally/demonstration in the Haymarket area (now a trendy restaurant spot). Late in the […]