Pope condemns 'bloodsuckers' who exploit labor [CWN]

Pope Francis denounced “true bloodsuckers” who grow rich by exploiting their workers, during his homily at a morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 19.The Pope …


From the link. If this is true, Pope Francis is quite correct.

Pope Francis recalled how a young girl once told him about having found a job, working 11 hours a day for 650 euro a month, under the table. And they told her, “If that’s ok with you, take it; if not, get lost. There’s nothing else!”

Two of the 4 sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance are related to this:
oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23), and defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4).

650 Euros is about $715.00/month. At eleven hours/day x 5 days/week, that’s $3.25/hour or thereabouts.

I wonder where that was? I doubt anyone in Europe would work for that, given the welfare programs they have there. And in some third world countries that would be a good wage. So it must have been somewhere in between those extremes.

Undoubtedly we will soon see Catholics quoting this and declaring the Pope says if a pro-abortion candidate supports a $15 an hour minimum wage its OK to vote for them

There are many places in Europe where this could occur. For example, Lithuania has a minimum wage of 300 Euros as month and they are definitely not the lowest.

Just because some Catholics might take license with what the pope says, that does not give us license to ignore what he says.

Ah yes. I forgot about eastern Europe. But maybe 650 Euros is not a bad wage in Lithuania if 300 Euros is the minimum wage. 650 seems to be about the average wage there, so maybe he wasnt’ talking about Lithuania.

He should talk to the Chinese government. If anyone exploits labor, it’s communists.

With all due respect you obviously don’t know much about so called European welfare programmes. In the UK, a single person - providing they have paid enough national insurance contributions - is entitled to the whopping sum of £73.10 a week, a couple £115. In many countries single people are not entitled to any benefits at all. Thankfully the minimum wage has just been raised to £7.20 an hour.

Never would I pretend to know much about Europe. People (including people one CAF) sometimes talk about what a paradise Europe is from the welfare standpoint, and I just assumed it was true. Guess I stand corrected.

So, obviously the Pope isn’t talking about Britain either, if the girl in question was making twice what one gets on welfare in Britain. Oh wait a minute, you’re talking about pounds. If pounds are equivalent to $1.46, then the welfare recipient is getting something like $462./month in dollars. That’s still below the 650 Euros the girl was getting, which would be about $715/month in U.S. dollars.

Either one is really shabby by U.S. welfare standards. The absolute lowest here is SSI, which is about $700/month or about 479 pounds, and that’s sharmeful. But it’s possible for a family of four to get combined benefits of as high as about $5,000/month or about 3424 pounds.

Why on earth would anybody want Europe’s welfare benefits if they’re that bad?

Desperation I suppose in those areas of southern Europe where unemployment is highest, but the real solution for many has been to migrate from southern and eastern Europe into Northern and Central Europe where the jobs are. It is possible to get premiums for various reasons but in the UK the total amount of benefits - including housing costs - are capped for non-disabled people at £1800 per month.

A very small proportion of the total welfare bill goes on supporting people who are not working. The vast majority goes on pensions, on support for those with disabilities and on in-work benefits for those on low wages. The latter has prompted a debate in the UK about whether workers from other parts of the EU should have access to these in-work benefits, and restricting access to them was one of the concessions that was recently agreed by David Cameron.

But going back to the original point, I think the Pope is talking about people who fall between the cracks, aren’t aware of their rights or feel unable to argue for them and work many hours for cash-in-hand payments who are vulnerable to exploitation by employers who thrive on this vulnerability. This was certainly the case among black market workers in my native Italy.

This applies to US businesses too imo, notice he said bloodsuckers who exploit and take advantage of their workers to grow rich…well that is not only referring to hourly or monthly pay, if a business owner hires someone at the minimum wage but then expects $25 hour worth of work out them each and every day, that would exploitation in my book.

Notice he also said NO ONE can serve two masters, so all these businesses who year after year, only strive to make MORE, no amount is ever enough, they always want more. If you want proof of this exploitation, take a look at some popular US companies profit statements, and compare their labor rate…yeah, they are definitely serving two masters!

Undoubtedly there are companies like you describe. But I think it would be very difficult to tell them apart. For a lot of companies, profits are reinvested so the company remains viable when things like technology change. That can be terribly expensive, and companies plan ahead for it. Also, a lot of companies have developed their ability to compete with borrowed money. No way to pay down the debt other than with profits. A lot of energy companies are now learning that lesson the hard way.

You can’t stand still in business. If a machine shop operator in 1985 decided to stay with the methods he used then, he would have been out of business by 1995. I don’t think many people have a proper appreciation how expensive it is to remain adequately capitalized.

Citizens United not withstanding, companies are not people. The statement “No one can serve two masters.” applies to people, not companies. Companies do not have a soul. But the people who run them do. So it is not enough to look at the behavior of a company as an entity unto itself. We must look at the behavior of individual people when applying the statement “No one can serve two masters”. So I don’t think it is fair to criticize companies for being profit-oriented. It is fair to criticize individual decisions made by people in a company that are contrary to justice.

The people who run them are accountable for their actions though, sure the company itself is not a living entity, but without people, owners, workers, it would not exist, so a company is made up of people.

If those people base their decisions on pure greed (the quest for more and more money), well, in Gods eyes, that is sinful, its greed. Look at wall street, what is their main concern…MONEY, and no matter what your profit was last year, they always want MORE, even if everyone made out like bandits the year before (or had plenty already).

The problem is the enemy is so ingrained in our ways and our world, what appears to be a normal and good thing (business and industry), may not be a good thing to God, especially if they are taking advantage of people to earn more profits, and by taking advantage of, that could mean taking advantage of minimum wage laws, so you can lessen your labor, increase profit, even though the workers are hardly able to put a roof over their heads.

What is good and acceptable in our world compared to Gods opinion, has become blurred and distorted, and for the most part we are being led away from Gods laws, sometimes done in very sneaky ways…Do you think the enemy is going to use easily recognizable tactics to draw people away from God…of course not, he is going to blur the lines on what is good/acceptable, make it seem like it is OK, etc etc.

You are right, its almost impossible to tell them apart, and I doubt that is coincidence either…the enemy is not stupid, he is very sneaky, so we can not recognize whats going on.

I think we could eventually, but it wouldn’t be foolproof. If, say, a state-of-the-art company keeps building cash and building cash, never investing it, never paying it out in dividends, then one could reasonably suspect the company of simple greed. Microsoft comes to mind in that regard. It’s sitting on a huge pile of cash, and they can’t hide that. Financial records of publicly-traded companies are reasonably accessible to everyone.

But even then, one has to consider what it would cost even Microsoft to totally revamp and rebuild its system and product, driven by some technological change, then lose money during some early marketing period. Personally, I couldn’t possibly imagine.

You are so correct. While the enemy is busy blurring the difference between what’s considered “just business”, “getting ahead” or achieving “the American dream”, too many of God’s children are passionately hyper-focused on issues which clearly lie beyond what is acceptable in our belief system. Important as those issues may be, the politicization of them is especially sad and dangerous because while we’re busy marching and rallying and voting this or that politician in or out, the temptations and transgressions which run rampant across political lines get delegated to the background of our consciousness.

I’m personally dismayed how little condemnation of the manifestations of pervasive greed, individualism and selfishness we hear from the pulpits. It’s almost a tacit resignation to the world view in which success is valued above (waaay above) the means to that success; a world view in which those (unashamedly) labeled “losers”, are consigned to the dustbin of humanity. When not being a “loser” competes seriously with not being unChristian, and when the threat from that mentality is not equated with the threat, say from gender wars, then we really need a Pope who knows what’s what and isn’t afraid to speak up.

Is anybody else troubled by the anti-Semitic connotations suggested by the term “bloodsuckers”?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.