Monday, February 5, 2007

Why Support the Minimum Wage?

The Rev. Jim Wallis has an answer for the question we ask above: theology. Speaking in Washington last week after the U.S. Senate voted to raise the minimum wage, Wallis put his support for the increase in these words:

It's a political fact now that faith communities across the board, very widely, are in favor of increasing the minimum wage. Why is that? What's the theological foundation behind that? We don't just do politics; we do politics because of our faith.

I just returned from Davos, and the World Economic Forum…. I cited the Hebrew prophets and how they always seemed to speak up when the gaps in society grew too large. When the gulf widened and injustice deepened, the prophets rose up to thunder the judgment and justice of God. [Their words] reveal that God hates inequality. That's our theological foundation—God hates inequality.

Wallis makes a powerful point. God probably does hate inequality. And it's up to us, Wallis is saying, to do God's work here on earth.

As we have noted in an earlier post, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn voted against the minimum wage increase, and Sen. Jim Inhofe was absent and didn't vote.

Wallis, a long time activist and editor of Sojourners magazine, goes on to note the huge inequalities in the U.S. economic system, calling these gaps wrong and unjust.

He concludes with this call to action:

The minimum wage is simply the down payment on social justice. We've made the down payment. Now it's time to do the rest of the work.

1 comment:

Big Ass Belle said...

ted kennedy's blast at republicans over this minimum wage issue made my hair stand up. it was magnificent, like a thundering god of morality. loved it, loved it.