Receiving a family wage is not merely a right but also just plain economic common sense. However, I think it has been one of the most neglected and misrepresented economic thoughts. Consider many will use the force of government to mandate wages (like the minimum wage) or political influence led by unions to create wage floors to guarantee a certain income at the expense of everyone else. Big business on the other hand also desires minimum wages because they can lobby a price that legitimizes low wages and too high of wages for its possible competitors. The creation of a minimum wage here puts a wage floor and then the big companies force its competitors to pay a certain rate here while they move globally and find cheaper rates.

Is there a market answer that will not use the government to generate a wage closer to the family wage? This has been rattling my mind ever since I read the Catholic economic thought of a family wage.

First of all, a just and free society must be the bedrock. People will have to understand that the government is not the family table or communal milking cow. Lobbying government for special privileges will have to take the bumper seat. The principle of justice, in plain words, is basically giving each person their rightful due and taking money from one person to give it to another is not exactly just.

Education would also have to be revamped. I think a more classical approach to education will be prudent. The goal of the classical method is to create a liberal mind. Not liberal in the political sense, rather in the freedom sense. The hopeful conclusion of years of classical schooling would be a person that seeks the good, truth, and moral uprightness. They would understand that they cannot steal from their neighbor whether that is breaking and entering or pressuring politicians to vote for vested interests.

Another step is knowledge of family sufficiency. This could be a farm or single owner/family business. Why is this necessary? Well it gives the employee better negotiating power. A person typically doesn’t leave a job for a lesser paying offer. If a person can provide a family/living wage by their own hands, then the job offer from an employer would have to be better than what the employee can do on his own. The problem is most people cannot provide for themselves. Heck, I don’t even think I could do so. It is one of the reasons I wish to learn gardening and other principles of self-sufficiency. The more sufficient I am using my own property (tools or land), the more bargaining power I have with a future employer because the sought after position is no longer based on need like, “I need this job.” Rather it becomes “I will consider this position if it can provide more wealth for my family than working on my own.” As more people come to the bargaining table with this attitude, employers will have to increase wages to be more competitive with potential employees. It basically becomes a supply and demand issue. If more people were practicing family sufficiency, then the supply of workers would be less creating higher demand and with higher demand comes higher prices.

Any thoughts are welcome. This is kind of a working thesis, an attempt to hear feedback on some general thoughts I have been pondering.