A JUST WAGE: SOCIAL JUSTICE IN THE LABOR MARKET
LUKÁŠ AUGUSTIN MÁSLO
The author deals with a question of the just wage, its rationale and practical implementation from the perspective of classical philosophy and Catholic social teaching. In the methodological section, the author argues that because moral and political philosophy stands higher than economics in the hierarchy of sciences, the wage-justice perspective should take precedence over the just-wage perspective. In the section on education, the author calls for a real inter-disciplinarity in education which would eliminate the arrogance of a one-discipline approach and establish a relevant-discipline approach. This paper wants to be an example of such a relevant-discipline approach. The author contends that the term “just wage” can be perceived in two meanings: 1) in the meaning of legal or social justice as a family wage; 2) in the meaning of commutative justice as a value of the employee’s performance which contributes to the production of the total physical product. Where the value of the labor performance cannot be estimated lower than the cost of authentically human living. This paper provides micro- and macroeconomic reasons for the conclusion that the legal minimum wage is not an effective instrument to make an employer pay a just wage and presents the conclusion that the only way to make the employer pay a just wage is a creation of such an institutional environment in which the owners and managers will want to pay just wages on their own, at the expense of their own profit. The author contends that a distributist vision of “restoration of property could provide a functional solution to this. The reason why popes before and during the industrial revolution didn’t criticize low incomes of peasants is, according to the author, that the family life and working life were not separated in the institutional environment of the countryside economy which is why the incomes of the peasants allowed the man to fulfill his obligations in relation to his family.
just wage, minimum wage, labor demand, social justice, industrial revolution, Catholic social teaching, laissez-faire, education
LUKÁŠ AUGUSTIN MÁSLO (2021). A Just Wage: Social Justice in the Labor Market. International Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. IX(1), pp. 29-48. , DOI: 10.52950/TE.2021.9.1.003
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